How do you know if you're overmedicated?

Hi, I'm self medicating with NDT, as according to the doctors I'm not hypo. My symptoms, and posters here, looking at my bloods, disagreed. I'm now up to 2 grains per day and have noticed no side effects, but nor has there been any definite improvement.

No doubt being over medicated is a case of 'you know when you feel it', but what does it feel like? What should I watch for as I increase the dose, and how long does it usually take to start to feel a benefit?

Finally, if I'm wrong, and aren't hypo at all, will taking NDT do any harm?

Sorry, lots of questions!

15 Replies

  • Hi,

    I self-medicate, too. It took a while to be effective as I took other meds & hormones at the same time, & wasn't aware of the clash between thyroid hormones & food, tea, coffee, etc, for the first 6 months. When I took it on an empty stomach with filtered water only, & left a gap of at least two hours before eating, & at least four hours between other meds & supplements, it became more effective. You also need adequte nutrition to make it work effectively: magnesium, selenium, ferritin, D3, B12, folate, etc.

    When I have too much, the edge of my lips & skin feels prickly (also with even tiny amounts of thyro-gold). I also eat a lot more & feel warmer. Have you tried checking your temperature & pulse? My pulse is the same BPM, but now strong, & my temperature is up to 36.1 degrees, which is a degree higher than before I started thyroid meds. I think BP should be elevated on too much, though mine was even lower than usual on a day when I took 75mcg of T3, & has been good, as usual, on three grains of NDT.


  • Hi Leverette. Agree with everything you said here, particular using your temp and pulse as a guide. NDT is great once you learn how it interacts with your body. The thing I sort of worked out today was I need less in summer than winter. I mean I knew I needed more the days I played sport or was out in the cold wind for a few hours. But I didn't get the seasonal thing until I went slightly hyper today on my base dose. I take the majority a 11pm and sleep off any little tingles, but take booster doses anytime - it really depends on how i'm feeling and my temp/activity. Anyway great to hear from someone who has NDT worked out.


  • I think it's important to know what's your body's 'normal' before starting. The Barnes basal body temperature test conformed I was lacking thyroid hormones, despite the blood test results. I increased my dose in the spring, & have just reduced T3 slightly, which I'm trying for a few months I think I prefer NDT, & WP over Nature-throid, which seemed a bit weaker


  • Hi I self medicate with NDT too. When I was on 3 grains per day I started to have small heart palps. I also went to the loo too often causing rapid weight loss. I am now on 2 grains per day in two doses and feel great. I personally don't worry about my lab results, only how I feel. I forgot to say that when I was on 3 grains per day my FT3 was very high and off the scale. I think that if you have been taking your dose for 4-6 weeks and feel fine your OK.

  • "don't worry about my lab results, only how I feel" - yes yes, I just wish more people understood that and not get so hung up about lab results. Experiment with your dosage, find what feels good and more than likely the lab results will come good too.


  • Hi Jamesa10 I never used any meds until I had my thyroid out last October so it's been a steep learning curve. I had very low Vit D which I take 1000iu every day and the level has gone up gradually. I don't want to get hung up on labs etc. but to live my life.

    I am 70 years old and now walk and exercise everyday. If I feel 80% of what I was before TT I will be happy.

  • Agree exercise is a critical part of feeling better with this disease. Helps burn of mild Hyper symptoms too. I take all the usual vitamins but don't go daily with them other than magnesium , which my body seems to crave.

  • Linesandlines,

    I over medicated on T3 because my FT3 was considerably over range but I didn't *feel* over medicated. My hair was coming out in clumps which stopped when FT3 was back in range.

    Symptoms of over medication

    It would be a good idea to hold at 2 grains for 6 weeks and have a thyroid test (including FT3) before increasing further. There can be harms from having FT3 over range for a long time.

  • This is a helpful guide with a section on finding your ideal dose:

    I also self medicate on NDT and I feel much better on it than I ever was on levothyroxine.

  • I self medicate on NTD. Not long ago I upped my dose from 2.5 to 3 and within a few days felt bad tempered and antisocial - I also started piling on the pounds which confused me. I then came across an article that said that in older women, a too high dose can cause weight gain. I have dropped back to 2.5 - feel calmer, and am working on the spare tyre!

  • I think it depends on the individual. In my case I actually feel at my best when slightly over range, and I don't get symptoms until my free T3 is almost double the top of the range. Then its quite mild. If I tense my leg in the flexed position (ie when sitting) I get a jitter. That's it. No weight loss, no runs (I might otherwise be tempted!!!) I have only been there a couple of times. Now that isn't ideal because of course, there is a statistical risk of heart trouble and osteoporosis with high T3, although I don't think the studies have been terribly well constructed.

    You had some symptoms when you started NDT, didn't you? So you need to raise very slowly, no more than an increase of 1/4 grain (tablet) every 14 days, and once above 2 grains you could do worse than wait 6 weeks before increasing (its not a race, although we all want to feel better NOW!). When a dose increase gives no improvement in symptoms its time to test, drop back to the previous level and then test after 6 weeks.

    You can ignore TSH once you are on NDT, because it will be suppressed by the T3 content of NDT. Mine has been zero for years, and stopping for 8 weeks did not bring it up at all. But your free T3 should, in an ideal world, be in the top quarter of the range.

  • Thanks Ruthi, I did have symptoms initially but am now sure that they were withdrawal symptoms from anti-depressants. There haven't been any other side effects from NDT. I'll stick on 2 grains for 6 weeks then test before raising any further. I guess if I had no need for NDT there would be some side effects by now?

  • I would think so, how do you feel?

  • The same as ever. I sometimes feel perhaps slightly less tired and achey than normal, but it could be my imagination just as much as the NDT. Temperature seems to be raising slightly; now around 36.5 from 35.5-36, but mucin is still there and I can't pinch any skin anywhere.

  • Mucin sometimes never goes. And it definitely doesn't go till you are optimal and feeling good.

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