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Old 09-18-2006, 01:03 PM   #1
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suesue HB User
Synthroid versus Levothyroxine (generic)

I have been on synthroid 0.1 (goiter) for over five+ years until when about 8 months ago, my insurance (mail order) sent me the generic brand instead of synthroid. I called them on that and they told me it was cheaper. I didn't think your insurance could change prescriptions, I thought your doctor had the authority to do that. But anyway, I haven't seen my specialists in a few years and I have an appointment in a couple of weeks. I used to get a checkup annually but since I've had other health problems (kidney failure), it's been put on the back burner. I have been very tired lately. Could it be because of the switch to levothyroxine? I remember when I was first prescribed synthroid the doctor said don't take the generic. Of course he never told me why. Now I am wondering if this is the reason I have been extra tired lately. I do plan to mention all of this to the specialist but I wanted to find out if anyone had any comment on my situation. Thanks.

 
Old 09-18-2006, 01:15 PM   #2
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Re: Synthroid versus Levothyroxine (generic)

Yes, it is possible the generic brand has less of the medicine than the Synthroid. This is why your doctor said not to switch brands. See if he will order thyroid test(s) for you. I know the pharmacy can't switch brands if the doctor specifies that on the prescription. You might want to check to see if your insurance will cover the Synthroid if he does prescribe that way.

Last edited by ErinBeth; 09-18-2006 at 04:44 PM.

 
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Old 09-18-2006, 04:35 PM   #3
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Re: Synthroid versus Levothyroxine (generic)

Sue,

My insurance company did the same to me and told me it was exactly the same. I switched and it threw my health into a tailspin that I'm still dealing with. After some research as to why I am so much more tired, foggy and fatter, I discovered there is a difference. I asked the doctor to put a "no substitutions" order on my Synthroid prescription. He did, so I've been back on Synthroid for about 3 months but don't feel much better yet...

There are people who do better on the levothyroxine than on the Synthroid. There are those who swear by Armour and don't do well with the others. It seems to be a very individual thing.

Good luck!

Lisa

 
Old 09-18-2006, 09:02 PM   #4
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Re: Synthroid versus Levothyroxine (generic)

"Yes, it is possible the generic brand has less of the medicine than the Synthroid. This is why your doctor said not to switch brands. See if he will order thyroid test(s) for you. I know the pharmacy can't switch brands if the doctor specifies that on the prescription. You might want to check to see if your insurance will cover the Synthroid if he does prescribe that way."

Erin,

Thanks for the reply. I will for sure get my doctor to order tests for me. I will tell him how I have been more tired than usual and it seems it happened right after my insurance switched me.

------------------

"My insurance company did the same to me and told me it was exactly the same. I switched and it threw my health into a tailspin that I'm still dealing with. After some research as to why I am so much more tired, foggy and fatter, I discovered there is a difference. I asked the doctor to put a "no substitutions" order on my Synthroid prescription. He did, so I've been back on Synthroid for about 3 months but don't feel much better yet...

There are people who do better on the levothyroxine than on the Synthroid. There are those who swear by Armour and don't do well with the others. It seems to be a very individual thing."

Lisabob,
Yep. My insurance company told me it was the same also. I guess they rather send the cheaper brand...less money out of their pot. I am surprised insurance cos. can get away with that but I guess that is better than declining the synthroid all together. And now I received a letter from them telling me that norvasc has a lesser priced generic brand. So I guess eventually, they may do the same with norvasc.

You switched back three months ago and you're still tired? Oh my, I wonder how long it will take for me to get back to normal. That is just awful. Thanks for all your info. Good luck to you too!

 
Old 09-19-2006, 10:45 AM   #5
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Re: Synthroid versus Levothyroxine (generic)

The same thing could happen if they had decided to switch you to a different brand name as well. I have read indications the level of levothoroxine is higher in Synthroid than in the Levothroid I take, for example.

The generics get the same scrutiny from FDA as the brand names, but one generic is not equal to another generic either. Hence, your doc could finally get you leveled with the generic you are getting now, then you get yet another generic and have to start all over again. The only way to avoid that is to get the doctor to put his foot down and order no switch. Then you hope the insurance company will pay their share.

I am fortunate in that respect. My insurance covers Synthroid or Levothroid and the pharmacy (it's an HMO) will not switch without a doctor's order. Although the cost to them may vary, I pay $15 for 90 pills, no matter which brand my doctor prescribes or what strength.

Products such as Armour are not covered at all, however, so those who want that sort of treatment would need to go elsewhere and pay full price.


You can read what the American Thyroid Association has to say about switching thyroid brands here: [url]http://www.thyroid.org/patients/QandA/060227thyroxine.html[/url]

Last edited by ErinBeth; 09-19-2006 at 11:17 AM.

 
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