Thyroid UK

Treatment timescales


I have been taking 50mg levothyroxine for a month now and feel no different at all. GP asked me to wait 3 months and then go back for a blood test when they gave me the initial tablets. (Blood test in Feb showed TSH 6.72 (ref .25-4)/T4 16 (ref 12-20), repeated at end of April TSH 3.58/T4 16 and repeated again in June TSH 5.5/T4 16. Folate and B12 normal, creatinine raised)

As the 50mg levo seems to have had no effect at all, I went back to GP and explained this and said I did not see the point in hanging on for a further 2 months when they patently were not doing anything as I understoof that I should have seen the effect in 2 weeks or so. Why could we not change the treatment now rather than wait so long? GP says likely to make me hyper from giving too much levo if they increase the dose now so need to wait for further blood test before can do anything. I said surely the point is how I feel and not the blood test results to which she said that might be something else wrong if not responding to therapeutic dose. Lots of discussion but to no avail.

All this waiting around for no apparent purpose: months between blood tests for initial diagnosis and now more waiting before getting to an effective treatment seems such a pointless waste of time. Am I being too impatient - just want to be rid of the symptoms without all this messing about? What do you think?



4 Replies

i was taking 25mgs with no difference, started 50mgs yesterday and have to have another blood test in 2 months, someone mentioned here yesterday think it might have been hellvella? that 3 months is too long to wait between tests so i think you should go back to your doctor and ask for a test before then? maybe we could compare notes being on the same amount?


I have been very lucky, I started off with 25mgs for a month then went back for blood tests, my doctor then gave me 50mgs and I am much better, I have to have more bloods in 6 weeks. On the down side when I called for my last blood results, the nurse told me I was ok as my results are normal...I informed her I was on levothroxine and was far from normal, I am just going to talk to my doctor from now on as the he is very caring and is happy to listen which is great for me.


isint it bliddy awful when they tell you your blood results are *normal* and yet you feel like death warmed up:-( normal is just a cycle on my washing machine i informed my nurse when at the end of my tether, she got me an appointment with the doc pretty dam quick after that lol



Annamaria was right - I did say I thought 3 months too long to wait for the first test after starting on thyroxine.

People can often feel some effect from their very first low dose. But sometimes they notice almost nothing until their thyroid hormone levels rise to somewhere high up the ranges.

One great problem though, is that however well you might eventually feel, it can take a long time to get there. Patience is something no hypo can ever have enough of.

The standard time between changing a prescription and testing is 6 weeks. The reason for this is that it can take quite a while for the TSH level to stabilise - not for the thyroid hormone levels to rise.

I can see no reason for refusing you another test in, say, a couple of weeks and taking the discussion from there. Waiting another couple of months beyond that seems entirely unnecessary.

While I have great sympathy for the 'how you feel' argument, your doctor does really need some objective way of assessing your progress. And considering your fT4 level was mid-range each time it was measured, I am actually not at all surprised your doctor is being cautious.

All the best



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