Stopping Levothyroxine

Carol Says:

I have been taking Levothyroxine .88mg for the past two years. I just left town on a three week vacation and realized I left this prescription at home. Should I be concerned?

127 Replies (7 Pages)

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David Says:

If you suddenly stop taking Levothyroxine, your body can go through withdrawal.

"Levothyroxine withdrawal may cause hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism causes weight gain, fatigue, depression and sensitivity to cold because your body does not have enough thyroid hormone so your body processes slow down. Patients with thyroid cancer may suffer acute hypothyroidism because of levothyroxine withdrawal."

Referenced from:

Since you've been taking this medication for so long, I would consider contacting your doctor about this if you have been experiencing any of the withdrawal symptoms mentioned above. Better to play it safe knowing that you're going to be alright these next few weeks.

I hope this helps!

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Sathish Says:


Would like your opinion on something. My wife has been taking 0.5 mg of levothroxine for the past few months. She was still having some of the original symptoms, and asked her doctor about upping the dose. The doctor said the throid levels were fine. So we went the other way now - she has stopped taking the pills to see how her body reacts. I would like to know if you stayed off the medication and what symptoms you faced? Please help. Thank you.

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Carol Says:

I did not find a difference stopping the medication for three weeks.

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Sathish Says:

Quite interesting! Thanks very much for replying! If you found no difference in 3 weeks are you planning on going back to it?

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Carol Says:

I went back on them as soon as I returned pending my next visit with my doctor.

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Daniela Says:

Hi, have you already gotten back to levothyroxine? I had been experiencing really bad symptons while taking it, so the doctor decided to lower the level from 75 mcc to 50 mcc, but I still didn't feel well, then I went to 25 mcc and kept on with diahrrea, nauseas... So I decided to quit. it's been a week now and I'm afraid of the withdrawal sympthoms... After a week, i got a little diahrrea you think I can get worse than that? I never find anything on the net telling what to do and the doctor says I have to keep on with the medication... Don't know what to do.

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Carol Says:

I did go back on Levothyroxine and my blood work show my thyroid levels to be fine. I have heard of some people not being able to tolerate generic forms of the medication and have very bad reactions. The exact one I have been taking is L-thyroxine 88 MCG. I think it is such a low dose that it does not really make much difference one way or another.

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Fred Says:

Hi Daneil,

How bad did you feel? I took 75mg for one week from 50 mg. I feel depression, very dry throat. So I go back to 50mg and see how it works.


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Fred Says:

Sorry Daniela, I typed your name wrong

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Stephen Says:

I have found that my body reacts very differently to the various generics and name brands of Levothyroxine. I had always done well with the Levoxyl brand, but now that product is being discontinued. I have had adverse reactions (feeling like I have the flu) with one particular generic made by Lannett. I am trying to determine if the other generics are still on the market or if I will have to pay the higher copay ($45) for Synthroid brand.

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Stephen Says:

I would call your pharmacy or doctor's office.

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Anne Says:

I tried going without my Levothyroxin and after a week or so had a blood draw and saw i was sliding back down so i'm back on it plus a supplement of iodine.Doing good now.

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roxy Says:

Have been off levothyroxine for 4 weeks now and two to go until I have the thyroid uptake test. Has anyone experienced this before and I have not felt any ill effects as yet, but sluggishness. I was on 150 mcg and have been on thyroid med since 1980.

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Lady O Says:

I decided to stop taking my levothyroxine because my doctor has informed me that my levels are low, but withing the "normal" levels. She prescribed it to me because I had told her that I am not able to get pregnant and she thought it might help with fertility. However, since it was within the normal levels, I felt that taking an additional medication while trying to conceive may not be wise. Also I have not been able to gain any weight (am under-weight) and it may be because of the meds. I have been taking 25 micrograms for about 2 months. I plan to increase my iodine intake, and hoping that I haven't messed anything up. If I'm in the range, it feels strange to take the medication.
Thoughts? Will I have horrible withdrawal symptoms?

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K2kate57 Says:

I also have been off for almost 4 weeks as I didn't note the exact date. First two days was really off but after felt great . Better than ever. Now I feel horrible. Headache slight vertigo. I gained weight due to a 4 day overindulge holiday. Now will be the test if I can shake it off.

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motherhen Says:

I have been taking levo 88mcgs. for about 4 months due to underactive thyroid. I gained weight and have not been able to lose. Prior to the 88 mcgs. I was on 100 mcgs. and was doing well, when my TSH level went down I was put on 75 mcgs. and then changed to 88 mcgs. This is the first day I didn't take it and want to know if this is good or bad.

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apl Says:

I've been on this same medicine since i was 8 i am now 14. A while back my prescription ran out because i missed an appointment. i was off my medicine for 3 months then i started to get the effects. But even though u didn't get any side affects its not good to miss that many days. after while i could feel my stomach starting to shut down because I've been on it for so long that my body is ammuned to it.

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mamabear79 Says:

Ive been on levothyroxine for 6 months. I still feel a lot of fatigue, hot flashes, and have gained about 30 pounds. My moodswings have gotten better but still these bad side effects. I am considering stopping this medication because all my doctors keep telling me is my bloodwork comes back with normal thyroid levels. Why the side effects? Any answers would be awesome!!!!

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erin Says:

I am 32 I have been taking levothyroxine for almost two years. At first it helped with my cold hands and feet and tiredness. My doctor decided to up it to .5 mcgs in the summer. I then experienced my first panic attack ever. I felt like I was going to die. Well she kept me on same dosage bc my blood work was fine. We'll after my recent blood work it showed too high. She kept me on it anyway thinking it would help me loose weight (Dr did this with out telling me). Well one week before my honeymoon I started feeling anxiety heart palpitations short of breath and hot. I went to Dr she took me off it completely and told me to take half when I returned from Barbados. Well nine days after being off meds (still in Barbados) my body went hay wire. I had heart palpitations dizzy mess anxiety like never before and shakes. I went to the medical center and they told me to start taking it again. So I did and I was starting to feel better but now a week later I'm feeling occasional anxiety and dizzyness. It happens in morning usually. I vs been taking my meds at night. So frustrated it makes me feel crazy or that I have a heart problem. I also have had weird tingles in my legs and my left arm. Anyone else experience this? Needless to say I made an appointment with an endocrinologist but can't get in til June 3rd. I'm also looking for a new primary dr.

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Kathie Says:

I am away and have run out of my medication as I have been on levothyroine (150mcg.) for ever, I have concerns. I will be without for a week and unless I am misunderstanding, I should not be experiencing bad effects in that length of time. I will resume taking it as soon as possible. I am grateful for the " chat" ,it has eased my concern. I am 72 years young and am always hearing that effects may be different for the " elderly", but for now I will accept what I've read. Thanks.... N

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Liz Says:

Re: Kathie (# 20) Expand Referenced Message

It is very dangerous to suddenly go off your thyroid medicine because my doctor said that so many parts in the body are affected by your thyroid level. I tried it once and started having severe chest pains after about two days. I started taking it again and was fine.

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Carol Says:

I was put on Levothyroxine 25mg six months ago and at first, it seemed to make me feel better. Then in the fourth month, my hair started falling out by the fistfuls. I learned a lot about the thyroid and the nutrition and vitamins I needed to help me make my thyroid strong. I am taking my thyroid medication every other night weaning myself off of it while I am taking selenium, vitamin C, D, iron zinc, K, and A. I am also doing the iodine protocol. Good luck all.

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Susan M Says:

Re: erin (# 19) Expand Referenced Message

I did. I went to the ER so many times I lost count. I was put on 25 mcg about 3 years ago when I was menopausal based on my TSH being 5.25. I also had symptoms of being hypo- my skin was really dry and I was exhausted no matter how much I slept. I had frequent hot flashes and night sweats. The medicine helped and everything was fine until about 2 years later when I was post-menopausal and started having heart palpitations, horrible dizziness/vertigo, numbness, tingling, and subsequent panic attacks because I was convinced I was having a heart attack. If it weren’t for Xanax I would probably be in a mental institution. Each time I would go to the ER or call 911 they would say my heart was fine and that it was a panic attack. I even went to a cardiologist and did extensive testing and wore a heart monitor and he said my heart was perfect and saw nothing from the monitor even though I felt the heart palpitations. I think the monitor only detects abnormal rythyms. I didn’t put it together that it could be the Synthroid because it had worked well for me before. If I even missed a dose I could feel the difference in my energy. So eventually I started reading on forums like this and realized other people were having the same symptoms. I also started having diarrhea and would have to get to the bathroom immediately after eating lunch. For some reason not so much at night but I was up and down all night due to frequent urination which was another lovely bonus. So I quit taking the Synthroid cold turkey and felt great and was sleeping better until day 4 and then boom- now my heart felt more like it was fluttering and I would feel like I was going to lose consciousness. It seemed like my heart was skipping beats too and my neck hurt and my arms would go numb and then of course another panic attack.

So I made a plan to wean myself off gradually so I cut my dose in half. I was due for my yearly blood test so on day 10 after halving my dose my TSH was high again at 4.9. My doctor called to tell me he was doubling my dosage to 50 mcg (I didn’t tell him I had cut my dosage because I was afraid he would be mad). As the days went by I was still having the issues and also what felt like adrenaline surges that would literally jolt me awake if I was sleeping. And the dizziness that was really scary but it seemed like it was getting fewer and farther between so I pushed threw it. I bought one of those blood pressure cuffs that you put on your wrist which gives your pulse also and I started monitoring my temperature throughout the day. Some days the anxiety bouts would last for hours and I was terrified to be home alone for fear I would pass out and not be able to call for help. Oh and also while still on the higher dose I had anxiety when I would be driving and became claustrophobic-I refused to get on elevators and was always worried I would have an attack while in a meeting at work. Basically I was a hot mess. After 41/2 weeks at half dose I started taking a third of the pill- baby steps lol. It’s been 5 weeks total tomorrow since I started weaning off and today was the best day I can remember having in a really long time. And my eyelashes have even grown back! I started exercising also at the same time I started weaning off and I had to take it very slowly because I still was worried I’d have a heart attack but today I made it through the whole hour long workout tape and no issues. I also bought really good vitamins from GNC that are called “Women’s Ultra Mega Active”. I am happy! In retrospect I would never have taken that medicine. I had no idea that I was stepping onto what I call the devil’s roller coaster ride. I plan to remain at a third dose for awhile longer and then go to a fourth and then none. That medicine is nothing to play around with especially for people that have sensitive systems like me. I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel and I sure know a lot more about thyroids now lol. I am so thankful for forums like this because without being able to hear that others had these terrible side effects and that I wasn’t the only one I would still be thinking I was just going crazy and I don’t know what would have happened but I was one miserable person. So thanks to everyone for sharing and I hope everything works out for all of you!

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Larry Says:

I've been on .100 for 15 years, when they removed a cancerous lymph gland next to my thyroid. I'm 76. My wife eats 3 times what I do and she is skinny! I eat very little and sh'e always gettin on me to eat!. I'm rarely hungry, gave up sugar, (well a lot of it) don't drink coffee, soft drinks,eat sweets (maybe a2 cookies once in awhile) etc, but cannot get below 205 bs.!
I took an extra Levo about 2 weeks ago and it about killed me! I've thot about stopping the Levo altogether. My mother was on Armor for years and was alergic to Levo. Can't find Armor though.

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JL Says:

Re: Carol (# 5) Expand Referenced Message

I accidentally ran out of levothyroxine and was off it 2 weeks before being able to get back on it .i noticed i had less energy and got tired faster i am back on it and beginning to feel better.i will not run out again.i take .123 mcg a day

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Julie Says:

I stopped taking Leavitt the Roxson line 3 weeks ago. My doctor said my levels are normal and I really do not need to continue taking it. I was only on it for five months but notice my hair was falling out and breaking. I did not have any problems with my hair prior to taking the medication. It has been three weeks since I stopped taking it and my hair is still falling out. Has anyone had any experience with this? I am hoping it will stop soon and my hair will go back to normal.

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Brads Says:

Yes I have been off the a week now and already getting light heads...and feeling wreaked..

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JB Says:

I ran out of Levo for about two weeks before I could see my Dr.. I was hoping to change meds, after ten plus years I just didn't believe the meds were doing anything. He sent me for blood work. I went the next day and when I finally got to talk to him, about 2-3wks later, he said I no longer needed the meds, my levels were normal.?

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Jan Says:

My daughter was having trouble conceiving but after going on thyroxine she is now 18 weeks pregnant she got to take them thru the pregnancy fsh level should be below 3 to get pregnant

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Becky Says:

Karen, I would love to know how you are doing. Your post was from Dec of 16 and you had been off thyroid drugs for a month. I've been on them for 30 years and my endocrinologist said it's safe to go off. Like you I was always on one or another drug ending with 162.5 nature thyroid. It's been 1 week with no side effects but I'm waiting for a crash. Hoping it won't be so bad that I do go back on. Thank you

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