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Mary Shomon

Compounded Natural Desiccated Thyroid: An Option for Thyroid Patients Who Can't Get Nature-Throid or Armour Thyroid

By September 30, 2009

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As the available supplies of manufactured natural desiccated thyroid drugs like Nature-Throid and Armour Thyroid dwindle, some thyroid patients who were taking those drugs are turning to compounding pharmacies to get their thyroid medications, rather than switching to synthetic thyroid drugs.

A compounding pharmacy is a specialized pharmacy that prepares medications to a doctor's specifications, to meet patients' individual needs. When a pharmacist compounds medications, they in some cases are prepare a liquid or cream form of a medication, prepare capsules that avoid particular fillers or ingredients, or add flavors (such as compounded medications for children and animals). It's also important to note that not all pharmacies are licensed to compound, and most large chain pharmacies, for example, do not compound medications.

Right now, compounding pharmacies are reporting that they have sufficient supply of the raw material -- natural desiccated thyroid powder -- to produce compounded medications in strengths that match manufactured medications like Armour and Nature-Throid.

I had an opportunity to speak with lead pharmacist Ryan Dyer, R.Ph., who with his wife, Christine Dyer, R.Ph., owns Bayview Pharmacy in South Kingstown, RI. Ryan addressed several key questions patients have about getting compounded natural desiccated thyroid.

How should prescriptions for natural desiccated thyroid be written by the doctor so that they can be filled?

According to Ryan, Bayview asks its customers to have the prescription either written or verbally phoned in, and it must specify "compound desiccated thyroid capsules." He said that the dosage can be specified in either grains or mg, but most prescribers specify mg. Note: you can not have a prescription that says "Armour Thyroid," "Nature-Throid" or simply "Natural Desiccated Thyroid" filled by a compounder. The prescription must specify "compound desiccated thyroid capsules."

What fillers are used?

Bayview uses microcrystalline cellulose. According to Ryan, "that's the only inactive product necessary. We don't use lactose, and we stay away from food colors to avoid sensitivity to dyes." The capsules are gelatin, and in rare cases, if someone has a sensitivity to gelatin, a vegetable-derived capsule can be requested.

Bayview's raw material -- the natural desiccated thyroid powder -- is coming from the Professional Compounding Centers of America, and has a certificate of analysis on file showing its purity.

Bayview, like some other larger compounding pharmacies, can fill prescription orders and ship to most states in the United States.

Bayview is on the web at www.bayviewrx.com and can be reached by telephone at 401-284-4505.

Other Compounding Pharmacies

There are a number of compounding pharmacies that are filling natural desiccated thyroid prescriptions for local patients, or for mail order. Two larger compounding pharmacies that are currently filling natural desiccated thyroid prescriptions for patients around the country include:

You can also search for a compounding pharmacy using the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP)'s Compounding Pharmacist Locator Online or by calling their Compounding Pharmacy Referral Hotline toll-free at 800-927-4227.

Patients are also sharing information about pharmacies that have pockets of manufactured drugs available -- as well as recommending their favorite compounding pharmacies -- online at the Save Natural Thyroid Coalition site.

MORE INFORMATION:

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Comments
September 30, 2009 at 5:25 pm
(1) Janet Wilson says:

I filled a compounded prescription as a replacement for Armour on September 11th. And while I’m happy to have the option of using a compounding local pharmacy to replace my Armour, I’m missing the option to split the pills. On Armour, I had the choice available to split up my prescription throughout the day by splitting my Armour pills. Now that I have a compounded capsule, I don’t really have that choice anymore.

Still… Having a compounded prescription is MUCH better than having NO natural thyroid at all. So, I’ll take it. ;)

October 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm
(2) Ellen Cohen says:

Janet – You can always have the compounding pharmacy (via your dr’s order)make capsules of different mg’s. (eg: I take 30mg caps and 15mg caps so that I can break up my dosage throughout the day and it works the same as when you broke your Armour pill in half). I like the compounded thyroid because I don’t want to take all the fillers and binders that they put in. (Even the compounding pharmacies put in things like microcrstalline cellulose). I have my compounding pharmacy use a vegetable capsule and they use vit C for the required filler. How much more healthy can you get? :-)

October 1, 2009 at 12:03 am
(3) gina says:

Mary, this “natural desiccated thyroid powder” – is that the same as “USP thyroid”? Does PCCA get it from American Labs? There’s some confusion on a forum about what USP contains (if anything) other than dried thyroid gland, and what sources (if any) compounding pharmacies have for their thyroid powder other than ALI. Is PCCA just a middleman between ALI and the compounders, or do they have other sources for thyroid powder?

A pharmacist (from one of the online compounders listed in your article) told a patient that they don’t use USP thyroid powder because it contains lactose. Any validity to that? And if they’re not using a USP product, who does certify it as a safe
pharmaceutical ingredient?

October 1, 2009 at 1:24 am
(4) gina says:

Oops, meant to add:

Any help with these questions appreciated!

October 1, 2009 at 12:16 pm
(5) Debra says:

I was on Armour, and when i couldn’t find it anymore, got natural compounded medication with only one all natural filler. I was told it was like taking Armour. After only taking one pill, i started to feel bad. By the third day, i was so ill i had to stop taking it. I don’t understand why if it was like Armour, i got so horribly ill. It has taken me 2 weeks to feel somewhat better again. I was lucky enough to find some Armour, so i’m now back on that. Getting compounded medication is not always the answer. I do know of a few other people that have had the same reaction to it that i had. I just want to make people aware of the fact that even though they tell you it’s just like taking your Armour, there is a chance that it won’t agree with you. I for one, got my hopes up when i figured i could just take the compounded medication until the shortage was over, only to be very disappointed that it didn’t work. I also wasted money on a prescription, that i only took 3 pills of, and now the rest is useless to me. I hope others have better luck with it then i did.

October 2, 2009 at 11:00 am
(6) Tambri says:

I also got very ill on the natural compounded Thyroid. My Doctor kept telling me to wait it out. After 2 weeks I was so ill I could not get out of bed. It made me the same ill that steroids do. I was afraid I would loose my job. I am still recovering from taking the medication. If anyone has an answerer as to why this makes people sick I would love to know.
Now I am searching the 4 corners of the earth to find Armour. I anyone knows where to get it please contact me.
Scared of not having thyroid in Texas

October 3, 2009 at 1:08 am
(7) linda piel says:

Hi,
Switched from levoxyl 150 to thyrolar from compound pharmacy (slightly less than what Thyrolar 2 would be) and my tsh is 136 right now with the doctor freaking out. After the first 4 weeks on a lower dose it was 100, she raised it to what it is not and in this four weeks it is 136. Feel great, but bp was really high today. She is an general medical doctor and wants to switch me back, I want to stay on this compound..Has anyone else had skyrocketed tsh level like this??
Thanks,
Linda

October 3, 2009 at 6:40 am
(8) Marie says:

I have been on armour for about 6 years now! I can’t ake the other thyroid medications on the market. Due to the dyes and chemicals in them mainly lactose! Armour is the only one that works for me! got my last script of 90mg filled in the summer then hey ran out at CVS! Got another script from my docter took it to another pharmacy got the 180mg igher dose and boke it in half. Just got another sript filled at target pharm in town found there 2months of pills at 180mg I am good till december. Told cvs to fill my 90mg script when they get that dose in if they do before the end of he year. I just had to do my homework and call around try to find 180mg. Fustrating I am a little nervous I use the compounding pharmacy for my othe hormones and the pharm. girl said they could make me a script then if I could not get armour anymore.
I am just hoping and praying that by december I can get it filled again. I am very worried about getting very sick I have Hashis and hypothyoid and armour is the only thing that works for me. Worried that I will lose my job on with the strict boss I have being understaffed and all even with sick days its still scary because he is not nice if you miss work. But it seem little by little it is a hit and miss thing with these pharmacy’s the different srenghth of armour there getting in you just have to call around.

October 3, 2009 at 6:54 pm
(9) Orchid says:

I have been using dessicated porcine thyroid for several years now. It’s all we can get up here in Canada. One thing that I found works best for me is to have a Slow Release (SR) formula prepared. This might help people who, like me, have trouble with taking the whole dose once per day. The SR formula makes all the difference.

September 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm
(10) Penny says:

Hi,

I read a comment you wrote in 2009 regarding your thyroid being formulated in Sustained release. I think that is definitely something I have been thinking is going to make the difference because everytime they try to give me a T4 or T3 product from individually compounded to Armour which all were immediate released, I couldn’t tolerate the med all at once. I am taking just T3 SR and tolerating it fine but still having alot of hypo symptoms so I am about to get some T4 added that is SR as they do think it is a metabolizing issue. How are you doing now and how long before you felt better?

October 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm
(11) Lethal Lee says:

Regarding Compounded Desiccated Thyroid you have to be vigilant about what sort of fillers are being used.

Supposedly what was greatly INCREASED in New Armour was Microcrystalline Cellulose & Dextrose was greatly REDUCED. (This is according to a poster saying a Forrest Pharmacist told her in a telephone call). It does accord , however, with what Forrest have said that only the proportions of Dextrose/cellulose was changed.

To fully explain ……

Armour was purchased by Forrest back in 1991 but it was continued to be made by Armour until 1996.

OLD FORMULATION (pre-1996)
Thyroid Powder USP
Anhydrous Dextrose -derived from cornstarch
***dropped in 1996 Mineral Oil NF
Calcium Stearate, NF – derived from beef tallow

Forrest started making Armour themselves in 1996 & at the same time reformulated it. It was then that Microcrystalline Cellulose (albeit a small amount only) was first added. Mineral Oil was also dropped & Calcium Stearate & Opadry white added too.
Note how much Dextrose & Cellulose WAS in the product!!!

REFORMULATION (post-1996)
Thyroid Powder USP
43.7mg Anhydrous Dextrose – derived from cornstarch
Calcium Stearate NF ***derived from beef tallow
***added 1996 7.7mg Microcrystalline Cellulose-derived from wood pulp
***added 1996 Sodium Starch Glycolate NF
***added 1996 Opadry White (titanium dioxide) -also contains trace amounts of PEG (polyethylene glycol), Polysorbate 80, and Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose.

Then Forrest reformualted in 2008/09 AGAIN.
This time there were no deletions/additions to the ingredients BUT there was a change to the AMOUNT of Dextrose & Microcrystalline Cellulose.

REFORMULATION (post 2008/9)
Thyroid Powder USP
5mg Anhydrous Dextrose – derived from cornstarch
Calcium Stearate NF – derived from beef tallow
45mg Microcrystalline Cellulose – derived from wood pulp
Sodium Starch Glycolate NF
Opadry White (titanium dioxide) – also contains trace amounts of PEG (polyethylene glycol), Polysorbate 80, and Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose.

So the difference in Pre 2008/09 & post 2008/09 Armour is …..
1/ Reduced Dextrose by 38.7mg
2/ Increased Microcrystalline Cellulose by 37.3mg

So makes sense to avoid having Microcrystalline Cellulose as your filler UNLESS is very small quantity?

Some have been getting Lactose & some have been getting Dextrose. Of course dont get Lactose IF you have a problem with it.

My Compounder reckons ANY Sugars are NOT good in a product containing T4. He says thats why Synthetic T4 is so poorly absorbed because ALL of them (whichever brand) have Lactose in them? Not helped either by some also having Calium as well (including Armour)? Lactose is a Sugar found in Milk. So he refuses to make Desiccated with either Lactose or Dextrose saying the T4 would be poorly absorbed (apparently doesnt affect T3 though)!

I am in Australia & my Compounder gets his Thyroid USP from the PCCA (PCCA Australia is a subsidiary of PCCA USA & have an office here too).

He also said that the PCCA Thyroid USP also has some Microcrystalline Cellulose in it but would not be a lot. However when he compounds it he ADDS nore to “fill” the capsule. Smaller 1/4 grain doses contain much more than say larger 1 grain doses (he uses same size capsules for all). Anywhere between 18-24mg is added … which is too much for my liking!!!!

He didn’t know where PCCA sourced its Thyroid USP. He was not even aware of existence of ALI or that they are supposedly only USA producers. Nor was he aware of problems caused by Armours Reformulation (we dont have any Desiccated Thyroid tabs here only compounded).

He claimed Microcystalline Cellulose would NOT cause the problems encountered with New Armour & that it would actually dissolve much easier/better? Although he pointed out sublingually wasnt recommended & wasnt aware folks did that either.

However Hydromellose, (a different type of cellulose) might well cause problems sublingually. Apparently that type is what is used to make it SLOW RELEASE? And we are all aware that many folks do NOT seem to absorb/do well on Slow Release (although a few do)?

He said if you tried to sublingual anything with Hydromellose in it you would end up with yukky residue which would not dissolve. Does that sound like what what some of you have described when taking New Armour sublingually???

But another poster on Yahoo wrote her USA Compounder said that Microcytalline Cellulose is what makes it slow release???

So either Microcystalline Cellulose IS the problem OR Armour put in a NEW type of Cellulose (Hydromellose,or similar)???

Apparently FDA lists all these as GRAS (generally recogmised as safe) when used in accordance with good manufacturing practices.

Whichever I would be avoiding anything with Cellulose in it to be sure. Note Avicel is a brand name for Microcrytalline Cellulose.

Some compounders will do with Olive Oil or NO FILLERS depending on how they are setup. Perhaps thats thw way to go?

As far as Thyroid Usp containing Lactose.
Both Naturethroid & Westhroid have included in their ingredients …. Lac­tose Monohy­drate (tra­cea­ble amount as part of desic­ca­ted thy­roid pow­der USP). So as we know they DO get theirs from ALI it is correct that there IS some Lactose (albeit in trace amounts) in Thyroid USP.

October 9, 2009 at 7:00 am
(12) brad says:

we also have a good supply of raw material from PCCA and are compounding with Avicel(micro crystalline cellulose)
Pavilion Compounding Pharmacy
http://www.pavilioncompounding.com
http://www.Atlantacompoundingpharmacy.com

October 9, 2009 at 12:28 pm
(13) caryl says:

I didn’t know one can get a slow-release capsule made. I will do that next time. The info with my new compounded prescription said to take it on an empty stomach (which is how I took the Armour), but that made me ill.
I discovered that, for me, I have to eat breakfast and then take the Compounded Desiccated Thyroid, because, on an empty stomach, it immediately dissolved and almost “blew” my head off.
Thanks for the info about slow-release.

October 9, 2009 at 3:05 pm
(14) Becky says:

Dear Folks,

I have been hypothyroid all my life, aND AM VERY upset that the FDA is being allowed to mess with our supply of Armour Thyroid!

I am now in the process of finding a SAFE alternative to Armour, UNLESS there is a safe formula of Armour WITHOUT all of the “fillers”.

On Amazon.com, there is advertized a New Zealand pharmaceutical company (“Premier”) that uses only organically fed animals in making their “Raw Thyroid Glandular Complex”. So far, I have not been able to find out what dosages or filler information they use.

If someone from New Zealand/Australia area can locate that infor for ALL of us, I am sure it would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!!

Thanks!
Becky in TN U.S.A.

October 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm
(15) Lethal Lee says:

Hi Becky,

“On Amazon.com, there is advertized a New Zealand pharmaceutical company (”Premier”) that uses only organically fed animals in making their “Raw Thyroid Glandular Complex”. So far, I have not been able to find out what dosages or filler information they use.

If someone from New Zealand/Australia area can locate that infor for ALL of us, I am sure it would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!!”

This is NOT a New Zealand company at all.
It appears to be an Indian company “Premier Nutraceuticals Private Ltd” seems to have offices in Ireland USA Asia as well.

I could only find the product on one site & had NO info on ingredients at all except what you had mentioned.

October 11, 2009 at 12:09 pm
(16) D Wood says:

I wish people would elaborate on how compounded it making them ill. It’s making me nauseous and throwing up in the morning, mine is made with Avecil.

October 14, 2009 at 6:41 pm
(17) deanna says:

I just picked up my meds from the compounding pharmacist. I was taking armour and loved it. the ingredients say LIOTHYRONINE SODIUM USP(T-3) NDC 62991-1096-01(*THYROXINE (L),SODIUM SALT. Is this natural thyriod hormone or a synthetic? I’m confused!!!! Please help me understand.

October 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm
(18) Rebecca says:

I’m 33 and I live in Ann Arbor Michigan, and whereas before my insurance wouldn’t pay for Armour, it will pay for the compounding pharmacy. I know that if you are on levothyroxine/synthroid types, they recommend you stay with the same brand, whatever it is, as patients do not do well when they switch, so I can only imagine it is the same with the dessicated. My experience of being on the compunded for a week, is that I needed to double my dose to feel the way I did not Armour. I don’t know if it is just an adjustment period and I am getting used to a different medication, but it was like not taking it all when I was taking my normal 1 grain/60 mg dose. I don’t have the same hyperthyroid symptoms I was having when I incresed my dose of Armour. I am going ot get my levels tested in 2 weeks after self-adjustment by how I felt, not by levels, and see if my instincts were right. If anyone else has any similar story of ow they needed to go about changing brands and likewise adjust their dose, even withh synthroid, I’d be greatful to hear it.

November 6, 2009 at 10:34 am
(19) Suzanne says:

Everyone is different and like the dosages, the different thyroid meds react differently for people. For me, the compounded thyroid (only t3/t4) is as useless as the pharmaceuticals. I suspect the descicated meds are more of a full spectrum, with, for me, includes other thyroid not found in the compounded or pharmaceuticals.

The pharmaceutical companies make huge profits for thyroid meds and they will do whatever it takes to continue so if they can corrupt members of the FDA it only stands to reason why we are in this current deliema .

Patients must learn how to be their own advocates and work with their health care prviders as partners in treatment and not just dictated to. If your doctor is not willing to work with you find another but unless you communicate why you are leaving his/her care the reason will be unknown to them. With health care on the brink of change, it is each persons responsibility to take a stand for their own care.

November 23, 2009 at 6:59 pm
(20) Molly says:

I’m very lucky – I was diagnosed right when the shortage started, and titrated on compounded dessicated thyroid from the very start. I refuse to go off it now, even if everything comes back to normal, even if my insurance stops covering it, even if pigs fly. I feel better than I have in years. I suspect that many may need to be retitrated as if they were first starting supplementation, with blood tests every six weeks.

October 21, 2011 at 7:32 pm
(21) Jody says:

I have had a allergic reaction to Armour thyroid medication after it was reformulated and was switched to compounded thyroid. Wow my whole world has changed. I feel like me again for the first time in years. My joints don’t hurt, I am not tired, I feel like I used to before the thyroid stopped working. I will also never give up my compounded thyroid med no matter what.

November 27, 2009 at 8:29 pm
(22) Mark Burger says:

Some clarity is in order: A) it’s hyPromellose, not hyDromellose and it is only, usually, used to make a capsule SLOW-RELEASE; B) if you don’t feel well on your compounded form of thyroid, tell your doctor and let him/her adjust your dose to achieve euthyroid; C) Avicel IS microcrystalline cellulose; D) Microcrystalline cellulose IN AN OF ITSELF does not cause problems. If it did, one would have trouble with one’s diet of any plant material (salads, asparagus, etc.) (cellulose); E) Yes, a change in a TABLET FORMULATION from dextrose to cellulose MIGHT make the characteristics of the tablet change; F) T3 and T4 in combination, made by a compounding pharmacy would be made from SYNTHETIC sources; G) DESSICATED PORCINE THYROID USP IS NOT NATURAL unless you are a pig. Only dessicated HUMAN thyroid powder would be considered “natural” or, better yet, bio-identical. Therefore CALLING it natural (because it doesn’t come from a lab) doesn’t mean it is NATURAL for a human to take. Because it isn’t;
H) you don’t want your Dessic. Thyroid Powder USP to be made in a TIMED-RELEASE FORM. Thyroid USP should dissolve in the stomach since stomach acid is necessary for proper cleavage of the T3 and T4 from the porcine proteins (the pig’s thyroid tissue) so it can be absorbed properly. Slow Release might obviate this important step by keeping the powder undissolved during its transit through the stomach. T4 is already, metabolically, “timed-release” as it is INACTIVE until it is absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to the tissues where the deiodinase enzyme removes 1 iodine molecule to make it into the active, T3, form; I) If you are getting a compounded T3/T4 combination you are getting a compounded version of THYROLAR (liotrix); J) slow-release T3 is another animal and is used, usually, for the treatment of Wilson’s Thyroid Syndrome. Though, some doctors use it in combination with Thyroid Powder USP to acheive euthyroid state; K) Changes in response when taking compounded thyroid preps MAY be due to changes in the patient. Stress can greatly change thyroid requirements. We are in a stressful time of year. If you haven’t had your cortisol levels measured, it might be wise to do so. Since most of Thyroid USP is T4 (38 mcgm per 1 grain of powder) anything (like low selenium levels) might reduce the conversion of T4 to T3 in the peripheral tissues (where de-iodination and DNA transcription occurs).

Lastly: It would be more appropriate to list a source for finding ANY compounding pharmacy in any part of the country by listing http://www.iacprx.org where patients can put in their ZIP CODE and find a compounding pharmacy near their home. List just 2 or 3 compounding pharmacy gives readers the impression that you are RECOMMENDING these pharmacies over others. ARE you doing that?

November 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm
(23) Mark Burger says:

Some clarity is in order: A) it’s hyPromellose, not hyDromellose and it is only, usually, used to make a capsule SLOW-RELEASE; B) if you don’t feel well on your compounded form of thyroid, tell your doctor and let him/her adjust your dose to achieve euthyroid; C) Avicel IS microcrystalline cellulose; D) Microcrystalline cellulose IN AN OF ITSELF does not cause problems unless the compounded capsule is very large (#0 or #00 size). Ask for a size #3 capsule. If it did, one would have trouble with one’s diet of any plant material (salads, asparagus, etc.) (cellulose); E) Yes, a change in a TABLET FORMULATION from dextrose to cellulose MIGHT make the characteristics of the tablet change; F) T3 and T4 in combination, made by a compounding pharmacy would be made from SYNTHETIC sources; G) DESSICATED PORCINE THYROID USP IS NOT NATURAL unless you are a pig. Only dessicated HUMAN thyroid powder would be considered “natural” or, better yet, bio-identical. Therefore CALLING it natural (because it doesn’t come from a lab) doesn’t mean it is NATURAL for a human to take. Because it isn’t. It just happens to contain a ratio of T4:T3 that is close to what our human thyroids produce. It also isn’t “natural” to swallow your thyroid hormone. It should be excreted into the blood stream by the thyroid gland. Exposing it to the saliva, gastric juice and pancreatic enzymes is not “natural”. So the term is somewhat misleading; H) you don’t want your Dessic. Thyroid Powder USP to be made in a TIMED-RELEASE FORM. Thyroid USP should dissolve in the stomach since stomach acid is necessary for proper cleavage of the T3 and T4 from the porcine proteins (the pig’s thyroid tissue) so it can be absorbed properly. Slow Release might obviate this important step by keeping the powder undissolved during its transit through the stomach. T4 is already, metabolically, “timed-release” as it is INACTIVE until it is absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to the tissues where the deiodinase enzyme removes 1 iodine molecule to make it into the active, T3, form; I) If you are getting a compounded T3/T4 combination you are getting a compounded version of THYROLAR (liotrix); J) slow-release T3 is another animal and is used, usually, for the treatment of Wilson’s Thyroid Syndrome. Though, some doctors use it in combination with Thyroid Powder USP to acheive euthyroid state; K) Changes in response when taking compounded thyroid preps MAY be due to changes in the patient. Stress can greatly change thyroid requirements. We are in a stressful time of year. If you haven’t had your cortisol levels measured, it might be wise to do so. Since most of Thyroid USP is T4 (38 mcgm per 1 grain of powder) anything (like low selenium levels) might reduce the conversion of T4 to T3 in the peripheral tissues (where de-iodination and DNA transcription occurs).

Lastly: It would be more appropriate to list a source for finding ANY compounding pharmacy in any part of the country by listing http://www.iacprx.org where patients can put in their ZIP CODE and find a compounding pharmacy near their home. List just 2 or 3 compounding pharmacy gives readers the impression that you are RECOMMENDING these pharmacies over others. ARE you doing that?

December 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm
(24) heather says:

re: not feeling well on Armor even after adjusting doses – If you have Hashimoto (sp?) – where your body attacks your natural thyroid hormones, natural (dessicated) thyroid may also be attacked.

January 22, 2010 at 5:07 am
(25) Evelyn R. Smith says:

I took one-quarter grain of Armour for ten years before they reformulated it. TSH stayed less than 2.0. Felt fine. Then, TSH elevated with new Armour formulation in summer of 2009. Women’s Int. Pharmacy is compounding mine in olive oil. It works great! I’ll stick with them, because they worked closely with me on the dosage. Pharmisists are availble on phone when you need help. Regardless of what happens with Armour or Naturethroid, I’ll stay with WIP and the olive oil compound.

February 17, 2010 at 12:13 pm
(26) Pamela says:

I,too, am grateful to have compounding pharmacy, but I have been taking Armour for 7 yrs and was unable to get it as of 12/30/09, at which time I started taking compounded thyroid. It has wrecked my life! I have gained 7 lbs in 6 weeks! Eating even less to stop the weight gain has not helped. I feel I am being tormented. I have other symptoms as well– all hypo symptoms. In doing the Wilson’s Temperature Test, my temp has been hovering around 96 degrees in the morning– NOT good. If anyone has been taking dessicated thyroid, I am forewarning you.

March 5, 2010 at 8:24 am
(27) Laura says:

I looked into getting my thyroid from a local compounding pharmacy but wasn’t able to afford what they charged. A one month supply would have cost over $50! I had to drop my Rx coverage this year because I couldn’t afford the monthly payments- I’m disabled and on Medicare. Thank heaven for Canadian pharmacies willing and able to ship Erfa thyroid to me. Even with shipping costs a three month supply ends up being half of what the compounding pharmacy wanted for a one month supply. Now that I know my body is doing well with the Erfa- my last blood tests were the best I’ve had since being on Naturethroid- I’m going to have my Dr send me a script for a year’s supply.
I keep hoping Naturethroid will come back with half grain size since that’s what I take. Full grain pills are impossible to split! I don’t understand why they can’t concentrate on making half grain pills- people who need a full grain can take two but someone who needs only a half can’t really split them!

March 5, 2010 at 12:44 pm
(28) Nancy says:

I have taken Armour Thyroid since 1992, and it worked well for me until early 2009. When I found about the formulation changes, I switched to Nature-Throid, and was quite happy with that. When I heard about shortages from this site, I scrounged enough “new” Armour to last until late January. However, there is no correct dose of the new for me to be healthy. My personal life and my working life both suffered. I was just a shell of what I should be.

Then my pharmacist called me in early February to offer compounded porcine thyroid. My doctor approved and within days, I started to come back to life. I can have energy and my brain working without anxiety, shaking hands and a racing heart rate. Still working on the best dose, but we’re almost there. (I also have a 6 mo. supply of Erfa just in case.) It’s just too bad that the compounded is so expensive.

I didn’t live the past year. I just existed. Now I am living my life again!

March 5, 2010 at 9:23 pm
(29) Arlene says:

I have been on Armour Thyroid since 1975 and was doing well until the re-formulation. I was really down and out on those pills. So, when I could no longer get the Armour pills, I switched to compounded desiccated tablets and felt better almost immediately. The new Armour formula doesn’t work for me so I will not go back to it even if it becomes easily available again. It is more expensive, but my health is too important to risk it on meds that are either changed or not available as needed.

March 7, 2010 at 10:23 am
(30) Steve says:

I haven’t seen much mention of desiccated thyroid that is just T3.

Armour is a mix of T3 and T4.

My dr prefers to use T3 in my case, and we don’t even check TSH. We check T3 and rT3.

I switched from Synthroid to desiccated T3 2 1/2 years ago and the difference is night and day. No dr will ever talk me into taking Synthroid again, I will just not do it.

March 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm
(31) lethargic says:

Does anyone have severe neck pain/stiffness in shoulders after taking dessicated thyroid? About one hour after taking my 1/2 grain I get a crazy stiff neck and shoulders, and my hands feel like icicles. I also get a weighed down feeling in my head, like a heaviness. Hard to explain. About 3 hours after I take it the symptoms go away. So strange.

November 6, 2010 at 11:54 pm
(32) jc says:

i just started compounded thyroid medicine. on my 2nd day…headaches for the first 6 hours or more and a pulling feeling around my shoulder neck area…..is this what you experienced…lethargic….
I am wondering if it is just me or this thyroid medicine…i have had bad headaches two days in a row….since starting medicine…but i am only taking 30 mg but wonder if i should call the dr and change to a synthetic t4 hence she said she would leave it up to me and she said she liked the synthetic better bec it could be controlled better than the compounded.

April 24, 2010 at 11:06 pm
(33) Arna says:

Can anyone tell me what Erfa is?

May 22, 2010 at 1:41 am
(34) Beverly says:

I can’t take natural or synthetic thyroid medication; What can I do ? I’m blowing-up like a toad!

June 1, 2010 at 1:26 am
(35) glenda says:

Please, does anyone know of a doctor in Dallas who will prescriibe Armour Thyroid? Does this new formulation work? I am now taking something else that is NOT working!
I feel awful. I’m exhausted all the time, hot or cold, puffy, don’t sleep, depressed, itch all over, etc.
Hope someone can give some insight to this problem.
Thanks in advance!
glenda

July 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm
(36) Erin says:

Glenda,

I’m from New York, but my thyroid doctor is in Texas. They have a location in Dallas and in Katy. They’re called Hotze Health and Wellness center. You have to pay out of pocket and it’s expensive, but they will prescribe Armour…if you can find it.

July 26, 2010 at 7:32 pm
(37) anneh says:

I have hashi’s and was well controlled for 15 years on Armour. Due to shortage of Armour a new Dr I went to last fall put me on a compound made at a pharmacy. It almost killed me, I went hyPERthyroid and ended up in ER with Atrial Fibrillation and now will probably have episodes of AF the rest of my life. I am shattered by this happening to me! I switched to a dr who knows what he is doing and now on levoxyl with a little compounded T3, we are going slowly as I live in fear of another hyperthyroid episode :(

August 5, 2010 at 11:58 pm
(38) Johnny V says:

Does anyone ever take dessicated thyroid bovine supplement instead of thyroid from a pig ?

August 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm
(39) Susan says:

I just recently began taking Armour Thyroid and started to have some terrible side effects from it (severe heart palpitations and the feeling that I have taken Speed, which causes severe insomnia). It is my understanding that the formula was drasticially changed (that’s why it was off the market for so long) and this new formula is causing severe side effects in thousands of users. The FDA is aware of it, and refuses to change the formula. More users need to call the company that manufactures it (Forest Labs) and file a complaint.

September 11, 2010 at 9:37 am
(40) Tom says:

I had Hurthle cell thyroid cancer removed just over two years ago. It is a less normal type so I don’t see much on the websites. I took Synthroid but it left me with down periods. My doctor was not big on Armour but prescribed it as an alternative. This was after the reformulation and it had about the same effect as the Synthroid. During the severe shortage she gave me a prescription for dessicated thyroid from a compounding pharmacy. I have felt fine since the switch. Shortly after starting with them they changed to an “exact” Armour formulation. This was a concern but it still worked great. Based on other comments compounding is not a sure bet but you can work with them to adjust the formulation which you can’t with mass produced.

September 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm
(41) Jean Friedlander says:

The main difference everyone is feeling is because of the active ingredient. Haven’t you all noticed all the changes recently?Meds do not work as well. Fillers changed however this is not the problem.If it were, they would have thought of a filler that worked; just like old armour.Now they advertise adrenal insufficiency on Western Research Labs.com Low T3-taking adrenal insufficiency supplements such as DHEA will help.IT takes down inflammation, helps digestion, gives energy, helps joint pain & muscle. These are all the things that OLD ARMOUR did for you.Ask professionals.They would say the DHEA will help a thyroid patient to feel better.THIS IS ALL SIGNS OF A CHANGING PROCESS OF MAKING THYROID POWDERS-THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT.Responsible for this is AMERICAN LABORATORIES in Nebraska.They changed everything.They claimed a shortage. Coincidence-shortage same time as all the thyroid medications changing.They do not have specs explaining the process on their website any longer.I asked them why- said they do not give out that info on the thyroid powder, only on all the other powders they sell.They also say their thyroid powder is FDA approved,it is NOT!I spoke to the FDA, assured me it is definitely not FDA approved. This means they can legally change anything about this product in anyway they want.Dessicated THyroid Powder is not approved by the FDA- Forest Pharmaceuticals is approved by the FDA and regulated by them but has nothing to do with Amer. Labs.PEOPLE- IT IS NOT THE FILLERS! IT IS THE ACTIVE INGREDIENT!It is not right that they are getting away with this and nobody knows. They caused this entire confusion with Natural Thyroid Meds and nobody knows it but them and the Pharmaceutical Companies. Why is that?We need answers to these questions. There are many questions and we all need to get together and find the answers. I am doing some research. Anybody want to join in?

September 23, 2010 at 5:10 pm
(42) Jean Friedlander says:

It’s not the fillers- it’s the active ingredient made by American Labs. in Nebraska. They caused everything to change, not FOREST.It’s not right. People need this medication the way it was. They are getting away with this. Active Ingredient is not approved by the FDA, only the pills made by pharmaceutical companies.
They can process this anyway they wish. They were responsible for the shortage, for the changes. It is not potent because of the way they process it.
FORGET ABOUT THE FILLERS- we need to take some action
& do some heavy research of this company.
It’s not fair to the patients who really need this medication. Why is this company not exposed?

December 20, 2011 at 9:46 am
(43) Jesse says:

Microcrystalline Cellulose is a common filler used in an overwhelming amount of medications, both O.T.C. and prescription. It cannot make you sick. Microcystalline Cellulose is an insoluble fiber, essentially the material that forms the rigid cell walls in plants, and passes right through you. If you eat vegetables, you are eating cellulose in its raw form. It does not get absorbed in the G.I. tract anywhere. Excessively high doses will increase bowel movements because it is fiber.
It has no effect on making a drug SR, or Sustained Release. There are products that do that, but Microcrystalline Cellulose is not one of them. It is the excipient of choice in compounding because it is extremely safe, totally inert, easy to work with, and inexpensive. If you are having problems with compounded thyroid products it is not because of Microcrystalline Cellulose. The more likely culprit is poorly made product compounded incorrectly.
This information is based on 15 years experience in compounding pharmacy.

April 24, 2012 at 12:11 am
(44) eenicker says:

March 24, 2013 at 10:44 pm
(45) Jennifer says:

I had a complete hysterectomy in 2007 when I was 27. For 4 years, I hadn’t taken any kind of hormones for fear of all the horror stories. Then my whole body was falling apart at age 30! Hair being crispy and falling out, muscle pains, back going out, rapid aging, dark circles under the eyes, my skin pigmentation going crazy giving me a crappy complexion, etc. Then I finally got on HRT with real progesterone and estrodial. With that for the past 1 1/2, I had the shakes, anxiety out of this world, moodiness. I’ve experienced severe stress these past months and my hair is the worst it’s ever been and still dark circles under the eyes. I finally went in for a whole complete blood work-up with a new doctor. My corisol and DHEA were skyrocketed…probably from stress of work and my body being out of whack. I also had insufficient thyroid. My doctor double my dose of estrodiol and progesterone from a compound pharmacy since my levels weren’t where they need to be especially for my age regardless of having surgical menopause ( you age in your body rapidly with very little hormones like a very old woman ). But he also prescribed me 1 grain Armour. Last week, as soon as I took the Armour, early in the morning with water, then an hour later estrodial and of course, at night, the progesterone. The FIRST day I felt more calm since all of this has happened! No shakes, anxiety, or profuse sweating no matter what the temperature! I’m so hoping that this means I’m on the right track now!

September 25, 2013 at 2:39 am
(46) Tracy says:

Jesse I would have to emphatically disagree. Microcyrstalline Cellulose is a wood pulp and the last time I checked, nothing containing wood should be part of our human diet. I have had SEVERE reactions to microcyrstalline cellulose and though it took me almost a year to figure it out (in both supplements I took for years that suddenly switched as well as Naturethroid and compounded meds), I did indeed figure it out. There was only one common ingrediant in everything that I had reactions to. Eliminated the MC and waa-la, I was a different person, for the better. The sad part is that most compounders/doctors/pharmacists believe as you do and so for those of us that are suffering, we go largely ignored until we raise enough cain trying to fight for our own lives and health. If you don’t have the problem, you don;t understand. I am fortunate because of being really good at listening to my body, but how many thousands of people are out there that think there life is worthless because of bad medicine that people tell you it’s not possible to make you feel horrible. I hope by now you’ve realized the truth. What other options do you offer?

October 11, 2013 at 6:23 am
(47) Kevin Jackson says:

I think the best thing for getting proper cure is compounding pharmacies as we can take all specific and tailored medicines that suits our body. I personally taking medicine from <a href=”http://compoundingrxusa.com”>http://compoundingrxusa.com</a&#062; and satisfied with their medicines.

December 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm
(48) Donna says:

Does anyone know of an organic non GMO VERIFIED
desicated thyroid product as supplier to women’s intn’l does NOT test for viruses, metals or pesticides and supplier for synthetic T3 will NOT disclose synthetic source which is currently making me I’ll and have had to D/C?

February 27, 2014 at 12:20 pm
(49) SB says:

GRATITUDE unlimited for Hotze Health and Wellness Center….!!

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