Increasing Levo Dose

Hi - I was diagnosed as hypo 6 weeks ago and prescribed 25mg levo. I have not noticed any difference in my well being and appreciate that this will take time but I am impatient to feel better! Would welcome thoughts on increasing the dosage to 50mg myself in advance of next bloods on 20th March as I feel sure that this will be the advice of the GP anyways?

17 Replies

  • I was told it asked at least 8 weeks.m but I'm on a higher dosage than you. Hopefully in a few weeks you'll start to feel better. I understand how difficult it is waiting to feel better. Take care x

  • I'd increase to 50mcg as 25mcg is usually incremental doses building up to you have no clinical symptoms. 25mcg is a small starting dose unless you are very frail.

  • JenniferTh,

    I would wait until after your blood test. Increasing dose now will raise FT4 and reduce TSH and your GP may decide that your dose doesn't need increasing to 50mcg.

    Arrange your blood draw early in the morning when TSH is highest and fast (water only) because TSH drops after eating and drinking. Take 25mcg Levothyroxine after your blood draw.

  • Ok thanks for the advice!

  • Thanks for all responses - think I will wait until results of blood tests are back and will ask to see them this time after looking at all the posts on this forum. Forum much better informed than GP it seems!

  • Hi Jennifer

    Am thinking exactly the same as you! I've been on 25 levo for the last 5 weeks. Felt a tiny bit better after 3 weeks but still very unwell. Have seen two GPs this week to ask for increase, but another test a week ago put me 'in range' so they won't increase. They told me it can take 3 months to feel better, however after what I've learned from this group I'm still under medicated so it is incredibly frustrating isn't it!

    Am very tempted to increase to 50 myself but don't know where to buy, and the doctors will only let me have one box per month x

  • Hi VP17

    It does seem to take time to work - I think I have been undiagnosed for a long time too and I'm anaemic so might take time to build up levels again so the levo is being absorbed properly. I would shy away from buying drugs on internet as you don't know where they're coming from.

    Good luck and hope you feel better soon x

  • Please get a print-out of your results, with the ranges and post on a new question for comments. That's rubbish about 12 weeks to feel better on a 25mcg of levo. If it is too low for the person it can backfire.

    The are poorly trained with the result that patient remains quit unwell.

  • VP17

    Did you have your blood test under the ideal conditions?

    1) By 9am at the very latest.

    2) Don't take Levo for 24 hours before the blood draw, take missing doses after the blood draw.

    3) Fast overnight and delay breakfast until after the blood draw. Water can be drunk freely during the fasting period.

  • Hi Humanbean, thanks for your reply

    The second result was taken at 10:30am, fasted and no levo till after.

    I've just seen doctor who will re check blood again in 2 weeks so I've booked 9am appointment. Showed her Dr Tofts Pulse article, sadly no joy :(

  • Just for your info, the "before 9am" advice is based on this research paper :

    If you look at the graphs on page 2 you'll see that TSH varies throughout the day and night. We tell people to get tested before 9am because it is the time when TSH is highest when getting blood tests is possible.

  • Hi Jennifer Th I would wait until after your bloodtest before increase as increase now will effect your bloodtest results and you will have only been on increase for 10 days so will not know if this increase will be enough in long run. Doc will think you are on lower dose and that dose is right level so you won't get increase from them. It is a low dose they have started you on this is usual starting for elderly or people with heart problems, but I think you might have to be patient which I know is hard when you just want to feel better.usual course of events is start dose wait 6 to 8 weeks then have bloodtest increase in 25mcg then wait 6 to 8 weeks test again until optimal dose us reached, unfortunately everything to do with thyroid takes time.also very important to make sure vitamins are at optimal levels as this can help levo to work well .

  • Yes - very frustrating but just have to hope that it gets better in the long run! I take your point Raventhorpe regarding showing a better result in blood test - think it will be better to present the worst case scenario and let the doc decide.

  • Welcome to the forum. It takes 6 weeks for each dose increase to get to its full effect so that is why we have to wait that long. Efore testing and also why it can take ages to notice a difference. Levo has a half life so today's dose is one top of what was melt yesterday etc so it does gradually increase as you go along but after 6 weeks you are stable on that dose. However starting out you are putvon a low dose to get you body used to the medication so what happens next? Well results most probably show you. We'd an increase which is by 25 mcg till you find the right dose for you so the increase and 6 week cycle then retest is repeated until you get there. You may find one dose a bit low and the next a little too high so need something in between so you can either get a pill cutter to split a tablet of take alternate doses.

    As this is a new experience for you then look at the Thyroid Uk site where you will find lots of useful information. Shout out if anything you don't understand. You may also come across people wanting to change to other treatment methods. Do t worry about that now. Many do well on Levo but they don't post on here to say that.

    Always get a copy of your results and the ranges so you can post them if any queries. The ranges are important as they differ from lab to lab

  • Thank you silverfox for the helpful advice - the forum is very informative and useful but I agree that nobody posts success stories! I will have to learn to be patient with this problem and hopefully will find the right dose eventually.

  • Hi jennifer

    m doc started me straight on 50 3 weeks ago. does it depend on your levels to begin with hun? sorry your'e feeling so rubbish. Me too xxx

  • Hi Demetria

    Not sure why they started me on 25 maybe just being cautious to start with! Haven't noticed any difference yet but iron low also so takes time to build up and take effect I guess. Hope you're feeling the effects soon, take care xx

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