Recovery after over medication?: Last year a... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

113,311 members131,628 posts

Recovery after over medication?


Last year a blood test showed I was under medicated. My GP increased my levo to 75 and said I may actually be better off on 100. I chose to go on 75, saying I'd try 100 later if I felt the need. 75 improved me no end, but I didn't feel perfect so upped my dose to 100. Initially I felt better, but then began to feel worse. It was mainly the same symptoms as being under medicated, but I also had a few new ones, the most prominent being popping joints (ankle and knees) which sometimes hurt when they popped. I had initially been on 2x50 and only started to feel worse on 1x100. The GP changed my prescription back to 2x50 and arranged another blood test. I started to feel better but the test showed I was over medicated (TSH 0.01, T4 and T3 over range) and he reduced me back to 75. Immediately I felt better, but then started to feel slightly worse so I've just (three weeks ago with GP's approval) started trying 100 on just Mondays and Thursdays and it's making a difference - some symptoms have gone, others have improved. If it continues I may try 100 three times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri), but it hasn't been a month yet.

The problem is I'm struggling to recover from the pain in the popping joints. They have improved, but it's taking a long, long time, whereas I usually respond to changes in levo within days, and it's been six months. It's mainly my right ankle and knee (all my problems seem to stay on the rhs of my body, for some reason, only straying to the left when I'm really bad, which fortunately isn't often), but very annoying and worrying. I did a five mile fell race last night and walking today is painful - in the past I would have been sore in the muscles and Achilles, but there would be no pain at all in the knee or ankle.

Has anyone ever had issues post over medication - how long did it take to recover?

Sorry for the woffle, didn't know how to shorten the post and still get everything across so you knew what I was talking about :-)

16 Replies

My feeling is that the hormone being supplied should not cause those side effects if it suits you. Synthroid for six years caused endless back pain for me. Perhaps you should try NDT and see if it makes a difference or additional T3.

I had no problems until I increased the dose to 100 mcg, and they went away after I reduced back to 75, but the residual pain in the ankle and knee is very slow going away. My left leg is pretty much ok now, but the right leg is still sulking.

I remember before any diagnosis, the first symptom I recall was that both ankles would hurt as I came down the stairs. After a while it went away.

Later is was more leg aches or burning pains which could be potassium issues. We need minerals and often our low stomach acid is not enough to demineralize those nutrients. Some some people say that apple cider vinegar helps their arthritis. Try a teaspoon diluted in water.

Yes, I've seen apple cider vinegar mentioned a few times. I've recently (a fortnight?) started taking magnesium supplements. Can't remember what the thread was about that gave me the idea, but I thought I'd try one thing at a time - after this if it does nothing I'll try something else, but I don't want to try several things at the same time as I won't know what's working if it's just one of them I need to take!

Good idea. Magnesium citrate is a good one. Magnesium relaxes muscles and so does calcium. I used to take both at night for restless leg syndrome which befalls a lot of hypo patients. I use vinegar to help with digestion and blocks starch, adds some probiotic activity and kills bacteria. Keep in mind for the future.


Symptoms of over medication should cease when your thyroid levels drop back into range. I should think the popping joints are unrelated to being previously over medicated.

I'd never had popping joints ever until I upped my dose to 100 mcg and most of the symptoms I have had in the past returned, along with the appearance of the popping. After reducing back to 75 the "usual" symptoms went away fairly quickly, the popping followed after about two months but the residual pain, mainly in the right knee/ankle, is what's annoying/worrying me - has over medication caused irreparable damage or will it just take a long time, that's what I'm wondering?


It may be coincidence that the popping happened at the same time as increasing dose to 100mcg. I very much doubt that over medication would cause popping joints. Ask your GP to check for osteo arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Hi. Both have previously been checked for and no sign of either at all. My parents both have osteo, but not until they reached their early 80s and I still have another three weeks before I reach my 50s.

The pain is reducing, and there is hardly any popping now, but it's very slow to go, that's what's worrying.


If you post actual results, including ranges, plus vitamin D, folate, B12 and ferritin too if you have them

I notice your name suggests foot pain an ongoing issue. Plantar fasciitis?

This pain may be because you need addition of small amount of T3 and slightly less T4. If you search on here, quite a few (including myself) have had bad foot pain/plantar fasciitis. Reducing T4 and adding T3 may help.

Do you have Hashimoto's? Have you had antibodies tested?

My most recent results - reduced levo dose from 100 mcg to 75 just after test results on 31st Jan.

TSH <0.05 (31/01/17), 0.93 (03/04/17) range 0.3 - 5.0

free T4 16.5 (31/01/17) 10.0 - 18.7 (not over range, sorry, thought it was)

free T3 6.1 (31/01/17) 2.5 - 5.5

Vit D 39.9 (08/03/16) 80.8 (09/09/16) Started taking supplements after first test, have continued ever since.

Vit B12 459 (08/03/16) 170 - 730 Take B Complex supplement Mon, Wed, Thu. Any more and my urine is bright yellow and I can't use it to tell if I'm dehydrated or not.

Ferritin 116 (21/09/15) 102 (08/03/16) 22 - 320

Folate 6.7 (21/09/15) 6.9 (08/03/16) 3 - 19

Thyroid peroxidase antibodies <2 (02/07/13) 0 - 59

The pain in the past (20+ years) was my Achilles and nowhere else. I only took up running 5 years ago so although it could be exacerbating the pain it certainly can't be the cause. It's only since taking 100 mcg levo that there's been pain in the knees and ankles (though the left leg has pretty much cleared up since dropping back to 75). Looking on google for a layout of the foot it's the tendon that curls round under the ankle on the outside causing the pain, the bottom of the foot is usually fine, just occasionally sore after a rocky fell race which usually clears after a day or two, suggesting it's not plantar f.

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Achilles_Pain

You certainly seem a good converter of T4 to T3

Only one suggestion really ....have you checked vitamin D level? How long have you been supplementing and what dose

Often with thyroid issues we need quite high dose. Lots of people arrive on here having been on 800iu or similar for years, only to find level is still low when retested.

Also important not to take too much as we cannot get rid of excess

Testing recommended twice a year until you find dose that keeps you at good stable level. Might need to vary dose winter to summer.

Looking for vitamin D to be at least 70nmol/L or nearer 100 is better. (Uk measuring units) £28 postal test

Also remember not to take vitamin B complex (or any supplements with biotin in) 4-5 days before any blood test as biotin can falsely affect test results

I started supplementing with D3 after the March test showed me at 39.9, taking 4000 iu. Reduced that to 3000 after I'd risen to 80.8, and further reduced to 2000 once summer finally arrived this June as I don't want to overdose.

I wasn't aware that B complex affected results, so in future I'll hold off when a blood test is due, thanks.

Hi has your Levo brand changed by any chance? I achieved optimal levo dose in April and felt really well for the first time in a long time as my vit deficiencies were also treated and levels improved.

My prescription has always been filled with Mercury Pharma or Actavis but At the end of April was given 100 Teva and 25 Wockhardt. I immediately started having issues with my joints. but it wasnt until my knuckle joints joined in I realised it was likely related to a drug reaction (had an allergic rection once before many years ago where hands etc siezed up). I got the prescription refilled with my normal Mercury and within 3 days my hands had returned to normal. I suspect the Teva is the culprit but now refuse both to be on the safe side.

However, I have been left with tendonitis in both achilles, a ligament issue in my right elbow, my spine sounds like bubble wrap popping and my lower back muscles are totally shot and end up in agony If I sit unsupported for even a few minutes. I have tried supports and resting and whilst things improve it seems that they wont quite heal and then something silly sets it off again. I have noticed that doing exercise does not seem to 'Hurt' my achilles as such, yes they become tender and grumble a lot but it the next day it is back down to a 'normal' niggle so as knocking exercise on the head for 2 months did nothing I am just getting on with it but with care. I am still hoping it will resolve eventually. I take omegas, cod liver oil and glucosamine already so If you come across any thing that helps I would be very interested!

No, my levo brand was the same, just different dose, but I, too, have bad reactions to Wockhardt - all symptoms return and much worse when on it. My prev GP told me I was talking rubbish when I told him (despite four different chemists filling my prescription said it's a known phenomenon but no one knows why) and then he said I was cured and stopped prescribing it completely (TSH of 5.65 at the time) and watched as my body degenerated to the point I thought I was dying, hence my move to a new GP, who put me back on it and within two days I started to recover. Every other brand I've ever taken has been fine except Wockhardt.

My knuckles ache, too. As with everything else, it's mainly the right hand where I have issues. I've even had an appointment with, erm, a very long camera, shall we say, and all the polyps were on the right hand side also. Just a genetic tendency, the surgeon said.

I eat plenty fish but taking cod liver oil or omega three supplements affected my digestion so I stopped. I take glucosamine too, every other day or so - any more causes the same affect as omega three and cod liver oil.

Daily stretching usually works and keeps the pain at bay, but this time it doesn't seem to be doing as well. I did get out of the habit after my recent trip to hospital (kidney stones so not related to my thyroid, I hope, don't want that again!) but it didn't get worse while I wasn't stretching. I've started stretching again so let's see what happens?

Thanks all for your comments - I've tried to reply to every question.

You may also like...