Log in
Thyroid UK
93,375 members107,429 posts

asthma drugs and levothyroxine

The patient information leaflet for my asthma inhaler (symbicort) has a warning about taking care if taking it with levothyroxine. Does anyone here know why this is? I am currently going through a really wheezy patch which I don't seem to be able to find a reason for. It started about a week before I started to slowly increase my levothyroxine as I have been feeling really really tired and weepy. I am going up to 100 mg and am currently on 87.5 up from 75 three weeks ago. The asthma doctor wants me to increase my symbicort to twice a day but this seems to make the wheezy worse (I take the steroid without the long acting beta part as pulmicort twice a day as well). I follow a very strict lifestyle and diet which works mostly most of the time but not at the moment! I have a medical history of not tolerating the asthma drugs well (I seem to react to all phenolics including salbutamol (ventolin)) and I am generally really suspicious of these drugs. I also take montelukast which was very successful when I first took it over 5 years ago but less so now and I worry about the long term effects of this one. My ferratin, vitamin d, folate and B12 are all mid or top of range now but I was insufficient in b12 last year and vitamin d back in April. I have chronic nose and sinus problems and no sense of smell at all as well as fatigue and horrible sore bones and as for the weepiness!

12 Replies

OK, I hope I can help as I also have asthma and was on symbicort until a month ago. There was never any issue for me, but I didn't take my morning puffs until an hour or so after the levo. When I have flairups I use nebulizer and those times have become far and few between since we figured out the hypothyroid. I have t2wo docs, one who takes care of thyroid, and is in fact an internist, and a pulmonomogist and I always send records and test results to them both. Luckily they are friends and also practiced together in the same building for years, so they have no problem consulting each other. I asked the same . They both told me it would be fine.

It sounds as if your asthma may not be controlled at this point? I'm not sure why the wheezing would be worse with the symbicort although it takes a couple of weeks to really work. Do you have a rescue inhaler or nebulizer for the times that you are wheezy?

I haven't had had any side effects from using both meds together, but my dosage is only changed every 12 weeks if necessary. I wonder why your doc is increasing levo so rapidly when it takes a good six weeks to see if the current level is enough. In reality your asthma should improve when you get to the correct level of levo, because your immune system will become stronger.


I wonder if your sinus problems are aggravating the wheeziness. What do you take for your sinus symptoms? Have you tried inhalation? I hope that your doctor has made sure you don't have a chest infection?

Avoiding milk and dairy foods can help with long term sinus issues. Having a crunchy salad at least three or four times a week with raw cabbage chopped up with carrot, celery, apple, nuts, etc... was helpful to me. Raw cabbage is one of natures natural aids. Milk increases mucus production, try fruit juices and water instead.

These are things that helped me, I hope you don't mind my suggesting them? I also have thyroid, asthma, and low B12, plus fibromyalgia. Best wishes MariLiz


Thanks for the suggestions I learn so much from others in similar positions, I can't eat carrot or celery or apples or nuts but do raw cabbage a little but carefully as it is not meant to be good for the thyroid. The sinus problem does aggravate the chest and is proving hard to shift, I use inhalation and sinus douche but if I get too carried away the increase in mucus albeit thinner makes the cough worse so it is a fine line. Last year when I first started supplementing B12 the sinus went away for 3 whole months and then crept back. I have been milk free for over a year now and the asthma got heaps better as soon as I stopped it, similarly it got better when I started supplementing minerals such as iron and selenium in the summer (and also lots of sun!)

1 like

I am on B12 injections now and my sinus issues are much improved. What is your B12 level now? I've been told we need to be at around 1000 if we have thyroid too. Maybe your VitD is low too, mine was.


my B12 was 1130 on blue horizon in August (it was 142 last summer, 700 in december so some is getting in!) and my vitamin d was also up from insufficient in April (38) to 75 n/mol litre (I've been supplementing and getting out into the sun as much as possible all summer). so low B12 and low D are not likely to have caused this particular flare of symptoms.


Hi bd79og,

Slightly off topic, but I read somewhere that Symbicort can actually cause asthma symptoms and patients shouldn't be on Symbicort for too long either.

My Husband was on it for years. Do check this out yourself though as I do not have any links to prove it.

An idea to check your iron panel bloods and look into taking some vitamins D3, K2 and vitamin A.

(I see you do take some,)

By supplementing iron for a while (iron blood was under range) and taking the above vitamins, Hubby has only needed to take his rescue inhale 3 times in 6 months recently, two of the times he needed his inhaler was down to forgetting to take his vitamins and once was down to being in a room with a dog for two hours. He actually said he felt he did not have asthma anymore, he feels he no longer needs the preventative symbicort at all now so gave it up months ago, despite having life long asthma since a boy and several nasty near death episodes over the years.


I too felt I did not have asthma any more this summer and then boom a really wheezy last month! It is so hard when lots of factors trigger it! If you google the side effects of long term symbicort use one of the more common ones for 2 - 5 years is death which is a little worrying and hardly a SIDE effect, luckily it is not mentioned for even longer use!

Glad your husband is doing so well with less inhaler and lots of vitamins I certainly feel it is more helpful to be stronger myself than to keep masking symptoms.



I too am asthmatic but recently my blue inhaler and purple preventer have been making things worse. It seems like I've suddenly become allergic to them! I have to stay this started way before my Levothyroxine so with me I don't think it's linked.

Do you have Hashimoto's? I was thinking whether the inhalers were aggravating the thyroid. Maybe that's a bit silly, I don't know.

Hope you find some answers. I know it's scary when inhalers don't help.


I have no record of antibodies for Hashimotos but have been gluten free for a while so could have had some in the past. I begun to have problems with the blue asthma inhaler about a year after having been diagnosed with asthma (7 years ago) and was told it could be due to the propellant. I used only symbicort (dry powder) as a reliever and it seemed to be ok especially with montelukast. then I was given a new reliever to try (terbutaline), within months I was having weekly attacks and had to call an ambulance more than once but I was also very stressed at the time.

Then on a scary hospital admission more than two years ago I went bright red, swollen and all my membranes burnt whilst being given nebulised salbutamol, I was terrified and admitted to high dependency and since then have been hugely reactive to lots and lots of things.

Some of the preventer inhalers use alcohol and there was a time I was having twice daily "reactions" which stopped after I changed to a dry powder inhaler (pulmicort which only contains the steroid).

I got better by following a strict FAILSAFE diet but the sinus and nose are less easy maybe because I am really allergic to dust, pollen and household chemicals which I can't smell so don't avoid.

My thyroid problem was only identified last year and only when I went and asked for the tests (repeatedly) as I had heard that it was linked to the strange reactions I was having. I'm hopeful that it is the major part of the picture and so far generally I have been reasonable but it is for me no magic cure, I still can't eat anything off my list of 10 or so "safe" things without going bright red and wheezy and at the moment I feel I've been eating the wrong things as I feel poorly but I can't pin any changes down and have no reason for this "flare".

As far as I can tell this increased reactivity is thyroid / poor nutrition / vitamin deficiency / stress / gluten sensitivity driven but no doctor has given me any help just said it is not immune mediated and so outside their experience but iron may help. I hope your "allergic" to the asthma inhalers is not the start of what it was for me.


Oh that's awful! I'm so sorry you've had such a bad and very scary time.

Let's hope this is the beginning of the end of your problems.


You are wise to worry about those drugs. I've posted videos by Dr. Bergman about thyroid and adrenals many times here because he knows so much about anatomy and organ functions. This is one on Asthma and there are others. I'm sure you will learn a lot. The video about the nervous system is also very informative.j


I found Seretide did knock out good effects of Levothyroxine.


You may also like...