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Stop Interfering With My Thyroid!


If you’re on thyroid medication, you have probably been told countless times not to take it with coffee, but do you know why? Did you know that it inhibits the absorption of the medication and doesn’t allow the medication to take its full effect? Maybe that’s why it just doesn’t seem to be working. Okay, maybe you did know about coffee affecting absorption, but what about other medications, supplements, and even vitamins? Are you unknowingly inhibiting the absorption of your thyroid medication?

One over the counter medication that can alter the absorption of thyroid medication is antacids. Antacids are used to combat heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues. If you have to use these medications, it is suggested taking them between four to six hours either after or before taking your thyroid medication.

Another medication that can affect absorption is insulin. If you take insulin or an oral hypoglycemic drug, it is important that you inform your doctor before being prescribed thyroid medication. However, if your doctor has prescribed both it is suggested taking them at least a few hours apart to avoid the interaction.

Antidepressants can also affect the way your body responds to your thyroid medication, but not in the same way as the above stated medications. Antidepressants when combined with thyroid medication can increase the effects of both. While this seems like a good thing, in reality it’s not. It is important to inform your doctor of any antidepressants before taking thyroid medication and vise-versa.

Other meds aren’t the only things that can interfere with your thyroid medication. Some vitamins can do the same thing. For instance, iron, whether it is in a multivitamin or by itself, can greatly reduce the effectiveness and absorption of the thyroid medication. This is not to say that you shouldn’t take iron, but instead take it at least two hours away from your thyroid medication. Similar to iron, calcium also affects the absorption and should be taken about two hours away from your thyroid meds. This also includes foods high in iron and calcium.

These aren’t the only substances that can interfere with your medication. There are certain foods, known as goitrogens, and other medications. Even some cold medicines can affect the absorption. It is always important to speak with your doctor about any other meds, supplements, or vitamins you are taking so they can properly inform you of possible interferences.

When taking thyroid medication it is suggested taking it in the morning at least an hour before food, coffee, or any other med. A helpful tip is to set an early morning alarm, about an hour to an hour and a half before your normal alarm, to take your thyroid medication after which you can then go back to sleep. This prevents any possible interaction and you can have your morning coffee not long after waking. If this doesn’t seem feasible, you can always talk to your doctor about taking your thyroid medication at night before bed. Do you have any other helpful hints for taking thyroid medication? Share them with us below!

About the Author

Naomi Parker

Patient Advocate

Naomi Parker is a patient advocate that is enthralled by the medical field. Hypothyroidism became a topic of interest over the last few years while she worked amongst alternative medicine doctors as a front office assistant. She believes that information is key and strives to become better informed so as to help others achieve success and wellness.

Naomi has written various articles concerning hypothyroidism including information on diagnostics and treatment. She enjoys learning alongside others and passing on vital information regarding this condition. Naomi is actively monitoring and writing for the National Academy of Hypothyroidism both on the site and social media.

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