What is the difference between Liothyronine and Levothyroxine?

    An Introduction to Liothyronine and Levothyroxine

    Unless you are a pharmacist you may find it very confusing when you hear medications names that you are not familiar with. When your doctor or prescriber mentions different medications that can treat your ailment it is natural to want to know the difference between them. This is the case when it comes to Liothyronine and Levothyroxine. In this article, we will answer all you need to know regarding the differences between Liothyronine and Levothyroxine, including their uses, how they are taken, how much they cost, and the side effects that you may experience whilst taking them. Whilst both medications are similar, you may wish to know about certain differences before you begin your treatment. 

    Key Takeaways

    Uses of Liothyronine and Levothyroxine:

    Both Liothyronine and Levothyroxine are used to treat hypothyroidism, which is an underactive thyroid. They work by providing synthetic versions of the hormone thyroxine (T4) that your body needs to regulate metabolism and other functions.

    How to Take Them:

    Levothyroxine should be taken before eating or consuming caffeine, ideally in the morning, while Liothyronine can be taken with or without food and at any time of day. Always follow your doctor's prescription and do not mix medications unless instructed.

    Costs and Availability:

    Both medications require a prescription and can be purchased online from EU Meds. Levothyroxine is available in different strengths, and prices vary based on the dosage. People with an underactive thyroid in the UK are entitled to free prescriptions, including for Levothyroxine.

    Lady holding her throat due to an inflamed thyroid gland


    What is Liothyronine used for?

    Liothyronine is a medication that is used to treat hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is also known as having an underactive thyroid. When you have an underactive thyroid you will not be getting the hormones that you need that are produced in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces hormones that are used to regulate different bodily functions, most notably metabolism. The most common symptoms of underactive thyroids include weight gain, tiredness, slow movements, brittle hair, scaly skin, and depression. 

    What is Levothyroxine used for?

    Levothyroxine is used to treat the exact same condition as Liothyronine. The main use for Levothyroxine is to treat hypothyroidism, again, which is also known as an underactive thyroid. Both Liothyronine and Levothyroxine work by producing a synthetic version of the hormone called thyroxine, when your body does not produce enough of it to regulate bodily functions such as your metabolism. 

    How to Take Them

    Can Levothyroxine and Liothyronine be taken together?

    You may be tempted to take both Liothyronine and Levothyroxine together, however, you should only ever take the medication that has been prescribed to you. If you have been prescribed Liothyronine you will only be able to purchase Liothyronine. Some people may be prescribed a mixture of both medications, and it is recommended that you only ever have the medication that you have been prescribed. 

    Can you take Liothyronine with food?

    The best way to take Liothyronine is orally and swallowed with the help of water. You can have your tablet with or without food, as the medication does not need to be absorbed with the aid of food. 

    Can you take Levothyroxine with food?

    Levothyroxine on the other hand should not be taken with food. You should take Levothyroxine before having any food or before consuming a drink that contains caffeine, such as coffee or tea. 

    Can I take Liothyronine at night?

    The time of day that you take Liothyronine should not affect how the medication works. However, you should look to take your medication as prescribed at the same time every day so that your body becomes used to the medication at the same time of the day. 

    Can I take Levothyroxine at night?

    You can take Levothyroxine at night, however, it is recommended that you take it first thing in the morning as you should take the medication prior to eating or consuming caffeine drinks.


    How much does Liothyronine cost?

    When you have a valid prescription you can purchase Liothyronine online from EU Meds for different prices depending on how many tablets you require.

    How much does Levothyroxine cost?

    You also need a valid prescription in order to purchase Levothyroxine online from EU Meds. Unlike Liothyronine, you can purchase Levothyroxine in different strengths. The strength you will need will be in your prescription and the price of the medication you need will vary depending on the strength and number of tablets prescribed. 

    Can I get Liothyronine or Levothyroxine on the NHS?

    If you have an underactive thyroid, you're entitled to free prescriptions for all of your medicines not just your levothyroxine. To claim your free prescriptions you'll need to have a medical exemption certificate.


    How long does Liothyronine stay in your system?

    One of the ways that you can judge how long a medication will stay in your system is by learning the half-life. The half-life of a medication is the amount of time it takes for the active substance in the medication to reduce in your body by half. The half-life of Liothyronine is around 12 and a half days. Liothyronine will be excreted through the kidneys. 

    How long does Levothyroxine stay in your system?

    The half-life of Levothyroxine on the other hand is around six to seven days, however, this can vary on a number of different factors. The factors that can lead to Levothyroxine staying in your system for longer include age, weight, general health, other medications you are taking, and other health conditions that you suffer from. 

    Side Effects and Precautions

    Does Liothyronine cause hair loss?

    Liothyronine, for a short period of time, can cause some temporary hair loss. This may occur whilst your body is still getting used to the medication. If you have any concerns regarding this, you may wish to ask your doctor about this side effect. It is important to note that this effect is only temporary and should not be long-lasting.

    Does Levothyroxine cause hair loss?

    Similarly, Levothyroxine can cause some minor hair loss for a short period of time. This is due to the change in hormones in the body that Levothyroxine causes. Again, this should only be temporary, however, you may wish to speak to your doctor if you are concerned.  

    Does Liothyronine or Levothyroxine cause weight gain?

    Due to the nature of the thyroid gland, there may be some fluctuation in weight depending on whether it is overactive or underactive. Both Liothyronine and Levothyroxine are medications that are used to treat underactive thyroids. An underactive thyroid can cause weight gain, so combatting that with medication can actually have reverse effects. Your metabolism should improve when taking Liothyronine and Levothyroxine, meaning you should begin to lose weight if you had previously gained it due to an underactive thyroid. 

    Are Liothyronine and Levothyroxine gluten-free?

    You may be concerned about whether or not these medications are gluten-free. Thankfully, you can rest assured that both Liothyronine and Levothyroxine are gluten-free. 


    How do you pronounce Liothyronine?

    Pronunciation - lee-oh-thigh-row-neen

    How do you pronounce Levothyroxine?

    Pronunciation - Lee-vo-thigh-rox-een

    Buying Your Medication

    Where can I buy Liothyronine UK?

    When you have a valid prescription you will be able to purchase both Liothyronine and Levothyroxine online from EU Meds. If you do not have a prescription then you can complete a consultation online with an independent prescriber. Following a successful consultation, you will then be issued a prescription for your medication.


    Related Products

    From £729.29
    • Contains a synthetic version of a thyroid hormone
    • Effective for treating hypothyroidism
    • Suitable for those who can't have Levothyroxine
    From £85.79
    • Effective thyroid treatment
    • Replaces hormones
    • Prevents symptoms

    Here to help you

    Our Customer Service is available Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm. If you need urgent assistance, do not use this service. Call 111, or in an emergency call 999. Visit our help section