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  • How to take Levothyroxine for Alzheimer's patient

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    Old 04-10-2009, 01:01 PM   #1
    BlueAtlas
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    How to take Levothyroxine for Alzheimer's patient

    Hi,
    I hope someone here can give me some info. I care for my mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer's. She tends to nap pretty often. Our doctor just started her on Levothyroxine for low thyroid. The bottle says to take it an hour before or 2-3 hours after eating. This has turned out to be a problem. Some days I just can't time it so it's far enough from her meals. I tend to give it to her anyway, and try to delay the meal for as long as possible, but it's not generally for a whole hour. What happens if she takes it too close to eating? Is it just not effective? The bottle also says to take it in the morning. Is that important? Three mornings a week, that's just not possible. Being in stage 6 of Alzheimer's, the easy solutions of waking her up or keeping her out of bed simply aren't reasonable.

    I would appreciate any help you folks might be able to give me.

    Thanks!
    Emily

     
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    Old 04-10-2009, 08:49 PM   #2
    midwest1
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    Re: How to take Levothyroxine for Alzheimer's patient

    Tough situation, Emily. The reason the levo should be taken apart from food is because the food can carry it through the body without it being absorbed. This is especially true with high-fiber foods, or with supplements like calcium and iron.

    It's true that the optimum time to take the med is an hour before breakfast, but an alternate schedule can usually be found that will be second best. The key is consistency. The alternate timing must be consistent day to day to be effective. If she must take it with a meal, it should be the same meal and time every day, and ideally, with the same kind of food so that absorption isn't as hit and miss. In order to make up for the reduced absorption, her dose may end up needing to be higher than it would have been than if taken in the a.m. without food. But as long as her doctor is willing to prescribe that higher dose, that should be a viable option.

    I've always found a good pharmacist to be more helpful in addressing these types of problems than even the doctor him/herself. If the MD can't help you sort it out, I suggest you consult the pharmacist.

     
    Old 04-11-2009, 07:51 AM   #3
    BlueAtlas
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    Re: How to take Levothyroxine for Alzheimer's patient

    Thanks, Midwest! This was very helpful. At least I know why. I'll talk to the pharmacist, too. Yes, I agree, they're often more helpful than the doctors, and I think they appreciate being able to use their knowledge personally. They're a much neglected resource for those of us with health issues!

    Thanks for taking the time to answer. We'll just keep on doing the best we can and keep that pill as far from meals as possible.

    Emily

    Last edited by BlueAtlas; 04-11-2009 at 07:52 AM. Reason: Emily can't spell too well today. :(

     
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