Many of our patients are just becoming aware of this, but there is a manufacturing issue with the production of two of our most prescribed thyroid medications – Nature-Throid® and WP Thyroid® (these are manufactured in the same facility). This is an issue beyond our control, and it is estimated that it will be sometime in 2018 before it is resolved. If you have been taking one of these medications, do not despair – there are other options to choose from.
What Are My Options?
These are the medication options currently available:
- NP® Thyroid (same T3/T4 formula as Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid)
- No inflammatory fillers
- Made in the United States
- Available for as little as $10/month depending on your insurance
- Probably the best option for most people at this point
- Armour® Thyroid
- It also tends to be more expensive depending on your insurance coverage
- Dosing is a little bit different
- Uses Cornstarch as a filler (can’t be used for those with corn sensitivity/allergy)
- Compounded T3/T4 medication
- Typically more expensive
- Free of fillers
- More dosing options
Why Don’t We Recommend Using Synthroid®/Levothyroxine alone?
T4 preparations (Synthroid/Levothyroxine) are the most widely used thyroid hormone replacement medications. This is how the majority of traditional clinicians are treating their patients and are most likely getting inferior results. T4 is not an active hormone. It is a prohormone and does not have any activity in the body. T4 must be converted to T3 to work on the cells of the body. Often times, there can be other imbalances (nutrient/hormonal/toxins/infections/stress) that affect the body’s ability to convert T4 to T3 and/or affect the way the cells take up and use T3. For that reason, giving the body adequate T3 is absolutely vital to achieving optimal thyroid function.
Our practice primarily uses combination products that contain both T4 and T3. There are times if you are being treated with Synthroid when you see one of our clinicians, we will consider adding a T3 preparation (Cytomel/Liiothyronine) to your Synthyroid.
Many patients will ask, “If T3 is so important, then why do I even need T4?” This is a great question. The answer is that T3 has a short half-life, which means that it doesn’t stay in the body very long. Some T4 is needed so there is always a resource to make T3. However, when given a combination product of T4 and T3, our body needs to still convert some T4 into T3.
What is the Next Step?
You will more than likely be told by your pharmacist at your next refill that the Nature-Throid or WP Thyroid is not currently available. There are a couple of pharmacies in our area that still have some of the dose preparations of Nature Throid. You have the option to refill at the specific pharmacies that we know are carrying Nature Throid or we will call in a new prescription of one of the above medications to your preferred pharmacy.
If you are nearing the time of your next refill, please contact our office at 843-375-2210 to ask your provider to write a new prescription for one of the options listed above.
If after starting the new medication you feel like you are not responding properly or you notice negative side effects – please visit our office for thyroid blood labs, then schedule an appointment for approximately one week later to discuss the results and additional options with your provider.
We understand how frustrating it is to change medications because of unavailability, and some of our own staff is affected by this issue, as well. We are monitoring the situation and will attempt to keep our patients updated as we learn new developments. Please call our office at 843-375-2210 if you have any additional questions or to request a new thyroid medication prescription.