Time before and after taking levo: I was told by... - Thyroid UK

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Time before and after taking levo


I was told by my doctors (GP and specialist) that you should take Levo 4 hours after last eating and then not eat or drink (caffeine mainly I believe) until 20 mins after you’ve taken Levo. Most people I’ve read online however recommend not eating until one hour after taking Levo. I take my tablets first thing in the morning, so taking them on an empty stomach is no problem, but waiting the hour until eating my breakfast can be a pain. Does everyone stick to not eating or drinking coffee for an hour after taking Levo?

4 Replies

I had been taking my Levo in the mornings, usually just before 7am on waking, then eating a small snack on my walk to work just to keep me ticking over before breakfast at my desk between 9-9:30am.

Just switched to evenings though to see if I can eek out a little more from the levo I’m taking in terms of feeling better. The main driver in that being that my breakfast is usually very dairy heavy and calcium is known to stop the absorption of just about everything, levo included. At best, a gap of 4hrs is needed between levo and calcium rich foods as I understand it.

So to give myself the best chance to absorb, I’m now taking my levo 3hrs after my evening meal which tends to have very little dairy usually. And of course just water in the evenings too - far easier to avoid caffeine towards the end of the day I find.

Reading around the forum though, there are plenty who find mornings more manageable, others who find the evening dose works best for them. As with much of managing hypothyroidism, seems to be a case of experimenting and finding what works best for you.


What's always advised here is to take Levo one hour before or two hours after food, with water only for one hour each side. I take mine in the early hours of the morning when I need a bathroom trip, so timing isn't a problem for me. But my morning routine, if I didn't take my Levo until I woke up, would still give me an hour before eating or drinking but I am retired so don't have to rush out to work.

Ditto. The one great positive in that trekk to the loo in the wee sma’ hours!

If separating breakfast and Levo is a nuisance, you could consider taking Levo at bedtime for instance. There's evidence that for some people, that can be better in any case. I took my Levo and T3 at night for 9 years although I now take my Levo at night and my T3 mid-morning. I would say though, that my diagnosis pre-dates the internet by several decades so I didn't have the opportunity to discover I was apparently doing it all wrong; but I was very happy and well, downing my Levo with coffee and breakfast as presumably my dose was to some degree, adjusted to accommodate that behaviour.

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