Brand Name Thyroid Drugs

Brand Name Thyroid Drugs

There are 191 comments on the Bellaonline.com story from Jun 2, 2005, titled Brand Name Thyroid Drugs. In it, Bellaonline.com reports that:

Armour Thyroid + Manufactured by Forest Pharmaceuticals Forest Pharmaceuticals Armour is a Nature Thyroid product made from porcine thyroids.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Bellaonline.com.

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Debra

AOL

#1 May 23, 2006
I was prescribed Cytomel 5mg because my blood test showed low thyroid and it may help my hormones. Taking this drug caused me to have lightheadedness, dizziness. I took it at bedtime and when I'd get up in the morning the room would start spinning and I could barley walk without falling. I know this is not a side effect shown on the RX, but people should know.
Olivier

Montréal, Canada

#2 Aug 18, 2006
Whoa! First I hope you are taking 5 mcgs (micrograms) and not 5 mg (miligrams) because T3 is a very active hormone.

Don't take Cytomel before going to bed. Take 5 mcgs first thing in the morning at 6 o'clock or with breakfast. Get a dosage raise after 2 weeks and take another 5 mcgs at 13h00 or with lunch. T3 absorption is not slowed-down by food.

If you can tolerate further increases, you can split it 10 mcg / 5 mcg. It depends. Personally, I seem to need more T3 in the morning to get me up out of bed and a lower dose at lunch to keep me going.

Keep us posted. Take care.
stone Ohio

New Bern, NC

#3 Aug 18, 2006
I take 137mcg. of Levoxel and 12.5mcg.of Cytomel every morning. I have someing called Hochemotos.And all I want to do is sleep and have gained about 60 pounds in the last 2years. My Doc. said my thyoid numbers are fine and there is no room for play with my meds. Help,tired of being FAT AND TIRED.
Olivier

Montréal, Canada

#4 Aug 20, 2006
What you have is called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Your auto-immune system is attacking your thyroid gland (actually, very specific types of antibodies are attacking the gland).

The problem with doctors is that they follow in a very blind way a blood test called TSH. TSH means Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. This is an hormone created by the pituary gland that regulates thyroid gland activity. If the TSH is elevated, this means that the pituary gland is screaming to the thyroid gland "produce more thyroid hormones!".

Usually doctors treat for hypothyroid when the TSH is fairly elevated, like in the 100, 40, 20, 10 figures. It was believed that something betweem 0.5 and 5.5 was to be considered "normal". The American Association of Endocrinolist revised that normal range to 0.5 to 3.0. Anything above 3.0 is hypothyroid.

Now, the tricky part is this: some people feel better when the TSH is at 2, some feel better when the TSH is at 0.2! Thus,'normal' doesn't mean 'optimal'. Some people can have a TSH of 40, take 50 mcg T4 and it'll drop the TSH to 10. Some others, like me, are very hypothyroid with a TSH of merely 6 and it took me huge amounts of hormone to lower it to 4.

The important thing is to treat the symptoms. If your last raise was more than 6 weeks ago, stone_Ohio, then I would recommend you keep raising your dosage, preferably Cytomel for those of us that are very hypothyroid. Usually, when very hypo-metabolic, we have a hard time converting, at the cellular level, T4 (levothyroxine) to T3 (triiodothyronine). T3 is the active hormone. T4 is merely a pro-hormone.

So keep raising and if you still feel lousy and your doctor doesn't want to raise anymore, change doctor. Go see another one. Unless you are hyper (and that doesn't seem to be your case) never, EVER wean off T4 (Levoxil). It is so hard having to wait to get to these doses of T4 and having to suffer the temporary side-effects, one doesn't want to lower it even if a stupid doctor says so. Don't let them treat you only with the TSH lab results. Go with the symptology.

I hope this helps. Don't be afraid to ask me more questions. And if you can, get your labs results and post them here, i'll be able to help you further. You need TSH Free T3 and Free T4 results. Take care.
carol

Las Vegas, NV

#5 Aug 23, 2006
Olivier,
You are so knowledgeable. How did you get to know so much about all this? I share the frustration. I have been hypothyroid for 6 yrs going on 7 since I was pregnant. I am constantly tired and I too have gained weight. I know some is from aging (42 yr old now) but I eat fairly healthy and had my metabolism checked and it said I was burning at a high rate. So, I'm figuring it has to be my thyroid. My doc changed my meds at my request after taking a blood test (not sure what the actual result were-he said "normal")but he took me from 75mg of synthroid to 25mg of synthroid and thyrolar 1/2 (30). I've been on this for a week and 1/2 and don't feel much different. How long does it take to kick in? I don't expect to lose weight overnight but I thought that I would at least feel better by now. What are your thoughts?
thanks,
carol
Olivier

Mirabel, Canada

#6 Aug 24, 2006
Well its hard for me to say without your TSH, Free T4 and Free T3 results. You can obtain these results from your physician. Just post them here WITH the test range (very important).

For the TSH test, anything above 3 is now considered hypothyroid.

Thyrolar 1/2 contains 6.25 mcg T3 and 25 mcg T4 (a 1 to 4 ratio). 25 mcg T4 from the Thyrolar with Synthroid 25 mcg = 50 mcg T4 total. Thus, your doctor actually reduced your T4 by 25 mcg because you were on Synthroid 75 mcg!

Unless someone is having hyper symptoms, its always a bad idea to lower T4 when the person is tolerating it well because it takes a long 6 to 8 weeks to get the full improvement of the dosage raise and to raise further.

Thus, he gave you an effective 6.25 mcg raise in T3. T3 is 4 times more metabolically active than T4. So the 6.25 mcg T3 raise only compensates for the 25 mcg T4 reduction!**No change whatsoever**. I'm not surprised you didn't feel a thing.

Keep raising the Thyrolar by 1/2 grain each 6 weeks until symptoms are all gone. It is possible to feel lowsy for 4 weeks into the raise, gotta wait until the 5th or 6th week to feel any improvements sometimes. I am very sensitive to a T4 raise. I feel extremely out of it until the 5th week into the raise.

Get those TSH, FT3 and FT4 lab results over here and we'll see in more details your status.

Talk to you soon,
Olivier
Lupe

United States

#7 Aug 28, 2006
To Oliver:
I have some questions for you. Hard to tell if these postings are recent, today being 8/28/2006
If I post here,would you be able to give me your feedback?
Thanks.
[email protected]
Lupe

United States

#8 Aug 28, 2006
Olivier wrote:
Well its hard for me to say without your TSH, Free T4 and Free T3 results. You can obtain these results from your physician. Just post them here WITH the test range (very important).
For the TSH test, anything above 3 is now considered hypothyroid.
Thyrolar 1/2 contains 6.25 mcg T3 and 25 mcg T4 (a 1 to 4 ratio). 25 mcg T4 from the Thyrolar with Synthroid 25 mcg = 50 mcg T4 total. Thus, your doctor actually reduced your T4 by 25 mcg because you were on Synthroid 75 mcg!
Unless someone is having hyper symptoms, its always a bad idea to lower T4 when the person is tolerating it well because it takes a long 6 to 8 weeks to get the full improvement of the dosage raise and to raise further.
Thus, he gave you an effective 6.25 mcg raise in T3. T3 is 4 times more metabolically active than T4. So the 6.25 mcg T3 raise only compensates for the 25 mcg T4 reduction!**No change whatsoever**. I'm not surprised you didn't feel a thing.
Keep raising the Thyrolar by 1/2 grain each 6 weeks until symptoms are all gone. It is possible to feel lowsy for 4 weeks into the raise, gotta wait until the 5th or 6th week to feel any improvements sometimes. I am very sensitive to a T4 raise. I feel extremely out of it until the 5th week into the raise.
Get those TSH, FT3 and FT4 lab results over here and we'll see in more details your status.
Talk to you soon,
Olivier
Oliver:
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and menopause some ten years ago by an experienced endocrinologist that has since passed on.
I have gone through many doctors (due to work), and it took a long long time for the right prescription to work, while suffering greatly all the while. At one point I weighed 176 lbs, and I am 5feet 1 inch tall.

At one point they have me antidepressants, which made me feel like a zoombie (so I would quit smoking).
All the while deformed with weight gain, depression ridden, bloated looking, energyless, sleeping all of the time, right?

Then a mix of T3 and T4 did the job.
Now, this doctor seems to think that my TSH levels are off sync. And he wants to drop all of the medication for the thyroid all together, saying that he wants to know if I was hypothyroid ever..
((Well he did not walk in my shoes nor feel like I did for years, and I resent that!))and I wont do that.

Any suggestions?
Thanks
Lupe
carol

Las Vegas, NV

#9 Aug 28, 2006
Olivier wrote:
Well its hard for me to say without your TSH, Free T4 and Free T3 results. You can obtain these results from your physician. Just post them here WITH the test range (very important).
For the TSH test, anything above 3 is now considered hypothyroid.
Thyrolar 1/2 contains 6.25 mcg T3 and 25 mcg T4 (a 1 to 4 ratio). 25 mcg T4 from the Thyrolar with Synthroid 25 mcg = 50 mcg T4 total. Thus, your doctor actually reduced your T4 by 25 mcg because you were on Synthroid 75 mcg!
Unless someone is having hyper symptoms, its always a bad idea to lower T4 when the person is tolerating it well because it takes a long 6 to 8 weeks to get the full improvement of the dosage raise and to raise further.
Thus, he gave you an effective 6.25 mcg raise in T3. T3 is 4 times more metabolically active than T4. So the 6.25 mcg T3 raise only compensates for the 25 mcg T4 reduction!**No change whatsoever**. I'm not surprised you didn't feel a thing.
Keep raising the Thyrolar by 1/2 grain each 6 weeks until symptoms are all gone. It is possible to feel lowsy for 4 weeks into the raise, gotta wait until the 5th or 6th week to feel any improvements sometimes. I am very sensitive to a T4 raise. I feel extremely out of it until the 5th week into the raise.
Get those TSH, FT3 and FT4 lab results over here and we'll see in more details your status.
Talk to you soon,
Olivier
I'm glad you clarified that!!! I had a feeling that he had lowered one because he added the other. I even asked him if that was what he was doing. I got a vague response. I have another appointment with doc in a week or two. I'll have new blood work then. I will then post the results. i hope you'll be checking in on this for a while. I'm curious to see if he will raise the dosage or not. My aches a little tiny bit better but I have gained a little more weight. I actually feel as if I am on a lower dose than I was before. I'm a fairly healthy eater and do not eat alot of junk. I could use more exercise though. I have been thin all my life until the thyroid problem. I even lost all my weight after the first pregnancy. I'm going to ask him to raise the dosage to see if it makes me feel even better. I'll post those results soon.
thanks. Are you some sort of doctor yourself?
carol

Las Vegas, NV

#10 Aug 28, 2006
Lupe wrote:
<quoted text>
Oliver:
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and menopause some ten years ago by an experienced endocrinologist that has since passed on.
I have gone through many doctors (due to work), and it took a long long time for the right prescription to work, while suffering greatly all the while. At one point I weighed 176 lbs, and I am 5feet 1 inch tall.
At one point they have me antidepressants, which made me feel like a zoombie (so I would quit smoking).
All the while deformed with weight gain, depression ridden, bloated looking, energyless, sleeping all of the time, right?
Then a mix of T3 and T4 did the job.
Now, this doctor seems to think that my TSH levels are off sync. And he wants to drop all of the medication for the thyroid all together, saying that he wants to know if I was hypothyroid ever..
((Well he did not walk in my shoes nor feel like I did for years, and I resent that!))and I wont do that.
Any suggestions?
Thanks
Lupe
Wow, I can relate. It takes so-o-o long to get to the right point you hate to mess it up. I think some of these doctors are wacked!!! Everyone gives such different opinions and it drives me crazy. I say if you feel great now, why mess with it. Get a second opinion first!!! I'm still waiting for my miracle. Everyone wants to prescribe an antidepressant nowdays first without seeing what the real issue is. I still think this is what all the road rage is about--too many people on antidepressants. I wasn't depressed either yet they threw me on prozac and then tried a few others. My whole issue is my throid. People don't realize it affects your whole body and wellbeing!!

Well,that's what I would do first. It's taken me 7 years to get this far why go back to square one!!1
carol
James

United States

#11 Aug 30, 2006
Lupe,

Honest-to-God I would threaten to sue over such stupid treatment suggestions. Ask your doctor if he would suggest taking a Type-1 Diabetic off of insulin because he wondered if they were really diabetic?

He should draw up blood work for a full Thyroid panel, take into account your current meds AND the way you feel before making any sort of recommendations, ESPECIALLY one as preposterous as making you stop all your meds to see if you are really hypothyroid.

I hate to say it, but doctors are sexist at times. Also, it doesn't help that many women who are otherwise healthy want to go on thyroid drugs to "lose weight". I can empathize a bit with the doctor, but his approach is fraught with danger for you. If it were me, I would refuse to stop the meds, I would ask him to document the fact that he wants you to stop the meds and ask for a copy of that documentation--You don't have to say it, but he'll know that once you have a copy you have legal recourse against him should your health deteriorate, and I believe that will make him reconsider. And if it were me, I would find another doc ASAP.
Lupe wrote:
<quoted text>
Oliver:
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and menopause some ten years ago by an experienced endocrinologist that has since passed on.
I have gone through many doctors (due to work), and it took a long long time for the right prescription to work, while suffering greatly all the while. At one point I weighed 176 lbs, and I am 5feet 1 inch tall.
At one point they have me antidepressants, which made me feel like a zoombie (so I would quit smoking).
All the while deformed with weight gain, depression ridden, bloated looking, energyless, sleeping all of the time, right?
Then a mix of T3 and T4 did the job.
Now, this doctor seems to think that my TSH levels are off sync. And he wants to drop all of the medication for the thyroid all together, saying that he wants to know if I was hypothyroid ever..
((Well he did not walk in my shoes nor feel like I did for years, and I resent that!))and I wont do that.
Any suggestions?
Thanks
Lupe
Lupe

United States

#12 Aug 31, 2006
Iknow.It is ludricrous.
I happened to say to him:"gees, maybe I am not menopausal either.." being sarcastic, and he goes ahead and says:"we can test for that too". Please note I am 58 years old...

I dont know if they are looking for people to do experiements on or what. But I am out of there. And I will ask for documentation in writing as to why he thinks I am not hypothyroid. He should have walked on my shoes.... all of those years.

Now, what happened to :do no harm?That is one of the principles of the medical field.....and these folks are so out of line..

The stress alone of what they put you through. Enough whinning I will go and do something now.

Thanks for your feedback.
Lupe
Prissy Palo Altoan

United States

#13 Aug 31, 2006
I also have been battling with hypothyroidism for years now. I have experienced the weight gain years ago and have never dropped it to my previous level. I have been switched around on different doses and finally leveled off.....BUT, only to find out that I had OTHER underlying health problems that were NOT recognized, all the while the doctors focusing on my thyroid levels..........I found out just last year that I have hep C and cirrosis of the liver because of the lack of testing for this (they only started testing for it in the late 1990's).
I started "treatment" for it..interfurion and ribasphere 200 mg pills combination.....My red blood cells needed a boost, so they also had me injecting Procrit once a week. 2 1/2 months into the treatment I was so tired, I slept almost around the clock for 3 weeks, until my daughter came by and phoned my doctor for an emergency appointment the next day.......At the appointment, the doctor admitted me into Stanford Hospital, where I stayed for five long days, isolated in a room because they had to administer blood transfusions to me as my red and white cells were SO out of whack.....So I also am anemic...at present time, three weeks out of Stanford, I finally am feeling better, being off of all the drugs, except my thyroid pills and injecting the Procrit once a week. BUT am still not back to my old smiling self completely yet.
Just letting you all know out there in cyberspace that that you should get checked for other things if you are still dragging around, feeling so tired. You may also find that your thyroid is NOT the only problem you may have..........good luck!! Stay healthy as you can, and get out there and walk a bit to energize your body!!!!!!!!!!
Bree - New York NY

Jackson Heights, NY

#14 Sep 1, 2006
Olivier wrote:
What you have is called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Your auto-immune system is attacking your thyroid gland (actually, very specific types of antibodies are attacking the gland).
The problem with doctors is that they follow in a very blind way a blood test called TSH. TSH means Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. This is an hormone created by the pituary gland that regulates thyroid gland activity. If the TSH is elevated, this means that the pituary gland is screaming to the thyroid gland "produce more thyroid hormones!".
Usually doctors treat for hypothyroid when the TSH is fairly elevated, like in the 100, 40, 20, 10 figures. It was believed that something betweem 0.5 and 5.5 was to be considered "normal". The American Association of Endocrinolist revised that normal range to 0.5 to 3.0. Anything above 3.0 is hypothyroid.
Now, the tricky part is this: some people feel better when the TSH is at 2, some feel better when the TSH is at 0.2! Thus,'normal' doesn't mean 'optimal'. Some people can have a TSH of 40, take 50 mcg T4 and it'll drop the TSH to 10. Some others, like me, are very hypothyroid with a TSH of merely 6 and it took me huge amounts of hormone to lower it to 4.
The important thing is to treat the symptoms. If your last raise was more than 6 weeks ago, stone_Ohio, then I would recommend you keep raising your dosage, preferably Cytomel for those of us that are very hypothyroid. Usually, when very hypo-metabolic, we have a hard time converting, at the cellular level, T4 (levothyroxine) to T3 (triiodothyronine). T3 is the active hormone. T4 is merely a pro-hormone.
So keep raising and if you still feel lousy and your doctor doesn't want to raise anymore, change doctor. Go see another one. Unless you are hyper (and that doesn't seem to be your case) never, EVER wean off T4 (Levoxil). It is so hard having to wait to get to these doses of T4 and having to suffer the temporary side-effects, one doesn't want to lower it even if a stupid doctor says so. Don't let them treat you only with the TSH lab results. Go with the symptology.
I hope this helps. Don't be afraid to ask me more questions. And if you can, get your labs results and post them here, i'll be able to help you further. You need TSH Free T3 and Free T4 results. Take care.
I would love to find a doc that would treat my symptoms and not my bloodwork .... I am tired of talking until I am blue in the face .... I was on 100 mcg of cytomel for over 20 years and felt great ... the problem is that docs can't understand the bloodwork and want me off the cytomel and on the synthroid ... I also took synthroid for years and never felt well ... now on a combination of synthroid, 125 and cytomel 25 mcg, I still don't feel great .... sever muscle cramping and very tired .... I want to go back on the 100 mcg of cytomel ... but the doc will not do it .... says bloodword looks good now, but I don't feel good ... any other solutions? must get the prescription for cytomel and no one will agree without the bloodwork ...
James

Manassas, VA

#15 Sep 1, 2006
Find another doctor. Or, arm yourself with stories like ours, and get some books about thyroid issues (there are lots on Amazon) and state your case as strongly as possible. Do you have/can you get access to older labs where you were on 100mcg of Cyotmel? If those look "good", I would use the following argument: You were on 100mcg of Cytomel and your labs were good AND you felt good. Now you are on Synthroid and less Cytomel, and your labs look good but you feel like crap. How is that beneficial given that you feel like crap?

Try that. And prepare yourself for some argument, but be firm and be ready!
Prissy Palo Altoan

Union City, CA

#16 Sep 4, 2006
I would like to know (if it is true or not) that the Thyroid medication that the pharmacy gives you REALLY has the correct doseages...I have heard that the ACTUAL ingrediants vary, that the drug company can not really guarantee the full potentency...(give and take potency)..can not be regulated for some reason. True?? Have you heard of this????
I know it may seem absurd, but the drug companies way back when were not regulated very well..
James

United States

#17 Sep 6, 2006
There is some concern about the potencies and dosages, yes. But you'll find this "urban legend" for many, many drugs. My bigger concern is when patients are switched from Synthroid to Levothyroxine to a generic, etc. There is most likely variations in these changes, and the only way to tell is to get re-tested and then have dosages re-tweaked. A lot of effort, so if it were me, I would insist on one course of treatment, and now allow doctors or pharmacies or insurance companies to switch me.
Olivier

Montréal, Canada

#18 Sep 12, 2006
There is variance in potency. It is not an urban legend. The FDA recalled many T4 medications (like Synthroid, Levoxyl and Euthyrox) in 2001, 2003 because there was dosage variance of more than 10%, if my memory serves me correctly. For more info, follow the this link:

http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/synthroi...

On the other hand, King Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Cytomel is the only thyroid medication manufacturer, that, to my knowledge, hasn't been slapped on the wrist by the FDA for such concerns. So to date Cytomel has not been recalled for potency problems.

Synthroid takes a good 6 weeks to kick in and all the while you suffer a lot. Then you can raise 25 mcg and then have to wait another 6 weeks and suffer up until you get to the right dosage. HOWEVER, the trick is to get Free T4 and Free T3 levels in the upper section of the reference range. You can take Synthroid all you want, sometimes FT3 levels won't move. This is why people feel a lot better on a combo protocol with both Synthroid and Cytomel.

An annecdote: I was taking Synthroid on an empty stomach. I just recently started to feel really better, my T4 and T3 dosage are pretty good now. So
I inadvertedly started to take Synthroid with breakfast. What a MISTAKE! Taking Synthroid with food lowers its absorbtion... The brain fog was coming back and I had a hard time concentrating on my studies. I'm now taking it on an empty stomach but I'm living this as an actual T4 dosage raise: I feel crappy and I'll have to wait a few days maybe even a week or two in order to get back the full potency from my actual dosage.

T4 has an absorption ratio of 40 to 60% depending on the individual. Levothyroxine is less absorbed when taken with food.

T3 has an absorption ratio of 94 to 96% depending on the individual and is not sensitive to food intake. Whether you take on an empty stomach or not does change the potency.

So if you take Synthroid you have to make a choice: either you always take it on an empty stomach or either you always take it with food.
Dede

Glasford, IL

#19 Sep 26, 2006
I know how you feel. Just because the numbers "look" right to the docs, they assume you are on enough meds. I am also sick and tired of being fat and tired. I feel like there is no hope or help. I have also read about he many health problems one can develop if hypothroidism is left untreaded. I am now facing diabetes thanks to my untreated thyriod. It only seems to worry me and not the docs!
Dede

Glasford, IL

#20 Sep 26, 2006
I was wondering if anyone could answer me pretty quickly? This is my first time to visit here and am looking for info. I didn't realize so many people were in the same boat as as I am. Anyway, I was just switched to cytomel and levothroyd after being on armour for years. I had no complaints with armour, just needed an increase in dose. Well, armour is very inexspensive. I went to get cytomel and other today, and oh my gosh, cytomel is 50.00 with my copay! Is there a generic for cytomel? And is there really that much of a difference between armour and cytomel? Armour does have t3 in it. Does anyone out there know?

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