Thyroid UK

Bit retrospective this! What meds can you take with flu when you've been diagnosed with hypothyroidism?

Been laid up for a bit with the nasty virus that give you flu/cold and really nasty persistent cough with chest infection. Rubbish! So what can you take? I thought you shouldn't take any deconstructions as they were contrary indicated for those being treated for hypothyroidism? I received very varying opinions on this -some docs said no you mustn't and others said yes you can/ Some pharmacists said no you mustn't and some said yes you can.

Can anyone enlighten me?

In the end I avoided decongestants and stuck to paracetamol, Ibuprofen, methyl crystals dropped into steaming water and honey and fresh lemon. before bed......and of course multi packs of lovely soft tissues and Vaseline for my poor little nose.

12 Replies

Nearly everything is a no no according to both my GP and pharmacist. I am on heart medications as well though. Paracetamol is allowed, also Vicks nasal stick and the stuff that you drop into hot water. I've also used a nasal wash that's basically a type of saline solution that you make up - available at the pharmacy. The reason for decongestants being a no no is that they contain some sort of stimulant which works against the medication. I'm not even allowed lovely Lemsip. You would think that some clever drug company with an eye to a profit would invent something that suits us.


Thanks -Mrspat -arggh yeah i found out about the Lemsip when I had nearly consumed a box of it ! The pharmacist had a fit! I'd been ok if I had gone into a supermarket (where I had bought it in the first place before fainting and was told I shouldn't be out! -what can a girl do!).....The Lemsip helped.... i did find combining Paracodal and ibro pretty good though too for the banging headache -& allowable according to a pharmacist.....I was too porrly to do a rainchekc and carry out a consensus with other medical professions!!!! Am sure that combo is more potent then lemsip....anyway......

Thankfully am more or less over it now....thank goodness!!! :) :) And if meds are such a problem how come we don't qualify for the flu injection? mine is not to reason why........


From Mary Shoman's website:-

Cough & Cold Medicines and Decongestants: What Do Thyroid Patients Need to Know?

Why Cough and Cold Medicines Have Warnings for Thyroid Patients

By Mary Shomon

Updated July 22, 2009

Thyroid patients need to avoid some cold and flu medications.

Many packages of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines and decongestants say "Do not take if you have one of the following..." and then go on to list thyroid disease. You may wonder, then, if you can take these products for your cold or flu?

The reason for these warnings is the stimulant pseudoephedrine, an ingredient in some formulations of Sudafed and some cold and allergy medicines. Stimulants can be dangerous to people with active hyperthyroidism, as they can add strain to an already taxed heart and high blood pressure found in hyperthyroidism.

What about people with hypothyroidism? Can you take these types of medicines? This is something that needs to be decided, but generally, it is not recommended that people with thyroid problems take any products with pseudoephedrine or natural ephedra, ingredients that are sometimes found in natural weight loss, energy and cold remedies. There are anecdotal reports of people with thyroid disease becoming extra-sensitive to stimulants like caffeine, pseudoephedrine or ephedra.

As far as over-the-counter medicines, you might want to ask your doctor about using a product likeCoricidin HBP, a cold remedy made specially without stimulating ingredients. You can also consider trying some of the natural suggestions described later in this article.

Alternatives, Vitamins and Supplements for Cold and Flu?

There are a number of alternative remedies that you can try to help with cold and flu.

Noted alternative practitioner Andrew Weil, MD suggests vitamin C, garlic, echinacea, and the herb astragalus -- among other natural remedies -- to help boost the immune system during flu season.

Italian researchers also found that ginseng, when given throughout the season to people who had flu shots, reduced the cases of flu, and raised the activity rate of immune cells that fight infections.

When you're in the midst of the flu, besides plenty of rest, fluids, and good nutrition, there are some additional alternative medicine approaches that some experts recommend.

Some other natural approaches that may be helpful for cold and flu include the following:

•Elderberry -- Elderberry apparently works by strengthening the cell membrane so a virus cannot penetrate it. It also appears to inhibit the enzyme that viruses use to weaken the membrane.'s Alternative Medicine site has more information on elderberry.

•Vitamin C -- Though the recommended daily dosage of vitamin C is usually no higher than 100 mg/day, some experts believe that as much as 1 to 6 grams (1000 - 6000 mg) of vitamin C per day may may be helpful during illness, and in particular, help reduce the duration of a fluvirus. The suggested dosage would be 1000 mg every 2 hours, unless diarrhea or gas occurs.

•Zinc Lozenges -- Over-the-counter zinc lozenges, if take at the onset of symptoms, may help reduce the effects of a flu or cold.

•Oscillicoccinum -- This homeopathic treatment may help with flu symptoms, particularly when taken right away after the onset of symptoms.

•Garlic - Garlic has natural antibiotic and antiviral properties, and some experts suggest a daily high allicin content garlic supplement which should begin during the first six hours of cold and flu symptoms.

•Camu-camu - The Amazonian rainforest fruit, rich in vitamin C, may also help combat viruses.


I use Pulmo Bailey when I have a cough, I'm also Hypo, I've attached a link to the PDF of the info sheet that comes with it, no mention of thyroid that I can find.



Thanks :) I had never heard of it -but will remember to try this next time around -though as it has codeine in it had best avoid taking more codeine seperately. Did you find it gave you good relief?


I think it's great stuff, but it smells and tastes horrid, I hold my nose when I drink it. You also have to ask for it at the pharmacy.


Thanks for the tips -I will get some :)


I just have paracetamol, and an early night or two


Normally that would work for me -but this was real proper heavy dose of flu -that's why i ended up taking a combination -very unusual for me. I had flu seven years ago and it took me month to get over it -at least I improved a week earlier this time around!

I think I might ask the GP about flu injections......


I wasn't suggesting that you weren't poorly. A flu injection is a good plan :)


Oooh I know you weren't :) I really appreciate you taking the time to reply to me. Thank you.


Gosh didn't know much of this! Thankfully as I have taken zinc for many years I've not suffered much with colds but when I do get one its usually a bad one. I've had a flu jab for years. My GP sanctioned it as I had a thyroid problem. Each year the receptionists just asked if I'd had one before so truthfully said yes then I was stopped from having one 2 years before I was allowed a free one as what I'd said was apparently a load of rubbish! The following year I tried the carer for someone at risk of infection but the nurse said I was entitled anyway as had a Pulmonary Embolism. I tend not to get much from the chemist anyway as often it won't work for me but no one reads the small print before they but and I've never thought of asking-will, in future.


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