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Thyroid UK
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How to take medication

Hello everyone,

I am so very glad to have found and joined this forum. I have a question about taking my medication 50mg Levothyroxine ( I took it for the first time this morning ). I normally have a glass of water with the juice of half a lemon mixed in it each morning. I now wonder if it is ok to carry on doing this as long as I leave the half hour gap after taking the tablet.

Does anyone know ?

Thank you for your help in advance


7 Replies

Hi Vivien2017 that shouldn't be a problem they say take on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and just to avoid caffeine straight afterwards. I can't see hot water and Lemon affecting it so you should be fine :-) the only other thing I was told was not to take any supplements especially iron or a multivitamin within 4 hours of taking your medication just to help absorption.


Thank you for this advice. It is so helpful to me. I am very grateful. Vivien


Welcome to the forum, Vivien2017.

I think it should be fine to take water and lemon 30 minutes after taking Levothyroxine.

For maximum absorption Levothyroxine should be taken with water 1 hour before, or 2 hours after, food and drink, 2 hours away from other medication and supplements, and 4 hours away from calcium, iron, vitamin D supplements and oestrogen.

It takes 7-10 days for Levothyroxine to be absorbed before it starts working and it will take up to six weeks to feel the full impact of the dose. Symptoms may lag behind good biochemistry by several months.

You should have a follow up thyroid test 6-8 weeks after starting Levothyroxine. Arrange an early morning and fasting (water only) blood draw when TSH is highest, and take Levothyroxine after your blood draw.



Thank you so much for this very useful information. Vivien


Clutter may I ask another question ?

I haven't needed to attend my GP surgery for quite a while. My doctor retired during that time.

I was recently asked to attend the practice for a routine MOT - a fasting blood test was done, and my thyroid problem was highlighted. I had never spoken to the new doctor before.

They prescribed the treatment straightaway, and sent me away with a prescription and instructions to come back in 8 weeks. I have lots of questions.

I would really like to know is it possible to try to avoid taking medication by changing diet or lifestyle in some way ? I am really hoping I can avoid medication if at all possible.




If you have primary hypothyroidism which is diagnosed by high TSH and low FT4 it means your thyroid gland is failing and you need replacement thyroid hormone. Dietary and lifestyle changes won't repair a failing or damaged thyroid so you will need Levothyroxine daily for life.

90% of hypothyroidism is caused by autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's). Ask your GP to test thyroid peroxidase antibodies when you have your next blood test. If antibodies are positive a gluten-free diet may help in reducing Hashi flares, symptoms and, eventually, antibodies.






Thank you Clutter. This has increased my understanding yet again :)

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