An experiment: trying something different with my Levothyroxine

I had read an article that some people who are Hypothyroid tend to do better if they take their Thyroxine on a night rather than first thing in the morning. So I thought I’d try it out and see if it really does make a difference. I'm not sure if anyone else has read anything about it or been given advice by GPs or Endos. I can't remember what article it was now, I thought I would undergo an experiment to see if it would make a difference or not. For this experiment I will be taking my 100mcg of Levothyroxine at 23:00 (11pm) instead of 07:00 (7am).

I have a feeling that I may get more symptoms or I may feel worse for a while, but it will be all part of the experiment, I will try and write on this blog everyday of any symptoms that arise, anything new happens and if I get worse or if it makes me feel better.

If anyone has tried this and it has/hasn't worked for them it would be interesting to compare notes. This is not only an experiment on my part as a fellow sufferer but also as a 2nd year student nurse. I think it would be something I could possibly pass on in a professional capacity too.

Sunday was my first day of the experiment as I think I will need also do some clinical observations too such as my temperature, pulse, etc. I'm assuming it will take a good few weeks for me to notice if anything has changed, as I have been on 100mcg Levothyroxine for about 4/5 years taking it on a morning. However i forgot to do my observations. I will do them in the morning.

25 Replies

There was a poll on this very forum:


It has also been discussed many times in blogs, questions and various responses. There is at least one link on one of them to the original papers on PubMed. Will try to find it.

Quite a number of people have tried switching - with mixed results. At a guess, a majority see significant benefit, some feel little real difference, some feel worse.

I have never taken mine at any time but bed-time - so difficult for me to provide any comparisons!

that was the 1 i read, though from learning about research papers as part of my course, that looks at interventions that are to considered as quantative it's only a very small sample number is not consclusive proof that it will work for a majority. (I've just realised i actually learnt something in my friday utilising evidence lectures, LOL).

although at this time of night it seems i have lost the use of my vocabulary as between to consider should be the word "be" haha!

I must admit, i'm unsure if it will be of any benefit but i can only hope. As i also said it will also help my future professional point of view too. I will try and keep this blog going of my experiment although i do have 3 x 4,000 word essays to write too!

Please be aware that a few people felt that bed-time dosing might have had the effect of a small increment in dose - maybe 12.5 or 25 mcg.

Some people notice things very quickly - possibly on day 1. Others don't. :-)

(If I had to do 3 x 4,000 word essays on thyroid, my difficulty would be in keeping it that short.)

If I had to do 3x4000 word essays on ANYTHING I would have trouble limiting them! I've always had a very inquiring and active mind. Even lacking thyroxine I still have, but retain less.

To keep to the subject, I only took my thyroxine in the morning for a year or two and have taken it at night for the last 28 years. I found an improvement within a week of changing so I stuck with night-time even though my doctor told me I was doing wrong. What do they know.

I'd be really interested to see how this goes. Good luck!

they are not on thyroid conditions unfortunately! I have to base 1 on a real patient in my community placement, 1 on a fictional patient which have been give 5 to choose from, and my utilising evidence is based on wound healing and dressings on patients with partial-thickness burns. Plus i also have to take part in group presentation. All while i'm doing 12 hour shifts from next week until hand in dates.

Wow if you have that lot to cope with, I really hope you do get benefit from night time dosing! Good luck!

G x

Hi, I tried this about 2 years ago, at first I felt a lot better, aches and pains started to dissapear, I had more energy, I stopped being so tearrful, my whole mood changed, after about 6 months I found I couldnt sleep the aches returned, my mood changed for the worse, so I reverted back to taking them in the morning, now I take my pill at about 6am with a full glass of water and leave for as long as possible before I eat, usually about 10am, now I woult'nt say thing are hundred percent but I have felt a lot better for the last year and a half.

My doctor suggested I take my thyroxine at night too. About 12-18months ago. At the time my levels were very severe - 94 ( suggesting i was not taking any meds) even tho I was taking 300 mg daily. I didn't feel any significant difference. However we since found out that there was a problem with 100mg packets of that particular brand. I no longer take that brand and still take medication at night. I am now on 225mg daily.

Apparently it does work well for some people. It makes them sleep better. Let us know how you get on. I am thinking of trying this and taking a couple of thyroid glandulars in the morning.

Rod put this up on the list this morning and it covers what is being said here today.

"Clinical Significance of TSH Circadian Variability in Patients with Hypothyroidism"

I found it most interesting and seems to confirm taking the meds at night should be the way forward. At least that was how I read it and am going to have a go.

I shall be very interested to know if this works for doctor is most adament that it should only be taken in the morning, but she is not the one who is still trying to sleep at 3am

Thank goodness Im a pensioner and dont have to rise and function early morning.

Good luck....I shall look out for your findings.x

I tried taking my levo at night but was up to the loo 3 or 4 times a night so went back to morning dosing. I am now on t3 only and take it all at bedtime.

Jo xx

I changed to night about 4 months ago and sleep much better plus have a lot more energy in the morning , hope you find what suits you best x

What I don't understand is....if a change in taking a different dose of Levo doesn't affect your blood levels for 4-6 weeks, how do some people find a change almost immediately as I have seen quoted? Surely that is not possible. So taking blood levels into account any change in what time of day you take it should not be obvious for 4-6 weeks....?

I was thinking exactly the same.

I have to admit that after only 1 week i have seen no change in how i feel, but i wasn't expecting an over night change. I have noticed that on waking in the morning my body temp has gone down to 36.1 instead of being 36.5. My heart rate has gone down to 69/70 instead of 75. I keep forgetting to get my old fashioned blood pressure monitor out ot measure my blood pressure though i will do that in the morning.

I have started my second week so hoping that i may see some changes. I might see if i can get my bloods done next week to see if there is any change.

I changed to taking it at night about 18months ago, as I had bad side effects when taking it in the morning-nausea,dizzy spells and bad headaches.My GP suggested it and my side effects just vanished.I have now been able to very slowly increase my dose ,and am gradually getting near the dose that I have been told I need to be at.I would definately recommend trying taking it at night.I feel a lot better than I did 18months ago ,just need a bit more energy! Good luck.

Yes a lot of people have already changed their time of day medication with or without GP permission. I also changed to bedtime medication in December because I found it far too difficult keeping up with the timings of what I could and could not have and breakfast times etc.... Bedtime empty stomach - easy. In 4 weeks or so I have not noticed any difference - but it's much easier. so that's worth it for me. It takes approx 6-8 weeks apparently for the medication to take affect anyway so still too soon.

People need to consider what else might be affecting any changes too. From everything I read before changing the times, I learnt that it's a very individual thing anyway with no pattern and too many variables. for example some might say they were more stressed - but if there was an incident in the weeks after change - they would be anyway, the same goes for sleep patterns, diet nutrition, environmental temperature, aches & pains etc... Also for the experiment and it's outcome to be valid there needs to be consistency in your recordings of temp, BP etc... same time every day, otherwise there's little validity.

Perhaps I've been reading up too much. ;)

Good luck.

I am doing my Obs the same time every morning as soon as i wake up, I know as a student nurse Obs have to be done at the same time each day and depending on the what they are needed for. I will wait until 8 weeks to see if there is any change in my blood work. By then i think i'm going to need to have my B12 checked as i've been getting cramps in my lower legs again on a night, however i got cramp on and off today (which has never happened before).

I've just reminded myself i need to take my Sphygmomanometer and stethoscope upstairs with me tonight so i can do then in the morning.

I've been on 100mcgs of Levothyroxine since about 2008 and got told my blood test results were considered "normal" on this dose, yet i still don't feel "normal" like i'm supposed too. My sleep patterns have never been normal, my body likes to be awake at night and asleep by day. Which is not helpful when i have too many things to be doing such as 4 x 4,000 word essays, 7 weeks of community placements, 3 weeks of specialist placement, 2 weeks elective, a presentation, a resit of drugs calculations while trying to pass everything so i can go into my final year.

well tomorrow it will have been 3 months since i started taking my thyroxine on a night and i don't feel any different to when i took them on a morning. I have noticed a few changes but not sure if it is related to that or something else entirely.

In this 3 months I have not had a period and have been getting lots of abdominal cramps and constipated a lot more. I've never really felt hungry so my eating habits have gone to what they used to be, in that i can't face breakfast.

I've noticed my that my hair is starting to fall out a lot again and my eyelashes also seem to be falling out. I've still been getting cramps in my legs my skin has started getting dry patches, which does get quite itchy. As part of my placement sometimes i have to kneel down to do bandages and my legs start going numb after about 2/3 minnutes (which isn't good when you've got an ill patient). I was with a patient 1 day and my wrist cracked rather loudly and has been sore ever since.

Sleep pattern is still the same nothing has changed there, it still takes me ages to fall alseep and stay asleep.

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