Why do you need to wait a half hour after taking thyroid medication to drink a cup of coffee?

Why do you need to wait a half hour after taking thyroid medication to drink a cup of coffee?

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  1. Coffee along with certain other foods (soy, fiber) and antacids (ex. Mylanta, Maalox) interfere with absorption in the small intestine of thyroid medications that are taken to increase the production of T4 (generic: levothyroxine – brand: Synthroid, Levoxyl). These medications are taken daily to treat those who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (“underactive thyroid”).
    To avoid problems with absorbing thyroid medication, it is recommended that patients take their thyroid medication 1 hour prior or 2 hours after drinking coffee or having breakfast. It sounds easy enough, but as an individual who was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (the most common type of hypothyroidism) over 30 years ago and has had to take daily thyroid medication, I know how difficult it is to wait for that morning cup of coffee.
    According to this study, levothyroxine is better absorbed taken at bedtime on an empty stomach. After speaking to my doctor, we decided to give this a try and have been taking my thyroid medication at bedtime for over 5 years now. My thyroid panels taken every 6 months are perfect, I do not experience any insomnia caused by taking my thyroid medication at bedtime and I get to have coffee first thing in the morning!

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  2. We must wait because the caffeine in tea and coffee interferes with thyroid medication. We want to get the full benefits of the drug. Otherwise we would water down the mg’s were prescribed. Lots of water required though within that hour. I hope this answers your question.

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  3. Some foods and drinks interfere with the digestion of thyroid meds. My doc and I worked for a year or so to get the right dose of T3 and T 4. His process is take in morning with or without breakfast but do the same thing every morning! My dog is hungry first thing so I feed her, take my Med drink a cup of tea and read the paper for an hour. I’m retired so that works for me.

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