Stopping Armour suddenly after overmedication - Thyroid UK

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Stopping Armour suddenly after overmedication

katholinegasoline profile image
katholinegasoline

So my symptoms of over medication are so bad I am stopping taking any dessicated thyroid today. yesterday I tried 30mg and could not tolerate. before that 60- could not tolerate, then 105 nope, Dr wants me on 120- that gave me all night high bp (200/110) up and down every hour.

I can't actually take the symptoms anymore, so i am stopping then I will add 10 mg at a time in a couple days. After 1 month my tsh went from 0 to .02

i am 63, my heart can't take the massive bp rises, and it seems its enlarged now- overmedicated for probably a year.

Am I insane to stop? or should I listen to my body?

108 Replies

It's always a good idea to stop anything gradually ?

I tried. I took 120, massive dizziness and couldn't sleep. tried 105, tried 60, yesterday

tried 30 and woke with massive bp and pulse, happened at least twice this AM so I am going to quit for 3 days then start small again- I will start at 15 and see if I can tolerate it.

When did you last have a blood test? What were the results? Do you have Hashi's?

No Hashis TSH ,02 On May 27th t- 7.2

.02 and 7.2 free t-3

Well, you haven't given the range, but your FT3 does look high. No FT4? How much were you taking at the time of this test?

So, if you're absolutely positive that you don't have Hashi's then you were over-medicated. But, just because you reduce your dose rapidly, doesn't mean your levels are going to go down rapidly. It all takes time.

yes, I am taking 3 days off, then resuming at about 30 mg, then going up every day by 5-10 mg until I reach 100. Right now the heart rate and bp symptoms are too much for me. @ hours after a dose of 30 mg I get palpitations dizziness, and then at night wake up with massive bp rise and pulse and lightheadedness.

2 hours after my morning dose- even as low as 30 mg I get symptoms

Well, then, you certainly don't want to increase too fast.

Have you had your nutrients tested? Vit D, vit B12, folate, ferritin?

I take d and b-12, sometimes iron. no folate

If you're taking B12, you really need to take a B complex, because all the Bs work together and need to be kept balanced. Just taking B12 on its own won't do much for you.

If you're taking vit D, you also need to take magnesium and vit K2-MK7, it's cofactors.

got it!

resuming at about 30 mg, then going up every day by 5-10 mg until I reach 100.

I really would recommend going a lot slower than that. Increasing every day does not give your body time to adapt. And, given the problems you've been having, you'll probably be walking right back into them if you don't give your body time to adapt between every increase.

is it okay to go slower? My dr said 120, I don't want to go super hypo during a slowwww increase... should I go by how I feel?

Do you know how you feel? It's very easy to confuse hypo symptoms with hyper symptoms. That's why we need blood tests, to confirm what we feel.

Never mind what your doctor wants, it's not his body. But, 120 isn't a super high dose, so I'm wondering if what you were experiencing were hypo symptoms, not hyper.

yes, I experience hypo very differently, this is my first time hyper

But you don't know that you are 'hyper' (over-medicated) because you don't have true readings.

I replied about increasing lower down. :)

How slowly would you increase? By days and dosages?

yes, I am taking 3 days off, then resuming at about 30 mg, then going up every day by 5-10 mg until I reach 100.

If you are over-medicated you can stop your hormones until such time as you start to feel the tiniest bit hypothyroid. That could take several days or a week or two or three, or whatever. I don't think you can plan in advance when you should restart. Only when you are very mildly hypo should you start to take some thyroid hormones again. Then you can build up your dose slowly until your dose is "okay for you".

If you have Hashi's you could be going through a "hyper swing" where the remains of your thyroid are producing more hormone than usual.

There are other conditions which can make you feel over-medicated. Cortisol being too high or too low can affect how well you tolerate thyroid hormones. Low levels of nutrients can do the same. So, you might want to do more testing before you experiment - but only you know how you feel.

I wish this was a reasonable idea- it sounds like it until you hear of people going comatose and stuff- or even crashing horribly after 1 week.

which nutrients, specifically? thx

I haven't heard of people going comatose after a week without thyroid hormones, but I suppose it could happen. I did read something about the experiences of people going hypothyroid before there was any treatment for the condition, and it has been estimated that they lived on average about 12 years. But I really can't remember where I got that figure from.

As for nutrients, the ones that get mentioned on here over and over again are :

Vitamin B12

Folate

Vitamin D

Ferritin (iron stores)

If ferritin turns out to be low in range or under the range then getting an iron panel done can be well worth while. A good iron panel consists of :

Ferritin

Serum iron

CRP or CRP-hs (measure of inflammation which has an impact on ferritin)

Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC)

Transferrin Saturation %

I will get my ft 4 on monday

I was on 120 mg down from 135, down from 150 3 months prior

I think you tested too soon to get a true reading. You should wait at least six weeks after a change in dose before testing.

However, I did take my dose just before this bloodtest

OK, so that test is null and void. Doesn't mean a thing. You have two false highs.

If I were you, whatever dose you're on now, I would stay on it for six weeks and then do a correct retest:

* early morning blood draw

* fast over night

* only drink water before blood draw

* leave gap of between 8 to 10 hours between your last dose of NDT and the blood draw.

my problem is that now, I react to any dose with palpitations and high bp- In the second test my TSH was up from 0 to .02 as I understand.

I can't take the nighttime high bp and pulse so I wanted to take afew days off. is this terrible? and can I slowly come up again after that? Or am I mad?

No, you're not mad, just impatient! lol Yes, take a few days off, but then increase very slowly.

thank you for taking the time! I do appreciate it. Can you give me just a kind of thumbnai;l as too how slowly, days on each dose and increases you would do? thx

At least a week between increases, I would say. Then see how you feel. I have done this with T3 - can't tolerate NDT - started from scratch and increase once a week.

and increase by how much? 10 or 15 mg? or is that too much?

15 mg should be fine. Any less and it probably won't make any difference.

Thank you so much. Will do this for 6 weeks I guess then retest properly, I just wanted an idea before as to what 1 month had done. will wait a bit

Umm... You have to wait six weeks after your last increase before testing. No point in testing otherwise.

okay

so go by how I feel... I want to work up to 105 or maybe the mighty 120

That's not realistic. You cannot possibly have any idea how much you are going to eventually need. It might be more, it might be less. You just keep increasing until you feel well and all your symptoms are gone. Your doctor is also a silly boy, saying he wants you on a certain dose. How can he know how much your body needs? He can't. And you need what you need, not what he thinks you ought to need!

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to greygoose

Your doctor is also a silly boy, saying he wants you on a certain dose. How can he know how much your body needs? He can't. And you need what you need, not what he thinks you ought to need!

The target should be the greatness wellness of the patient - not an arbitrary dose. It might not be wholly arbitrary, in that they might expect a certain dose to be needed. But making the dose the target is mismanagement and folly.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to helvella

Exactly!

what do you mean by "can't tolerate NDT- what happens to you? I get sick every dose I take, no matter how low now- could I have become intolerant? Or is it the residual stuff in my bloodstream making it seem like an overdose?

Well, it's not residual stuff in your blood stream, because hormones have a natural life-span. They don't hang around forever.

Have you ever tried T3 only?

no I've never tried t-3 only. Seeing an endo in 6 weeks...

Try suggesting T3 only, that's what worked for me.

So I experimented with taking 15 mg at night everytime I had a crazy palp. It calmed them down so I realized I was now hypo again. ( a month of reduction and 2 days off)

If I take 120 per day now I sleep at night HOWever taking the actual pills gives me the spins and makes me feel unwell for a few hours (T-3 maybe) but it helps me at night. I'm wondering if I am doing damage every day or if maybe I will stop being so sensitive to it, it has been a month.

I don't suppose you're doing any damage to yourself, but your really need to know what it is that is making you feel so bad. So...

* What brand are you taking? Have you ever tried any other brand?

* Have you ever been on synthetic T4 only (levo)? Or synthetic T4+T3? Or synthetic T3 only?

* Do you have bad reactions to any other type of pills, indicating that it could be the fillers you're reacting to - which would be more likely than the hormone itself.

Thanks- I started on Synthroid 30 years back- it quit working for me so I got onto dessicated thyroid- there is no brand name the pills have ECI 60 or 30 on them. There was a shortage last summer so I had compounded formulas sometimes. other than that it's all I've had for 15 years.

And have you always felt like this on them?

no, never

yesterday I took 120 in the morning, it made me feel hyper and dizzy then last night I had palpitations all night and high bp, back to the beginning again.... I don't get why my symptoms won't stay down, they keep flaring up- the palps the bp I am getting so desperate

Perhaps you restarted your hormone too soon. Did you restart because you felt hypo? Remember what humanbean told you.

I know you're afraid of suddenly going very hypo, but it doesn't work that way. I'm on T3 only, and I once - for reasons I won't go into - stayed off all thyroid hormone for six months. And, I didn't go that hypo at all. Just put on a bit of weight.

I'm too confused and brain fogged to do this. I talk to an endo end of July- I feel like Ill be dead by then with these horrible nights

when I stopped for 2 days the same symptoms at night- palps with bp spiked every hour, radiating warmth in chest and arms- bad sleep, When I took 120 it helped for 2 nights, now Im back here

In that case, it possibly doesn't have anything to do with your suspected over-medication, or your thyroid hormone replacement. It sounds like you need a thorough inspection of your heart.

had an echocardiogram two days back- results take 2 weeks

Well, maybe hold off the thyroid hormone until then, see what that says.

greygoose humanbean

In your previous post today you mentioned taking Ativan. You haven't mentioned it in this discussion. That may be affecting your symptoms and how it reacts with your thyroid meds. It is addictive. I managed to wean myself off it. Do be careful.

I am super careful! I take .5mg when my bp shoots up to 200- this happens once a week- I am hoping it stops very soon... I hate taking drugs,

You won't find it easy coming off Ativan. It's one of the benzodiazepine family of tranquilizers. In the 1970s or so it was being handed out to stressed housewives and anyone else. They were becoming addicted. Here's are 2 articles about 1980's addicted housewives. benzo.org.uk/times5.htm

mosaicscience.com/story/mot...

I was prescribed in about 1980. With 3 young children and bad PMT I was finding it difficult to cope. My usual doctor was away and I saw a locum who prescribed Ativan. I managed to find out more about it and my GP returned. I went 'cold turkey' giving it up, thank goodness.

I hope you can get things sorted out soon.

Mom was a valium addict- i am well aware!

my pills are .5 mg and I often take less than half a pill! Sparing.

You poor thing - no wonder you hate drugs. I hope you get sorted soon.

Does the Ativan - not a drug I'm familiar with - help with your high blood pressure? It could be that the high BP is just another hypo symptom, and that you don't need drugs at all, just an increase in thyroid hormone.

the high bp cam,e on with the hyperthyroid overmedication, it still occurs every night, especially. Ativan in small doses helps me ignore it enough to sleep. It spikes to 200 then rapidly comes down to 150 or so, I sleep for an hour, I wake and it goes up again with high pulse and head pounding. I have stopped meds for 3 days and hoping for this symptom to go away

OK, but I would like to remind you that you don't know you are over-medicated, because you took your hormone before the blood test. You have no real idea what your levels actually are. So, I think it would be a good idea if you stopped thinking of yourself as over-medicated and consider other possibilities. :)

I took my pills one time before a blood test and it was more or less accurate... at least the TSH was

Yes, but we don't care about the TSH. That is a diagnosis tool, it's not supposed to be used for dosing once you're on thyroid hormone replacement - especially not if you're on NDT.

In any case, taking your dose before the blood test would not affect the TSH anyway, because it doesn't move that fast. The most important number is the FT3, and there you have a false high.

yes I know. But I can't go test it again, jusging by my bp and pulse I have too much thyroid drug in my system, and other symptoms too. I am old, so I shed the stuff more slowly. And I think my dose was too high for a long time

I'm old, too - 76 - but I'm not sure that makes a difference. But, you've made your mind up, so let us know how you get on. :)

you say you can't tolerate dessicated thyroid- can you elaborate? I am still feeling ill when I take my dose after a month of a lower dose. I don't get to talk to an endo for another 6 weeks and my Dr is hopeless.

It made me ill. I put on a ton of weight - having previously lost weight on T4+T3 - and ended up bed-bound, too tired to get up. I just felt horrible all the time.

I don't have the brain power to change my plan now. I am going to continue, get checked for Hashimotos I hope... and cortisol

OK Just make sure you do the blood test correctly next time, or you are going to get yourself into all sorts of a pickle. :)

Katholinegasoline,

Welcome to our forum, and informative discussion above.

Thyroid hormone replacement can be intolerant if certain cofactors aren’t being met. Palps, anxiety, etc are common symptoms felt with inadequate iron levels & adrenal hormone issues when trying to raise NDT.

Cholesterol goes up with inadequate thyroid hormone levels, as can BP. Also many studies have shown benzos to suppress the HPA axis (hypothalamos-pituitary- adrenal). It is possible to be hypo with good bloods when meds aren’t working on a cellular level. You advised you used to be a runner. You sound under-medicated with huge adrenals whooshes going off.

Are your cortisol levels adequate? Circadian rhythm balanced? Are your other nutrients adequate? (VitB12, folate, Vit D?) You say you supplement 'sometimes iron’ but do you actually know your ferritin levels?

NDT will need to raised slowly because is generally more intolerant when cofactors aren’t being met. Sometimes switching to synthetic T4 & T3 for a short while can be beneficial as is usually more tolerant of shortfalls and allows individualised dose adjustments.

I am getting ferritin checked. Right now I can hardly eat Im so jacked up and my liver is not well from the overmedication. So leafy greens, quinoi, vegs and healthy foods, but fewer calories than Id like to eat.

My t- 3 is elevated and TSH .02 speaks to overmedication. I have thought of going back on synthroid for a bit. My 7 week plan is to slowly increase dose week by week after a three day vacay

Plus I know how I feel when hypo- this is not that...

Hey there- so I decided to take my 120 as I was getting mad heart palps at night when i reduced the dose. The only lingering problem is when I take my pills I get dizzy and just jacked for a few hours. I don't want to change meds mid stream here, but is this causing damage on some level? It's been a month since I reduced my dose, and you were right I was undermedicated becasue of this issue of tolerance of taking the pills. Any advice?

Katholinegasoline,

Over & under medicated symptoms are easy to mix up as overlap.

Have you had your ferritin result back yet?

I suggested synthetic which some find easier to tolerate when there's issues but as you have started I agree not to switch meds now because that causes yet more bodily stresses & it is this that you are trying to relieve.

You need to support compromised adrenals glands which sound as if they are struggling to keep up with the increased metabolism that your meds are imposing. You can do this by ensuring optimal iron & nutrients, eating well, resting, supplementing Vit C. Just generally slowing down & looking after yourself. Unless there are issues, adrenals are robust and will repair.

Do you have Hashi? If so going g/f helps many members & supplementing the anti-inflammatories such as fish oils, Vit D, tumeric.

What benzo dose are you on?

Post ferritin result when you have it.

I take .5 mg ativan only when I need it, but it's getting too many times.

katholinegasoline,

Benzos interference with the thyroid gland becomes worse with autoimmune disease as effects the proteins and enzymes that comprise of Hashi attacks.

Before I was diagnosed with Hashi I used to nick one or two of my Mums every so often when I felt immensely ill & couldn't sleep for nights on end. What I eventually noticed was the next day I always had a black cloud over my head & couldn't shake that grogginess. 0.5mg is a small dose but they are very addictive so be careful.

I don't have Hashis, just non- functioning thyroid gland- goiter 30 years back, nodes... Synthroid stopped working for me then. But ...

my level of exhaustion is terrifying.

asking pharmacist for synthroid tomorrow- straight up panic attacks on dessicated thyroid now. No one will help me- they all have weeks and weeks of waiting and I'm so fucked it's not even funny. This is bad medicine.

Katholinegasoline,

NDT is not bad, just more intolerant of cofactors not being met, such as inadequate iron levels. The T3 that's contained within it means it can be difficult to raise quickly and must be dosed consistently. Otherwise Hashi attacks can be triggered and failing adrenals start giving out huge amounts of cortisol and adrenaline.

Because your dosing is so erratic at the moment I previously suggested synthroid which is much more versatile. However, it will still need those cofactors met, just not so desperately. Have you had your ferritin result back yet?

Hopefully Synthroid will replace thyroid hormones until your adrenaline attacks calm down. Eventually when all cofactors are being met you will be able to add some T3 extremely low & slow over many weeks giving your adrenals time to acclimatise to the increase in metabolism.

It must be awful having these attacks. I hope you feel better soon.

thanks, getting some synthroid today I hope

one last question! Should my pharmacist give me an equivalent dose of synthroid as I have for dessicated thyroid? or do I have to work up again? i am 63.

Katholinegasoline,

No, you don’t have to work up with Synthroid. Do you know your equivalent dose?

equiv should be around 100- 123 mcg, i guess I'll just take 2 cuz

i seem to be reacting to synthroid---

katholinegasoline,

Then you may need to stop to allow thyroid hormone to wash out of your system, before recommencing. Then maybe start at the 50mcg your doctor suggested.

how long do I pause for? a week? synthroid clears in 7 days...

Katholinegasoline,

The half-life of synthyroid is about a week. It actually takes about 4-5 weeks to clear completely but you don't need to do that.

I would say a week & go back on half dose.

can you tell me how long to stay on lower dose? one month at a time till I raise it? I have heart palps, so Im basically a heart patient right now

o sorry- 6 weeks, right?

Katholinegasoline,

Yes, your heart relies on an adequate supply of thyroid hormone so the problems are real but they can strap on their monitors & see that. Your adrenal issues are real but outside of Cushings & Addisons, they consider the problems to be in our head!

No meds is rubbish (I hate being hypo too) but by increasing too quickly you risk the adrenal ‘whooshes’ starting again and heart may react to that as well. On the other hand adrenals like the heart won’t like not having any thyroid hormone. It’s a real balance.

If it were me I would stay off meds for 1 week and then aim for:

50mcgT4 weeks 1 & 2 (expect a bumpy ride but hopefully less than before)

75mcgT4 week 3 & 4

At this point if proposing to add T3, start regime now which will be low & slow starting with 2.5mcg, increasing weekly but always assessing how you feel. So ;

75mcg T4 + 2.5mcg T3 am - week 5

75mcg T4 + 2.5mcg T3 am & 2.5mcg T3 pm - week 6

75mcg T4 + 5mcg T3 am & 2.5mcg T3 pm - week 7

75mcg T4 + 5mcg T3 am + 5mcg T3 pm - week 8

This would give you an eventually total of approx what you were medicating before increasing over 8 weeks.

Because you are increasing by only 2.5mcg at a time you should be ok to increase weekly. However, you can not rush and might have to hold on the T3 doses if they induce any ‘whooshing’. Multi-dosing T3 am & pm will reduce the rapidity of onset & prolong the duration of its action so is kinder to the adrenals.

Following advice above re supporting adrenals will greatly improve the chance of meds being better tolerated. My own heart issues resolved very quickly once T3 was added but you might have difficulties if iron is very deficient. Post ferritin result when you have it.

Hi Radd, thanks so much. So I should expect night sweats, pounding heart and anxiety on 50 mcg, right? thats what you mean by bumpy ride? I take 50 in the evening so far, can't take anything in the day as Im so fatiqued. I get heart bumps and sweating pretty well every hour all night waking me up. I lost 10 pounds last week.

Will the night symptoms lessen? Maybe at 100? Thansk

sorry I mean 75 mcg

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helvellaAdministrator in reply to katholinegasoline

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dr just said shes gonna start me low like 50 mcg- does that seem right to you? Won't it make me go super hypo?

miracle of miracles I got some synthroid. Taking 2X ,05 mg to sort of mimic the amount of dessicated I was supposed to be taking. Testing cortisol and ferritin on monday, talking to pharmacist about an actual equivalent dose, all the drs are thinking I have a heart condition, I have athyroid condition,, omg they are like machines.

Katholinegasoline, (your name makes me smile).

Your post started off advising you were quitting meds & yesterday you were going to take double what your doctor gives you! Slow down & stop being rash in decision making.

Yes, enlarged heart is another hypo symptom, along with your elevated liver enzymes & cholesterol, etc. I was the same before diagnosis & my symptoms reversed when I became optimally medicated on meds that were effective.

Synthyoid is not a miracle worker but you have the dose you wished for. However, your symptoms will risk not reversing if you don’t meet all the cofactors Synthyroid requires to work effectively long term. You need to hold the dose for six weeks & then retest including TSH, FT4 & FT3. Let’s hope your adrenaline ‘whooshes’ now calm & allow you to do this.

It may be your body needs the T3 adding at some point later to alleviate lingering symptoms but you can not add until adrenals can withstand. This is important or your exercise of stopping & switching will have been pointless.

Reread my advise re adrenals above. Be kind to yourself & let’s hope the Synthyroid allows some healing. Assume you know to take meds on an empty stomach away from iron & calcium (milk, yogurt, etc). Others above have given excellent advice re supplementing. I would add milk thistle to clear liver congestion you spoke of & also Betaine HCL to aid nutrient absorption, as being a runner long term cortisol issues might have risked reducing stomach acid levels.

Good luck 🤞 & post iron & cortisol results when you get them.

thanks. Gave up last night and too 1/2 the blood pressure meds. Candesartan- because palps were still violent and every damn hour. Heat radiating, sweating a bit... I had been using the ativan for palps but... so don't want to add drugs to drugs... short term trying the bp meds until I can get some professional help with this mess.

Bad reactions on raising ndt or T3 medications are practically always down to low cortisoland/or iron. They can cause hyper like symptoms, absolutely awful, you can also fail to improve on increases in medication for the same reasons. Thats low serum iron not ferritin.

You need the full iron panel ( again not just ferritin) and being in range isnt enough, its where in range that matters.

Both of these have to be good for any T3 containing meds to work and to avoid these horrible hyper type symptoms.

Check out stop the thyroid madness and Paul Robinsons websites. They both also have good facebook pages. You’ll find all of this information there.

I took some synthroid today- totally hyper= awefeul nothing works anymore

now stopping synthroid- talking to my pharmacist- can I take 7 days off then start at 25mcg? and for how long? a week at a time to work up? Any good advice? Still trying to talk to an endo- it turns out synthroid is not tolerated by me at 100 mcg right now

I haven't read the whole thread but ... are you completely sure these symptoms are related to you thyroid and not something separate?

no idea, trying to get tests and stuff,

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