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Side effects from stopping Levothroxin
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Side effects from stopping Levothroxin

  Because of some new insite, because of my thyroid numbers have been stable for quite some time, and because of a medical symptom that we think might be related to thyroid medication, we (Dr and me) want to stop levothroxine (levothyroxine) for a month to see if this other medical symptom improves.  Assuming I stop levothroxin for two + months, during this time frame, what side effects might be expected?  I.E. I remember there being mention here some time ago about weening off of thyroid medication but it's been too long to remember much about it and I can't find anything with a search of the forum.

50 mcg Levothroxin since Jan. 2010
Synthroid since Sept 2009 - Jan 2010.
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298 Comments Post a Comment
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649848_tn?1357751184
I can't think of anyone who would  tell you to wean off thyroid med.  If you are truly hypo, you will need thyroid med for the rest of your life, even if your levels are stable - the point of taking med is to keep your levels stable.  The "side effects" of stopping the levo/synthroid will be that your thyroid levels will decrease and your hypo symptoms will return, basically putting you back to square one.  I'm surprised your doctor would go along with that.

I'm not sure what other medical symptoms could be caused by levo, since that's a thyroid hormone and only replaces thyroid hormone, it should not cause other medical issues.  

If you think you aren't tolerating the med, there are others you can try, including Armour, NaturThroid, Levoxyl and more that I don't know about.



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907968_tn?1292625804
Thanks Barb,
  About the same time as taking the thyroid med.s my voice started to go to a whisper.  I have a birth defect that "now" makes me whisper.  What we don't know is if it was the med.s or a coincidence the defect symptoms started getting bad at the same time.

  Before taking the thyroid meds I had other symptoms that could have been from heart meds or the defect.  Turned out to be a something completely unexpected.  So, we want to find out what the problem is with the voice by stopping the med.s for at least a month.  There's more to the story but that should give a good enough explanation.
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry but not good enough in my books.
You will go HYPO, fell like Cr@p, be real lethargic, anxiety , depression, weight gain....basically slowing down of ALL organs.

Is this Doctor for real???

There are other ways of testing birth defects.

And regardless what your Doc says...my voice went to a whisper before dx of Graves and Hyperhtyroidism.
If this birth defect is to do with yr throat, layrnx, voicebox.....then by stopping the meds, the chances are your throat with SWELL ..along with your thyroid with lack of thyroid hormone.

Has your Doc done an ultrasound to see if you have growths on your larynx or voicebox??

No way on this eath would I stop my meds for a month...4 days was long enough for me.
This caused massive HYPO 2 weeks later (there is always a lag).
If the Levo is causing the problem, it can be picked up in your bloods for allergies.
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929504_tn?1332589534
If you were diagnosed with a thyroid disorder , i cannot see why you should stop the medication "for a second" especially if it has helped with your thyroid condition. I can't imagine that this would be beneficial to you at all, but instead may cause you to have
added issues.
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231441_tn?1333896366
I have had my meds purposefullly reduced to see if they affected a medical condition.  But that reduction was only a partial reduction, not a stopping.  Turned out the meds had no impact and the other medical stuff remained unexplained.

If you go off meds, you will go hypo.  You will feel bad.  And it takes MONTHS to recover from being hypo, even when on meds again.

What are your current levels?  TSH, FT3, FT4.  If anything, let your dr adjust meds to bring your FT3 and FT4 carefully towards the lower end of the range and see what happens.  But I'd not agree to going off altogether.
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458072_tn?1291418786
I can't see doing that myself. IF the thyroid does have anything to do with the voice, then stopping the meds is not going to change that, just make you feel terrible, and then have to build back up on your meds.

There has to be another way to find out what he wanting to do. Maybe a Cat scan of the throat to see if there are any other abnormalities.

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1052292_tn?1274460692
Last August I was taken completely off my Levo (I was on 100 mcg.) for 8 weeks by my primary care doctor.  She wanted to do a Thyroid Uptake Scan and said I had to be off the Levo for 8 weeks prior to the test.  It was one of the worst times in my life.  I had absolutely no energy and felt horrible.  There were days I would've sworn I was dying.  Add to that I work in a very busy elementary school and this coincided with the beginning of the new school year.  It was a horrible time for me.  Please ask your doc to reconsider.  Since then I started seeing an Endo and she was shocked that my former doctor did that.  She said we should never be taken off our meds for any reason and promised she would never do that to me again.  
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907968_tn?1292625804
Ladies,  There are some medical problems out there that take precedents over thyroid problems.  I want to thank Barb again for answering my question where there doesn't seem to be any side effects by stopping levothroxin with the exception of returning symptoms.  This is as opposed to stopping other medications such as Carvedilol which would play havoc with the heart.  *IF* the voice improves, this will eliminate many other costly tests.  And two reasons we used.... The numbers to start with were only a tick below the minimum recommended.  The birth defect symptoms mimic thyroid problems.  As a kicker, Some of the other symptoms of this defect also mimic other unrelated problems giving people wrong diagnosis until the defect was discovered only a few years ago, and people are still being misdiagnosed.

  On the up side, My Dr. is looking for research being conducted with this defect which I may volunteer for.
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907968_tn?1292625804
  On a support forum for this defect I asked yesterday what medication you had taken which ended up not needing when diagnosed with this defect.  The list was very big! and the list of problems were gigantic and varied widely to include some very dangerous stuff.  Among the many diagnosis was thyroid disorders, so I think it is worth while to try this.
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Avatar_f_tn
If you stop your thyroid medications for that amount of time, you can go into Myexedma Coma so then your Doctor have to worry about your 'voice problem'.

As the number one priority would be trying to get your organs to function again.

I think you should stop being a ginuea pig for this Doctor but then again...its your choice.
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499534_tn?1328707778
I agree with everyone's comments and advise. On a different note....thank goodness you are only on 50mcg dosage. That small of a dosage signifies that you haven't lost a lot of thyroid function, so you won't chance a coma I wouldn't think. BUT....it is enough to feel very very sick.
As supersally said as well, it would be most helpful if we could take a look at your most recent thyroid labs. Have you been tested for Hashimoto's? Did you know that Hashi's can cause an array of weird and horrible symptoms? If you were to have this, then your levels would need to be optimal rather than "normal range". Many patients including myself have been kept ill from Dr's not testing and knowing that the reason we went hypo was due to Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroid disease. My Dr kept me in a normal range, but undertreated, which in turn caused me to get severely ill for a long time. It wasn't until I found a GOOD Dr that helped me figure this all out, increased my meds properly, and then worked on getting me well. I had very weird symptoms and was so sick for a long time.  
Just some food for thought.   :)
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649848_tn?1357751184
Thank you for your vote of confidence, but a return of your symptoms is a major issue, as is Myexedma Coma .  Had I had an inkling of what your other "medical issues" were, I would have been more specific.  

What birth defect affects your voice?  Are you aware that thyroid issues can cause voice problems/hoarseness?  Maybe you've had thyroid issues longer than you think?  AND don't forget to have your vocal cords looked at and take a look at side effects of the other meds you are taking; there are some that cause voice issues.  If all else fails, I'll tell you about MY voice issues and how I had gotten down to whispering, hand signals, preferably hand written notes or e-mail because trying to make sound was just TOO painful..........  

Don't stop taking your med for that reason. I don't think your voice will improve by stopping the thyroid med -- in fact, if you get your thyroid levels to the point where they are right, your vocal issues could clear up, or at least improve.

If you stop your thyroid med, I would say they, along with other things, will only get worse.   I'm surprised that your doctor would suggest (or go along with) this.........

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