Thyroid UK
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How long to recover from over-medication if quit cold turkey

Help! I have been on NDT 3.5-4 grains: I Titrated up in only 2.5 months and I think I made a big mistake and am way over medicated.

My heart has been racing, have had rapid thoughts, state of mortal fear, anxiety and over stimulation, I only realised it was the thyroid as Ive got loads of other things going on.

Ive had to go on beta blocker as blood pressure and veins are popping out.

How long to recover from this overmedication, if I go off NDT completely for 2 weeks.

Will I be at the equivalent T4 of that if I had dosed 1 grain as the half life of T4 is 1 week? So 4 grains dosing in the system will go to 1 grain dosing in two weeks? Is that logic roughly correct.

I have seen people say it takes 6-8 weeks?! I dont think I could bear that.

I am hoping if I go off for 2 weeks, then I will be low enough to start needing treatment again, but this time I will stick to 1 grain for 3 weeks! And only go up in 1/4s.

It is frustrating as I wanted to recover too quickly and am paying the ultimate price, I saw on STTM, that 3-3.5 grains was typical and as my T4 was out of range, and TSH was above 5, and I was freezing I thought I would probably need about that.

EDIT: Blood Test Results: Blood Test results

FT3: 2.81 pg/ml (2.5 to 3.9)

FT4: 4.66 pg/ml (6.1 to 11.2)

TSH 1.487 mUI/I

I had titrated too quickly up to 3.5 grains then I took 3 days off, then 2 days on 1 grain then a day off before the blood Test, what does this mean, I was not in fact that overdosed? And I should get back on a grain schedule?

HOw many grains should I take now??

The blood test also showed my oestradiol was very high for a man which gets affected by my HRT so is likely the cause of my discomfort that I wrongly appropriated to the thyroid.

23 Replies
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After a week hormones will be out of your system.

I did blood tests 9 days after I dropped t4 completely and it was showing close to ZERO on results.

I don't remember but I think I was on 150 mcg t4 when I stopped taking it.

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Really?! Thanks trelemorele, I so hope you are right. I don't think I can face 8 weeks of being incapacitated and then starting from scratch. I thought that T4 was a storage hormone, so it really does take a while to build up.

I am having a blood test in a few days, 5 days after quitting. So fingers crossed.

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Can you post back your results please after that blood test appointment? You can do it in reply to this message.

I'd really like to see your 5 days difference.

Thanks, much appreciated 👍☺

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Will do. :)

and what did you start with after the 9 days off, did you start from scratch again with like 50mcg T4?

Also how long did it take you to get to optimum, if you don't mind me asking.

I actually have no idea what dose I require, but aim to have regular blood tests, every 3 weeks now, to really get this right as the last few weeks have essentially been written off.

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No, I was on t4 + t3 combo and couldn't find sweet spot and still had hypo symptoms when I decided to stop t4.

I dropped t4 only and continued on t3.

I didn't go cold turkey as I was technically still medicated but only on t3

I wouldn't go cold turkey as I'm not prepared to suffer extreme hypo.

And as I know now, my blood results (nil t4 after 9 days) are pretty obvious my thyroid is completely packed up.

Since then I also learned I have double dio2 - so don't convert t4, hence I couldn't find sweet spot and was hypo on low/high t4 mono or in combination with t3.

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I'm still not optimal.

I was for quite a few weeks on t3 x 150 mcg/day only with general good feeling but something was missing.

So then just few weeks ago added t4 x 50 mcg. Then increased t4 to 100 mcg with 150 t3 for a couple of weeks. Got back hypo symptoms - lower legs swelling, general heaviness and indigestion

From last 7 days dropped t4 back to 50 + 150 t3.

I think I may try 50 t4 + 200 t3 next in a couple of weeks once my new order arrives as I'm thinking this may be my sweat spot.

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Please could you PM me where you get T3 from if you are from the UK? Kind regards Kerry

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Blood Test results FT3: 2.81 pg/ml (2.5 to 3.9)

FT4: 4.66 pg/ml (6.1 to 11.2)

TSH 1.487 mUI/I

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That dropped nicely below.

Was it 5 days like you said?

You still have thyroid functions, going by your in range t3 but it shows 5 days is enough to get t4 outside of the ranges if needed.

Great, thanks for posting.

😀☺

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any ideas on what to dose now.

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Ooh.... I'm afraid, I'm the wrong person to ask about dosing. 😞

I experiment on myself and I go heavy with the dose. I never waited more than a week to adjust my dose if unhappy with the results/feeling. Always worked for me but....

I'm afraid my personal experience is rather hard-core for general public to adapt or digest.

Why don't you write a new post asking for advise on dosing. There will be plenty to help you out and advise on much slower pace than mine.

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Yeah..... That 6 weeks.... take that information with a pinch of salt and divide it further by 4.

One week is all you need, two weeks plenty.

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You won't recover, you'll be unmedicated and before too long, hypothyroid again. By quitting medication cold turkey, one day your body has enough (too much) hormones and within days it doesn't have enough, and your body won't function properly. You'll start to experience all the fun symptoms again that originally took the medication for. Your thyroid and metabolism will become sluggish, you'll retain water and possibly gain a bunch of weight, your bowels will be slow and you might become constipated, your body temperature suddenly drop and remain too low, you'll might experience aches and pains. Basically, if you don't supplement the thyroid medication that your body is lacking, you'll have hypothyroid symptoms again, and possibly worse than ever.

If over medicated, why would you ever completely stop medication? Just cut back the amount you are taking. It's possible that you don't need the T3 that is in the NDT, and that is the cause of your symptoms. Your blood results will let you know.

If your goal is to to switch to synthetic, you don't have to stop NDT first. You just switch and forego going hypo again. There is no way to know how badly your levels will drop or how quickly. Probably quickly, since your thyroid can't make enough hormones no it's own and then you're taking away supplementation.

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Hmm ok I don't want that! I think I may have been quite a bit over. I just want to clear the system a bit as feel I am struggling and may be mostly thyroid over stimulation.

I have had one day off meds and still feel hyper. So I may take another two day off, and then go back on a reduced dose, not sure what dose I should start with, 1.5 or 2 maybe, quite a far cry from 3.5! and then have another day off as I have got a blood test booked for wednesday? I'm still worried that 2 may be too much.

do you think a test in 5 days will definitely set T4 to 0? as others seem to suggest it would set it to about 60%, what dose would you recommend that I should start with and stick with for three weeks?

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I'm sorry, but I'm not following what your goal is. Why would you want to have zero T4 or not enough to function properly? That would be awful. It's really bad for your system to yo-yo between hypo symptoms and no treatment, over medication, and then bam! suddenly not enough hormones again.

To answer your question, I would not recommend what you are thinking you should do. If you want to feel your best, look your best, and not cause additional problems, you don't quite meds cold turkey. You reduce them and do blood tests.

Are you under a doctor's care? What are your current bloods while you are feeling over medicated?

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>I'm sorry, but I'm not following what your goal is. Why would you want to have zero T4 or not enough to function properly?

I don't want zero T4!! I want to function well.

I want to relieve my symptoms as quickly as possible, this is my second day off all medication, I don't know what my bloods are and am having a test on Wednesday —I’m sorry I was feeling too awful to have kept with the dosage until Wednesday. Obviously the wednesday test doesnt provide much information, it is also for my other hormonal problem and just to set down a benchmark for 3 week testing.

If the logic posted by others is correct than three days off medication will still only amount to a 25% reduction in T4 and a stark reduction in T3. So actually not enough reduction to get to 1.5 grain levels. This is because my plan is from taking on board some of what you have been saying as I was going to wait longer, but am thinking of dosing a grain Monday and Tuesday, to stop T4 crashing/protect against that happening and after my blood test go to my new dose of 1.5, and stick with it for three weeks and have another blood test then.

I worry by doing completely what you are saying, without some days off, if I am moving from 3.5-4 grains to 1.5 grains and if 1.5 grains is the right dose than I would still be overmedicated for ages.

I still feel very over medicated today, I have made a terrible mistake and should have taken it a lot slower. Now I want to take it slowly and have blood tests every 3 weeks. I hate this high adrenaline feeling and preferred being hypo.

I know it is a mess and seems very inexact, but all I can do is guess until my blood test in a further 3 weeks. Perhaps 2 grains is right or 2.5, I actually don’t know. I am not sure what the guess should be, if I should start 1.5 tomorrow, or wait another day etc. If the 1 week half life is an exaggeration.Perhaps going to 1.5 is too much, I am miscalculating how overdosed I am. I guess from a scientific perspective I should have tried to get to somewhere I could have a test or ride it out on this current dose then see the blood results. Perhaps if I was stronger—It was close to the weekend and I was struggling too much to do that, and I had the test booked in for wednesday

I did read of people doing something similar and saying they took 2 days off and were fine at their new dose.

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OK. Good. Hang in there! You'll be much better soon! Just please don't do anything drastic, like cold turkey for very long. This really sounds like a scary and dangerous situation. I really hope you get yourself under the care of a doctor soon. I don't get the feeling that you've been?, "I actually have no idea what dose I require". Were you ever actually diagnosed with hypothyroidism? Self medicating with thyroid medication can lead to death, or the scary symptoms you are currently experiencing. I'm glad to hear that you are getting tests soon. The test on Wednesday might just give you the information that you needs, as well as finding yourself in the right range.

If it's any consolation, I had a endocrinologist who didn't understand Hashimoto's come unglued when my TSH was just a tiny hint below the bottom of the TSH range (like .01 too low). My FT3 was in optimal range, but my FT4 was not. She (brilliantly, I might add) had me stop taking my levothyroxine 75 mcg's one day a week. Well, within about three weeks, I was all messed up with a bunch of hypo symptoms that I didn't previously have. I suddenly gained weight, was fatigued, constipated, and other problems. I knew she was messed up in the head to change my meds like that. When I got a new blood test at the 6 weeks point, I was right. My TSH had ballooned (for me) from .389 to 1.5. My FT3 was way below optimal and my FT4 was even lower. I immediately started taking my normal meds 7 days a week, my body went back to normal, and my next blood tests showed my TSH was .67, and the free's were back up to where they previously were. Never went back to that doctor, obviously.

Yes, "quit cold turkey", "if I go off NDT completely for 2 weeks." can abruptly take your thyroid to a grinding halt and throw you into hypothyroidism.

"Also how long did it take you to get to optimum, if you don't mind me asking.". If you want to be in optimal range, then don't quite cold turkey, or at least not for more than a few days. How long did it take me when I started out on meds to get to optimal? It took me almost a year. A year! That was with blood tests every 6 weeks, too. Also med adjustments.

Please be careful, good luck, and please keep us posted on how you're doing!

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After 2 weeks the T3 from the NDT will be out of your system. The T4 will have fallen to 25% of the original level. So equivalent to 1 grain NDT with none of the T3.

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Ok, THanks for all the replies guys, I am still unsure. But I will keep this website posted as I am going to have blood tests every three weeks without fail as initially I was doing great and then the last month and a bit I have been completely off. It is simply not worth it. I think it will at least take until May to have all my hormones balanced and at the correct level.

I am only going to change my dose after three weeks, and not make massive leaps— 1/2 grain max.

I am also on hormone replacement therapy for androgens, which is why it isdifficult to isolate problems, especially without blood tests.

I think I will have three days off completely, and then start on 1.5-2 grains. I am hoping three days off will be enough, + an extra day before the blood test on wednesday. As I read that NDT interferes with the blood test if taken within 24 hours before.

But by the half life logic employed by Kell-E and others, it would take about 8.5 days for my body to have the level comparable to a 1.5 grain continual dose. I am going somewhere very cold so we will see, I do have T3 to supplement, and I understand that it is more transient so can be used as a fillip as needed without mucking up the dosing schedule.

I was also on Nature thyroid which was working, but am moving to Thyroid-S because of price. I hope they are comparable.

From this experience I am scared 1.5 grains maybe too much. My blood test on wednesday will not provide that much information, but I will have it anyway, as got to make a habit of getting tests until everything has been stable for two consecutive tests and the levels are good.

But can't be as bad as this, I actually preferred Hypo where I was wearing 4 ski jackets when I get up early in the morning. The digital thermometer I bought was a bit useless as it always said 35 even for other members of my family, so think I will only monitor this by sentiment and 3-weekly blood tests.

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When I was on 3 grains of NDT and when I received my blood test results I was over medicated this was last October after being on 3 grains for several months. The FT3 result was 8.3 and the top range was 6.8.

I did feel weird and was getting worse my heart was beating in my chest and it just didn't feel right. I just stopped one tablet straight away and am now on two and feeling well.

I don't have a thyroid so never stopped altogether.

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Ok that's interesting. Glad to hear you are feeling well.:)

I think I was overdosing massively as I have a thyroid and was barely subclincical hypo ,on 3.5 grains.

So you only missed one day? and felt better immediately? Also What was your FT4 result on that test?

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Hi I never missed a day I simply reduce to two the day after I received the test results.

Which were TSH 0.01 ( 0. 27 - 4.2)

T4 109 (59 - 154)

FT3 8.3 ( 3.1 - 6.8)

It's sometimes easier with no thyroid at least you know nothing is going on so to speak.

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Can anybody help with the blood test results??

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