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What's the difference between Levothyroxine

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Old 05-12-2006, 08:20 AM   #1
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Question What's the difference between Levothyroxine

and Synthroid? I dropped off my script and My Endo told me too make sure my pill always said Synthroid, and check mcgs, so I have been doing this, well I picked up my script last night, and they gave my Levo? What is the difference between the 2?

I called the pharmacy, and they noted there mistake on the script, as he makred No Substitutions.... just wondering what the diference is..

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Old 05-12-2006, 08:49 AM   #2
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ellie342 HB User
Re: What's the difference between Levothyroxine

They gave you the generic. It's not that one is better than the other, but that they can differ from each other in potency, sometimes by as much as 10%, which is enough to throw some people off, resulting in them becoming hypo or hyper. So if you are stable and well-adjusted on one brand, it is best to stick with that brand.


Old 05-12-2006, 09:08 AM   #3
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tawnyjade HB User
Re: What's the difference between Levothyroxine

I've been taking L-thyroxine since my TT in November 2005. My doctor said the same thing about making sure it is always the same brand, even if generic. When I went to Florida for my mom's thyroidectomy, and had to stay longer than planned (mom got an extra surgery a few days later), her doctor gave me samples of Synthroid. The pharmacy there didn't carry L-thyroxine, so I tried the samples.
I noticed a big difference the second day of taking it. I have a lot more energy, although still not enough. Other hypo symtoms aren't so bad either! I asked my pharmacist here if it could have anything to do with the Synthroid vs L-thyroxine? His answer was "Oh, yes! Even though they should be the same, thyroid hormones can vary up to 10% brand to brand/generic"!
So, maybe I am getting a larger dose without having to fight for it!
The different companies also use different fillers, so people handle those differently, too.

I still have a long way to go before I feel good, but this is a significant difference!

Old 05-12-2006, 11:12 AM   #4
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illmakeit HB User
Re: What's the difference between Levothyroxine

I have had two docs tell me to use synthroid only - the generic is "unreliable" and "it could come from honduras for all he knows" that "each pill of generic could be different, you might get 80 mcg today and 99 tomorrow" and that the pharmicist "makes more money from the generic, that's why they push it".

Synthroid has been known to have been "spiked" - have additional med in it than it says ( and it performs "better" than the same dose of a generic -as jade says, if you happen to need more). One FDA presentation says our docs want to know that switching products poses no patient risk. But obviously, if Synthroid contains more T4 than a generic yet it SAYS it is the same dose, this is WRONG to do. Of course, instead of being ok for you when you switch brands if you need more T4, it could be worse if you need less and throw you into hyper.

Public Meeting for Levothyroxine Sodium Therapeutic Equivalence
May 23, 2005, Washington, DC:
lots of presentations. I also found an article in the "Formularly Journal" about the levothyroxine spectrum: Bioequivalence and cost considerations
This was interesting:
Section E 2. Overages was interesting -the proposed shelf life should not depend on the existence of a stability overage. In other words, don't spike it! Make them like aspirin - all brands with the same amt of meds.

Pharmacist I asked last night about the $$ difference they make from synthroid/generic didn't know - but said they were TAUGHT that the generic was the same as the brand name.

In the end, when your doc gets your TSH or whatever he measures by, to where YOU feel normal, it shouldn't matter WHICH one you are taking - it is the right amount for YOU.

Does anybody really know?
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Last edited by illmakeit; 05-12-2006 at 02:19 PM.

Old 05-12-2006, 02:55 PM   #5
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Archie343 HB User
Re: What's the difference between Levothyroxine

A friend told me she could never get regulated until she switched to Synthroid. Then I learned my endo's policy is to prescribe Synthroid by name if the patient has/had cancer. Apparently he will Rx a generic for general thyroid issues but his insistence on the name brand for cancer patients suggests a belief in its superiority.

My first Rx was filled with a generic by mistake. My co-pay would have been a couple dollars for that. When I made them change it to Synthroid the price jumped, but only to about 9 dollars. It's worth the difference, IMO.

Old 05-12-2006, 07:53 PM   #6
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Re: What's the difference between Levothyroxine

for me L-T is 10 bucks, and Syntroid runs me 23 bucks... I talked too my pharmacist about this, and he just said that YRS ago it used too be that L-T varied in it's dosing, like not all the pills had the same dosage all the time. I got the problem fixed, and got my Syntroid..

Thanks everyone!

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