Are these symptoms of a thyroxine dose change?

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When I was 18 I had thyroid cancer and had to have my thyroid removed and RI treatment. 

It's been four years and I found a dose that finally made me feel normal : 125 four times a week and 150 three times a week. 

In jan this year my oncologist changed my medication to 125 five times a week and 150 twice a week. After about four weeks on this dose change I felt extremely tired, lack of concentration, irritability, feeling very down, bad skin etc. So I decided to change it back to the original dose. 

It's only been two weeks but I'm really struggling to keep up with uni work, I'm always tired, irritable, stomach feeling unwell, I feel sick and anxious very often and university is becoming harder and harder to keep up with. 

It feels ridiculous that the dose of my medication is swapped on one day, the difference of 25mcg can make me feel so unwell. Does this sound like medication issues to anyone who also takes thyroxine? 

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  • Posted

    Hello LBethH:

    My name is Shelly and I am a nurse in the USA.  I have Hashimoto's thyroid disease.

    In general it can take about 6 to 12 weeks to have the body adjust to a new level. It can make a big difference on just 25mcg more.  Some of your symptoms are from Too Much and are Hyperthyroid ones such as: Anxiety, upset stomach  feeling irritable,  etc...some symptoms are of Hypo, such as: feeling tired and concentration problems, acne or skin problems.

    The body is not good at changes even twice a week.  It is better to stay on your dose of 125mcg and stay there.  Most people are on 75mcg to 125mcg and going up to 150mcg is a whole new animal.  It is not a good idea to bounce yourself back and forth on different doses.

    This and all thyroid medication are very powerful and increasing the dose up or down is a big deal. It is a shock to the body.  Why did your doctor suggest this?

    Inside of you since you have no thyroid to process Levo, your other organs have to do the job such as, Liver, intestines, and stomach, and receptor sites in your bowel need to process the new med.  Levo is a synthetic medicine and was really designed to be absorbed in an under active thyroid (Hypo), and converted into T3 the useable hormone. It can be in you longer and take longer to get to your level without a thyroid.

    If you were fine at 125mcg stay there!  Don't fix what is not broken.  150mcg is a bit high and your body does not seem to need it or is able to process it well enough.

    Any questions just ask,



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    • Posted

      Hi Shelly,

      Thanks so much for getting back to me. The doctor wanted to change it because she thought it might take my anxiety down a little.

      I guess I'll just have to be patient and wait until my old dose settles down. Thank you for your explanation, that explains so much to me that I didn't know!

      Thanks again!

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    • Posted

      Hello LBethH:

      If anxiety is a problem, Xanax (anti-anxiety med) is a good medication for that. My sister has anxiety and suffers with Hashimoto's  and is on Levo also.  She take 1/2 tablet a day and that helps her a lot.

      I am just mentioning this for informational purposes but that would be a much safer thing to take and leave your hormone level alone.

      Any questions, just ask.



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    • Posted

      Hi Shelly, thanks for letting me know!

      I didn't actually want to change my medication because the anxiety had started to decline after having CBT - still not 100% but far better. I've tried to avoid anti-depressants so far and I'm hoping once my medication levels out I'll feel more settled, but I think if in a month or two it's still bad I may have to consider that route, and knowing how it helps your sister is reassuring!

      Thank you

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