Log in
Thyroid UK
91,908 members106,176 posts

take natural desiccated thyroid hormone at night

I have read that many on T4 meds feel better if they take their meds at bedtime. I am on Armour Thyroid and a very high dose (6 grains or 360 mg). Is it wise to take all or some of it at bedtime? If I should try to take some of it at bedtime and some in the morning, should I split the dose 50-50 or take more or less at bedtime? I'd appreciate any input from members with experience in this area.Thanks a lot in advance.

10 Replies

Hi Always better to split the dose. Some people find it better to take half in the evening. However I do not as I take so many drugs, PM would not work for me.General advice is to take half early before food ( if possible), and then half later I cannot because of my other drugs. I take mine Am and lunch time. It is worth experimenting as safe. certainly I would split the dose even into 4. When on T3 it is advised to split the dose to 12 hours apart because of the highs. As you know Armour contains T3.I needed a very high dose of armour until T3 became available. Now I just take 2 and half grains of armour and 20mcg T3. Much more stable. FT3 now just in range.

I hope that helps.



Although it is generally recommended to take it in split doses, some people do best with one big dose in the morning. However, as you are on such a large dose you may find that you do better splitting the dose.

I am only taking 3.5 grains. I take 1.5 grains first thing, 1.5 grains at around mid-day and then 0.5 grains at bedtime. I do find I sleep much better if I take the 0.5 grains at night.

At the end of the day, we are all very different and what suits one person doesn't suit another. It might be worth a try if you feel there is room for improvement. You can always go back to your current regimen if you find that worked better :)

Carolyn x


How are you taking it at the moment? (Or up until you posted this question if you have since changed your regime).


I am currently taking the whole dose in the morning, before rising. I have not had any adverse affects (rapid heartbeat, sweating, overexcitement, etc). I am beginning to wonder if Armour is ineffective for me after its reformulataion a few years back? I have not had labs done since I raised the dose from 300 mgto 360 mg, but on 300 mg or 5 grains daily my FTs were only midrange (TSH has been suppressed all the time and my doctor does not care about it as it's not a thyroid hormone but a pituitary hormone).

There is a rumour claiming that Armour was reformulated a second time in late 2010 or early 2011, and has not been as bad since as apparently dextrose was increased and cellulose decreased. However, the pills I have don't taste sweet at all so there doesn't seem to be any or very little dextrose in them. On the other hand, they don't feel grainy either, as I understand the pills that were first reformulated did?

I have been thinking about asking my doctor to switch me to Erfa Thyroid, which contains no cellulose and very few inactive ingredients (so it's a very pure drug), and it seems many are happy with it, but there are also some patients who claim they felt even more hypo on it and that it does not seem to working. I find this somewhat confusing, but maybe it's all about how different people react to the ingredients in different meds? I have actually read posts by patients who feel BETTER on the reformulated Armour than on Erfa, which is also surprising as it's said that humans (unlike cows and horses) cannot digest cellulose, and that cellulose will interfere with absorption, making the drug less effective. But it seems cellulose does not bother all, just some...maybe I should try Erfa and see if I feel a difference? Also, I understand that MCC, the kind of cellulose used in Armour, is commonly used in drugs, but maybe Armour contains a lot (too much) of it?

One of the great advantages with Erfa and other NDT drugs not containing cellulose is said to be the fact that they can be taken sublingually. However, I have read somewhere that that was a myth debunked a few years back, that the molecules in thyroid hormone are too big to pass through the mucus membrane and that most of it ends up being swallowed (and thus exposed to stomach acid) after all?

Thanks for your replies, this is really a great forum and I'm glad I found it!


I am doing well on Armour and have been taking it for a year now - so all reformulated version. I read on STTM that to get round the cellulose problem, it is best to crush the Armour between your teeth. I have been doing this and don't have any problems. I think you can also take some honey with it to increase the sucrose/dextrose (or whatever it is). I am only on 2.75 grains and take it in 3 doses. I am not currently taking a bedtime dose, but have previously and found it did help my insomnia. Not doing it at the moment as was feeling hypo in the evening, so wanted to take a higher dose at 5pm. Xx


Do you think there could be more cellulose in the bigger pills (240 and 300 mg)? I'm asking because I recall doing better on Armour when I was taking the smaller pills (30, 60, 90 mg). It's logical for cellulose and every other ingredient to increase when the size of the pill increases, isn't it? I have been chewing them up from the very beginning, as I also saw that advice on STTM, but the pills no longer seem effective despite that. I'm at a loss here.

1 like

There is a sort of logic. But in the case of, say, levothyroxine, 25 mcg tablets are often larger than 50 or 100! Or they might all be the same size regardless of dose. This does vary around the world. :-)

I suspect few of us have ever seen a 240 or 300 mg Armour tablet.


Yes I have only seen 1/4, 1/2 and one grain tablets - but the size dose seem to tally with the dosage ;)


Just a comment...I used to take 7 grains of NDT and began to feel a bit worse. My tests showed high levels of T4 in the blood. I then couldn't get any NDT and was given levo. (a tiny dose) and was very unwell. I was breathless, had a constant headache and put on 21lbs in weight in about 6 weeks.

What I think happened was that I lost the ability to convert T4 and now have tissue resistance. Since then I have given up NDT and take only 120mcg of T3. This is quite a high dose but I need this amount. (See Dr. Lowe.)

I wonder if you too do not convert T4. Do you feel well on your dose of NDT?


At least I did until late 2011 when I was put on NDT, because on T4 only my FT3 levels were midrange. My TSH was suppressed at that time on 200 mcg of T4, so all T3 must have come from conversion. I also tested RT3 levels recently, and they came back well within normal ranges. I used the STTM to calculate my FT3/RT3 ratio: 22.


You may also like...