Other Medications

By SueIzzy Latest Reply 2011-10-14 20:02:34 -0500
Started 2011-05-04 19:16:17 -0500

I am T2 and have been for approx. 4 yrs, controlled with Metformin twice daily. My last A1C level I was able to get what I considered to be a great accomplishment of 5.8.

About 7 weeks ago I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and began the treatment of Synthryoid 50mg daily. In the 6 weeks since starting this new medication I have noticed an increased difficulty controlling my glucose levels. Does anyone know if this is normal, if it levels out, or if I should be concerned about it?

31 replies

GabbyPA 2011-05-17 12:57:16 -0500 Report

I spoke to my doctor today about this quandary. My doctor said as long as they are being taken separately, the problem shouldn't be significant. So you always take your thyroid med on an empty stomach, so I do mine very early in the morning.

What I have always done is take my thyroid med about 1-2 hours before I get up. (I'm up feeding the dog, so I take my pill) Then I take my metformin about 1 hour after I'm up.

Lloyd M
Lloyd M 2011-05-16 07:05:48 -0500 Report

I have been on Synthroid for 31 years, Metformin for 17, and insulin for 5. After your Synthroid dosage stabilizes, the Synthroid will no longer be a factor in your glucose control. Just do the best you can and have patience.

My A1c is 5.0, 16 in a row between 4.9 and 5.4. The Synthroid is not a handicap now.

Best wishes,

cottoncandybaby 2011-05-07 09:24:22 -0500 Report

I have also been on Synthroid for years, and also take Metformin twice a day. I had no idea that there was an effect on the b/s levels because of taking both. I have a hard time also keeping my levels down, I usually run between 155 and 188, in the mornings, fasting. My last A1c did drop from 8.5 to 7.5, but of course, my dr. wants it closer to 6. Yours of 5.8 is great, you must be doing a good job of really watching your carb level. Thanks for bringing up the info about the Synthroid, as I know I need to always take that, and will ask my dr. about the reaction of taking both and see if he wants to adjust the dosage of either of them, I don't really know that there would be any other course of action that can be taken, when we need to continue both meds. Thanks, also, Bunny Cakes, for that website, I will check it out for sure, and thanks also, kdroberts, for the additional info. The more info we have, the better.

Bunny Cakes
Bunny Cakes 2011-05-13 20:21:07 -0500 Report

I find that my blood sugar is a lot lower if I take it before ingesting the Synthroid pill in the morning. Though after a bit of research I'm finding a lot of thyroid medicines interact with diabetes medicines so this may just be something we will have to deal with unless we can get our sugars under control without the diabetes medicine because we can't stop the hormone therapy for our thyroids.

cottoncandybaby 2011-05-14 16:38:44 -0500 Report

That is interesting. I will have to compare my readings before and after taking the Synthroid. I always test my sugar first thing in the morning, before taking anything. I usually take my Metformin and Synthroid after a little bit of breakfast, so there is something in my stomach first.

Bunny Cakes
Bunny Cakes 2011-05-27 15:49:35 -0500 Report

My Synthroid says to take it on an empty stomach so I wait one hour before eating. From what I've read if you eat right after it stops the medicine from absorbing properly and you end up on higher doses than you really need.

cottoncandybaby 2011-05-27 23:27:32 -0500 Report

I did not know about that, have always taken the Synthroid right after eating in the morning, as I don't have time to wait an hour before eating, as I am in a hurry to get out the door… I've been on the same dose for several years. Will have to ask my Internist about that next time I am checked. Thanks for the info!!

Bunny Cakes
Bunny Cakes 2011-05-28 16:13:33 -0500 Report

I've got a red sticker on my medicine bottle that says to take it on an empty stomach, and also a label that says take with a full glass of water.

cottoncandybaby 2011-05-28 23:08:17 -0500 Report

Next time I get my Synthroid refilled at Target, I will ask the pharmacist if I should be taking it on an empty stomach and with full glass of water, will let you know. Maybe different dosages make a difference, who knows.. but will ask and let you know. Thanks.

GabbyPA 2011-05-30 10:28:33 -0500 Report

Both mine and my husbands have warnings. They are different dosages and from different pharmacies. They both say to take before breakfast, to take on and empty stomach and to drink "plenty" of water (a little vague, but that's what they say)

cottoncandybaby 2011-05-30 23:17:29 -0500 Report

Gabby, I took a closer look at the label on the back side of the bottle (where I do not normally pay attention to) and you are right, it does say on the label about taking it on empty stomach and to take it with a full glass of water and in the morning (which I do). Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I have been taking it wrong all this time…as I usually take it after eating a quick b'fast. So much for me thinking I am usually an observant person!! :)

GabbyPA 2011-05-31 22:23:19 -0500 Report

Sometimes we just think the sheets we get at consultation are for the side effects. But there is a lot to read and every not and then, even on my familiar drugs, I take a refresher peek. I tend to talk to my pharmacist about my meds more than my doctor because they are more attuned to what interactions can happen. But I have learned about a lot of them right here from other members. Then I go and ask my doctor and he will say...Oh yes...I should have told you that. Duh! Do you think so? LOL. My doc is pretty good, but sometimes I know I am just another "diabetic" to him.

cottoncandybaby 2011-05-31 22:39:35 -0500 Report

Unfortunately, you are right. There are so many of us diabetics these days, they cannot remember to tell everyone all the information all of the time. We have to be "pro-active" as the saying goes. My mom has starting see an Endocrinologist lately for her diabetes, as they seem to specialize in diabetics, especially when they are heavy duty diabetics, taking insulin. She loves her dr. and he goes into more detail of what type of treatment she needs. I may eventually go to one, too, although my Internist is good and I like him a lot, but an Internist does not specialize in diabetes like an Endo. does.

Bunny Cakes
Bunny Cakes 2011-05-05 13:22:42 -0500 Report

If you look up drug interactions between Metformin and Synthroid you will find that the two medicines can interfere with each other and cause your blood sugar to be a little harder to control. You can read more here: http://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/metfor...

I have noticed this in myself because I am on both meds, for me the difference isn't a big deal, it's just meaning I need to figure out a way to drop more carbs and possibly work in more exercise. I hover in the 100 to 120 range most days so I'm not far off or so I keep telling myself.

I imagine the problem could also be corrected by finding a diabetes medicine that does not react that way with Synthroid, and if my numbers are not right soon that is a question I am going to pose to my doctor as I know I cannot stop taking thyroid meds but I can hopefully stop taking diabetes pills or at least take different diabetes pills.

GabbyPA 2011-05-06 10:30:57 -0500 Report

Well doesn't that just beat all? Many of us are on the synthroid before we are on the diabetes treatments. What a mess. Chinese medicine is looking better every day. LOL

Lloyd M
Lloyd M 2011-05-16 07:26:42 -0500 Report

There was one chinese medicine that seemed to work quite well, I forget the name. The FDA examined it, and found it contained ground up Metformin in it. The dosage varied wildly. It's been banned.

Bunny Cakes
Bunny Cakes 2011-05-08 13:10:41 -0500 Report

I agree and what's worse is that our doctors put us on a drug that has a bad interaction anyway and they should know better or at least inform us. My pharamcist didn't even mention it.

GabbyPA 2011-05-10 09:31:42 -0500 Report

I usually look up my interactions and all of them have moderate. It actually was drugs.com that told me about grapefruit interaction with my bp meds. Go figure. You really do have to ask a LOT of questions.

Bunny Cakes
Bunny Cakes 2011-05-13 20:18:43 -0500 Report

Yeah I had the issue with grapefruits when I was on Lovastatin, luckily that one had a sticker on it from the pharmacist. I had to stop taking that one though between the muscle cramps, muscle pain and the fact that it kept my blood sugar in the 150s I felt like absolute crap while taking it.

kdroberts 2011-05-05 09:29:14 -0500 Report

OK, here's some science stuff.

Essentially hypothyroidism slows down your metabolism. Hyperthyroidism speeds it up. So, with that in mind, before you started the synthroid your metabolism was slow which may possibly have been affecting your metabolism of metformin by making it stick around in your body longer and basically giving the result of a slightly higher dose. Then when you started the synthroid your metabolism started to speed up, the metformin was not sticking around longer so you would basically get the effect of a lesser dose. It's also pretty hard to hit the right dose of synthroid right off the bat so it's possible that right now you are on the hyperthyroidism side of normal so your metformin is being metabolized quicker and you are getting the effect of an even lower dose. That could be part of the reasons.

Another part could be that the way carbohydrate is being metabolized by your body has changed so previously they were taking longer to be converted to glucose which would give you a lower blood sugar but now they are being metabolized quicker so are giving you higher blood sugars.

It will take some trial and error on you and your doctors part but with some record keeping and some adjustments you should be able to find the right balance.

GabbyPA 2011-05-06 10:26:49 -0500 Report

Diabetes is so much more that just our blood sugars. This just goes to show that our entire body is involved in the process. I learned the other day that our adrenal glands are also a large part of it, but most doctors don't even test that. And if they did, they would not treat it because it doesn't fall into the "Standard of Care". There is so much to learn about this disease.

alanbossman 2011-05-05 08:52:38 -0500 Report

Hi SueIzzy I take 75mcg for my hypothyroidism and have no problems with my glucose levels I can't find any drug interaction with metformin which i also take twice daily also. If your BS numbers are getting harder to control you may want to see your doctor.

GabbyPA 2011-05-05 08:27:10 -0500 Report

That seems unusual, and getting your thyroid working properly usually helps with your system. Are you running higher or lower than before? Oh, and congrats on that 5.8!! That is fantastic.

Have you spoken to your doctor about it?

SueIzzy 2011-05-05 08:41:17 -0500 Report

Thank you Gabby! I really worked hard to get it down to 5.8, it took me 4 yrs, and I am quite upset that for the past few weeks it seems all my work has gone down the drain. I have not changed my eating habits, as after this long, they are common practice for me. I am waking up with glucose levels in the 150's and am having a difficult time getting it to go down throughout the day. Yesterday 2 hour after lunch I had a reading of 198.

The only thing that has changed for me is this new medication. I have sent a message to my Dr, and am waiting for his reply. He has been wanting to change me from Metformin to a once a day injectable, which I have been trying to avoid, but maybe it is time I consider it.

GabbyPA 2011-05-05 08:44:41 -0500 Report

Don't give up that battle yet. Keep working on it and hopefully after you talk to him you will find out some alternative ideas. There are so many other alternatives to try after Metformin. Let your treatment plan be in agreement by both of you.

SueIzzy 2011-05-05 08:52:35 -0500 Report

Thank you Gabby, I will be patient and talk to him about it. :) I have to do lab work this week to check to see if the dosage of synthroid is working for me, so maybe it is just a process I have to go through with making the adjustment until they get it right.

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