Side effects from increase in levo??

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I was diagnosed hypo and have been on 100 levo for about 5 months. I went through some extreme side effects when first taking it but my body seemed to adjust. After having my first lot of bloods done after starting levo, my tsh had reduced from 20. to 5.4 but the doc said she would increase my dosage to 125 to help bring it down further and then do bloods again. I have been taking the increased dosage for only 3 days. Would I have side effects from the increase so soon? I have felt pretty rough the last couple of days.... Shooting pains under my skin around my body, nausea, headaches. Today I was really worried as I was having funny turns which included the nausea, a slight hot flush that would travel through my body and over my head, leaving me with a funny headache and slight wooziness and tingling in my left facial cheek and then a chill. These funny turns only last a few minutes but leave me feeling rotten and have continued throughout the day off and on and now through the night. I am in the uk and it is 4.55am. I haven't slept due to feeling this way.

Also since taking levo, I have developed pain in my breast bone and sometimes in my back, as though it is locked and needs cracking??

Any advice appreciated.



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  • Posted

    Hi jennifer. I sympathize. As you say this isnt right. I would get an 'emergency' GP appointment for today (their definition of emergebcy is 'needs to be seen today'). Tell the GP your original symptoms when you started taking thyroxine abd the new ones since you've increased the dose. Surprisingly, not all thyroxine tablets are the same - they contain different fillers - and you might be reacting badly to something in the one you've been supplied. Some thyroxines have acacia powder in and uou might be reacting to it. I did. Try getting GP to prescribe 'Wockhardt' (it only comes in 25mcg packs so you will need to take 5 at a time to make up your dose). This brand was the least best for me. Bear in mind thyroxine tablets are allowed to vary by +-10% so you may need to play with the dose if you've changed supplier, though these side effects certainly aren't nornal and need investigating. All the best. I hope you feel better soon.
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  • Posted

    Hi Jennifer, you didn't say how you felt when your body had 'ajusted' on the levo 100. The doctor decided to increase your dose to get your tsh below whatever the upper limit is in your area. Everyone is different and if you felt OK on 100 I would leave well alone and keep it at that. It sounds as if you have reacted to the 25 mcg tablets so I would stop taking them if it were me. 
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  • Posted

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. 

    Barbara, my 100 dose is from Activas and the new 25 dose is wockhardt and I knew about people reacting to different brands. Shouldn't I give it time to see if I adjust to it? I'm new to all this and don't know what's associated with my hypo or meds 😞

    i spent all day in bed yesterday. Today I feel better but still went to the doc. But wasn't thyroid related. I worked out I have kidney / water infection so I have antibiotics. Test was negative but nurse is sending sample off to lab. But I'm lying here thinking surely the funny turns I was having are not down to infection. 

    Came to bed early as had another mild funny turn, slight hot flush, shooting pains, weird headache which ended on forehead and then a chill. Nausea is slowly subsiding. Could these really be side effects from meds? 

    Also when I had first bloods done to determine whether I had a thyroid problem, I had high antibody count. This wasn't mentioned, I read it when I asked for print out. When I went for second bloods after starting meds I asked the nurse if my antibodies would be tested to see if they had reduced. She said no because they will come down now I'm on meds. But I'm worried about them. Me and my fiancé are trying for a baby soon and don't know how this will affect that? Any knowledge / advice?


    Once  the 100 had settled in system the only things I experience are coldness, dry skin on feet as well as athletes foot, the strange pain / tension in breast bone and back and painful lumpy breasts and dull shooting pains under skin around various parts of my body. These pains have only been present the last 6 weeks or so. So I've been thinking this the meds now they are truly settled in my system and from what I have read of levothyroxine. What do you think??

    Things which have improved, steady weight loss the past 6 weeks, hair is getting thicker and growing back where it had become thin, finger nails growing and are thicker. Memory / brain fog slowly improving. 


    Tiredness is hit and miss but I am in a bad routine at the moment.

    i did swat to taking meds at night time due to feeling groggy in the mornings after taking them and this has improved.

    I didn't take the 25 last night to see but it's difficult to know if I have reacted or it is an infection. 

    But like I asked further up, shouldn't I give it time to settle in my system 

    thanks again for your time



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  • Posted

    Also my concentration, ability to focus and general day to day motivation is very low which I am very aware of and so is my fiancé 
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    • Posted

      Jennifer, funny I was going to add (but got interrupted and then forgot) that these funny turns don't sound thyroid related and should be checked out - so I'm glad you did. Your symptoms could all be related to the urine infection. After 2-3 days of the antibiotics, you should start to feel better from the urine infection. If any symptoms remain after you finish the antibiotics it'll be easier to work out what is the cause of them. As well as taking antibiotics, drinking lots of water and no sugary drinks, will help resolve the urine infection.

      Ok, so back to thyroid. You mentioned you had problems when starting on the 100mcg, it would be interesting to know what these problems were. So we can work out the likely cause(s).

      Based on my experience (but no medical qualifications) there are some things I can think of that are relevant. To summarise, you said you were still getting hypothyroid symptoms when taking thyroxine at 100mcg and your blood tests indicated you were under medicated and your doctor advised you to increase your dose. Thoughts here are: make sure you get a printout of your blood test results each time (it sounds like you are already doing this) they're very informative - they usually show the ranges next to your result, so you can check for yourself what's going on. Even when a result is in range, it's worth noting whereabouts it is in the range (bottom, middle, top).

      When increasing or decreasing the thyroxine dose, I find it's best to do so slowly by chopping the 25mcg tablet into quarters and increasing/decreasing by a quarter every 2 days. By doing this you will have increased by 25mcg by the end of 8 days. This gives one's body time to adjust and decreases the side effectsYour next question was about becoming pregnant.  I would very strongly advise you to get your thyroid stable first. I know a sample size of one isn't valid to draw conclusions from, but I'm going to do so anyway. My thyroid levels were low when I was pregnant with my first child (there is a time lag before the blood test reflects one's thyroid hormone levels). This child has a mental health condition which I'm convinced is because my thyroid hormone levels were too low during pregnancy (I kept detailed records). I think it's only a matter of time before this connection will be demonstrated - there has recently been some research that has shown that children born to mothers who had low thyroid hormones have problems with mental maths and stunted growth (google: daily mail hypothyroid mental maths). Both of which apply to my child. So, please do wait until your thyroid levels are under control.

      There are a number of steps in the thyroid process and all of them have to be working optimally for us to feel good. For most people, step 1, supplementing with thyroxine (T4), works well once the correct dose has been determined. For a sizable minority (about 15%) the next step(s) in the process are also faulty. Step 2 is the body converting the T4 to T3 (liothyronine, the 'usable' thyroid hormone). If one's body isn't doing this step properly then one will have hypoactive symptoms, but will get blood test results showing one is over medicated: TSH below range and T4 at top of range. This is because the T4 isn't being converted to T3 and is still in one's blood, giving the high T4 blood test result. It also means one's body doesn't think it needs any more T4 so doesn't supply TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and your TSH reading will be low. Thereby implying that you're over medicated despite having hypothyroid symptoms. The reson for mentioning this us, at the moment you don't know whether you are going to have your hypothyroidism managed by merely supplementing with T4, or whether other action is going to be needed. I'm in the group who aren't converting T4 to T3 and have needwd to switch to taking Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT) as it contains T3 as well as T4.

      I've read somewhere that the body processes thyroxine better at night.  This is why you changing to taking it at night may have helped you. For me taking it at night was like getting a kick start and I couldn't sleep. You may find as you get nearer to the right dose that you prefer to take it in the morning.

      Yes do give the increased dose time to settle in. You should find the random aches and pains and other hypothyroid symptoms (lack of motivation, inability to focus/concentrate, tiredness etc) decrease. For me, it takes 3 months from a change in dose to be correctly reflected in the blood tests. Others say 6-8 weeks. So you need to get another blood test at about 12 weeks if you feel ok, at 6-8 weeks if you are still getting hypothyroid symptoms.

      I've had an underactive thyroid for 25 years and have learnt a lot in that time, so if you have any more questions, just ask.

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