Cutting back on Thyroxine: My last three blood... - Thyroid UK

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Cutting back on Thyroxine


My last three blood tests have been:

December - TSH: 0.04 FT4: 14 TPO Antibodies: 438

March - TSH: 0.02 FT4: 12 TPO Antibodies: 323

July - TSH: 0.18 FT4: 9 TPO Antibodies: 267

As I understand it this suggests am over medicated. Am on NDT, in April was cut back from 3 grains to 2 grains and there was some effect in feeling more tired but after a couple of months I seemed to recover and get my energy back.

Two weeks ago medication was dropped from 2 grains to 1 grain and am feeling a lack of energy but otherwise OK.

I have tried to find out more about the effects of reducing thyroid medication but all I can find is vague comments that it should be done slowly or it can cause a relapse.

Any advice or information on how long it takes the body to cope with the drop in medication would be welcome, and how long it can potentially take to come off Thyroxine completely.

5 Replies

Ndt contains both t3 and t4, with a higher ratio of t3 to t4 than produced by human thyroids. It is the t3, the active hormone which suppresses TSH. It is not abnormal for people on ndt to have ft4 below range and as long as ft3 is in range suppressed TSH has no significance. Therefore you need blood tests which also monitor ft3, it is entirely possible that you are under medicated even with a suppressed TSH but without knowing your ft3 it is impossible to comment.

As to coming off thyroid replacement hormones that is extremely unlikely, your raised peroxidase antibodies show you have hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune condition where the body slowly destroys the thyroid. Remaining in a hypothyroid state long term can cause long term damage to the body and for some myxoedema coma and death.

There are lots of posts about hashimoto’s on this site, worth a browse.

If possible get a full set of blood results including ft3 and start a new thread.

Good luck


I am a bit puzzled by your question. On one hand you are talking about reducing NDT and then at the very bottom of your post you ask ' how long it can potentially take to come off Thyroxine completely'.

So are you taking NDT alone or NDT/levothyroxine?

When you give results you always have to give the ranges. Ranges enable members to respond to questions. Labs differ in their machines and therefore ranges also. Ranges are important.

Blood tests were introduced along with levothyroxine. Therefore if we take other than levothyroxine, test results cannot equate.

It is mainly on how we 'feel' on particular doses - the aim is gradual increases until symptom-free.

in reply to shaws

Am taking only NDT, which as I understand it is a form of Throxine.

Seems I need to get a full test showing FT3 so will go ahead and do that.

Would still be very interested to know if anyone has any information about reducing medication if symptoms are gone.

in reply to tyronecvc

If all your symptoms have gone. That is your optimum dose. We cannot reduce dose or symptoms will return.

Once hypothyroid - we have hypothyroidism for life. If we stop taking replacement hormones - which keep us alive and healthy we may develop other more serious illnesses such as heart etc.go into a myxedema coma and die.

If you are in the UK - it is classed as a most serious disease which can cause death if untreated that we do not pay for any oher prescriptions for any other illnesses we may develop.

NDT is 'not a form of levothyroxine'. Levothyroxine is a synthetic hormone also called T4. NDT is 'natural dessicated thyroid hormones' which is made from pigs' thyroid glands and contains all of the hormones a healthy thyroid gland would, ie. T4, T3, T4, T2, T1 and calcitonin (calcitonin is good for bones.

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