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    Old 09-24-2007, 07:17 PM   #1
    Starfish564
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    Question Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    I am considering going on Armour and am wondering a few things.

    1.) How often do those of you on Armour get your TSH tested by your doctor?

    2.) Has anyone ever tried a generic form of Armour (like from an online pharmacy)? If so, were the results comparable to the brand name?

    I'm not asking for names of places to get this, just any experiences you may have had with Armour or it's generic.

    Thank you!

    Starfish

     
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    Old 09-24-2007, 08:23 PM   #2
    midwest1
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    Re: Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    I take Armour. I've been stabile on one dose for almost 3 years. As he was titrating my dose, my MD tested every 6-8 weeks at first. When I was feeling somewhat better, he then tested every 3 months, then every 6. I was last tested in June, and he said he'd see me in a year, unless I need him sooner. Unlike most MDs, he tests TSH only because my insurer expects him to. However, he bases the dose on free T4/T3 plus symptoms, because he knows that Armour generally will suppress TSH. Therefore, it's an unnecessary level to know.

    I was once unknowingly given generic Armour by the pharmacy at refill time. I didn't notice that it wasn't Armour until 3 weeks after I began taking it. During that time, I felt no difference between it and genuine Armour; but I have to wonder whether my experience would have been the same if I had tried taking it for 3 months or longer. At the next refill, I went back to the 'real deal' and have no desire to try anything else. Three major endocrine societies say that it's a bad idea to switch once you become stabile on one brand/type of med. I don't wish to tempt fate.

    I will offer you some unsolicited advice... take it for the 2¢ it's worth. If you're thinking of self-treating, I hope you will reconsider the wisdom of it. My mother suffered a stroke shortly after beginning thyroid treatment. I have little doubt that her quack of an MD either started her on too high a dose or increased it too fast, which caused the heart arrhythmia that led to her stroke. I know firsthand how risky the wrong dose can be, so I urge you to undertake treatment only with the help of a skilled thyroid professional.

    Last edited by midwest1; 09-24-2007 at 08:24 PM.

     
    Old 09-25-2007, 06:38 AM   #3
    Suey77
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    Re: Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    After 15 months of "traditional" Thyroid medicine (Levoxyl / Cytomel), I didn't like how I felt or the quality of my life. So I asked for Armour last May. Best decision that I've had to fight for. My TSH is being tested every 8 weeks now. I'll presume that it will stretch out to 3 months, then 6 when my Doctor is happy with my levels , , ,

    Honestly, I didn't know there was a generic to Armour. But I'd be willing to try it

     
    Old 09-25-2007, 08:48 AM   #4
    SHMILY
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    Re: Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    Armour is so cheap that I wouldn't even think about taking a chance with the generic. If I didn't have ins. mine would cost about $15 mo. With my co-pay I pay $5.

     
    Old 09-25-2007, 09:48 AM   #5
    midwest1
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    Re: Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    Good point, Shmily.
    My insurance pays far better on the generic; but even with the much higher co-pay on Armour, it still costs me a mere $7-8 a month. Definitely not worth switching to generic.

     
    Old 09-25-2007, 05:12 PM   #6
    Starfish564
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    Re: Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    Thanks for the advice. Midwest: I would love nothing more then to find a supportive, informed doctor who would treat me and monitor my results. The reality of my situation, however, is that there are no such doctors in my area. Believe me, I've looked. As it is now, I have been seeing an MD who specializes in Natural Medicine (and so, is more open minded) located THREE HOURS from my home. This makes frequent office visits nearly impossible since a visit there requires me to take a whole day off work, which I am unable to do. Luckily this doc allows me to have phone appointments. A better option but expensive due to long distance charges. It was this doctor who finally diagnosed (or more like agreed with my self diagnosis) of Wilson's Syndrome. I'm not sure if you are familiar with this, as many people (including doctors) are not.

    I have done many cycles of the Wilson's treatment method, which consists of taking pure T3 at 12 hour intervals. So believe me, I am well aware of the side effects of thyroid meds, cardiovascular and otherwise.

    I do agree with you completely that it is risky to self treat, but after a certain point of unending frustration with doctors not giving you what you need, you can't blame a person for considering it.

    I'm open to suggestions.

    Thanks,

    Starfish

     
    Old 09-26-2007, 10:40 AM   #7
    midwest1
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    Re: Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    Yes, I've heard of Wilson's. Not sure I buy the theory. That aside, I fully understand people's need to self-treat. But it scares the wits out of me, and I don't think I'll ever get to the point where I condone it.

    Still... If you go that route, do it sensibly. Start on a minimal dose and increase it only after having free T4 and free T3 tests run. Have the blood drawn before taking that day's dose. Once the FTs get to 50% of their ranges, assess your symptoms. If only a few linger and they seem minor, consider waiting before increasing the dose to see if time alleviates them. Never let the FTs exceed 75% of their ranges without an MD's supervision.

    The phone consult system sounds like a great idea in your case. Please, please go that route before attempting to DIY'ing it completely.
    Good luck!

     
    Old 09-26-2007, 04:12 PM   #8
    Starfish564
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    Re: Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    Thanks Midwest. You sound like you know your stuff. How long have you had thyroid issues?

    As for Wilson's, I know it's controversial. I don't know if I fully buy the theory either, but am willing to try anything. This was under a doctors supervision. At this point I am probably full out hypo now anyway since my TSH has been steadily rising. Thankfully this new doc (who treated me for Wilson's) believes more in looking at how you feel rather then numbers on a test. She had told me that anything over 2 is high. For what it's worth my TSH is 4.35.

    That said, I really don't place much confidence in tests anymore, just because when it comes to thyroid issues, you can have perfect "numbers" and still feel like crap.

    All I know is that there is still something wrong, and I will continue to seek a solution. Hopefully that will come under the supervision of a doctor. I'll be setting up a phone appointment ASAP. *fingers crossed*

    Thanks again. I appreciate your knowledge on the subject.

    Starfish

     
    Old 09-27-2007, 09:25 AM   #9
    TinyTot2
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    Re: Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Starfish564 View Post
    I am considering going on Armour and am wondering a few things.

    1.) How often do those of you on Armour get your TSH tested by your doctor?

    2.) Has anyone ever tried a generic form of Armour (like from an online pharmacy)? If so, were the results comparable to the brand name?

    I'm not asking for names of places to get this, just any experiences you may have had with Armour or it's generic.

    Thank you!

    Starfish
    I used to take Armour alone (now I take it along with additional Synthroid), but my thyroid has never been regulated, so I'm pretty much tested every 2 - 4 months. Sucks big time. And, the Armour isn't causing that. It was the same way when I was on Synthroid alone.

    Generic Armour does NOT work for me at all. There came a time where I was taking Armour, and then switched to the generic. The dose didn't change or anything. My Hashi's symptoms started getting worse and worse even though my labs looked alright.

    That's just my experience, though.

     
    Old 09-27-2007, 09:39 AM   #10
    MJHunter
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    Re: Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    I am not taking Armour....I do have an inactive thyroid and have been told of a tea that I can drink that will totally detoxify my body along with many other fantastic results and others on this tea have gotten off their thyroid meds....I am just getting started with it for my thyroid and blood pressure and weight loss....would like to get off those meds too and many others on this tea have gotten off their blood pressure meds too...weight loss has been a blessing for many on this tea....I will let you know how I do on the tea with my thyroid, blood pressure and weight loss.

    Many Blessings Always,
    MJHunter

     
    Old 09-27-2007, 10:48 AM   #11
    midwest1
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    Re: Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    MJ... I wish you luck with your "tea". But I have to tell you that thyroid dysfunction has nothing at all to do with "toxins".

    Low thyroid in the majority of cases is caused by a malfunctioning immune system, which starts to manufacture antibodies against the thyroid tissue. The dying gland can no longer produce enough hormone to satisfy the body's needs, and the only way to get more hormone is to take it in pill form. It's the same situation as a type I diabetic whose pancreas can't produce enough insulin; replacing that insulin is their only option. Replacing thyroid hormone is the only viable option for moderate to severe hypothyroidism.

     
    Old 09-27-2007, 11:51 AM   #12
    parcarp
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    Re: Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    Hi,
    I have been on Armour generic now for 4 years I think? I don't have any problems with it, and didn't notice a change from the name brand Armour at all. It controls my Hashimoto's just fine!

    Just like trying to figure out if Synthroid or Armour is better, you have to try it to find out...depending on what your endo likes to keep your numbers at too makes a difference because some people respond better to one or the other, so you need a medical guidance on it.....

    If you DON'T have an endo and a PCP is prescribing I suggest you find an endo, even if you have to drive for one that is good....I live in Michigan so if you are anywhere near or far of Ann Arbor Michigan and want a good one, you can seek out mine, let me know I will give you his name and number. Takes a while to get in to see him but he is wonderful....saved my life! I not only have Hashimotos I also had Thryoid cancer, he found AFTER the Hashimoto's dx. He has been ever so careful with me since surgery, but lets me call the shots on my care, what works best, etc. Of course I get his input for it all.......we now only have a yearly "anniversary date", (I go see him 1 time a year after an ultrasound check up) and we review everything, he looks at me blood levels, says "well, your levels are kinda low but how do you feel?" I say great, he says great! Out the door I go with another years prescription!

    It is worth it to have the right doctor for the right treatment for the right condition...Never settle for less!
    Paulette

     
    Old 09-28-2007, 06:14 PM   #13
    Starfish564
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    Re: Need advice from anyone taking Armour...

    Thanks for the advice to everyone who has posted Paulette, unfortunately I do not live near Michigan, but it is great you have such a wonderful doc. We should all be so lucky. My problem in dealing with doctors of traditional medicine is, I am not "technically" considered hypothyroid by their standards. Tell that to my symptoms.

    Anyway, I will try my best to be treated by a doctor, but as a last resort would consider self treating. This is basically what I've done in the past for Wilson's Syndrome, as my doc is located in another state. She prescribed the meds, but I was pretty much on my own.

    As far as generic Armour, I only asked because this is easier to get online. I would very much prefer getting a legitimate prescription since then there would be no question of effectiveness. I also have great insurance so cost isn't the problem. Even with no Rx I know that thyroid meds are cheap.

    All of that said, ultimately everyone responds differently to different meds. I guess it's just trial and error. Still nice to hear other people's experiences though. So thanks guys

    Starfish

     
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