In the next few days I will be starting a petition regarding Synthroid. I also will be starting another petition regarding Armour, Nature-throid. Things are getting kind of scary for us thyroid sufferers. The FDA and government need to hear us!!!!! Send letters and sign petitions!!!! As soon as I have them up I will post!
I have so many friends that feel sick just on Synthroid. I have some friends that have switched from Synthroid to Armour and were doing fine, but now feel horrible. They feel bad because the makers of Armour…Forest Pharmaceuticals reformulated the mdeicine with no warning. Now they have a ton of complaints that the medicine is no longer working. They also claim that a main ingredient of the medicine is on backorder. What is the truth here? These people have now switched from Armour to Naturethroid. They started feeling better but now Naturethroid is on backorder! A consiracy? Who knows. People please write these companies and tell them of your complaints. They need to hear us. They have bought our doctors. Please speak up.
I am at the point of hating hypothyroidism. I get to the point where I am brave enough to try Armour or Naturethroid…and all of a sudden everything is on backorder. I seriously believe the Armour reformulation is a scam and a conspiracy. The FDA, government, doctors, and pharmacists want us all to switch to T4 only meds…Synthroid. Lets be honest. How many of us actually feel well on Synthroid. I have been on it for at least 3 years and have not felt good…ever. Why switch Armour if it was working for so many. Hell, there was website dedicated to Armour and natural thyroid meds. Its depressing how we as patients are being treated. Naturethroid is now on backorder. This is not fair at all. There are now thousands of people being bounced between medicines. These people are feeling miserable. I feel for them because they tasted what it felt like to feel well. Please complain to all the companies involved, the FDA and any doctors or pharmacies. Tell them your concerns. My true thought here is that the government and the drug companies want us on T4/Synthroid. The reason for this is becuase if we are on Synthroid or T4 only meds..well we are probably feeling anxiety, depression and other things. If we are having these feelings then the doctor can then prescribe depression medicine as well as anti-anxiety medicines. Score for the companies. They will make more money off of us at the expense of our well-being. The government wins because they have a bunch of drugged-up people who will not complain no matter what the government does.
Think about it people…its scary! Fight for your rights because we are losing them slowly.
If you’ve been following along with this series on how Armour Thyroid Medication was reformulated, you’ll know that it came as a surprise to patients, including myself, that a medication could simply be reformulated without informing patients, physicians or pharmacists. So, to pick up after the last update, I had a resurgence of all the hypo-thyroid symptoms that I had previously been managing so well while on the naturally desiccated thyroid hormone, Armour Thyroid, and found out that Forest Laboratories, the drug company producing Armour Thyroid had changed the fillers. Since I was obviously not doing well on the new reformulation, the new task at hand became on what to do about replacing Armour Thyroid.
First of all, it’s not that easy to change medications. Especially, if you’re taking a naturally desiccated or non-synthetic thyroid hormone. Most doctors, especially if they don’t have a good understanding of thyroid issues, or simply believe everything that their drug rep tells them, will prescribe a synthetic medication which contains only T4 hormone. Other synthetic hormone preparations may have only T3, but the bottom line is that your body produces both T3 and T4, so many thyroid patients will do better taking a medication that more closely resembles the hormones that your body would produce naturally if it could do so. The other argument that some medical practitioners use is that they will tell patients that it is perfectly acceptable to take a synthetic T4 hormone supplement only because the thyroid gland will convert some of the synthetic T4 to T3. This is a problem for many of us with thyroid disorders because if you are relying on an already malfunctioning thyroid gland to do conversions of hormones for you, it can be problematic to expect that you will get the proper conversions with a thyroid gland that is not working optimally. Not to mention the fact if you talk to a group of thyroid patients, most likely the ones most satisfied with their treatment are those who are taking non-synthetic type/s of hormone replacement. Not all, because the thyroid is a complex organ, and of course, everyone’s body is different, thus the need to adjust dosages and pay attention to patient’s symptoms. But most patients I have interviewed and the thousands of news group postings online seem to reflect a common denominator in that most will feel much better by taking a naturally desiccated thyroid hormone.
Alright, we’ll talk more about the different types of naturally desiccated thyroid hormones in another segment, but for this time, we’re going to focus on Nature-Throid™. After finding out that the thyroid medication that I relied on every day to keep me functioning no longer worked, I got busy and found that there were many thyroid patients who were switching over to Nature-Throid. So I called my pharmacists and explained the situation and found out that because Nature-Throid and Armour are essentially the same active ingredients, that they could most likely just refill my prescription with Nature Throid without my having to schedule another doctor’s visit. My pharmacy actually ended up making a call to my doctors office for me and my doctor just went ahead and wrote out a new prescription and faxed it to the pharmacy and I was able to pick up my new Nature-Throid medication the very next day. It took some adjustment in order to get my dosage correct. Even though theoretically, the Nature Throid is the same “active” ingredients because it has different fillers my body does process it differently and I am now taking 1/4 of a grain less than what I was taking using the Armour Thyroid. But so far, it’s been a few weeks and things are finally getting back to normal in terms of my energy, memory and other symptoms. And no more headaches which is great.
As always if you’re on any type of medication, make sure to listen to the signals your body is telling you and don’t ignore any new side effects even if you think that it “couldn’t be an issue with your medication” because you’ve taken it for years.
And no, there’s not a mis-spelling with the words “Nature-Throid” . The “y” has been left off the word Thyroid, so please make note of this if you’re trying to have your pharmacy order it in for you if it is not in stock and you want to try it as an alternative to Armour Thyroid.
When Forest Labs changed how Armour Thyroid Medication was formulated, there apparently was no announcement made to physicians, pharmacists or patients taking the drug. Forest has not responded to my request for information or an interview regarding this issue although their Pharmaceutical Customer Service Telephone Number (866-927-3260) states that there are “unexpected production delays” with certain strengths of Armour Thyroid.
When my hypo-thyroid symptoms re-appeared after getting my thyroid prescription refilled, and it was the second time that this had happened, I went online to research possible causes. And imagine my amazement when I discovered I was not the only one having difficulty with the new Armour. I found hundreds of other patients with similar stories reporting brain fog, tiredness, muscle and joint pain, hair falling out, feeling cold, weight gain. All symptoms I was all too familiar with and which were associated with improper levels of thyroid hormone in my body.
According to sources who have been able to speak to someone at Forest Labs, the laboratory changed the fillers in Armour Thyroid. The changes that were reported to have been made include the following: increasing cellulose (this has made Armour more difficult to dissolve), and reducing the amount of dextrose (which was the ingredient which gave it a slightly sweet taste). The “active component” of Armour has said to have remained the same.
Why you must stay vigilant regarding any medications that you take: Medications are made up of “active ingredients” which is the actual part of the tablet containing the specific “medicine” and in-active ingredients which can be flavors, fillers, and dyes. This is why you may have a brand name medication that is similar to a generic version of a drug, but generic versions may work differently for individuals. Because all of us are unique in how we respond to medications, certain fillers or non-active components of a medicine may help or hinder your body from absorbing or responding to a particular medication. That is one reason why in certain cases some physicians will not allow substitution of a generic drug for a brand name, or perhaps vice-versa. In the case of the Armour reformulation it has nothing to do with generic vs. brand names but it is important to understand how fillers, dyes and flavors can effect your response to a medication. From the hundreds of e-mails I’ve received from thyroid patients who had read my first post regarding Armour Thyroid’s reformulation it appears that there are many of us whose bodies are not responding properly to the medication change.
If you are taking Armour Thyroid and have comments about this issue please enter your thoughts below. Let me know if you are experiencing any problems or if the medication is still working for you. One way to tell if you have the “old” Armour or new formulation is that the old formulation had a stronger smell, whereas the new one is less pungent. If you’ve taken Armour before you will understand.
In the next installment, I’ll explain what thyroid medication I am now using, and the good news is that I am slowly getting back to my old self, and the hypo-thyroid symptoms are slowly disappearing.
Thyroid Medication Reformulation – Some Patients Report Armour Thyroid No Longer As Effective
Patients taking the thyroid medication Armour Thyroid, which is a naturally desiccated thyroid hormone drug, are reporting problems with the medication after the manufacturer, Forest Laboratories, changed some of the fillers of the medicine.
What was reportedly changed: According to Forest Labs the only thing that has changed in the new formulation of Armour is the fillers. More specifically they say that they have increased the amount of cellulose, added cornstarch and decreased the amount of dextrose in the Armour Thyroid tablets. Unfortunately, for many thyroid patients, this change has resulted in patients reporting that their hypothyroid symptoms, or problems with too little thyroid hormone, have returned when they receive their new prescriptions filled with the new formulation of Armour.
We’ll talk more about this in upcoming articles, but what was most striking maybe the fact that I cannot find any announcements to physicians, pharmacists, or even the general public from the manufacturer, Forest Labs, advising anyone that the medication was changed.
Can you imagine how it feels to be taking the very same medication you had been taking for months or years and suddenly having symptoms start returning and then calling your doctor or pharmacist and being told that “everything is the same” with your medication when it’s not?
Stay tuned as we’ll share the story of one of our readers who had that very same experience. Thyroid medication can sometimes take months to regulate, and once you are on an optimum dose it gives many patients the feeling of having their energy and sense of self back. To suddenly lose this with no warning and then perhaps worst of all to be told that it is “all in your head” when there is really something changed with your medication is not a good thing. Another reason, dear readers, to trust your judgment when it comes to your body, your medications, and how you feel. More on Armour Thyroid and our reader’s stories coming up soon.
April, 2003 — Israeli experts have found that as many as half of all patients experiencing unipolar and non-psychotic major depression do not respond to initial selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant treatment. As a result, the researchers have developed a formula of progressively increased doses of prescribed antidepressant drug, usually Prozac (fluoxetine). And those who are unresponsive also receive triiodothyronine (T3), from 25 to 50 micrograms per day.
In research reported on in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 81 patients were started on fluoxetine 20 mg; and 9 patients received paroxetine, and at four weeks, 74 completed treatment, and at that time, 44 0– or 48.9% — responded to the regimen. An additional 5 patients (16.6%) responded when the SSRI dose was raised to 40 mg two weeks. Patients who did not respond to SSRI treatment were evaluated at the onset to be far more depressed.
T3 was added, and found to be effectiver among 10 out of 16 women patients (62.5%), but was not effective in any of the 9 male patients who received it. Although values were within the normal range, patients who responded to T3 had higher serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels than those who did not.
The researchers speculate that the effect of T3 may be related to thyroid function even within the normal range.
Source: “Algorithm-based treatment of major depression in an outpatient clinic: clinical correlates of response to a specific serotonin reuptake inhibitor and to triiodothyronine augmentation” Int J Neuropsychopharmacology 2003;6:41-49.