Which One Is Safer
In terms of side effects, either can cause symptoms of hyperthyroidism. These can include :
Change in appetite
Thyroid hormone can also potentially make liver disease worse if it already exists. In addition, some medications may slow the absorption of thyroid hormones, so you might have to take them at different times of the day.
Unfortunately, there have not been as many clinical studies on Armour Thyroid and other desiccated thyroid for treatment of hypothyroidism, so we dont know as much about it. As mentioned previously, it has not been approved by the FDA, which also means that labeling and dosages have not been thoroughly verified. There are currently no studies that support the use of desiccated thyroid over levothyroxine.
As such, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association do not recommend using desiccated thyroid hormone to treat any form of hypothyroidism. Additionally, desiccated thyroid or any medication that combines T3 and T4 hormones should not be used during pregnancy.
Lastly, there have been reports of people using either desiccated thyroid or levothyroxine to help with weight loss. Taking thyroid hormone when your levels are in normal range doesnt work for weight loss, and taking larger doses can cause serious side effects.
Tirosint Levothyroxine Gel Caps
Description: Tirosint is a newer thyroid medication that is a hypo-allergenic version of levothyroxine. I recently wrote an entire article focused on Tirosint. In my survey, 26 percent of respondents said they felt better taking Tirosint. Out of those that switched to Tirosint gel caps , 68 percent saw an improvement in their labs, 62 percent saw an improvement in energy levels, 32 percent an improvement in hair loss, and 50 percent saw an improvement in mood.
Because of how quickly and consistently Tirosint is absorbed, it has also been found to be a better option for people who have certain gastrointestinal challenges , who are taking antacids/acid blockers/PPIs, or who are otherwise experiencing low stomach acid.
Dose: Tirosint gel caps are available in 12 different dosage strengths, ranging from a 13 mcg dose to a 200 mcg dose. Because this medication is more readily absorbed than other forms of levothyroxine, some people may find that they require a smaller dosage of Tirosint to keep thyroid hormones within optimal range.
Just like with all T4 medications, the effectiveness of Tirosint may be impacted if a given individual is experiencing poor T4/T3 conversion. Here are some additional things to consider:
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Levothyroxine Vs Natural Desiccated Thyroid: What Is Right For You
Lets take a quick trip back in history to the late 1800s. It was a time when hypothyroidism was, for some patients, a fatal and untreatable condition. Those who survived still lived a life of fatigue, depression, weight gain, and dulled thinking and concentration.
Thats why it was so groundbreaking when in 1981, Dr. George Redmayne Murray began using an extract from the thyroid glands of sheep to treat the most severe cases of hypothyroidism successfully. Dr. Murrays lifesaving discovery eventually evolved into natural desiccated thyroid drugs. NDT, made from the desiccated thyroid glands of pigs, is still in use today as one treatment option for hypothyroidism. In the United States, the NDT brands available include Armour Thyroid, Nature-throid, WP Thyroid, and NP Thyroid.
Levothyroxine didnt come on the scene until the middle of the twentieth century. This synthetic form of the thyroid hormone thyroxine was touted as the modern treatment for hypothyroidism, casting NDT as old-fashioned and out-of-date. We currently have several levothyroxine brands available in the US, including Synthroid, Levoxyl, Unithroid, and Euthyrox tablets several generic manufacturers of tablets and Tirosint gel capsules and Tirosint-SOL oral solution.
Ahead, a look at why some doctors dont support treatment with NDT.
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What Should I Tell My Health Care Provider Before I Take This Medicine
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Addison’s disease or other adrenal gland problem
- dieting or on a weight loss program
- fertility problems
- take medicines that treat or prevent blood clots
- an unusual or allergic reaction to levothyroxine, thyroid hormones, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What Side Effects May I Notice From Receiving This Medicine
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- excessive sweating or intolerance to heat
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- swelling of ankles, feet, or legs
- weight loss
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Why Did Doctors Switch From Armour Thyroid To Synthroid
Desiccated thyroid extract was the original medication used to treat hypothyroidism.
During this time, thyroid hormones were not completely understood and there was a lack of reliable diagnostic tools to measure circulating levels in the blood.
This lead to the following problems:
- Difficulties determining the correct dose for the individual.
- Difficulties measuring the exact amount of T4 and T3 present in desiccated thyroid extract.
As a result, the dosage was often too high and serious side effects were often reported. Also, due to inconsistencies in the strength of medication, some people were not seeing any improvements.
Conversely, Synthroid was thought to offer a safe and consistent dosage. Two things lead to this switch:
Summary: Desiccated thyroid extract was the first type of medication used to treat hypothyroidism. Eventually, a synthetic T4 medication was created and found to be a safer and more effective option.
Currently Being Treated With Levothyroxine Sodium
Are you happy with your current therapy?
10-15% of patients complain about persistent symptoms of hypothyroidism when being treated with levothyroxine alone despite normal TSH and T4 levels6,10,11
Are you on adequate thyroid hormone replacement?
15% of patients placed on levothyroxine may stabilize their T4 levels but their T3 levels remain low12
It may be time to discuss other options with your healthcare provider!
Data suggests that 49% of patients prefer desiccated thyroid extract therapy to L-T4 alone and in the sub-group of patients with persistent symptoms, 78% of patients preferred desiccated thyroid therapy11,13
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to take yourNP Thyroid® tablet
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So What Do You Do Now If You Had Returned To Using Np Thyroid Since It Came Back Out Again
Still to this day for what appears to be the majority of hypothyroid patients, Armour desiccated thyroid is working . So is using synthetic T4 with synthetic T3. Examples of the two synthetics are Tirosint for T4, with Cytomel or Sigma Pharm for T3. Honestly, all the brands have worked.
BUT.we as patient learned that to make either work correctly, we have to have the following:1) The right amount of cortisol, otherwise we get hyper-like symptoms when raising. You can read this page to see clues that you might not have the right amount of cortisol. i.e. some levels being too low, others too high. All can cause hyperlike symptoms when raising a product with T3 in it. Its the results of pooling. 2) The right amount of iron levels, otherwise we get rising RT3 , an inactive hormone which can block us from achieving the right amount of T3. 3) Optimal free T4 and optimal free T3. Optimal is NOT midrange. Optimal is not below midrange. Optimal is not just slightly above midrange. Read the page on optimal.
Is Armour Thyroid The Same As Desiccated Thyroid
HypothyroidismthyroidthyroidDesiccated thyroidthyroidthyroiddesiccated thyroidArmour Thyroid
. Moreover, what is the generic for Armour thyroid?
About Armour ThyroidThere are currently no generic alternatives for Armour Thyroid. It is not covered by most Medicare and insurance plans, but manufacturer and pharmacy coupons can help offset the cost.
Similarly, what is the difference between Armour thyroid and levothyroxine? Synthroid is bio-identical to human T4 hormone. Armour is derived from pigs, then purified, so it is not bio-identical to human thyroid hormone. Synthroid contains T4 only, whereas Armour contains both T4 and T3 . T3 is more biologically active than T4.
In this manner, is NP thyroid the same as Armour thyroid?
Armour Thyroid and NP Thyroid are natural products made from animal thyroid glands used to treat hypothyroidism and to treat or prevent goiter . Armour Thyroid is also given as part of a medical test for thyroid disorders.
What is desiccated thyroid medication?
Desiccated thyroid is a combination of hormones that are normally produced by your thyroid gland to regulate the body’s energy and metabolism. Desiccated thyroid is also used to treat or prevent goiter , and is also given as part of a medical tests for thyroid disorders.
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Which Works Better For Hypothyroidism
There is not much data to compare the two head to head.
In one study of 70 people with primary hypothyroidism, researchers started patients on either Armour Thyroid or levothyroxine for 16 weeks. They then switched patients to the other medication for another 16 weeks. At the end of 32 weeks total, they looked at things like symptoms and quality of life. They concluded that there were no significant differences in symptoms or quality of life reported in either group. More patients preferred Armour Thyroid versus levothyroxine but 23 did not have a preference.
Which Thyroid Medication Is Best For You
For some patients, levothyroxine works well to resolve hypothyroidism. In other cases, you may feel best with the addition of T3, whether by adding synthetic T3 to your levothyroxine treatment or taking NDT.
Suppose you take levothyroxine and need a better resolution of your symptoms. In that case, you may want to discuss with your thyroid doctor if natural desiccated thyroid might be a good option for you.
As a thyroid patient, you’re probably asking the operative question: “Which thyroid medication is best for me?” There’s no definitive answer. Ultimately, the best thyroid hormone replacement regimen for you is the medication, brand, and dosage that best and safely manages your hypothyroidism and relieves your symptoms. Finding out which medication and dosage will work best for you is often a trial-and-error process. It’s essential to be informed about all of your options and work with a thyroid doctor who is open to all treatment options to determine if NDT drugs are right for you.
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Is Armour Thyroid Better Because It Contains T3
One of the main arguments for the use of Armour Thyroid is that it contains T3 as well as T4.
Its possible that a minority of people will do better on a combination of T3 and T4 replacement therapy. However, there is only a small amount of evidence available to support this theory .
A trial of combination T4 and T3 therapy is recommended for patients who do not experience symptom relief on Synthroid. This is experimental and should be stopped if no positive results are seen after three months .
While it may be beneficial, there are some issues associated with using Armour Thyroid to replace T3, including:
- Inconsistent dosage in Armour Thyroid: There may still be inconsistencies and stability problems in the preparation of Armour Thyroid. This can result in fluctuating blood levels of thyroid hormones.
- Difficulties maintaining T3 levels: The ratio of T4 to T3 in Armour Thyroid is much higher than that typically excreted from a healthy human thyroid. Additionally, T3 does not last as long in the body and is much more difficult to maintain a consistent level.
T3 levels may spike or become elevated and symptoms such as heart palpitations and others seen in hyperthyroidism can occur. Slow release or multiple daily doses of synthetic T3 are likely to produce much more consistent blood levels and less side effects .
Nature Throid Vs Armour Thyroid Vs Np Thyroid
As mentioned above, the active ingredient is the same in Nature Throid, NP Thyroid and Armour thyroid. It is called dessicated Thyroid, which comes from pigs and cattle. However, there are differences in the inactive ingredients between Armour Thyroid, Nature Throid and NP Thyroid. For this reason, some patients may not do as well when switched from Nature-Throid or NP Thyroid to Armour Thyroid.
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What Should I Watch For While Using This Medicine
Do not switch brands of this medicine unless your health care professional agrees with the change. Ask questions if you are uncertain.
You will need regular exams and occasional blood tests to check the response to treatment. If you are receiving this medicine for an underactive thyroid, it may be several weeks before you notice an improvement. Check with your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve.
It may be necessary for you to take this medicine for the rest of your life. Do not stop using this medicine unless your doctor or health care professional advises you to.
This medicine can affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar as directed.
Some brands of this medicine may have a strong odor. This does not mean that the drug is spoiled.
You may lose some of your hair when you first start treatment. With time, this usually corrects itself.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your doctor or health care professional that you are taking this medicine.
What’s The Difference Between Np Thyroid And Armour Thyroid
NP thyroid is worth considering especially if you are currently using Armour thyroid due to several important reasons:
#1. It is slightly cheaper when compared to Armour Thyroid.
And #2. It contains fewer inactive ingredients than Armour Thyroid.
The number and type of inactive ingredients found inside of medications are actually quite important because some medications contain starches or plant produces that can cause digestive issues.
Other medications contain lactose products which can cause reactions if you suffer from lactose intolerance!
So how does Armour Thyroid differ from NP thyroid?
Ingredient list of Armour Thyroid includes:
- Mineral oil
- Minor amounts of calcitonin, T1, T2, and proteins
NP thyroid has a total of 2 active ingredients and 4 inactive ingredients. Even though NP and Armour differ only by 1 inactive ingredient that may still cause quite a bit of difference in certain people.
If you react to the inactive ingredients then you may suffer from unexplained side effects such as dizziness, headaches, rashes, stomach pain, gas or bloating after taking your thyroid medication.
These symptoms can be confusing, especially if you aren’t sure if you are being dosed correctly, but they may be a sign that you are reacting to the inactive ingredients in your medication.
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Armour Thyroid Vs Synthroid: An Unbiased Look At The Evidence
Armour Thyroid and Synthroid are medications used to treat hypothyroidism .
Synthroid is the most commonly prescribed, however some claim Armour Thyroid produces better results.
So, which is the best treatment for you?
This article looks at the evidence for both to help you decide.
What Is The Difference Between T3 And T4
T3 has three iodine atom in its molecule. That is why it is also called Triiodothyronine. But T4 has four iodine atoms. That why it is also called tetraiodothyronine or thyroxine.
T3 is the active thyroid hormone that actually binds to the Thyroid Hormone Receptor inside the nucleus of a cell. In this way, it is T3 that sets in motion the actions of the thyroid hormone in our body.
On the other hand T4 is inactive by itself as it does not bind to the Thyroid Hormone Receptor. But it converts to T3 inside the cell. As such, it serves as a reservoir for T3.
In normal individuals, about 80% of the daily production of T3 comes from the conversion of T4 to T3 and remaining 20% from the Thyroid gland itself.
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What You Need To Know About Hypothyroidism Extract Medications
While my official job title was Consultant Pharmacist, I really felt that the most important part of my job was to help advocate for individuals who could not voice their health concerns. I ensured that they were getting the most benefit from their medications, that they were not over-medicated, that they had access to medications that could potentially help them, and that they received the proper care they deserved. I want to do the same for you. There are quite a few options for thyroid medications for hypothyroidism. However, most people are only familiar with synthetic T4-containing thyroid medications.
Desiccated thyroid , also known as thyroid extract , is thyroid gland that has been dried and powdered for medical use. Side effects may occur from excessive doses. Desiccated thyroid has been used since the late s. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the Royal College of Physicians recommend against the use of thyroid extract for the treatment of hypothyroidism. Concerns include the potential for adverse effects from superphysiological levels of T3 and the absence of long-term safety data from randomized clinical trials.
Conversion From Nature Throid Or Np Thyroid To Levothyroxine And Cytomel Combination
The ratio of T4:T3 is approximately 4:1 in Nature-Throid, NP Thyroid, and Armour Thyroid.
For example, if you were on 65 mg per day of Nature- Throid or 60 mg of NP Thyroid you were getting about 38 mcg of T4 and 9 mcg of T3. Unfortunately, Levothyroxine and Cytomel are not available in these doses. The closest dose of Levothyroxine would be 25 mcg, which you may take as 1-1/2 tablet a day which will give you 37.5 mcg of T4.
Cytomel is available as 5 mcg tablet. You may take two tablets of Cytomel a day which will give you 10 mcg of T3.
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