As with many chronic conditions, effectively managing your medication is extremely important in treating thyroid disease. In recognition of Thyroid Awareness Month, we wanted to share a Tria Health Success Story that will teach you a few guidelines for achieving optimal results from your thyroid medication.
A patient with hypothyroidism had effectively treated her condition with a medication called levothyroxine for several years without a problem. But she was recently diagnosed with osteopenia, or low bone density, after a routine bone density scan. Her doctor called and recommended that she start taking a calcium and vitamin D supplement to improve her bone health.
The patient told her Tria Health Pharmacist that she had been taking the new calcium supplement at the same time as her thyroid medication. But calcium tends to bind to thyroid medication, decreasing its absorption, making it less effective, and potentially causing her to experience symptoms of hypothyroidism again. Her pharmacist recommended that she take the medications at least four hours apart, which will keep the two drugs from interacting.
Thyroid medications can be incredibly effective for managing thyroid conditions, like hypothyroidism. But it’s also important to get your thyroid levels checked on a routine basis to make sure that your medication is working as it should be. Calcium is one of several over-the-counter medications that can cause interactions with thyroid medication, including antacids, magnesium salts and aluminum hydroxide. Some prescription medications may also interact with thyroid hormone absorption.
Here are a few tips for taking your thyroid medication:
- Take thyroid medication on an empty stomach (try 30 minutes before eating, or two hours after) and with plenty of water.
- Take your medication at the same time every day.
- Always check with your pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.
For more information about Tria Health and the importance of Medication Therapy Management (MTM), visit our website.