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scoot 11-11-2005 01:14 PM

the many forms of levothyroxine
the more i learn, the more confused i get.

i was on levothyroxine - which i was calling synthroid, cuz its just a brand name - and i'm still waiting to hear back from my doc becuase he took me off it cuz he thinks i was having side effects.

i just found out that for hypothyroidism, the only medication IS levothyroxine - or any of the brand name forms of it. is this correct? and if so, what the heck am i going to do now?

can anyone shed some light on this for me?

Meep 11-11-2005 02:31 PM

Re: the many forms of levothyroxine
[QUOTE=scoot]the more i learn, the more confused i get. [/quote]

HAng in there, it is an overwhelming amount to learn, but once you start getting it, all the pieces come together and it will make more sense to you. Learing must be done in baby steps, and so must our healing. Expecting overnight results is setting yourself up for disappointment.

[quote]i just found out that for hypothyroidism, the only medication IS levothyroxine - or any of the brand name forms of it. is this correct? and if so, what the heck am i going to do now?[/QUOTE]

That is flat-out false. There are four main types of thyroid medications, three of which are synthetic, and one of which is natural.

1. Levothyroxine - Synthetic T4 only --preferred or even considered the "only" med for hypothyroidism by many not-so-smart doctors. (Includes brands such as Synthroid, Unithroid, Levoxyl, levothroid, Eltroxin and others depending on where you live)

2. Liothyronine - Synthetic T3 only --rarely used and shamefully overlooked way to add T3 to a patient's regimin. (only one brand name is available: Cytomel)

3. Dessicated Thyroid - Natural T3/T4 Combination --Excellent and very stable, but most doctors think of this and outdated and no longer useful. (Brand names includ Armour Thyroid, Parke-Davis Thyroid, Biothroid, Westhroid, Naturethroid, and thyroid)

4. Liotrix - Synthetic T3/T4 combination --not as stable as the dessicated thyroid, this has to be refrigerated to retain its potency. It is not as popular as the natural ones for this reason, but some doctors may prefer it because they mistakenly think a synthetic will be more stable than a natural product. (Brand names Thyrolar and Liotrix)

GoodThoughts 11-11-2005 02:50 PM

Re: the many forms of levothyroxine
As always, you have great info Meep!

I'd just like to also mention that just because you may react to one kind of synthetic T4 (levothyroxine), doesn't mean you'll have the same reaction to all of them. Some of us have problems with various fillers and dyes that are used in one brand of drug, but can take another brand because the fillers and dyes are different. For example, some brands have lactose or use dyes that contain sulfites and switching to a brand that doesn't have these has helped some folks. Also, if I remember correctly, all brands of the 50 mcg dose are dye-free.

scoot 11-11-2005 02:59 PM

Re: the many forms of levothyroxine
wow. thank you for the helpful info.

now can i bother you both with one more question?......

since hashi's is autoimmune, i've heard its not ideal to go on dessicated thyroid.


muchly appreciated

Changedusername 11-11-2005 03:40 PM

Re: the many forms of levothyroxine
Dessicated thyroid, or Armour as its most popular brand, helps millions of people still with autoimmune thyroid problems. Its really the doctors call and a matter of what your tests look like. Cause Armour has T3 AND T4, docs tend to prescibe it when your Free T3 is really low in addition to your Free T4 being low.

Its the Age Old question of Armour Vs. Synthroid. Some docs refuse to use Armour cause they say its less accurate, less stable, should be refridgerated, etc. "They" maintain that Synthroid is chemically equivalent to the same T4 your body produces and because its made in a lab, it can be consistent each time. A pig's ground up and compressed thyroid gland, they maintain, may not be that consistent all the time but most people here tend to disagree and many folks love Armour.

browneyegurl 11-12-2005 06:24 AM

Re: the many forms of levothyroxine
Scoot, just wondered what kind of side effects you had. I tried Synthroid and stopped because of heart palps. Also tried Levoxyl a couple of times which really made me feel wacky.

scoot 11-12-2005 11:20 AM

Re: the many forms of levothyroxine
hi again

b.e. girl - i've always had heart palps and really cant tell if they're worse on levothyroxine. the event that is making my doctor question side effects is when i woke up at 1:30 a.m after sleeping a couple hours and my leg muscles were in spasms (?i'm not sure what the correct term is). they were contracting, releasing, contracting, releasing. it lasted 30 minutes. this is on 12.5mcg -the lowest dose possible.

when i was on a higher dose (75mcg) of the brand synthroid, after 3 days i woke up with terrible tachycardia and muscles all over my body going into spasms. that was really scary. the doc thinks that was too high a dose too soon.

so now i'm taking half of a half of the 25mcg. so its 6.25mcg approximately, cuz its impossible to get accurate when cutting them like this. i feel like i'm in a ridiculous situation and i'm really frustrated. we're not positive if the other night was a side effect of the levothyroxine now, or low magnesium, which my blood shows i'm low, or maybe low calcium, cuz i'm just on the brink of the low range.

too many variables. i'm going nuts.

sorry you asked? :p

thanks all

merrillin 11-13-2005 07:36 AM

Re: the many forms of levothyroxine
Before I had my thyroid out I could take no thyroid meds without problems. I tried Armour and Synthroid. Now with that thing gone I am able to take 225 of Synthroid and 12.5 of Cytomel. With hashi's it is very hard to take meds because your hormones fluctuate so wildly. Best of luck friend!


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