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Question about taking cytomel twice a day prior to RAI

Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2009

I just completed my 2nd surgery less than a week ago. My first was not originally for cancer-it was for Hashimoto's. It was a partial lobectomy in April. This surgery was a total neck dissection and removing the rest of the thyroid. I was put on generic Cytomel to prepare for RAI. I was instructed to sleep sitting up to lessen swelling. So here is my question....I was instructed to take the medication twice a day on an empty stomache. I take it once in the morning and once before bed. Is this why I'm not sleeping? It doesn't feel like insomnia, in fact I feel great. Much better than my first surgery. I'm just worried that I'm days from hitting a wall and want to make sure I'm getting the best rest for my body. Anyone else on twice a day? If yes, when do you take it?

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2009

I found that the Cytomel made me quite jittery and my heart pounded (which is not normal for me). My endo suggested I take it first thing in the morning (6 or 7) and then mid-afternoon, around 2 or 3pm. If I took it later than 4pm, I had difficulty sleeping.

And I hear you on the sleeping elevated.. fortunately, you don't have to do that for long. :)

Posts: 57
Joined: Jun 2009

You don't say how much you're taking...are they 25mg pills, 50mg total per day?

When I was given Cytomel prior to RAI my endo prescribed too much--25mg three times a day. I did some research and read that 25mg Cytomel is roughly equivalent to 100mcg of Synthroid. A 300mcg dose of Synthroid was way over what I had been taking--212mcg. Not wanting heart palps and heart damage I took only two pills a day and I was fine.

Also, my Cytomel Rx didn't mention taking it on an empty stomach. When I inquired I was told I could take it with meals or between meals.

Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2009

I had to double check my bottle but I am on same dose(25 mg generic Cytomel twice daily) I also feel great. The first week I took it I felt a little "floaty" not quite right, but not bad. My bottle doesn't say whether to take with food or with out. I take it when I get up after I've eaten and right before I go to bed. I haven't noticed the insomnia but I was tired all the time before the thyroidectomy. Did you have to do the low iodine diet before the RAI? I think if I can "survive" this diet than I can do anything :) Check the label for iodine if your doing that but I also like a suplement called Melatonin for sleep. You get it in the vitamin section, not habit forming, just kind of gives you a relaxed sleepy feeling.
Good luck

Posts: 57
Joined: Jun 2009

Yes, I was on the low iodine diet for both ablations but the only instruction I got from the doctor was to switch to plain salt and avoid seafood. Based on what others were saying I tried to do more to avoid iodine, loosely following the diet.

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