Thyroid UK

Acquiring Levothyroxine on a Tourist Visa

My partner will be staying with me in the UK for the next six months. She's from Mexico and is currently on a tourist visa.

She had half her Thyroid removed and has been taking 50mg of Levothyroxine for a while. We were wondering how to 1. Have her blood tested 2. Acquire more Levothyroxine.

We are quite naive when it comes to this. Does she need to find a temporary GP to test her blood and prescript the tablets or is this going to be a little more complicated?

I'm sure there are better places to ask such a specific question about health services but we're struggling to find answers from our research online.

Thank you!

4 Replies

She had access to NHS services while she was studying here a few years ago but her Visa has long since expired.


I will say taking 50mcg of levothyroxine for several months I doubt if she feels very well. Usually 50mcg is a starting dose and it is increased about 6 weeks later with an additional 25mcg and so on until she feels well. When she is on optimum medication a yearly blood test is all that is required.

She can have private blood tests and you can book in advance. Some labs do pinprick tests where you draw a little blood from a finger and post it. Results are then posted online as well as getting them by post.

An NHS GP may see her if she requires a prescription.She must have a prescription from a GP for levothyroxine and prove she is hypothyroid but she would have to pay maybe for the GP but definitely for the prescription.

It is usually only in an emergency situation you can get NHS help if you are a visitor from abroad.

As she is from Mexico, I know they sell liothyronine (T3) there but don't know if you need a prescription but I personally prefer T3.

This is a list of labs. I know that Blue Horizon does pinprick tests but don't know about the others. If they ask for the name of a Consultant you can put on the form.


Ohisito, your friend may be required to pay to use NHS facilities. Why not suggest she brings 6 months worth of Levothyroxine with her from Mexico. That way she gets to stay on the brand she is used to and doesn't have the expense of NHS monthly prescriptions and GP appointments. If she needs monitoring during the 6 months she will have to register with a GP or order private lab tests.

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This is the NHS site which details what tourists can expect:

Afraid I don't find it clear if she is already in the UK, on her way, or due soon. If possible, she would probably make life easy by bringing her required medicine with her. If she is already here, could some be posted on to her? Most especially as she would then be able to avoid switching makes (often a problem).

If possible, any form of medical record or prescription or a letter from medics in Mexico (very definitely in English) might help in getting whatever medical needs she has over here - even if they are seemingly unconnected. For example, an accident where a hospital would want to know her medical history.

shaws has already posted a link to getting tests done privately.

If she felt able, it could be very interesting for those here to read about how different thyroid treatment is (or isn't) in Mexico. We have members from quite a number of countries but I do not remember any from Mexico. Not sure how much you know, but quite a number of people on this group have been buying Grossman Cynomel from Mexico. Generally regarded as a good quality product at an acceptable price. (Recently there have been difficulties in getting hold of it.)


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