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Coffee Blocks Synthroid Absorption

To get maximum absorption of Synthroid, don't take it when you are drinking your morning coffee.
Coffee Blocks Synthroid Absorption
Synthroid 50 mcg

Q. Can I drink coffee after taking Synthroid?

A. Synthroid (levothyroxine) is absorbed best when it is taken on an empty stomach. Patients are often advised to take it first thing in the morning, but drinking coffee or eating breakfast even 15 minutes after taking the pill can greatly reduce the amount of thyroid hormone that gets into the bloodstream (European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 2014; vol. 18, pp. 451-456).

Absorption Problems

Synthroid and other levothyroxine tablets are not absorbed well by people taking the acid-suppressing drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, rabeprazole, etc.). It seems that gastric acid is necessary to help the pill dissolve in the stomach. A liquid formulation appears to have less disruption from these drugs (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, online Sept. 26, 2014).

Grapefruit, soybeans, papaya and dietary fiber can also reduce levothyroxine absorption. The usual advice is to wait at least an hour after taking Synthroid before having your coffee or a meal.

Take at Bedtime

Some people find that taking the medicine at bedtime, at least two hours after supper, solves the problem (Archives of Internal Medicine, Dec. 13, 2010).

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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