It's not just a rumor this time. Armour Thyroid is refurbishing its equipment and is completely suspending the manufacture of one or two dosages at a time temporarily. After that particular equipment gets up and running again, other dosages will be temporarily suspended. There is a definite scarcity of the 120s at the moment, as well as the other dosages that people are presumably taking more of to make up their particular dose.
I've been scrambling like a madwoman trying to find enough product to refill my prescription, which will run out in just over two weeks. I finally found an online service that claims to have some 90s and 30s that I hope to combine to make my needed dosage. Am praying they still have some left by the time my written script gets to them.
My doctor told me that one patient went to refill, and the pharmacist told her he was out of product and she should go without it for a couple of weeks until he could find more. The silly woman did that, instead of demanding he find some ASAP, or at least checking other retailers! So... This is not to scare anyone... Just a cautionary note. If you will need a refill within a short time, start looking now. Do what you have to so you won't have to go without.
The supplier who told me they had 90s and 30s turned out not to have any dosages at all. By the time I mailed them the script, they notified me they couldn't fill it after all, and the script was returned, another 7 days of search time had passed.
I got the script back yesterday and started my morning off by calling all my neighborhood drugstores in order to find enough med to fill at least 1 month's supply. Eureka!!! Target said they have "plenty" of 60s. "Plenty" turned out to be exactly 177 tablets. I paid cash instead of going through insurance so that I could get more than 30 days at a time and took all they had on hand. (Paying cash made the most sense anyway, because my co-pay ends up being more than the cost of the med itself. )
During my search, I had a couple of pharmacists tell me that Armour is going out of production. This is patently NOT true. I corrected them in the hope that they will stop spreading the falsehood. If it happens to you, don't panic. I suggest you correct their error too.
Here is some official information I found about the status of the various dosages, dated June 16, 2008:
15 mg (1/4 grain) -- still in production, still available
30 mg (1/2 grain) -- still in production, still available
60 mg (1 grain) -- still in production, still available
90 mg (1 ½ grains) -- back order, releasing to wholesalers and distributors July 9th
The dosages you'll have trouble finding include:
120 mg -- not in production, release expected Oct. 08
180 mg -- not in production, release expected Oct. 08
240 mg -- not in production, release expected Oct. 08
300 mg -- not in production, release expected Oct. 08
If the pharmacy must combine lower dosages in order to fulfill your needs, be sure to have your doctor note on the prescription that this will be allowed. Otherwise, you'll lose precious time while they check with the doctor by phone to OK the change.
For those who want to switch from a levothyroxine product to Armour ~~ It's my hope that out of consideration for those of us who already use it and are having trouble finding it, you would postpone your switch until after October so that the already short supplies won't worsen and make it harder for present users to find what they need.
Glad you were able to get it. I'm SERIOUSLY thinking of paying cash for my next one, knowing the Doc will up my dose in late July. (so I can have some spares) Don't know what dose you take, but if its 3 grains - you almost have a 2 month supply
Originally Posted by midwest1
(Paying cash made the most sense anyway, because my co-pay ends up being more than the cost of the med itself. )
Don't get me started ! basically I pay for 2/3 of my Armour, which is cheaper than brand Levoxyl by $5-7 (or more?) monthly. But If I took Levoxyl, I'd pay less than 1/4 of the total cost while it costs MORE than Armour. (because its NOT on someones GOOD list - I pay more!) But my insurance WILL pay $200+ monthly for my toe fungus med with only $5 co-pay
Be VERY CAREFUL if you take the 90 mg armour thyroid tablet. I developed severe HYPERthyroidism with all the awful symptoms when I was put on 2 a day 90 mg to replace the 180 mg tablet which had worked so well. Talked to Forest Labs and there may be a bad batch or manufacturing defect in this dosage (and perhaps others). I'm back on Synthroid and feel wonderful again. I did great on the 180 mg, and perhaps the smelly ones were the best. They might be having difficulties manufacturing the non-smelly new tablets.
Last edited by moderator2; 07-31-2008 at 05:10 AM.
Reason: unnecessary quote
Thanks for posting your experience, ese. It's very helpful to know these things ahead of time, so we can be prepared.
So... Are you saying that this whole fiasco rooted in the company's revamp of the process to eliminate the smell of the product??? Really??? What stupidity. I hadn't heard that part. I just checked my new bottle of pills, which I haven't yet tapped into. Thankfully, it has that characteristic odor I've come to know and love. So hopefully, I'll have no dosage problems with them.
So, how did you handle the overdosage from the "new" 90s? Did you have to go on a mission to find a lower dosage?
Midwest, it's just a guess on my part that with, as you stated, 1) so many dosages not available at this time and they are refurbishing their equipment (why???), 2) that I was told by a man in production at Forest labs that they were having manufacturing difficulties with the 180 mcg so took it off the market (though he didn't mention all the other dosages you mentioned), 3) the fact that I suddenly went from feeling pretty strong and terrific (65 year old walking 10 to 20 miles a day on the treadmill) to wacko and utterly exhausted when I started on 2 x 60 mg Armour instead of 120 (not 180 as I wrote below).... OK, with all this in mind and knowing I did fine on Armour 120 mg for a long time, it's just an educated guess that they are having problems getting the dosages right in this new white, non-smelly formula. Hey, guys, bring back the stinky dead pig thyroid! It worked!
First thing I did when I saw my TSH was .02 was to stop taking anything until my body cleared the stuff out. So no more night sweats or feeling muddle headed, weird and wired, but in a 75 degree room my fingers turned white, felt frozen and nails turned blue!
Then when I saw my doctor a few days after getting test results, he put me back on 150 mcg Synthroid (not generic though I've done fine in the past on generic). In the most recent past, I've been on 120 mg Armour dose, equivalent to 200 mcg lovothtyroxine (according to the Armour/Synthroid dose table on the treatment tab on the Armour site).
I'm much better, close to normal, though I'm sitting in a room that is 79 and feeling like I'd like a light sweater on. So 6 weeks from July 25 when I started on the Synthroid 150 mg I'll take another test, and make sure they include T3 and T4 this time, which they forgot to do last month. My guess the results will indicate my dosage should be raised a bit, probably back up to the 200 mcg which would be equivalent to the 120 mg of the old Armour formula.
Looking back at past tests, strangely my T3 remains solidly in normal territory, T4 has been normal all but one year, but TSH swing wildly from high to low. Go figger!
A naturopathic physician originally put me on Armour a few years ago, and the story sounded good to me. But since my T3 remains in such rock solid normal territory, I at this time don’t want to use Armour as I do suspect they’ve messed up their product changing the formulation to make it look and smell pretty. I never had any problem with the generic levothyroxin, so I’m going to try that next month as my insurance doesn’t cover drugs if a generic equivalent is available.
I think my advice to anyone would be if you can’t find the smelly stuff, wait until Forest Labs gets this mess straightened out. Or we could all write them at once and beg them to bring back the smelly sand colored original formula!
Last edited by ese9264; 07-31-2008 at 03:05 PM.
Reason: corrected dosage equivalents, clarified changes
ese, I take the levothyroxin too, at the local Kmart pharmacy I can get a bottle of 90 for 15bucks. It's on their list of meds for that flat rate amount. I don't go through my co-pay, it's way too expensive if I just get the 30count. Just wanted to let you know. Also I had to get my doctor to call it in that I can take the generic before they could fill the prescription.
This just showed up as a banner on the Armour Thyroid site:
Armour® Thyroid is currently in back order on some strengths due to a process change in manufacturing.
Please check Armour® Thyroid availability at your local pharmacy or
call Forest Laboratories Customer Service at 1-800-678-1605 if you require further information.
Again, in my opinion I wouldn't take the new white non-smelly formulation until I had a lot of proof that they've gotten the formulation corrected. I'm feeling much better on Synthroid, and may just stay on it since my T3 is consistently quite normal. ESE9264
Umpphh.... Makes a patient feel so disregarded. When I think of the number of times I defended this product against slander and slurs... !! Of all meds... thyroid meds are among the ones with the lowest tolerance for potency variations, and I'm sure the company suits know that. I wonder how many folks have gone hyper and suffered damage from it, like stroke. Talk about legal liability!
That stated, I began taking the new script I mentioned above - two 60's - around August 1. I have not noticed any difference in the way I felt previously taking one 120 and now. But -- You said something about the "new" formula being all but odorless. My tablets have the old "packing house" smell, so maybe they are older stock.
Your warning should be a valuable tool for me and anyone else reading this to watch for hyper symptoms when I refill again.... Especially if the next refill doesn't smell.