When is the Best Time to take Thyroid Medication

Here is a clarification many people have recently asked me to make.  It has to do with WHEN is best to take your thyroid medicine.  A 2011 journal study was reported in the news, even making it into the tabloids.  According to research performed on one hundred subjects, taking thyroid medicine like Synthroid or generic levothyroxine at bedtime resulted in better absorption of the medicine, than taking it at the usual time of early morning before breakfast.

The improvement was measured by following TSH and other tests, plus the research protocol was sound.  So should everyone now switch to the night time method?   No, not so fast.  Better absorption is just one small part of the issue. The actual journal article (not the news stories) were quick to point out that no one reported feeling better on the bedtime dosing, nor were any other possible merits discussed. 

My reading of the journal results seems merely to indicate that the "option" of taking your medicine at bedtime is scientifically sound.  There is no particular reason to switch your pill-taking time of day, if you are currently satisfied.  If, on the other hand, you are not satisfied or would simply prefer to try the night time dosing option, then by all means check it out."

Richard L. Shames, M.D.