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HomeExclusiveWhy Is Armour Thyroid So Expensive

Why Is Armour Thyroid So Expensive

How Much Does It Cost And Where Can I Get It

NP Thyroid vs Armour Thyroid: Cost & Ingredient Differences

As you might imagine, new medications can be expensive.

It’s not easy to find pricing on Tirosint-Sol because it is so new, but I called around to get the price from a couple of pharmacies and I can report on that below.

It looks like any pharmacy can order supplies for this particular medication, but it’s specifically available to 3 select specialty pharmacies per their website.

Specialty pharmacies which can get you Tirosint-Sol as soon as possible include:

You can have your doctor call directly to order it for you through the number listed above.

When I spoke on the phone to the pharmacist I found that there is an introductory price of $35 per month with the use of a coupon which the manufacturer is giving to everyone.

Their goal is to eventually increase the price of this medication, but you can take advantage of this low price for a limited time .

So, at least for now, you should pay no more than $35 per month for Tirosint-Sol.

This $35 per month cost is the worst case scenario and it’s possible that your insurance may cover the majority of the cost .

You can also try to get your doctor to send the prescription to your local pharmacy and they can order it from the main supplier as well.

I was also able to find another coupon online which allows you to get the medication for no more than $15 per month with a maximum benefit up to $85.

These prices make Tirosint-Sol more cost-effective than Tirosint and Levoxyl and some NDT medications.

Cost: Which Is More Expensive

In regards to cost, there isnt a significant difference in price for a 30-day supply of Armour Thyroid and Synthroid. For 30 tablets of low-dose Armour Thyroid, itll cost around $17 which is relatively cheap. If youre taking high-dose Armour Thyroid, itll cost over $50 for a months supply which is slightly more expensive.

Individuals taking low-dose Synthroid will end up spending around $35 for a 30-day supply. Compared to the low-dose of Armour Thyroid, the low-dose Synthroid is nearly double the cost. However, a 30-day supply of the highest dosage of Synthroid can be purchased for around $45 which is slightly less than the highest dose of Armour Thyroid.

From a pricing perspective, 30 tablets of the lowest dose Armour Thyroid is cheaper at $17 than 30 tablets of the lowest dose Synthroid at $35. At the dosage increases such as at the highest respective dosages, Synthroid ends up being a slightly better bargain at $45 for a 30-day supply than Armour Thyroid exceeding $50.

It is important to note that unlike Armour Thyroid, a generic version of Synthroid is available. Generic Synthroid, commonly referred to as levothyroxine can be purchased for a fraction of the price of the brand name version. For an entire month supply of levothyroxine, users typically end up spending between $4 and $10 this is very cheap.

Inactive Ingredients And How They Impact Your Thyroid

You’re probably used to thinking about medication side effects before you take a medication.

Thyroid medication is no exception, and you should absolutely be thinking about these effects before you start taking any medicine.

But you need to understand what causes these side effects.

You can get side effects from the active ingredients in the medication but you can also get them from the inactive ingredients in the medication .

When it comes to thyroid medication, you really need to understand how these two things impact how you feel while taking a medication.

Because the active ingredient in any thyroid medication is the exact same replica of the thyroid hormone that your body makes on its own, any reaction you get related to this part of the medication is DOSE-RELATED .

The reason is simple:

Unless you were born without a thyroid, your body knows how to handle thyroid hormone. It knows how to eliminate it, it knows how to use it on your cells, etc.

But what it doesn’t necessarily know how to use are the inactive ingredients.

And these ingredients can cause issues which are unrelated to the active ingredient .

You are, therefore, much more likely to respond to these ingredients when you take thyroid medicine.

And the way that you react to these ingredients can include a number of negative side effects and symptoms.

Reactions to inactive ingredients may include:

  • Urticaria
  • Arthralgia
  • Wheezing

Collectively they are known as hypersensitivity reactions.

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Do Some People Feel Better On Armour Thyroid

Anecdotal reports claim Armour Thyroid leads to increased feelings of wellness and reduced symptoms as compared to Synthroid.

Studies suggest up to 15% of people with hypothyroidism dont see complete improvement on Synthroid .

In a double-blinded study of 70 participants, those taking Armour Thyroid lost nearly three pounds more than those taking Synthroid. Also, 49% of participants said they preferred Armour Thyroid based on improvements in symptoms and mental wellbeing .

However, this is only one study of many.

Its possible a small percentage of people feel better with Armour Thyroid because of the T3 component. This may have to do with genetics.

Some people with specific genetic mutations may not be able to either convert T4 into T3 or transport T3 in and out of cells from the blood. Blood tests do not always accurately reflect the levels of T3 inside tissues such as the brain and liver .

This means people may still experience the side effects of hypothyroidism, yet appear to have blood levels of T3, T4 and TSH within the normal ranges.

Summary: Some people claim to feel better when using Armour Thyroid, but there is limited evidence supporting this opinion. Its possible increased feelings of wellbeing could be attributed to low T3 levels.

Flood The Fda On Social Media

Armour Thyroid vs. Synthroid: An Unbiased Look at The Evidence

Dont forget to FLOOD the FDA on social media to express your concerns. Natural desiccated thyroid drugs have been prescribed safely for a century, and are an effective an affordable treatment option for millions of people with hypothyroidism. Tell the FDA to LEAVE OUR NDT DRUGS ALONE, and DROP THE BIOLOGICS DESIGNATION! Youll find the FDA on Twitter at and Facebook at

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Whats Really Going On With The Fda And Natural Desiccated Thyroid Drugs

Back in 2009, those of you who were taking natural desiccated thyroid drugs for hypothyroidismprobably remember the FDA crackdown that year. Some of the generic versions of NDT drugs started to disappear off the shelves. At the same time, the FDA was ramping up its ominous threats to force grandfathered drugs drugs that never went through the new drug application process to get formal FDA approval. At that time, it also looked and sounded like the FDA might actually pull ALL NDT drugs off the market, and force them to go through the lengthy and, in some cases, prohibitively expensive process of filing an NDA.

Patients were NOT happy, to say the least, and we created a vocal grassroots activist movement Save Natural Thyroid to make it clear to the FDA that we were not going to be quiet if they went forward to take action against an entire category of medication that millions of patients relied on daily for their hypothyroidism. The FDA backed down, and shelved their plans for NDT drugsfor the time being.

But here we are again, more than a decade later, and its looking like the FDA is back at it again, with plans to put thyroid patients at risk.

In September, Acella did another FDA-prompted voluntary recall, this time for sub-potency. Again, Acella was allowed to continue marketing the lots of medication that apparently were not affected.

It’s Not The Only Ndt Formulation

Armour thyroid is one of the oldest drugs available to treat hypothyroidism.

It has fallen out of favor but because it’s so old many physicians are aware that it exists.

And, believe it or not, this plays a big role in why so many people are taking it.

Many physicians are simply not aware of the newer medications such as Tirosint and Tirosint-Sol .

It’s very possible, and perhaps probable, that your doctor is really only aware of a handful of thyroid medications.

These may include medications such as Synthroid, levothyroxine, and perhaps Armour thyroid.

If Armour thyroid is the only formulation of NDT that your doctor is aware of then it’s probably the first thing that he/she will put you on if you don’t do well on Synthroid/levothyroxine.

This may be fine for some of you, but I want you to at least be aware of the other formulations as well.

Why?

Because these formulations can be used in instances where you may not respond to Armour thyroid.

Due to reasons such as inactive binders/fillers, you may not respond to Armour thyroid and it may actually make your symptoms worse.

But, even if this does happen it doesn’t mean that you need to avoid all formulations of NDT!

In fact, simply switching to another formulation of NDT may be enough to resolve your symptoms.

Before you jump off the NDT bandwagon be sure to at least check out these other formulations.

Other formulations of NDT include:

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T4 To T3 Conversion Issues

An important reason why some individuals may not have a full therapeutic response to T4-only thyroid hormones , can be due to the persons ability to convert T4 to T3, so lets talk more about that.

This is because levothyroxine contains the less-active but longer-acting T4 hormone. The T4 molecule is considered a prohormone, as it is less physiologically active than T3 and needs to be converted to T3, the more active thyroid hormone, by our bodies. T3 is sometimes called our go hormone because it tells our body to boost metabolism, grow hair, and create more energy.

In 2014, Dr. Wilmar Wiersinga, a Dutch endocrinologist and top thyroid researcher, stated that: Impaired psychological well-being, depression or anxiety are observed in 5-10 percent of hypothyroid patients receiving levothyroxine, despite normal TSH levels. Such complaints might hypothetically be related to increased free T4 and decreased free T3 serum concentrations, which result in the abnormally low free T4/free T3 ratios observed in 30 percent of patients on levothyroxine. Evidence is mounting that levothyroxine monotherapy cannot assure a euthyroid state in all tissues simultaneously, and that normal serum TSH levels in patients receiving levothyroxine reflect pituitary euthyroidism alone. In other words, this study suggested that T4-only therapy might not be enough to address the symptoms of hypothyroid patients, especially those related to mental well-being.

  • Aging
  • Soy
  • Surgery

Differences: Armour Thyroid Vs Synthroid

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There are some notable differences between Armour Thyroid and Synthroid as a treatment for hypothyroidism. Key differences between the two treatments include: FDA approval status, formatting , and popularity. Some believe that specific differences may make one agent more advantageous than the other.

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What Are Examples Of Synthetic Thyroid Hormone

Synthetic L-thyroxine, or , is a form of the T4 thyroid hormone. After you take it, your body turns some of it into T3. The FDA has approved levothyroxine for the treatment of hypothyroidism. It is the most commonly prescribed form of thyroid replacement, largely because it has the most data to support its use.

There are several formulations of levothyroxine, but some brand names include Synthroid, Levoxyl, and Levo-T.

About Natural Desiccated Thyroid

Natural desiccated thyroid – also known as thyroid extract, natural thyroid, and porcine thyroid – is a thyroid hormone replacement drug used to treat hypothyroidism. The brand names in the United States include Nature-throid, WP Thyroid, and Armour Thyroid. A generic NDT, NP Thyroid, is also available here. NDT is made from the desiccated thyroid gland of pigs. It contains thyroxine , triiodothyronine , and other thyroid hormones including T1, T2, and calcitonin.

Noted endocrinologist Wilmar Wiersinga, M.D., has written that hypothyroidism was an untreatable condition until the early 1890s, when patients started getting injections of thyroid extract derived from sheep. After that time, tablets were made from sheep thyroid as a treatment for hypothyroidism.

Eventually, NDT was introduced in the early 1900s as the sole hypothyroidism treatment on the market and has been available by prescription since that time. It is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administrative , but because it was on the market before the creation of the FDA, the drug has not gone through the formal “new drug approval” process and was instead “grandfathered” by the FDA.

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What Is The Difference Between Synthroid And Armour

A. Levothyroxine is a synthetic hormone that only contains T4 thyroid hormone. The body has to change T4 to the active form, T3. To do that, an enzyme knocks one iodine atom off the molecule. Some people have a harder time with this conversion, presumably because their genes encode a less active enzyme.

Armour thyroid is a natural product derived from dried animal glands. . Desiccated thyroid gland contains both T3 and T4, which may explain why some people prefer this formulation. The ratio of T3 to T4 in Armour is not the same as the ratio produced by a healthy human thyroid gland, however. Consequently, doctors are sometimes reluctant to prescribe it.

Armour May Impact Your Thyroid Lab Tests Differently Than Other Thyroid Medications

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Lastly, you should be aware that Armour thyroid causes some changes to your thyroid lab tests which are not necessarily the same as levothyroxine.

Because Armour contains T3 it tends to cause a more pronounced and powerful drop in your TSH.

It has been estimated that T3 is roughly 3-4x more potent than T4 at reducing the TSH.

This may cause more of a drop in your TSH than you are used to with other T4 only medications.

In addition, because it contains T3, Armour will cause a more pronounced increase in your free T3 levels.

It may also cause a drop in your free T4 levels as well.

This pattern may be confusing to newer patients so it is something you should be aware of.

The pattern itself is not necessarily an issue but it may make interpreting your lab tests slightly more difficult.

To recap, you may find the following changes to your thyroid lab tests when transitioning to Armour thyroid:

*Note: These are only rough guidelines and may not apply to all patients.

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Armour Thyroid Vs Synthroid: How To Choose Which Is Best For You

The first line of treatment for hypothyroidism should be Synthroid .

This is due to the possible side effects and lack of evidence for the use of either Armour Thyroid or combination therapy. Essentially, T3 given in medication makes regulating blood T3 levels difficult. As a result, acute or chronic side effects may occur.

Synthroid produces more consistent hormone levels and fewer side effects. For the majority of people, Synthroid will correct thyroid hormone levels and symptoms will resolve.

A minority of people may not find symptom relief with Synthroid. In this case, experimental therapy with a combination of synthetic T4 and T3 may be warranted under the supervision of an endocrinologist.

While there are anecdotal reports of Armour Thyroid producing superior results, theres a lack of evidence to support this. It appears that using synthetic T3 is more reliable than using Armour Thyroid.

It should be noted that hypothyroidism associated with thyroid surgery, cancer or pregnancy may require a different treatment plan. The information in this article mainly refers to idiopathic or autoimmune causes of hypothyroid such as Hashimotos disease.

About Eleise Britt

Eleise is a university qualified Nutritionist from Melbourne, Australia.

After studying a Bachelor of Health Science , she later went on to follow her passion for nutrition science and completed a Master of Human Nutrition at Deakin University.

Learn more about her on the About page.

Joe Leech, Dietitian

How To Use Armour Thyroid

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily on an empty stomach, 30 minutes to 1 hour before breakfast.

Dosage is based on your medical condition, laboratory test results, and response to treatment. For children, the dosage is also based on age/weight.

Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

Do not stop taking this medication without first consulting with your doctor. Thyroid replacement treatment is usually taken for life.

Certain medications can decrease the amount of thyroid hormone that is absorbed by your body. If you are taking any of these drugs, separate them from this medication by at least 4 hours.

There are different brands of thyroid hormone available. Do not change brands without first consulting your doctor or pharmacist.

Symptoms of low thyroid hormone levels include tiredness, muscle aches, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, slow heartbeat, or sensitivity to cold. Tell your doctor if your condition worsens or persists after several weeks of taking this medication.

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Efficacy: Which Is More Effective

When comparing thyroid replacement therapies of Armour Thyroid and Synthroid, it is necessary to consider whether one intervention may be more effective than the other. Synthroid has undergone extensive clinical testing for the treatment of hypothyroidism and has been considered clinically effective since 2002 by the FDA. To attain FDA approval, Synthroid had to demonstrate significant therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of hypothyroidism compared to a placebo in randomized controlled trials .

Unlike Synthroid, formulations of Armour Thyroid have not been formally evaluated by the FDA. Due to the lack of clinical testing, the efficacy of Armour Thyroid as a treatment for hypothyroidism should be questionable. While desiccated thyroid extracts have been utilized extensively throughout history as a natural thyroid replacement therapy, they havent been subjected to the same rigorous FDA evaluation as Synthroid.

Despite the lack of randomized controlled trials to elucidate the clinical efficacy of Armour Thyroid, it has been a part of head-to-head comparative research with Synthroid. There is some evidence to suggest that Armour Thyroid is equally as effective as Synthroid for the treatment of hypothyroidism. Most medical professionals acknowledge that each intervention is capable of optimizing TSH, T4, and T3 concentrations.

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