Dose Adjustments Over Time
Throughout your lifetime, your doctor may need to adjust the dose of your hypothyroidism
treatment. This is because the amount of thyroid hormone you may need changes with
time and major life events.
Reasons for dose adjustments:
- Menopause. During menopause, your body makes
less estrogen, so you might take estrogen replacement medication to manage menopause
symptoms. This may require a dose adjustment to your hypothyroidism medicine.
In women, long-term use of Synthroid has been associated with a decrease in bone
density, especially in menopausal women who are on high doses. You should take SYNTHROID
as prescribed by your doctor.
- Pregnancy. Notify your doctor if you are pregnant or intend
to become pregnant. To keep your thyroxine in balance, you might need a higher dose
of levothyroxine (active ingredient in hypothyroidism medication) if you're
pregnant. Your medication is necessary for your health and the health and proper
development of your baby. Learn more about
pregnancy and hypothyroidism.
- Aging. As you get older, you might not need as
much levothyroxine to keep your thyroxine in balance. This is because older age
sometimes makes you more sensitive to medication—or, you clear the drugs in
your system more slowly.
If you are older than age 50 and are just starting treatment for hypothyroidism,
your doctor may start you on a lower dose of medicine, check your
TSH level after 6-8 weeks, then adjust your dosage slowly until you're
at the precise dose to keep you in balance. Notify your doctor if you are experiencing
any new symptoms, such as rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, or shortness
On the other hand, some people need more levothyroxine to keep their thyroxine
in balance as they age. This is because their thyroid function may be declining
1. American Thyroid Association. ATA Hypothyroidism Booklet.
Falls Church, Va: American Thyroid Association; 2003.