My dr. wants me to start adding T3, but due to my crappy insurance, my only choices are generics. Either generic Cytomel or generic Armour. I know generic Cytomel just came out and one of the companies is under investigation, but I didn't know if it was worth a try or if I should just switch over to generic Armour.
Opinion--when you compare generics to the original patented drug the difference will usually be the effective dose. The generic might give you a little more or less than the patent drug so all you have to do is adjust the dosage per the blood tests and your response to it.
Since the drug is T3 instead of T4 you will need to be more aware and responsive, though, especially if you're started on a too-high dose. It can take weeks to show signs of too much T4 but just a day or two to show you're getting too much T3. For that reason a T3 dose should start low and increase gradually as needed. Too much T3 can be dangerous but not enough will just make you hypo--chronic fatigue, hair loss, cold sensitive, etc.
Not enough info to answer that, Tigger. You mentioned your doctor is adding T3 which suggests you're probably taking T4 (Synthroid, levothyroxine, etc.). How much T4 have you been taking?
What prompted your doctor to add T3? Were you feeling hypo or were the blood tests not what he wanted for you?
I've read 25mg of T3 is roughly equivalent to 100mcg of T4. If you are very hypo the 25mg of T3 will bring you out of that pretty quickly, which is a good thing. But it might prove to be too much over the long haul. Monitor your pulse daily and let your doctor know if it increases suddenly. Mine will jump from 70 to 90 if I'm getting too much T4 or T3. It increases slowly with T4 but quickly with T3.
I've been on 100mcg synthroid for about 5 weeks (was increased from 88). I've been having major hypo symtpoms (fatigue, dizzy, constipation, brain fog, dry hair, losing hair) and my FT3 levels were on the low end of normal. Thanks for the tip. I just started this yesterday and my dr. said I wouldn't feel effects for a few weeks. I'm getting new bloodwork in 6 weeks.
25 mcgs is a high dose. I would start with a half of it tops - when I first started T3 I started with 5 mcgs and over there with more options (like 5 mcg pills ) some have started with 2,5. But if you're doing fine with 25 mcgs you can continue with it. Look out for HyperT symptoms though - if you start to have them cut the dose in half - 12,5 mcgs could possibly even be enough in the long run too. But you won't know until you try
FinnMaid's suggestion is good because it reduces the risk of going over to the hyper side. But, we don't know anything about your hormone levels and I assume your doctor does.
Is your doctor an endocrinologist?
I ask because it's a little bothersome that he would tell you not to expect results for a month or so. That would be true for an increase in Synthroid/T4 but T3/Cytomel goes to work much faster. You should feel the effects within a few days, IMO.
I'm also bothered by the suddenness of the increase in your thyroid drugs. Your doctor increased the T4 drug from 88 to 100mcg, an appropriate small step IMO. Now he's adding 25mg of T3 which is the near equivalent of 100mcg of T4, effectively doubling your thryoid hormone dosage! As I said that will bring relief from the hypo symptoms fairly quickly but introduces a risk of going hyper a few days after that. If I were in your shoes I'd probably take the 25mg of T3 for 2 or 3 days and then skip it for a day or two. Or, break a pill in half and take that for a week or so and see how you feel. Be sure to monitor your pulse, though.
Is your doctor adjusting your drugs based on bloodtests? If so, what are your TSH, T3 and T4 levels?
I was seeing an endo (he did the increase from 88 to 100), but I had a few bad experiences with him and his office, plus my insurance increased my co-pay for endos to $60, which I can't afford, so I'm now seeing a family GP. After seeing my latest bloodwork, he decided my FT3 was too low (which its was), so he prescribed the Cytomel. I've been taking it for 3 days now and I haven't noticed a huge difference, but I have felt a little less tired in the afternoon. No hyper symptoms at all right now.
These were my latest labs:
TSH .04 (.4-4.5)
FT4 1.2 (.8-1.8)
FT3 294 (230-420)
Unless that TSH number (.04) is a typo you are already quite suppressed. Point zero 4 is just one-tenth of the minimum at the bottom of the range, .4.
You need to be very careful at those levels, IMO. Remember that hyper and hypo share many of the same symptoms, including fatigue. For me I could tell where I was (hypo or hyper) by monitoring hair loss (none while hyper, lots when hypo), pulse (abnormally high while hyper) and heat or cold sensitivity. These factors might not be the same for you except perhaps for the pulse thing.
I had fatigue with both hypo and hyper, but I learned to tell the difference. It's nearly constant when hypo but would come on suddenly for no good reason when hyper, then go away within 15 or 20 minutes.
I hope you get this sorted out and feel better soon.
My TSH has been suppressed for over a year and I've never been hyper. I feel hot, but I've been hot natured my entire life. Even when the tsh is suppressed, my FT's have been on the low end, so I'm definately not hyper. I'm still hypo. If I lowered my dose I literally would not be able to function.
I also have Hashi's, so I'm going to feel some hyper symptoms anyway without actually being hyper.
I also have high cortisol, which can suppress tsh. That's not the level that's important. Lots of things can make that level fluctuate that aren't thyroid related.