I have been untreated since Feb. I have antibodies for both Graves and Hashimotos. My symptoms are almost always hyper including the eye disease which comes as pain and aches for my eyes, but my labs are hypo. My TSH last month was 6.4 so I see my endo in a couple of weeks and I assume she will discuss treatment.
I have been reading about Armour lately and how to pil crumbles and it seems to be less effective. If treatment is now in the plan, I am thinking about asking for Nature-throid. I am partial to the natural dessicated treatment.
Is Nature-throid readily available in the pharmacy? Has anyone had trouble filling a Nature-throid prescription? I have read several people have troubles sometimes filling the Armour prescription.
Reports are mixed as to the availability of Nature-throid depending, it seems, on where in the country you are. I have it available at my local Walgreens in Arizona but some here have had a lot of difficulties getting it. And Armour seems to be hard to get no matter where you are, also with all the stuff Forest Labs has done to degrade their product, most are abandoning it.
Call around your local pharmacies and see what the availability looks like. You can also go to the RLC company website and find out more about the product. They claim they will drop-ship to any pharmacy nation-wide but some pharmacies won't use anything but their own distributers.
Also beware of Medco online pharmacy that many of us have to use for our insurance covered medications. They've recently released a statement to providers stating that natural thyroid hormones are "scarce" and they recommend doctors switch patients over to Levo-T. Obviously Big Pharma is in on this little act. Nature-throid is very inexpensive so even if your insurance won't cover it's not terribly bad (I just paid about $9 for 30 1 gr tablets-- I had to pay out of pocket because I was travelling and had to buy a month's supply before my insurance allowed)
I'm hypo too and have a lot of eye problems, which I've read can be caused by both hypo and hyper. Mine are painful, dry, and very light sensitive.
Good luck and hope you have good results with this. Just make sure your doc doesn't treat by your TSH levels alone. I'm up to 3 gr of NT and my last TSH was .02. The goal is to get the symptoms under control and get high-range FT3 and FT4 and not pay too much attention to TSH.
If I were you, I'd attempt to find Nature-throid before accepting an Armour script. Even though I had some trouble finding NT here in St. Louis, it was much easier than locating enough Armour to equal a dose. Besides, the Armour had become less effective for me anyway. Made the incentive to switch even greater.
I didn't find NT at Walgreen's here. They'd never heard of it and didn't want to bother finding it. I didn't find it at either of two major grocery chain pharmacies, both of which use the same distributor. Medicine Shoppe's distributor has only 1/4 grain pills left in stock, because they plan to discontinue it. Finally, I found it at a local mom and pop compounding pharmacy. They stock all the popular strengths and couldn't have given me better, more helpful service. Beats the "big name boys" all to heck. I would expect a big metropolis like San Diego would have a few compounding pharmacies, don't they?
If you absolutely can't find Nature-throid, and if you don't have major allergy issues with fillers, try looking for Westhroid, the non-hypoallergenic version of NT. As I understand it, Westhroid is prescribed by many veterinarians for hypoT pets... (Go figure - Dogs and cats have it better than us regular folks .) For that reason alone, it may be easier to find than Nature-throid. I would have tried finding that next if I hadn't found NT at the compounder.
What is a compounding pharmacy? I already feel worked up about not being able to obtain Nature-throid or possibly Armour. I don't even know if my endo will prescribe these yet, but I will find out on Aug. 20th. She seems reasonable when I met her the first time, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
A compounding pharmacy has raw ingredients that they can put together in a formulation for one's needs. They provide things like bio-identical reproductive hormones... stuff like that. They probably could even put T4 and T3 together in a capsule in a specific ratio. Thing is, I doubt that option would be as cheap as the $11 I spent for a month's worth of NT.
The pharmacy I found carries natural cosmetics and body care products, homeopathic remedies, etc. Sort of a "back to nature" drugstore. As popular as bioidentical hormones have become, I have little doubt there is at least one in your area.
You're right to have doubts about an endo prescribing natural hormones for you. Expect the best, but prepare for the worst.
I'll keep my fingers crossed, too.
I will just add that when I first went into my local Walgreens they didn't have Nature-throid either but I asked to speak with the pharmacist. I explained to him what the issues were with Armour and that I, as a local customer, would be needing a steady supply of Nature-throid from now on. He said his distributer had limited amounts and no 1/2 grains available but that he'd look into it. Now I can get 1gr and 2gr as needed. I guess it depends on the parmacist and how willing they are to work with you.
FWIW I know Mickey Fine's Pharmacy in Beverly Hills carries a good variety of thyroid meds and they ship outside their area. They also are a compounding pharmacy and are very nice people to deal with. I used them for many years when I lived in L.A.
I use Medco. I couldn't get Armour anymore, so my doctor switched me over to Naturethroid. Haven't had an issue getting it, but have only filled one 3 month supply, so it will be awhile before I need it filled again.
As always, I appreciate your time in answering my questions! I am feelin anxious not knowing what to expect.
Do you know a good endo in San Diego by any chance?? Everyone i've come across is unwilling to give me the proper testing; i have all the hypothyroid symptoms, but my tests are fine. Please help if you can!
There used to be a really sweet member on here named LisaBob....she was from San Diego area. You might want to PM her and see is she will share the name of her ENDO..... she seemed pretty happy with them. Or search her messages for her Doctor's name.
I am on Armour 4 Grains and have not had any problem getting it here where I live. I am fine on the new type. The only thing I notice is the smell of the pills is gone HURRAY. No problem with me with Armour.
I picked up my NT yesterday. My doc found a compounding pharmacy that could give me a 1/4 grain tab and a 1/2 grain tab. I used to have to take a whole Armour and then bite off half of another to get 45 mg. I take them sublingual and I'm happy to report there is no cardboard taste like the new Armour had. Now we'll see if my insurance will cover it. Mine was $12 a bottle. Maybe higher cost in NYC from the $9 someone said they paid.
i hate to interrupt the thread, i am new to this and love the fact that i have been able to find help on here. i have been able to post my reply to certain questions...but how do i post a question of my own? sorry again for interrupting...i have searched everywhere what am i missing? can someone help?
thanks so much for the response...but i don't have a place on the left hand side that says new thread..just post reply. so i guess i will just keep getting my research from other posts. it is a bit frustrating but maybe i will figure it out.
After reading everyone's post about Armour being hard to find. I called Forrest labs who makes it and talked to their Medical Affairs person. She did tell me if was on back order. ( I guess my pharmacy had a good stockpile). She also told me the Thyrolar2 is on backorder, that is the synthetic they make which is 1 :1 to Armour. I myself would want to go to Thyrolar2 if Armour would become unvailable to me but it looks like that may have problems too. I asked when they expected this to be straightened out and they said within 3 months. So I hope that is the truth.......Oleander
Oley, it's not necessarily the truth. You'll probably get a different answer from every person you talk to at the company, and none of them ever defines how long the "backorders" will last. They haven't been giving straight, honest answers for months, if not years. Thyrolar has been in and out of production more sporadically than Armour, and it continues to be. Mary Shoman (sp) has been scouting out the truth about all this and has some of it ferreted out. Check into that.