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Thyroid UK
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What medications can't you take with thyroxine?

In neither under or over active I've had a total thyroid ectomy due to Papillary Carcinoma, I've recently found out the hard way you can't take decongestants/ cold treatment tablets, nit a pleasant experience! Im also struggling with weight gain and totally fed up that my Macmillan be a waste of time. I'm fed up with reading conflicting information. Just generally totally fed up.

15 Replies

I'm not aware that thyroxine stops one taking any other meds. Certain meds and those containing iron & calcium should be taken 4 hours away from thyroxine as they affect absorption and I try not to take anything within 2 hours of thyroxine 'just in case'.

What happened when you took the cold remedies?

I had Hurthle cell carcinoma 2 years ago. I totally bought the "little daily pill" lie. Is there anything I can help you with re the conflicting information? What's the problem with MacMillan?

It's okay if you just want to vent and don't want to answer questions. If you do want advice it would be helpful if you could let us know when your TT was, what meds you're on and what your recent TFT and lab ref ranges are.


Hi Clutter, thanks for your reply.

The problem taking decongestants or cold meds are they have a stimulant in them which reacts with the thyroxine causing palpitations, high temp and generally feeling totally crap. I'm such a twit for not reading the leaflet with the meds but it didn't occur to me that something so harmless as decongestants would be such an issue. I have been taking them for years, it's now 2 wks since I've taken any and palpitations have stopped. I'm wondering if these would have affected my TSH and T4 results, 4 weeks ago they finally came through as normal (can't remember figures as I forgot to ask for them to be printed, which I need for my consultant).

I'm taking 175 mcg consultant said he doesn't really go by blood results, he said its about how you feel and could go up to 200mcg, I told GP that I just wanted to leave another increase for a while as it really buggers me up for the first month after increasing the dose.

I've put on near 1stone and just getting fed up with it all.

I was going to answer the rest of your questions but didnt want you to have to read an essay! :)


Don't worry about essays. Getting out the required info is important :)

I had no idea cold remedies would affect thyroxine. Thanks for the heads up. Old fashioned steaming over a bowl to decongest then. I tend to drink honey lemon and hot water for sore throats.

You consultant sounds like one to be treasured. You will feel crap if you're undermedicated. If med increases upset you for a month you need to increase slowly. Cut a 25mcg tablet in half and take 12.5mcg every other day for a week, then every day for a week, then 25mcg every other day until week 4 the full 25mcg increase every day. You may be able to speed it up but avoiding feel rubbish is the name of the game.

Weight increase is a hypothyroid symptom (although some of us suffer weight loss), particularly if you are undermedicated. Many find a gluten-free diet helps with this.

If your MacMillan nurse isn't helping you ask to see someone else or give him the elbow. Instead of upsetting you by explaining so crassly, he could have said that your metabolism has slowed down and you may put on weight if you eat the same diet you had pre TT and don't exercise more. Even so, some hypo px eat a lot less and exercise a lot more and still gain. It's a matter, not simple, of finding the right diet, food combinations and exercise regime. If his expertise isn't hypothyroidism you're wasting your time.


Thanks for the heads up on increasing slowly I will try that next time. :)


The problem with Macmillan is only with the ENT Macmillan nurse, he does not respond to emails both before and after operation. I met him the day after my op and asked him about weight increase with thyroxine and he said ' it's not a problem, the only reason for weight gain is more calories in than out'. I and I'm sure thousands of other can categorically disagree with him.

This was my second cancer in 2 1/2 years, the first was stage 3 Malignant Melanoma, my Macmillan nurse for that is fantastic, she is just lovely. I think I had so much support from her and information it was harder trying to deal with the ENT nurse.


Ditch him. He's not helping you. These links may be of interest and there is a lot of diet and dietary info on Mary Shoman's site thyroid.about.com/od/cancer...


I did look up Mary Shoman and she was mentioned in an interview with Kent Holtorf discussing weight, he was putting it down to the Hormone Leptin. That article was what frustrated me yesterday; eating 500-600 less calories a day just to stop gaining weight, I'm doing that!!

From what I can gather there seems to be more research in the States than the UK and it's getting the info in the UK that I tend to take note from as the treatments do not translate to the UK.

Thank you for your advice. X


Thanks for the link I've already looked that up.


I was informed by my pharmacist to always check before taking cold remedies as I'm on levothyroxin. I hope you get the help and info you need.


Yes I should have read the leaflet but didnt so I'm a total twit. Hay ho we live and learn.


Hi there - I am not sure about the meds - wach med should have its own patient information leaflet and it should advise whether it reacts with thyroid meds.

However I do know two things you should not eat / wear when taking levothyroxine:

1. Lemon Verbena

2. Asprin

both of these interefere with the absorbtion of Levothyroxine (I have a friend who is a herbalist, and yes asprin was a herbal substance before it bacame a pill - something to do with willow trees)

hope this helps,



Thank you. :)


Not sure u are totally correct re Asprin I am a heart patient as well as Hypothyroid as need to take 75mg Asprin per day as well as Levo I just take the Asprin and Levo more than 4 hours apart

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There is quite a bit of information here:


Look for the tables and read the text as necessary! Not written for light reading. Also, I suspect, a bit out of date though dated 2010.



Thanks Rad, just had a quick look and will leave digesting it until the morning!!


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