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#1 Oct. 5, 2018 14:55:05

Registered: 2018-06-02
Posts: 15

Taking medication on an empty stomach

I just started levothyroxine a couple of days ago. I don't have a problem with the recommendation to take it on an empty stomach because for over a year I took another medication with the same advice. For reasons I won't go into, I rarely take it anymore but do occasionally. Is it OK to take both at the same time, or should I try to stagger them? I've read that the “empty stomach” recommendation means that you could also take a pill several hours after breakfast instead of before (assuming you hadn't snacked on anything). Would that be better than taking them both at the same time? If I do this, is there a way to determine which would be better to take when? Since the levothyroxine is absolutely essential whereas the other is more of an additive, and I'm unsure how much if any effect it actually has, it would seem sensible to take the thyroid tablet before the meal and the other one after. Comments?


#2 Oct. 5, 2018 16:39:27

Registered: 2014-02-25
Posts: 264

Taking medication on an empty stomach

I often take things like Tylenol or even Pepcid or an antihistamine with my levothyroxine in the morning. You can wait and take after an hour, but if I wake up with a headache or allergies, I just go ahead and take together on an empty stomach, no problem. Obviously, you would not take calcium or magnesium, etc with the levothyroxine. You can also take meds at night four hours after eating which qualifies as empty stomach. It is all about being consistent. I know people who always have coffee first thing in the morning with their levothyroxine. They end up being on a slightly higher dose to compensate for the coffee’s interference with absorption.


#3 Oct. 5, 2018 17:55:01

From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2011-10-26
Posts: 147

Taking medication on an empty stomach

I've always heard that you should take your levothyroxine on an empty stomach (the reason most people take it first thing in the morning) and then wait at least an hour before taking anything else other than water - no food or even other meds. You're supposed to wait four hours before taking supplements - calcium in particular. Since I like to to have a shake for breakfast (high in calcium), I try to wait longer between my levo and my breakfast. I usually wake up in the early morning and then fall back asleep, so I take advantage of this time to take my levo. Then I don't have to wait so long when I get up later.

As for your question… If I understand you correctly, you have two different meds that are supposed to be taken on an empty stomach. I wouldn't take them together. That could cause problems. If you have enough time in the morning, you could stagger them by an hour or so. Another option, if you eat dinner early enough, would be to take one at night before bed and the other in the morning when you wake up. This would be a good question to ask your pharmacist.


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