Drugs and Foods That Interact with Thyroid Medications

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Maggie describes what it's like to have hypothyroidism, how it's affected her athleticism, and how she handles living with the condition.

5 Easy Lifestyle Changes For Living Better With Hypothyroidism

A handful of simple lifestyle changes can help you feel better with hypothyroidism.

The following medicines and therapies can influence the effectiveness of thyroid medicines in one or more of the following ways: by interfering with the absorption of thyroid hormone, by binding thyroid hormone to binding proteins, and by interfering with thyroid hormone metabolism.

Monifa discusses finding the right hypothyroidism treatment for her.

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Cancer therapies

  • asparaginase
  • bexarotene*
  • fluorouracil
  • interferon*
  • interleukin*
  • ipilimumab*
  • sunitinib*
  • tamoxifen
  • thalidomide and lenalidomide

Cardiovascular therapies

  • amiodarone*
  • furosemide
  • heparin
  • oral anticoagulants

Cholesterol therapies

  • bile acid sequestrants, including cholestyramine,* clofibrate, and colestipol*
  • slow-release niacin

Gastrointestinal therapies

  • aluminum hydroxide antacids
  • cation-exchange resins
  • charcoal
  • proton-pump inhibitors
  • sucralfate

Hormonal therapies

  • androgens/anabolic steroids
  • dopaminergic drugs including bromocriptine and cabergoline
  • estrogens
  • glucocorticoids such as prednisone
  • growth hormone
  • metoclopramide
  • raloxifene

Neurologic/psychiatric therapies

  • anticonvulsants including phenytoin,* phenobarbital,* and carbamazepine*
  • lithium*
  • sertraline*
  • other antidepressants and antipsychotic agents, including clomipramine and quetiapine

Nutritional supplements

  • calcium carbonate
  • ferrous sulfate (iron)
  • iodine* (including kelp supplements)
  • multivitamins (presumably because of iron and calcium content)


  • espresso coffee
  • grapefruit
  • soy

Other medicines

  • antituberculous drugs (rifampicin, ethionamide)
  • bisphosphonates taken orally, such as alendronate
  • methadone
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as meclofenamic acid, mefenamic acid, phenylbutazone
  • orlistat
  • orphenadrine
  • propranolol
  • radiographic agents (such as contrast agents containing iodine)*
  • salicylates (high doses of aspirin and salsalate)
  • sulfonamides (acetazolamide, sulfisoxazole)
  • sulfonylureas

* These drugs can have a major impact on thyroid treatment.

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Last Review Date: May 1, 2012

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