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Mary Shomon

Armour Thyroid Unavailable To Most Thyroid Patients

By July 28, 2009

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As of July 28, 2009, all but one dosage size of the natural desiccated prescription thyroid drug Armour Thyroid, made by Forest Labs, is unavailable and backordered until August, according to the manufacturer's patient "hotline." The dosage sizes that are unavailable, and on backorder until an unspecified date in August, including: 1/4 grain (15 mg), 1/2 grain (30 mg), 1 grain (60 mg), 1 1/2 grain (90 mg) and 3 grain (180 mg). The only size that is not on backorder is the 2 grain (120 mg).

Thyroid patients taking Armour who are unable to fill their prescriptions can consider switching to Nature-Throid, another prescription natural thyroid medication. Check here for information about Nature-Throid and how to make the switch from Armour.

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July 29, 2009 at 7:18 pm
(1) Debra says:

Does anybody else think it’s strange that Forest spent all of last year reformulating Armour, and now there isn’t any. Actually, there should be an abundance of it now. And now that everybody is getting sick on the new formula, and switching to something else, that should also mean it would be easier to get. I think they know there’s a problem with it, that’s why it has disappeared. The new Armour makes me so sick, i haven’t been able to function at all since i started taking it. A year ago, this drug gave me back my life, how ironic that the same drug has taken it away again. There needs to be a law about drug companies changing meds without any warning. Like everything else, it all comes down to making a profit!!!!!

July 31, 2009 at 7:03 am
(2) Kerry says:

Like everyone else I’m saying “Goodbye!” I’m expecting my new prescription of Nature-Throid any day now. It’s one thing to jerk around so many people who use your product and another thing to lie about it for so long, even if it’s lying by omission. Armour never provided an explanation of its LONG period of shortages and backorders, then changed their formulations. I hope taking Nature-Throid will help me stop falling asleep in the chair for 2 hours!

July 31, 2009 at 7:16 am
(3) Amy says:

A week before I started having problems with new Armour and got my doc to switch me to Westhroid, because Naturethroid wasn’t available. I’m doing just fine, and thank heavens, I got ahead of the curve. Many thanks Mary, you’ve saved a LOT of lives.

July 31, 2009 at 8:35 am
(4) Amanda says:

I switched to Nature-Throid 2 weeks ago and felt the difference the first day! Now, I’m back to how I used to be on the old Armour. I also called Forest Labs and the FDA to file a complaint.

July 31, 2009 at 9:20 am
(5) Billie says:

The FDA hasn’t approved Armour Thyroid for a few years according to my insurance company. That is why they won’t pay for it and I have to pay full price for 2 strengths so it is double expensive for me. I am hoping the Nature-Throid is covered.

July 31, 2009 at 10:29 am
(6) Mary Shomon / Thyroid Guide says:

Billie, Armour has been on the market for 100 years, and was grandfathered in, as it was being used before the FDA was created. It is an FDA-regulated, legal prescription medication. Your insurance company is wrong. As for Armour and Nature-Throid, it is typically far less expensive than if you had to pay out of pocket for other meds — i.e., 1 month of brand name levothyroxine is $35 or so, 1 month of natural thyroid is usually less than $20.

July 31, 2009 at 10:35 am
(7) Dee says:

I switched to Naturethroid (my doctor says I am her test case) and felt a difference the very first day. I need to cut one tablet in half and it cuts easily, not crumbly like Armour. I don’t find myself falling asleep in the middle of the day and have much more energy than before. I had trouble getting the Armour and I am so glad that I made the switch.

July 31, 2009 at 10:39 am
(8) Marina says:

I could not agree more with the comments I have been reading. I started Armour in January 09 after six months of conventional treatment with Synthroid – which did little to help me feel better. I was thankful for Armour which helped me so much. The last six weeks have been horrible with a return of all of my symptoms. Two weeks now on Nature-throid and I am returning back to where I was. Coould Forrest have “farmed out” the manufacture of this drug some where out of the country and over sight was poor? I hope an open investigation takes place soon.

July 31, 2009 at 11:01 am
(9) Celia says:

While adjusting my dosage last year when I first switched from Synthroid to dessicated thyroid, I used both Armour and Nature-Throid within a few months span, and I could not feel any difference between the two. I hope this is of reassurance to those changing now from Armour to Nature-Throid. I cannot understand why Forest Lab would change a formulation that they know works so well and patients fight to take in spite of all the opposition from conventional pharma-driven medicine and its brain-washed physicians…. I hope they fix this mess.

July 31, 2009 at 11:50 am
(10) LT says:

Thank you, Mary and everyone else who wrote in about the changed formula of Armour and the bad side effects so many have experienced. When first diagnosed with Hypothyroidism 4.5 years ago I was on Synthroid for a year and did not do well. After doing some research I switched to Armour and felt much better and more like myself again. I was so upset to hear about Armour changing its formula without notifying patients and doctors. What a disaster. But thanks to this newsletter, I avoided the reformulated Armour. I called and also sent my doctor a letter with a printout of this newsletter article about Armour as well as the patient complaints and asked him to switch me to Nature-Throid. I just picked up my prescription yesterday and feel like I ‘dodged a bullet’ by avoiding the new Armour formulation.

July 31, 2009 at 11:59 am
(11) Carrie Robertson says:

Thank you Mary!
I had experienced a return of my symptoms early this spring when (I learned later) Forest switched the Armour formula. It was devastating, emotionally and physically, to experience all those horrible symptoms again.
Now, a few weeks into a new run on Nature Throid (which btw my doctors and pharmacist had NEVER HEARD OF, and were reluctant to approve), I am feeling healthy and myself again.
I thank the heavens for Mary and her site every day!
You saved the day!

July 31, 2009 at 12:48 pm
(12) mary says:

Glad I was able to convince my dr to switch me over to Westthroid which I found at Walmart… Unfortunately she had already decreased my dose of the regular armour (due to hyper symptoms again) and is tellling me if this doesn’t work, she plans on me going back to Synthroid (over my dead body!!). I just may have to find yet another dr! I do feel better after a week on Westtroid tho, thankfully!

July 31, 2009 at 1:08 pm
(13) Steve says:

I am beginning to wonder if this is “big pharmas” way of phasing out Armour so synthroid can take over and have full market share. Remember, they have DEEP pockets. I hope I am wrong.

July 31, 2009 at 1:44 pm
(14) Lawrence says:

You can buy — and can legally import 90 days worth for personal use — Nature-throid without a presription from either Medsmex.com or inhousepharmacy.com. People I know I ahve used both for many years and been very happy. Arrives by Registered Mail. Medsmex has US Customer Service number

July 31, 2009 at 2:37 pm
(15) mary also says:

Thanks, Mary Shoman. I was about to comment that Armour was grandfathered in and is an approved medication. Interesting the kind of misinformation that is spread by everyone from insurance companies to pharmacies.

I, too, have had my fill of not being able to get Armour on a consistent basis. I just ordered some Naturethroid myself. I appreciate the explanation about switching from Armour to Naturethroid.

Steve, I have to wonder who has taken over management of Forest Labs. It is almost as if this windfall for Synthroid was intentional. Any business professional would have to realize that people needing medication are not going to put up with shortages and will take their business elsewhere. In a way it is sad, because Armour has been around for so long and is one of the few natural prescription medications in existence.

July 31, 2009 at 3:08 pm
(16) Lanie, Indiana says:

I take 1/4 grain 2x/day and my husband takes 1/4 1x/day. All of the pharmacies within an hour of us at least are out of the 1/4 grain. So far we have been able to get the 1/2 grain and split them. I have called every pharmacy I can find withing 90 minutes drive of us and none of them carry Westroid or Naturethroid, nor can they get it through their distributors. We don’t feel comfortable getting through mail order because our insurance makes us wait until we are within a week of needing a refill before they will cover it. Thyroid meds are also something we wouldn’t care to be caught without if it got lost in the mail. England passed laws banning natural dessicated thyroid meds and changed the range on tests so that it is nigh impossible to even get diagnosed over there. Sure as hell hope the US doesn’t follow suit!!

July 31, 2009 at 5:26 pm
(17) Andrea says:

My guess is that it has to do with it being a new formulation and not the same drug. This new formulation of Armour Thyroid is a new drug requiring a new drug application. Forest Labs can’t just change its formula and sell it under the old name.

They may have had to remove the new stuff from the market and are manufacturing the old formulation. Anyway, I hope so. I have no way to know what is going on behind the scenes. It’s my guess.

July 31, 2009 at 5:42 pm
(18) Jen says:

My doctor & pharmacist still won’t switch me to NatureThroid b/c of the difference in grains. In fact, my PCP told me to cut back my dosage by a third (!) despite how awful I’ve been feeling. *sigh* Hoping the new endo will give me NatureThroid.

July 31, 2009 at 7:04 pm
(19) Katherine says:

Thanks for giving us a “heads up” on the changes at Armour.  I had experienced a mysterious weight gain and was so sleepy I couldn’t stay awake at my desk.  My husband was complaining of horrible brain fog and lack of energy. Plus our dog who is being treated for aggression due to hypothyroid had bitten 3 people!  Yikes!  Thank you, Mary for letting us know what was going on. We are now on Nature-throid and beginning to recover. BTW, all of our human docs and one is an alternative doc fought us tooth and nail about the switch. The alternative doc even went so far as to get Armour on the phone and have them explain to my husband that the changes made in the formulation were only to inert ingredients! We held our ground and got the new scrips which your pharmacy in Maryland very nicely filled for us.

July 31, 2009 at 10:32 pm
(20) Connie says:

I have never had a problem getting armour. I kept reading about the shortages and expected my pharmacist to tell me that he couldn’t get it. But that never happened.

July 31, 2009 at 11:13 pm
(21) JoAnne says:

Since last year I thought that the mail order pharmacy was “cheating” my on my Armour Thyroid, making their own or something because my hands and feet were ice cold all the time again, just like before I started taking Thyroid. To find out that it’s the maker of the medication that’s doing this to me? Grrr! I’m going to ask my doctor about switching me to Nature-Throid. Thank you, Mary, you have saved so many from so much needless suffering.

August 1, 2009 at 8:51 am
(22) catherine jennifer sacco says:

DEBRA…ME THINKS this is backwards! “Amourthyroid IS the natural med,unlike “synthroid” which is synthetic,& has a rep for making one gain weight!My psyciatrist made it clear that it is the Lithium gain weight issue,& was never synthroid!!?? We will change this by taking Lamictal in the am..then Geodon&Lithium at night,that’s 1/2 of the 450mil Lith instead of 2..450mil’s a day of Lithium/I experimented,by taking less Lith-lost 4lbs from the 30lbs I gained…I will not be fat!!I only see this dr. for Lithium,not emotional issues,they’re all fakes…I’d rather get alternatives for depression,like “AMORYN”&SELEDYN[anxiety]these are available!Now,yes you’re right…greed re:FDA/AMA doesn’t want Amourthy-to make “anyone” better,Synthroid has made the pharms richer than rich!She[psch] told me Amourthy- often goes up&down in levels,but do we really know that to be the truth? Amour is “natural”,they’re afraid of this!From the beginning of time,Rain Forests,scientists unlike those here in some U.S. area’s have proven these plant life substances “Cure” everything from restless legs to Diabetes,which is another lie,as there doesn’t have to be “any” sugar issue,if one reads the evidence!Depression,”Amoryn” has been online over 5yrs! I wouldn’t take Prozac if you paid for them…10 side effects,but afterall the FDA did “approve” it??Approved what?that one gains 10lbs the 1st week?Effexor made me blow up in 2005!Liars,they will never tell us..I am hypothyroid,but soon will stop thses Lithiums bec- they can destroy our entire system[s]!!!If I lost 7lbs in almost 2weeks bec- I cut them in 1/2…then what does this tell you?It was no surprise to dr, when I told her this! I will meditate it away,not episodic,as I will not become crazed while cutting out Lithium!!I’ve been on them for 20yrs!I know what bi-polar is,can write a book on it,or blog about it!!Thoughts,racing,whatever,if you’re strong enough,& know what to do,as I do..bec- I know how to handle Lithium’s MOODS too!!I counteract them,beleive me!I will not continue at 55yrs to be fat!!I am attractive& we know our own bodies..so don’t ley any dr[so-called] to tell you differently!It’s been Lithuim the whole time,synthroid is no better,but there’s THY-Aid,& host of other alts that work!

August 2, 2009 at 1:29 am
(23) Kelley says:

I was on Armour for more than 2 years and when the shortage started, my doctor placed me on Synthroid. For almost the last year, I have not been able to get regulated with Synthroid. Generic formulations (of Synthroid) vary in strength from the name brand (this is what I believe) and yet my insurance will only pay for generics. I’m going off to Google Nature-Thyroid now, and then I’ll have to educate my doctor. He knew little to nothing about Armour.

August 2, 2009 at 6:32 am
(24) Jill says:

My pharmacist said that cellulose is a common binder, and increase in cellulose should have no negative effect. I don’t understand why so many people are having problems with the new binders, but I’m thankfully not one of them. In fear that the rumours were true, I started with a 7-day test supply (60mg x 3/day) from the pharmacy, but the new formulation had a slightly positive effect for me. In fact, when I went to fill the rest of the prescription, I requested the new formula as they still had some of the old expensive blister packs. I used to have fibromyalgia/hypthyroid stiffness in my hands for the past year, but upon waking up the first morning after taking the new formulation the night before, there was a tingling in my hands with no stiffness at all. I have flexibility in my hands again! I also used to have a very slight tremor in my hands, and that it now gone. It seems that there is a slightly higher potency, better absorption or metabolic uptake for me. The first 2 days, I had a few hyper-like palpitations, but they disappeared by day 3. My temperature is still tracking an average 97.1. In addition, the old formulation cost about $90 for 300x60mg tablets in blister packs, whereas the new formulation cost $48 for 300x60mg in a bottle. I’m glad that the new formulation has stability without need for expensive and fussy blister packs!

Though I personally like the new formulation, I’d still prefer to increase my temperature from 97.1 to at least 97.8. I’d like to try Naturethroid, but as I’m unemployed, I can’t afford to go to the doctor and try to convince him to change my script, so I’m planning to order a trial amount from Mexico per one of the comments posted above. My TSH was at 0.9, so my doctor won’t let me increase my dose to try to improve my temperature despite low end free T3. Mexican Naturethroid will increase cost to $90 for a 3 month supply, but it will be worth it if my temp increases.

August 2, 2009 at 6:25 pm
(25) Karen says:

Has the 2 grain formula been changed like some of the others? I jsut started on this kind a year ago and feel great and now what hate synthroid.

August 3, 2009 at 7:34 am
(26) laura says:

maybe they are on backorder because they are switching it back.

August 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm
(27) Marina says:

I’ve been having issues with consistent episodes of Atrial Fibrillation & upon reading the article about Armour changing their formula a year a go I wonder if that is the cause. I was diagnosed with A Fibb in 1997 but just about a year ago my episodes began rather frequently. Here lately they occur almost every night for several hours. It’s depressing & I’m trying to rule things out 1 by 1 to figure out what is the cause. I too have not evere had a problem getting Armour Thyroid. I live in Los Angeles & I can always fill my prescription. It’s $20 for a 3 month supply & a few years ago it was $12. How do you go about getting NatureThroid or WestThroid when you have to wait 3 months to go to a free clinic? ALso, when people write & say they take grain dosages of Armour what do they mean? I take a 60mg tablet every day. Please! explain, someone. Thank You!

August 4, 2009 at 11:07 pm
(28) Mary Ann Woodcock says:

Thank you for letting people know about Armour Thyroid. I started having “episodes” on May 1st (after a refill of my script — I wrote the date in my journal) and couldn’t figure out why. Couldn’t get out of bed some days, others spent dragging around, sores on scalp, legs sore, weight gain (from being in bed, probably). I showed my doctor the articles and begged her to switch me to Nature-Thoid for at least 30 days. It took about 2 weeks, but I feel better than I have in a long time. The Armour “problem” may have been a problem for more than a few months. Anyway, I almost feel human! It’s wonderful. Now I just have to lose the weight, but at least I have energy to exercise. Thank you, Mary!

August 5, 2009 at 12:15 pm
(29) Della Katon says:

Please all of you that read this, get your Vit. D tested. Many of the symptoms of hypothyroid are also the symptoms of low Vit.D. Leg,hip,and back pain, fatigue to the point of falling asleep many times durning the day. Wake up tired go to bed tired. Swelling in the body, weight gain. I was on 2grain of Armour but my Pharmacy changed me because of the shortage so don’t think I ended up taking any of the new formulation. Also get very sick when on T4 alone. I am taking 100,000 IUs of Vit. D per week and feel the best that I have felt in 20 years.
I am almost 70 yrs. old and am now able to take care of a big yard, mowing and weeding, have a good size garden and take care of a lady that is 87 and can’t walk. And have lost 8 lbs of the 60 that needs to come off. Working to get better. Della

August 6, 2009 at 2:01 am
(30) kim says:

The new armour is making me feel sick as well. I have been told by Medco that they don’t have any natural thyroid meds. including Westthroid or Nature-throid. I think my doctor will put me back on Synthroid and if so I might as well take nothing at all. Is any one else having problems getting meds and if so do you know when there will be more natural thyroid pills available. I asked my doctor to swithch me and now I can’t get anything including Armour. I’m on my last week of pills and not sure whats going to happen when I don’t take any meds. I had RAI and sure I should take something.

August 6, 2009 at 11:12 am
(31) Jane says:

I finally found a doctor willing to work with me on the Thyroid issue and treat me as a person not a TSH lab value. He agreed to switch me to Thyrolar2 early spring. I was immediately relieved of the hypo symptoms and did very well on Thyrolar. Then in July started the back orders and unavailability of certain doses. Had to pester my new doc again to make another change, this time to a compounded thyroid med using time released T3 with the T4. He made the call to a reputable compounding pharmacy in a town nearby and I await that medication now. Should be here today. I am in hopes that this will be the answer to the Forest Lab debacle. I hate to give up my newly found thyroid health because Forest is in chaos. So thank you for the suggestion Mary to investigate the choice of a compounded T4/T3 suited to me.
Jane in Mo.

August 6, 2009 at 11:34 am
(32) V T says:

Omigod. I’m with Medco also. In fact, I’m on hold with them now, trying to get them to switch me to Nature-throid, or Westhroid, and I fear they’re going to tell me I can’t switch. They say I can get my Armour from a local pharm for 3x the price that they used to fill it. I can’t get away from the feeling that this is part of the conspiracy to get us to switch to Synthroid. Medco has been trying to get me to switch to generics of everything – and for some drugs, there are just simply NO substitutes. I will switch plans, or try to get from the mail-order pharmacies where I will not be covered. At 47 years old, without Armour, I’ve been feeling so much older. I’m not going back to pain, migraine, and other meds to substitute for my one thryoid pill.

August 6, 2009 at 12:35 pm
(33) Maureen Christilles MS, APRN says:

As a nurse practitioner who prescribes to treat the whole person, I use natural products exclusively. I have seen over the years many poorly and under treated cases of hypothyroidism with synthetic products. Unfortunately, the recent shortages of Armour preparations and the unavailability of other natural preparations made me very supicious of the intent of manufacturers. Today I received a fax from Medco, a large company supplying prescription drugs. The memo addressed shortages, saying because the natural products are not FDA approved they expect they will be removed from the market. Also the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists do not reccommend the natural preparations. This unfortunately is part of a bigger attempt to remove choice from the consumer, as well as an attack on natural healing supplements, herbals, basicaly anything that reduces the bottom line of the pharmaceutical companies. I believe we are going to have to take action to prevent this from happening!

August 7, 2009 at 11:06 am
(34) Joyce says:

I have been on Armour for 7 years and have loved it. I am sad to say goodbye to a life saving product. But with the increasing problem getting it, I made the switch to Nature-Throid. My pharmacy had never carried it but was willing to order for me. My Dr. was also knowledgeable and we made the switch. Nature-throid doesn’t come in all the varities that Armour did so I am having to split pills. I didn’t know if I had gotten some of the “new” Armour or not but I had been feeling very tired for the last 3 months. I have only made the swith now for a week and feel the difference. Who would have thought filler would make such a difference? But something has changed. Good luck, and don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacy to order this product even if they have never carried it before.

August 21, 2009 at 10:37 am
(35) Shawn says:

I’ve been on Armour for 5 years, and it saved my life. I have low t3, and no amount of t4 increases that; so, Synthyroid and other artificial thyroid meds do nothing for me. I have two months of Armour now in hand, but that is, as far as I can tell, all I am going to be able to get. My doctor will not switch me to one of the alternatives, because she “isn’t familiar” with the drug. Not only can I not afford to go to another endo (I just went a few months ago for my annual endo, and don’t have insurance anymore), but there aren’t any others that deal with this condition for more than 4 hours in any direction.

I’d like to order online from one of the pharmacies mentioned above, to give NatureThroid or Westhroid a try, but both seem to be out of stock at the moment. Does anyone have any other out-of-country pharmacies they’ve used with success? I figure that the risk of ordering is statistically less than the 100% certainly of what’s going to happen to me if I run completely out of meds, since for me this is a a life-saving medication.

I am not normally a conspiracy-theory person, but something stinks here. Every doctor but one that I’ve been to has tried to switch me to Synthyroid, despite me having already tried the raising-t4-to-increaset3 route, which not only didn’t work, but had some other pretty awful side effects. Why? Because that’s all they know, and that’s what’s pushed.

August 27, 2009 at 9:34 am
(36) Eric says:

Forest switching the formula without sufficiently notifying health providers seems unethical. It makes me wonder how something so serious has happened beneath the radar of cultural awareness.

8 years ago, I experienced: lethargy, poor fine and gross motor skills, poor cognition- I got lost in mid sentence when trying to have a conversation and had dementia style word finding difficulties. I researched these symptoms online and decided to have my TSH levels checked. My D.O. said “Well, your TSH levels are in the normal range- you have a 4.7.” Luckily I had done enough homework to ask- “the high end of normal?” He RXd synthroid. I used it for 1 year. At first it seemed to help all sxs but cognition. We tried increasing my dose but it caused me to feel agitated. I switched doctors and learned that while my TSH level was around .5, my T3 and T4 levels were off. I asked for Armour – 1 grain in the morning and it helped tremendously with both energy and cognition. I began to be able to think really well on my feet again. I could turn a phrase without worrying about whether I would get stuck because I might forget my words. I found after about six months that I was out of energy around 7PM. So, my doctor agreed for me to try 1 grain in the morning and 1 grain in the evening even though it was not something he was familiar with. It worked very well. I felt solid- like I did the 35 years I lived without hypothyroidism.

Now, I am pretty damn concerned about formulaic and availability changes. This thread is very encouraging about naturethroid and westthroid. I don’t know however about the availability. I have some questions to which folks on this forum may have answers.

How do we learn what pharmacies stock naturethroid?
Can we order it from the manufacturer?
What is a reliable Canadian online pharmacy source?
How can I know if I have the new Armour formula?
Is there a difference in the way the new Armour formula pills look?
To whom can we make a formal complaint where public concerns have enough traction to reach policy makers?

August 28, 2009 at 3:47 am
(37) Ray Tam says:

I checked the FDA website to see if any of the “natural” Thyroid products (armour thyroid, westthroid, nature throid) are approved or the history of approvals. The only product I found that was approved was synthetic thyrolar. I hope I just missed it since the majority of comments here state that it IS approved. Check here: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/drugsatfda/index.cfm?fuseaction=Search.Search_Drug_Name

September 6, 2009 at 11:50 pm
(38) Concerned says:

There is a pharmacy in Jacksonville Florida that has Armour Thyroid in stock. The name is Smart Pharmacy and their phone number is 904-221-8686. I hope this helps.

September 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm
(39) vera says:

I just called around, and the pharmacist is telling me that the FDA is demanding of Forest Pharma to get an approval for Armour Thyroid. Also, inhousepharmacy is out of both products.

Also, many of us have NOT been taking the reformulated armour thyroid because of the old drug supply, and the pharmacist was aware that people have been reporting problems with the new formulation.

There is something really fishy going on. Because now compounding pharmacies are running out of the pig thyroid powder, how come?

Sounds like war to me…

September 15, 2009 at 10:56 am
(40) doraroberts says:

I have been taking Armour thyroid for 62 years, with the exception of 1 very unhappy year spent on synthroid. The need to take thyroid was due to removal of thyroid gland for benign tumors, when I was 20 years old. Two weeks ago I needed a refill on the 120 mg tablet and encountered this ongoing problem with Armour. I managed to get prescription refill of 120 mg, tho the tablet looked strange! Blood test a few days later showed I was getting too much thyroid, but sure didn’t feel like it. Now I know why. Anyway, a few days ago I found a compounding pharmacist who prepared a time release capsule in the 90 mg ordered by my Dr, after being in utter panic over the non-availability of dessicated thyroid of any kind. So do check with compounding pharmacists in your town and maybe they can help.
All this just adds to my dislike of the intrusion of the federal govt in our lives, usually to our detriment. The FDA can’t seem to keep us from being poisoned by so-called generics from China and India and the drug companies pursue the allmighty dollar at our expense. I have high blood pressure and the only other drug I take is Lasix which doesn’t work very well but makes me less sick than all the fancy drugs I have taken over the last ten years. I can pay cash for the 2 drugs I do take and can so thumb my nose at the drug companies and the insurance companies that keep so many ederly in penury and order them to take whatever drug they are pushing at the moment.
I am living (so far!) proof that Armour thyroid is not not a harmful drug, or at least in its previous formulations, so hope the company can survive to return to their old ways. Down with Synthroid !!!!!!!

September 18, 2009 at 9:18 am
(41) eric says:

I started taking a compound two days ago. My pharmacist stated that Forest lost it’s pig source in China due to earthquakes: “It takes time to grow enough pigs big enough for efficacy.” The compound seems to be working very well. I have many more automatic thoughts, songs that just start playing in my head, ideas, daydreams, all this neuron firing suddenly. So, I am enthusiastic. I feel great in my mind- where I need it the most. Thank you God. Hang in there fellow sufferers.

September 21, 2009 at 7:32 pm
(42) Tricia says:

My pharmacist told me Sunday that his computer showed certain strengths of Armour thyroid would be in the warehouse today (Sept. 21) and others would be coming on various dates within the next two weeks. Sure hope so since I got the last 10 tablets of any strength he could lay his hands on. I do not absorb Synthroid, so that is not an option. I’ve been taking Armour since 1976 and I don’t want to have to go through repeated blood tests trying to find something else that works.

September 22, 2009 at 10:57 am
(43) ALK says:

I just talked to a local compounding Pharm who told me the raw material is still completely avail (that’s the pig thryoid that goes into the pill). That there has been no supply issue with the raw material. That it’s not going off the market. That what you read on the internet is not based on fact.

I was in a panick last night (I Have 2 mos left and the only avail pills I can find in my large city are either about to expire or the wrong strength) I had my thryroid removed for thy cancer 2 years ago and t3/t4 simply did not work for me.

dora roberts– I thought levels take 4-6 weeks to accurately show up in your blood.

armour thyroid is a cheap drug. It’s like $10 with insurance $14 w/o and the compounding version is about $30 a month at my strength. If I have to buy it I will buy it.

September 22, 2009 at 11:59 pm
(44) Laura says:

I am very worried. I live in Alaska and have been unable to get my Armour. Naturethyroid is also out of stock. I am unable to absorb and utilize the synthetic thyroid medications so am at a loss. My husband and I just got clearance to start trying to have a baby again, but now that I am down to only a few days supply of Armour, I know we will have to wait. I will not risk the birth defects that insufficient thyroid hormones may cause.

If anyone has any new information on release of Armour or Nature, please post on here. I know my symptoms return very very quickly without my medication.

Laura E.

September 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm
(45) Winnie says:

Super great to get this info. Been off meds for week, waiting to refill, not having any idea what else to do. Thanks so very much for the help!!

September 23, 2009 at 4:46 pm
(46) Winnie says:

Ya know…..after reading all these posts about so many people with thyroid nightmares, can’t help but wonder why we have so many people with thyroid problems to start with. Maybe the most important question is not, where can I get my next dose that works, but, why are so many of us having to deal with low thyroid??? Stress, sure. Water sources? Nutrient-starved produce and other food in our country anymore from soil depletion and pollution??

September 23, 2009 at 6:42 pm
(47) Alexandria says:

Unlike most people who posted here, I am absolutely dependent on Armour thyroid. I have tried everything else — including a recent two week stint on Naturethroid — and NOTHING else works for me. Naturethroid, for example, left me with terrible joint pains, then deep bone aches…. two days back on Armour and I was fine again.

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH ARMOUR PRODUCTION? Come on, Mary, we need you to do some real sleuthing.

There’s no way that there is a shortage of pigs — pig farms have been increasing in size over the past 20 years, while sales of pork have been dropping. So that’s clearly not the answer.

Also, this product has been produced for about a century, long before the FDA came into being. In fact, I have several medical texts from the early 1900′s that show physicians clearly knew about the wonders of thyroid supplementation, long before someone decided that a TSH test was the only determining factor.

I do not think that government regulation is really to blame here — I think it is pharmaceutical companies who make money off the patents on drugs they develop. There are plenty of examples of corporations exerting their power and influence to their own ends, becoming monopolies as they gobble up their smaller competitors: Microsoft, Big Oil, big mortgage lenders, big insurance… Big Pharma is no different. Does it not seem likely that monied interests are standing in the way of patient and physician choice? Why should I not be able to feel like a normal human being, thanks to the drug that works best for me?

September 25, 2009 at 3:06 pm
(48) Erin says:

I have been taking Amour for several years now and it’s worked great. Now that I’m eight months pregnant I’ve just found out that there is no more. Naturethroid and WesThroid are also backordered everywhere I’ve checked. My doctor now wants to put me on Levothyroxine which appears to be another name for Synthroid. After reading these posts and the warning on the Levothyroxine about taking it while pregnant or breast feeding, which I plan to do, I’m not sure this is the best option. I’m not sure there are many other options either. Any advice on taking this while pregnant would be greatly appreciated.

September 25, 2009 at 8:11 pm
(49) Joann says:

Just called the last pharmacy in my area no Armour Thyriod or Naturthroid available,every pharmacy said to have the doctor write a scrip for one of the synthetic thyroid meds, I don’t want to put that in my body. What is everyone doing about it? I say we alert the media to get the word out that something smells, the pharma cuetical companies want our money thats whats up. If everyone starts doing something we will be heard and find out the truth. Countries in Europe can get their equivalent of what our armour thyroid is so we in this land of freedom have the right to put a natural source of medicine in our body and not some big company that
gives money to our politicians. Let’s all speak out and fight for our rights.

September 30, 2009 at 10:20 pm
(50) Blondie says:

Everyone, e-mail Bill O’reilly. He can help us get it out into the world. E-mail local newspapers, radio, television. Goveners senators etc. We need help now!!

October 1, 2009 at 4:11 pm
(51) cb says:

Has anyone found something comparable to replace Armour??? I have had extremely bad symptoms since they reformulated it and now tried compounded version and it is not working either!!! I cant take synthroid or synthetic so anyone have a solution please help???

October 2, 2009 at 10:54 am
(52) Carrie says:

I’ve been on Armour Thyroid since April. I guess I made it through the formula change without incident. However, now I’ve run into the shortage with none available in my area. My doctor has recommended switching to Naturethroid or Westhroid if the pharmacies have it. However, none of the pharmacies near my carry those either. In that case, my doctor has recommended getting it from a compounding pharmacy. The local compounding pharmacy said that they have no shortage of the raw materials and can make it up quickly. I’m switching to the compounded version today. Here’s hoping it works! As for doctors wanting to switch you to Synthroid, I say find a new doctor, one who practices “functional medicine.” They recommend bioidentical hormones in lieu of synthetic.

October 2, 2009 at 6:59 pm
(53) Chris says:

personally I think Forest should have taken better steps in making sure Armour would stay the same like its been for so many years. I started taking synthroid and i felt better for about a week then I went back down hill. My doctor kept raising my dosage still no luck. I pray that Forest will wake up and continue making the original Armour. Forest changing the medication without any notifications to the people who take the prescription is dead wrong and should be fully investigated. There is a book out by a Dr Jacobs about hypothyroidism and I encourage everyone to pick up a copy and read it. Further more Forest shouldn’t be able to get away with messing with our thyroid health and should be ashamed of themselves!

October 13, 2009 at 12:51 pm
(54) Sandra says:

I too have had a wonderful experience with Armour thyroid after years of struggling with synthroid and have been symptom free of my Hashimoto’s for the last three years – until now. Lethargy, muscle aches, hair loss, temperature disregulation, digestion problems, and just feeling like a 60 watt bulb only able to muster up 15 watts of energy. After reading what everyone has said I called Forest Labs and spoke with a pharmacist, a nurse and customer care. They were very interested in what I had to say and would like anyone who is having problems since the reformulation to contact them. The reason for the change is a supposed bioavailability increase with the change between sucrose (why the original tasted sweet) to cellulose. Doesn’t make sense to me as cellulose in indigestible and if the active ingredient is binding to it, it may be less available than with the sucrose formulation. Any thoughts? I also asked about the rumored FDA requirements – NO the FDA is not requiring them to go through trials as they are grandfathered in under the “generally recognized as safe” ruling. They have also just released a large amount of the one grain size (60mg) to pharmacies so it should be available. He said that if the pharmacy didn’t have it yet to call Forest Labs again. He also wanted me to speak to a nurse to document the symptoms I was experiencing. The transfer was quick – no getting put on long holds, and she was very thorough and pleasant. The pharmacist, Pat, and the nurse that I spoke to want to hear from the people who are having difficulties with the change in formulation – so Call, Call and Call again. The only way to get the formula back to where it was is if we let them know it now doesn’t work. Call 800 678 1605 ext 66297 for medical input and 66298 for customer service and quality control. One voice is a whisper, many voices is a shout to be acknowledged.

October 30, 2009 at 5:49 pm
(55) Ronda says:

I just started on Armour Thyroid; however, the pharmacy had to do compounding to make it. I’m assuming it’s the new forumula. However, this is my first time on Armour and I’ve been on it for four days and still feel bad. Is it too soon to notice a difference or if it is the new formula will I continue to still feel bad – fatigue, insomnia, aches, hair loss, etc.? Any comments are appreciated. Thank you.

March 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm
(56) Sylvia says:

I realize you wrote this one year and a half ago and hopefully, you have managed to get help for your situation. About fifteen years ago, I was put on Synthroid. I felt terrible on it, and later found Mary Shoman’s site. I researched and decided to ask my physician for Armour. That proved successful until they reformulated it. I didn’t even realize that had occurred, but started to feel bad again and when I started to find it difficult to get my prescriptions filled at the pharmacy, I did more research and realized my problems might be because of their change. Fortunately, I found a pharmacy that compounds the original formula and I am doing fine once again. My only problems now are arriving at the correct dosage; my dosage needs continue to rise. I don’t know why.

November 1, 2009 at 3:01 pm
(57) cathy dodson says:

I am reading all these comments and I am getting so mad. Now I understand what is happening to my husband. He worked for SAIC and they let him go because he fell asleep during a meeting. He is on Armour Thyroid because his thyroid was removed during his military service. The poor guy. And now I am asking, whey did his doctor not see this. The only reason I am on this site, he just came back from the pharmacy and they said that they cannot get the meds, just sometimes. Now that doesn’t make sense. Either they are producing the meds or they are not, but certainly if your a business your in production. This is actually insanity. All these people held hostage with medication. I am going to make some phone calls on Monday. You have to speak up about these things. The one thing I can say is I am still young enough to give them a piece of my mind. Cathy Dodson

November 4, 2009 at 8:11 pm
(58) Cindy says:

This may help some people ease a few symptoms while waiting for their thyroid supply. While many people know iodine is part of thyroid hormone, they are not aware that the amino acid tyrosine is the other half of it. Tyrosine supplements helped me stay off thyroid medications for many years. Also, in order for our bodies to convert T4 to the active T3, we must have adequate selenium in our diets (Brazil nuts or supplements can be helpful). As for the post as to why thyroid problems are becoming so rampant, consider this: chlorine, fluorine, and bromine are related to iodine and can compete with it. Many of us are exposed to bromine as part of pesticides, as hot tub/pool sanitizers, even as brominated flour. Fluoride is in many water supplies and can be absorbed through mouth tissues if fluoridated toothpaste is used. (I use baking soda to get away from fluoride.) Chlorine can be in pesticides, treated water, etc. Although we can help reduce our exposure to these, it’s impossible to completely avoid them in our chemically contaminated world.

November 9, 2009 at 3:36 pm
(59) Kim says:

Does anyone know how many times Armour has been reformulated in the past ?

November 12, 2009 at 10:44 am
(60) Linda says:

Have your doctor recommend a compounding pharmacy. It is a little more expensive than the Armour thyroid but worth it. I use IT Compounding in Castle Rock CO. They do refills by phone or on-line and ship the medication directly to you for no extra cost.

December 11, 2009 at 10:52 pm
(61) John says:

If you or anyone you know is in need of Armour Thyroid medication, please contact Bolingbrook Compounding Pharmacy at 630-759-8900. They have a large supply of the active ingrediant and have the ability to serve patients nationwide.

December 27, 2009 at 9:07 am
(62) susan says:

Does anyone know when Armour was reformulated? I have an old supply of Armour from feb 08 that expired in feb 09 which I just started to take because I am desperate to feel better! So far I have been on the meds for 2 weeks and have not felt a change for the better(60 mg) Actually I feel more tired! Could it be due to the script being out of date? Or had Armour been reformulated already?

December 29, 2009 at 3:24 pm
(63) Karen Tanboor says:

My doctor switched me to Nature-Throid about 2 years ago and I had great success. I seemed to thrive even more than I did on the Armour. Now I find out that the Nature-Throid and Armour are on backorder and no one can tell you when it will be available again.
Do you have any information as to why we cannot get our medicine?
I know that I can get it compounded but it is much more expensive. When we will get our natural thyroid again? I don’t convert T4 to T3 so I cannot use the synthetic alternatives.

January 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm
(64) Roxanne says:

I just spoke to Armour customer service and Ross explained that they are having difficulty in obtaining the active ingredient (which would be the disssected thyroid of the pig). He assured me that the are “aware and working around the clock” to fix this. I asked if he would like this to go nationwide on 20/20? He had no response.

January 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm
(65) Pattie says:

I found Armour Thyroid in Canada at Northwestpharmacy.com They need your Rx and ship in 24 – 48 hours. I can take up to 2+ weeks to receive it in the mail. They have all mg in stock. I do not know if it is original blend or the new mix. I do not care, for now, as something is better than none. I have a bad heart as well and can not due without. I tried Synthroid in 2001 but it did not help at all. Good luck to us all!

January 29, 2010 at 6:43 am
(66) Dawn says:

I to am at a loss.. I call in or go to Walgreens for my Armour Thyroid and they fail to tell me if my refill is filled until I call & harrass them! They they say, “oh, by the way, there’s still a shortage and you’ll have to go on Synthroid” !! I absolutely cannot function on Synthroid and absolutely cannot live/function with the nasty hypothyroid effects for months & months while trying to regulate the dose. I could not find a pharmacy anywhere near my hometown to fill my script. My last refill was for 60mg when I only need to take 30mg, having to cut those pills always resulted in uneven dosing! I to have placed my order in Canada and although I cannot run my prescription insurance through that company, I’m happy to pay out of pocket for my much-needed thyroid medication. My doctor would not write a script for Nature-Throid as he had never heard of it :( This is extremely frustrating..good luck to you all, take care & be well

January 29, 2010 at 4:39 pm
(67) Boni says:


I got some of that THYROID they say it is the same..but whern I took it I felt like I was on “speed” my heart was racing and I was going 90 mph. I was soo glad when it wore off.
My Dr said it was probley a filler that they add, and I am allergic to these fillers.

Let mus know when you get it an dhow you react to it.

February 8, 2010 at 8:45 am
(68) amy says:

Amazing how many people die from pharmaceutical drugs that are properly taken and how many side effects there are to pharmaceutical drugs…how many people have died from pig’s thyroid that has been around much longer than all these other synthetic drugs. All the money!!!

February 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm
(69) Pattie says:

Boni, Thanks for the warning…I will take half pill at first to see what my reaction is. I am going to document my side effects and all that is going on with the Armour “shortage” and contact my locale senators office and media to see if I can get anywhere as well as file a complaint with the FDA.
Many, many years ago I helped uncover the Eli Lilly Pharm lies regarging DES use in pregnant women and we finally got the FDA To stop them from selling it. It was a huge battle since they lied for over 20 years regarding the damage being done to the ubborn babies.
Why would the pharm stop/change what has been used by so many for over 100 years? If is all about money they should know that we would gladly pay more to feel good versus taking the synthetic crap.
I am just about out of the Armour i got from my local pharmacy and hope to get the Canada stuff soon. I think I will start searching Canada blogs to see what I can find out about complaints/changes in formula up there.
Peace to all! Pattie

February 12, 2010 at 3:33 am
(70) marel says:

I cannot get Nature thyroid anymore either. Compounded has no effect on me. Anyone tried Thyrolar? On top of not getting proper medication for thyroid, I have hot flashes every 20 min during the night. Or I am always cold. I am tired of being tired, constipated, ichy and bitchy all the time! Might all well shave my head, instead of my hair falling out. Amrour helped my menopause symptoms better that the menopause compounds, OTCs and all the other stuff.
FDA wants us to switch to $leeping pills to sleep, and then take antidepre$$ants.. Isnt that what all the TV ads are for? I have NEVER seen a TV ad for thyroid meds has anyone?

February 13, 2010 at 11:09 am
(71) Karen says:

I had my throid removed in 1963, and have been on Armour ever since. Now suddenly, there is this shortage.
I tried an order with Canadamedicineshop and they have plenty, but my Dr. refused to give me a prescription because it’s not FDA approved. She did tell me that Synthroid would make me feel terrible, and that Nature was an option. Meanwhile, the pharmacies around here get some every few days, but you have to call around to see who has it. And the compounding pharmacies around here want $100 a month for my 120mg.
I’m furious.

February 24, 2010 at 10:21 pm
(72) Kathy says:

My local CVS is telling me that I can’t split the 60 mg Armour because it will “fall apart and crumble.” My Dr wants me to start on 30 mg. The local Walgreen’s says that’s no problem. Which is it? Anyone know? (I haven’t gotten it yet due to the shortage, but it should be in tomorrow, I hope).

March 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm
(73) mahoud says:
April 20, 2010 at 7:55 pm
(74) Scott says:

I’ve had a rough time using only synthroid for years, but find a combination works well. Thyroid warms me up in the winter and I cut it back in the spring and substitute a bit of synthroid. Winter: 1 1/4g of s + 1/4g of th. Spring: 1 1/2g syn + 1/8 g th. My doc has been great at letting me self regulate. If things get weird I just back off for a few days until I find what works. Thyroid is like food on your plate and is short lived and takes a couple of days to regulate, synthroid is like food in the pantry and takes me about a week to make the dose stable.

July 22, 2010 at 2:01 am
(75) Jean Friedlander says:

Is it because of farming in the US that caused Armour to change their formula? I was wondering if in other countries they make it the same because their farms are better there. Does anyone know?

July 22, 2010 at 2:05 am
(76) Jean Friedlander says:

Does anyone know if the Armour in Europe or other countries other than the US still makes the old armour? I heard they changed the active ingredient in the US. They are saying it is processed different and it changes the workings of the active ingredient. Could that be why Forest changed the way they make it? Could it be all about the farming here? I wonder. Why change something that is good? Just raise the price, isn’t that the easier way? I don’t understand this at all.

August 29, 2010 at 7:08 pm
(77) Yves says:

Ugh, I just had the same experience with my 60mg dosage. I put it in the pill cutter and it fell apart! I’m panicking now about what to do. I’ve been taking it in two dosages because it’s supposed to be healthier with the T3 issue. Anyone have a solution (beyond getting the generic but expensive dessicated Thyroid at a compounding pharmacy)?

September 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm
(78) Carmen says:


It’s been a while since these comments wer epsoted, and I was wondering, is all this madness over? Is anyone back on Armour and having luck?


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