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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Endocrinology
Satisfied Customers: 17556
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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How long ? Should I gradually see an

Customer Question

How long for eltroxin for work? Should I gradually see an improvement? I'm on 25 mcg per day, TSH level is 11.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Endocrinology
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 7 months ago.
Hello from JustAnswer. All thyroid hormone and thyroid hormone pills have a long half-llife of about a week, so take 4-6 weeks to accumulate in the body. The greatest accumulation is during the first week, so there may be a noticeable improvement during the first week, but it will take 4-6 weeks to be able to judge the full effect of this dose of Eltroxin. This is also why doctors typically will not check labs on the new medicines until about 6 weeks have passed. If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
So I should see an improvement in one week?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 7 months ago.
Yes, you will usually see some improvement in about a week and then the remaining improvement that will occur at this dose over the remaining 4-6 weeks.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Are there any common side effects of Eltroxin?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 7 months ago.
Yes and no. Since any thyroid replacement pill is trying to achieve a normal level of the hormone, it is actually very well tolerated once a normal level of the hormone is achieved. It is not like most drugs that are not normally in the body. This is a substance that is supposed to be in the body, so achieving a normal level of the hormone is very well tolerated. It may cause some upset stomach, but even this is very unusual. The common side effects occur if the level accidentally gets too high, and if the level gets too high then there is a long list of symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism that can occur from this drug, such as rapid heart rate, heart abnormal rhythms tremors, agitation, anxiety, and excessive weight loss. Because the risk of any thyroid pill is associated with levels that are too high, doctors are usually cautious about monitoring the blood levels to achieve the ideal level that is normal, but not too high.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I am on 25 mcg and will go back in six weeks for blood tests.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 7 months ago.
That is good. The 25 mcg is a starting dose, and the blood test is scheduled after the time that I noted above to see whether this is enough. If the blood test is not yet normal, then your doctor can adjust the dose. It is impossible to predict the exact dose that will ultimately be needed based on the TSH level. It is only with monitoring of the blood tests with each dose that you doctor will be able to say that any given dose is the effective dose.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 7 months ago.
Please let me know if I can provide any further assistance. If you would like my assistance with any future questions, I can be reached through my profile at www.justanswer.com/medical/expert-DrDLove/