Two-Week Hypothyroid Regimen

This information describes your 2-week hypothyroid regimen. This regimen includes diagnostic tests and your radioactive iodine treatment.

Day 1 of your 2-week hypothyroid regimen is:  _____________________.

6 Weeks Before Day 1:

  • Start taking your thyroid medication (levothyroxine or ____________) every other day (instead of every day).
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2 Weeks Before Day 1:

  • Stop taking your thyroid medication (levothyroxine or _____________).
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1 Week Before Day 1:

  • Start following a low-iodine diet. Drink at least 8 (8-ounce) glasses of decaffeinated liquids every day. These liquids should include water and other beverages listed in the low-iodine diet guidelines. You can find the guidelines in the resource Low Iodine Diet.
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Your 2-Week Hypothyroid Regimen

During the first week of your regimen, you will have blood work and scans. These scans let us know where the thyroid cancer is. You will then receive your radioactive iodine treatment. You may be admitted to the hospital for treatment. If you are admitted, you will be discharged from the hospital when your level of radioactivity is low enough. If you are not admitted, you will receive other instructions.

During the second week, you will have a post-treatment scan, which a staff member in Nuclear Medicine will arrange for you.

Below is a typical regimen schedule:

Week 1
May start Monday-Thursday
Day 1
(2 to 3 hours)
  • Blood work
  • Diagnostic dose of radioactive iodine
Day 2
(30 to 60 minutes)
  • Scan
  • Treatment dose of radioactive iodine
Week 2
Post-treatment scan


Other tests that you may have include:

  • A pregnancy test (blood draw) for women before treatment to make sure that they are not pregnant. This is a hospital requirement for treatment.
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