It's OK to drink coffee soon after taking a liquid thyroid medication, a new study finds.
Current product labels and treatment guidelines recommend patients take thyroid hormone replacement therapy on an empty stomach, but this new research shows that absorption of liquid levothyroxine is not affected by consuming coffee shortly after taking the medication.
"The results demonstrate that the absorption of levothyroxine sodium oral solution was not affected by the consumption of coffee, potentially offering patients and providers more dosing flexibility," said Kris Washington, medical director of New Jersey-based Vertice Pharma, which makes the drug.
For the study, 40 adults were given a single 600 microgram dose of liquid levothyroxine two times: a few minutes before drinking 8 ounces of black, unsweetened coffee; and under fasting conditions.
Blood samples were collected to measure volunteers' thyroid levels for 48 hours after dose. There were 40 days between the two situations.
The findings confirm that drug absorption is the same whether patients fast or drink coffee, according to findings presented Saturday at a meeting in Atlanta of The Endocrine Society. Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The researchers said the results are potentially good news for patients who have been instructed to take levothyroxine 30 to 60 minutes before coffee to avoid a drug interaction.
"The lifestyle adjustment required to adhere to these recommendations is often burdensome to the patient and may lead to difficulty in achieving ideal thyroid hormone levels, resulting in both patient and provider frustration," Washington said in a society news release.
For more about thyroid diseases, go to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCE: The Endocrine Society, news release, June 11, 2022