Hello all. Would like to hear your thoughts on this:
In May I went to my endo for a follow up. I had been on 75 mcg Levoxyl for 40 days. I am Hashi's/hypo, and I was feeling pretty good compared to what I had been feeling back in March. My TSH was down from 13.78 to 3.2 (range 0.4 - 5.5). My free T3 was 336 (range 230 - 420) and my free T4 was 1.2 (range 0.8 - 1.8). I felt like I just needed a little more energy, otherwise I was feeling good.
The endo told me he wanted to get my TSH down to 1.0. He increased my Rx from 75 mcg of Levoxyl to 88 mcg of Levoxyl. He gave me 6 weeks worth of Rx samples. When I remarked that the samples showed an expiration date of May 2007, he said they should be fine.
I left the Rx samples in my car for about 8 hours while I was at work that day. (It's been about 85 degrees here during the day.) And I've been keeping them in my house, which I keep at 78 degrees most times. I'm new to this thyroid Rx - I had not noticed about the acceptable temperatures for storage of the medicine until this morning.
Fast forward a few days...I've been taking those possibly expired, possibly overheated 88mcg pills for 13 days now, and I've noticed that I'm feeling worse than before. I'm retaining water - swollen hands, legs, ankles. Puffy face. Slight constipation. Not sleeping well. Overly tired, moody, generally a little miserable.
Is it more likely that it's just me and has nothing to do my Rx? Or do you think leaving the Rx in the car and in my 78 degree house and the May 2007 expiration date has more to do with my downward turn?
I would trust the endo's words. I don't think the hormones disappear at the point where the expiration date is reached. I also don't think 8 hours of elevated temps would have hurt them.
It is more likely you are experiencing what so many of us do, the roller coaster ride of titration. I started in May 2006 with a dose of 50 mcgs and have gradually worked forward to the current dose of 150 mcg. I have felt worse after each dose increase and, at long last, feel pretty good.
I am not holding my breath, however, because my well being depends a lot on whether what is left of my thyroid hangs in there or not. I suspect, if you still have your thyroid, you are in the same boat.
I feel for you. I was still feeling rather bad at the 88 mcg point in my thyroid journey.
I talked to my endo yesterday. He said that the thyroid Rx should be good for up to 6 mos. after the expiration date on the package, but his concern was about my having left it in the car for 8 hours while I was working. (It's regularly 85 degrees during the day here at this time of year, easily more than 100 degrees inside a parked car.)
My endo told me he feels that my medicine was ruined by spending the day inside the hot car. He advised me to get the written Rx filled and discard the samples that were left in the heat. He said thyroid Rx is particularly sensitive to extreme temperature changes and that more than an hour in the hot car was enough to destroy it.
So I've filled the Rx and am keeping my house at no hotter than 77 degrees, and I won't be leaving my pills in the car any more. My endo also said the medicine takes 1 week to start working, 6 weeks to reach full potential. I'm hoping that I'll notice a difference in 1 week. I'll report back in a week or so to say whether or not I've seen any positive changes from using the filled Rx instead of the possibly damaged samples.
THanks for the update...It is good to know how sensitive the meds can be. I knew it was important to store them correctly, but I didn't know HOW important. I am actually finishing up the end of a 100 pill bottle of Levoxyl at the moment, and there have been a couple of hot days in the house. The last few weeks I haven't been feeling as good as I did at the beginning, so I was wondering to my hubby last night if the ones that were left had lost some potency. I start the new bottle on Friday, so I will be curious to see if there is any change.
Thanks for letting us know what he said, probably always best to check with the doctor or a good pharmacist when in doubt about such things.
I was told by a reliable source about the expiration date being extremely conservative. There was a discussion here awhile back about keeping the meds cool and some were suggesting wrapping in a towel and keeping them in a cooler with one of those frozen bricks. She said, unless you can keep the med totally dry, it would be better to leave them in the summer house temps, that the moisture would be more destructive than the few hot days we have around where I live.
Mine are kept in a medicine chest in the daylight basement of a split level home. While we have some days in the 80s and 90s each summer, above that is more rare and the temps are more likely to be in the 70s or below. It can, however, get into the hundreds here. The house is not air conditioned. Now you have me curious. I'll have to ask my doctor about that, too.