Anyone else had Shingles whilst on levo - Thyroid UK

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Anyone else had Shingles whilst on levo

A_lice profile image

Hello. Everyone's helped me loads on here and Iv started reading books and studies Iv been recommended. Iv just been looking up side effects and linked symptoms to taking levothyroxin. Not only have I suffered, like most of us I'm sure, from hair loss (I hope this stops) Iv tried on many occasions to discuss with my gp which she's brushed off and turned me away saying I'm wrong or it's nothing. Iv had a rash for about 6 weeks and I'm wondering if it's linked to taking levo. Iv seen the doctor 3 times about it and she said I might just have a mild case of shingles not to worry. However I can't help but worry and I don't feel like I can keep going back asking the same questions. Iv just found info about shingles being linked to taking levothyroxin, is this something anyone else has heard as common or has experienced?

8 Replies
SeasideSusie profile image

As shingles is a viral infection, I can't see how it can be linked to taking Levo. The rash with shingles is usually a blister type rash, similar to chicken pox (it is, after all, it's the dormant chicken pox virus reactivated that causes shingles). Is yours a blister type rash? I'm thinking your GP may be barking up the wrong tree here.


You are so right . When I was under dosed and had hypo issues I guess my body had no ammunition in which to fight off the virus and I came down with a bad case of shingles . Still to this day feel the nerve pain at times . And I'm thinking if it's still bothers me can it be my body is telling me that I'm not optimally dosed ?

I've had shingles twice and each time I had some considerable pain in the affected area. I also had other symptoms which were compatible to those you have with a virus. I didn't link it to being hypo on either occasion. Nor heard of any link.

I had a bad shingles session some time ago now. 5 outbreaks in just under 3 years but my GP said it can't have been shingles even though the walk in centre had diagnosed it but as far as I know no thyroid connection. Hospital told me caused by stress, what was my recent history so said new hip followed by PE caused by operation so on then off Warfarin. He said that was more than enough to trigger an attack!

I had it some years before being diagnosed with hypothyroidism and my mother did too. It seems to be linked to thyroid disorder given the number of people who seem to have had it who are also hypothyroid. My immune system was greatly compromised by the undiagnosed condition as I had bug after bug after bug. I think there might be links to dna as well - sure I have read that it has similar bits of code that appear on genes known to be related to the condition.

Mine was on the optic nerve so blisters on my face and it was excruciatingly painful.

Hair loss is related your doctor is wrong there. Perhaps you should seek a second opinion on both matters.

This paper hypothesises a three fold increase in shingles occurrence in those with hypothyroidism from data analysis:

A_lice profile image
A_lice in reply to TSH110

Hello tsh110

That's what I suspected, with a weak immune system surely we must be more susceptible to these sort of viruses.

Thank you for posting that link. I am going to try to see a different doctor.

I had read that starting levo thyroxine caused shingles to break out because of immune system changes.

That sounds awful having it in the optic nerve I'm so sorry and I hope you've not suffered it again! Iv heard there is now and shingles jab so I wonder if hypo people are able to get priority for it?

A_lice Thanks for your kind words. It was very awful my face swelled up like I had been in a boxing match and given a massive beating! Luckily my eyesight was unaffected and it has never come back.

People do occasionally say the rash was not painful (on the body rather than face) so it could be possible for it to not hurt. My mums was in the back she said it was agony.

I wonder if that immunisation works after you have had the shingles it may be too late to address it. Good that they have developed one or is not a great illness to get.

A_lice profile image
A_lice in reply to TSH110

Mine isn't really painful it's just been there for such a long time.

That's such a relief it didn't affect you permanently. Such a horrible thing to go through!

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