What Should I Watch For While Using This Medication
Do not switch brands of this medication unless your care team agrees with the change. Ask questions if you are uncertain.
You will need regular exams and occasional blood tests to check the response to treatment. If you are receiving this medication for an underactive thyroid, it may be several weeks before you notice an improvement. Check with your care team if your symptoms do not improve.
It may be necessary for you to take this medication for the rest of your life. Do not stop using this medication unless your care team advises you to.
This medication can affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar as directed.
Some brands of this medication may have a strong odor. This does not mean that the medication is spoiled.
You may lose some of your hair when you first start treatment. With time, this usually corrects itself.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your care team that you are taking this medication.
No Generic Alternative Available
No generic alternative is available for this drug.
What is a Generic in Canada? Health Canada evaluates every Canadian generic for their safety, effectiveness, and quality. Every generic used in Canada has the same medical ingredients as their brand name counterpart and is considered bioequivalent to the brand name medication. The quality standards for brand name drugs and generic drugs are the same. All of the ingredients, facilities, and manufacturing processes must meet Canadian federal guidelines for Good Manufacturing Practices. In addition, Canadian generic manufacturers must perform ‘comparative bioavailability’ studies to demonstrate that their generic products deliver the same amount of medicinal ingredient at the same rate as the brand name medication. Nearly 45% of all prescriptions filled in Canada use generic medication and some hospitals exclusively use generic drugs. For more information, please visit
Side Effects Of Armour Thyroid Vs Synthroid
As with all medications, there are potential side effects, sometimes a result of the dosage being too high.
Synthroid side effects include:
- Swelling of the hands and feet
Armour Thyroid is not recommended during pregnancy and should be discussed with your doctor.
Summary: Both Armour Thyroid and Synthroid have potential side effects including increased appetite, hair loss, headaches and more.
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Can You Get A Prescription For Armour Online
To legally get a prescription for medication, you first need to consult with a doctor. Then, your doctor can send the prescription to a pharmacy to fill.
Paloma Health offers virtual consultations with thyroid doctors. You meet with a doctor from your computer or smartphone to get a comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, and prescription for medications like ArmourÂ®, if appropriate.
Schedule a free call with a care advisor to determine if Paloma Health might be right for you.
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What Are Some Side Effects That I Need To Call My Doctor About Right Away
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect: Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash hives itching red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever wheezing tightness in the chest or throat trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking unusual hoarseness or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. Chest pain or pressure. Fast or abnormal heartbeat. Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs. Lump on the neck. Headache. Feeling nervous and excitable. Shakiness. Trouble sleeping. Bothered by heat. Sweating a lot. Feeling more or less hungry. A change in weight without trying. Diarrhea. Stomach cramps. Throwing up. Feeling irritable. Fever. Leg cramps. Muscle weakness. Period changes.
Armour Thyroid Vs Other Brands Of Ndt
Armour thyroid falls into a class of drugs known as NDT.
NDT stands for natural desiccated thyroid and drugs in this class are all similar but differ in their inactive ingredients.
Armour thyroid is the original formulation of NDT but there are many other medications including WP thyroid, Nature-throid, NP thyroid, and more.
Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Because of this, its important that you are at least aware of these other brands of medications.
Because its possible that while you may not necessarily tolerate one formulation of NDT it doesnt mean you wont tolerate them all.
Ive seen many patients who dont tolerate Armour thyroid but do tolerate Nature-throid and vice versa.
Dont give up on NDT medications if you experience a small reaction during your transition to Armour or when you first start it.
Instead, take note of your symptoms, try to determine what is causing them, and make changes as appropriate.
You may find that your problems are dose-related, medication-specific, or related to your sensitivities.
All of these issues can be overcome with careful consideration.
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Armour Thyroid Dosage And Administration
The dosage of thyroid hormones is determined by the indication and must in every case be individualized according to patient response and laboratory findings.
Thyroid hormones are given orally. In acute, emergency conditions, injectable levothyroxine sodium may be given intravenously when oral administration is not feasible or desirable, as in the treatment of myxedema coma, or during total parenteral nutrition. Intramuscular administration is not advisable because of reported poor absorption.
What Is This Medication
THYROID hormone treats low thyroid levels in your body. It works by replacing a thyroid hormone normally made by the body. Thyroid hormones play an important role in your overall health. They help support metabolism and energy levels.
This medicine may be used for other purposes ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME: Armour Thyroid, Bio-Throid, Nature Throid NT, Nature Thyroid, Nature-Throid, NatureThyroid NT, NP Thyroid, Westhroid, Westhroid TH-1, Westhroid TH-1.5, Westhroid TH-1/2, Westhroid TH-1/4, Westhroid TH-2, Westhroid TH-2.5, Westhroid TH-3, Westhroid TH-3/4, Westhroid TH-4, Westhroid TH-5, Westhroid-P, WP Thyroid
Recommended Reading: Treatment For Overactive Thyroid Gland
Candidate Is Taking Armour Thyroid Rather Than Levothyroxine
When MedPage Today wrote that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s physician, Lisa Bardack, MD, had released additional health information about Clinton, one item received several comments: Bardack’s use of the porcine product Armour Thyroid rather than levothyroxine to treat Clinton’s hypothyroidism.
“Armour Thyroid. One would think we could do better for our former First Lady,” wrote one commenter.
“I am glad to hear she is taking Armour Thyroid rather than synthetic substitutes which contain only T4 and not T3. I always prescribed Armour for my patients because it is more natural, safer and more effective,” wrote another.
Armour Thyroid is a thyroid tablet derived from the thyroid glands of pigs and “has a strong, characteristic odor,” according to the drug’s prescribing information. The tablets “provide 38 mcg levothyroxine and 9 mcg liothyronine per grain of thyroid.”
Although thyroid hormone extracts have been used for centuries, the first reports of use in the English-speaking medical literature were in England in 1891, explained James Hennessey, MD, an endocrinologist at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Initially the extract was derived from sheep and given in the form of an injection.
Humans vs Animals
Some More Favorable
Armour Thyroid Warnings & Precautions
Armour Thyroid isnt suitable for everyone. Dont take the medication if you:
- Are allergic to the active ingredient porcine desiccated thyroid
- Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Armour Thyroid
- Are allergic to any products derived from pigs or cows
- Have uncorrected adrenal gland problems
- Have hyperthyroidism , Armour Thyroid is for hypothyroidism
Talk to your doctor before taking Armour Thyroid if you:
- Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Armour Thyroid
- Have heart disease
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Evidence For The Use Of Synthroid Over Armour Thyroid
Synthroid is the recommended treatment for hypothyroidism and prescribed by most doctors.
The American Thyroid Association along with other international thyroid organizations agree that Synthroid is the most effective treatment option.
There is no strong evidence to suggest Armour Thyroid or a combination therapy of synthetic T4 and T3 produce better results than Synthroid in most people .
More specifically, Synthroid is recommended over Armour Thyroid because it:
- Efficiently reduces symptoms of hypothyroidism
- Has minimal side effects
- Is well-absorbed by the intestine
- Provides consistent blood levels of thyroid hormones with minimal spikes of T3 or T4
- Is low in cost .
The European and American guidelines also acknowledge that experimental use of synthetic T3 may benefit some people. This will be discussed in more detail below.
Summary: Current thyroid association guidelines recommend Synthroid as the first treatment option. There is little evidence to support the use of Armour Thyroid over Synthroid.
Armour Thyroid Active Ingredients
The active ingredient in Armour Thyroid is called desiccated natural thyroid, sometimes called thyroid extract. Its a natural thyroid gland, taken from pigs, that has been processed and dried and turned into a powder, which is included in the Armour Thyroid tablets.
The desiccated thyroid adds the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine , to your body. These work in the same way as the hormones your thyroid gland produces naturally, and they help to replace the thyroid hormones youre missing.
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What Is Hypothyroidism And How Is It Treated
Armour Thyroid and Synthroid are medications used to treat hypothyroidism.
In this condition, the thyroid gland is underactive, meaning insufficient amounts of thyroid hormones are produced.
Three main hormones are measured to determine if the thyroid is functioning properly: thyroid stimulating hormone , Thyroxine and, in certain circumstances, triiodothyronine .
You can read more about these hormones in these guides to interpreting TSH levels and T4 and T3 levels.
Its important to remember that the thyroid gland produces mainly T4, even though the active hormone is T3. An enzyme in the body converts T4 into T3 when needed.
Currently, there is no cure for hypothyroidism and, in most cases, medication will need to be taken for life.
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Np Thyroid By Acella Pharmaceuticals
NP Thyroid can be used in place of levothyroxine sodium to treat a variety of thyroid-related conditions such as maintenance thyroid replacement therapy, Hashimotos thyroiditis, and thyroid cancer.
NP Thyroid offers many benefits:
- NP Thyroid, a natural replacement for thyroid hormones, is made from pig glands.
- It contains 38 mcg of T4 and 8,5 mcg of T3 per 1 grain.
- You can choose from 5 strengths to find the optimum dose.
- It contains natural inactive ingredients such as calcium stearate, dextrose
- Oral tablets are small and easy to swallow.
NP Thyroid drawbacks:
- Whether you like it or not, as of 2022, this brand of NDT has a very distinct and pungent odor. Some say that smells remind them of a cats litter box, while others refer to it as cats piss. Some express even less flattering descriptions!
- Most customers report that this NDT simply does not work as well as it should, so if you need thyroid therapy, you will do better finding other products!
NP Thyroid, overall score: 1/10
How Do I Take Armour Thyroid
The exact dose of thyroid hormone should be individualized according to laboratory results and patient feedback. There is a large variability in individual responses and it can take 4 to 6 weeks to reach maximum therapeutic effects. Patients may start at 30-180mg daily and increase their doses to 60-300mg daily.
If you forget a dose of thyroid, take it as soon as you remember or return to your usual dosing schedule if its almost time for your next dose. Do not double dose in the same day.
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Before Taking This Medicine
Since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in the body, almost anyone can take desiccated thyroid. However, you may not be able to use this medication if you have a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis, or an adrenal gland problem that is not controlled by treatment.
To make sure desiccated thyroid is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease, angina
any type of diabetes or
problems with your adrenal gland.
Desiccated thyroid is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby, but your dose needs may be different during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while taking this medicine.
Small amounts of desiccated thyroid can pass into breast milk, but this is not expected to harm a nursing baby. However, do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
What To Do If You Miss A Dose Of Armour Thyroid
Take the missed dose take as soon as possible.
Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next regular dose.
You should not use two doses at the same time.
Take your medicine as soon as you remember that you missed a dose.
Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose.
You should not use two doses at the same time.
Read Also: Will Taking Thyroid Medicine Help Me Lose Weight
Each Person Is Different
Before we jump into the specifics, its important to realize that the dosing of thyroid medication is highly unique and individualized.
Each person will require a slightly different dose compared to the next person, even individuals who have the same body weight/metabolism/etc.
Having said that, I want to give you some idea as to what dose range you should be expecting when taking Armour thyroid. This way you know if you are likely being underdosed or overdosed.
The average dose that most people need is somewhere between 1 grain and 2 grains per day.
About 60-70% of individuals will fall into this range.
About 5-10% of people will need a dose of less than 60mg per day .
About 10-20% of people will need a dose higher than 120mg per day .
These percentages are not perfect, but they are based on my own personal history of treating patients and discussing various doses with other doctors and practitioners.
Finding out where you fit into this spectrum can be difficult, but you can use the resources found here to help you find your optimal dose.
Is Np Thyroid Considered Natural Or Synthetic
NP thyroid is considered to be a natural thyroid medication because it is derived from animal thyroid glands.
The hormones contained in this medication were created by the thyroid gland of animals and not in a lab.
Natural thyroid medications should be differentiated from synthetic medications .
Just because NP thyroid is natural does not mean that it is superior to other forms of thyroid medications, however.
Some people do quite well on clean T4-only thyroid medications such as Tirosint, especially when combined with T3-only thyroid medications.
The benefit of using these medications separately is that you can easily titrate your T4 and T3 doses.
If youve tried all of the different types of natural thyroid medications and you still arent feeling well then you may want to give a cleaner T4 + T3 thyroid medication combination a try.
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Is Armour Thyroid Better Because Its Natural
Many holistic blogs claim that desiccated thyroid extract is superior because its natural.
However, all of these products contain synthetic fillers to hold the pill together, meaning they are never 100% natural .
Because synthetic T4 and T3 are biologically identical to the natural hormones, they produce exactly the same actions within the body .
The only difference is that Armour Thyroid also contains calcitonin, T1 and T2, which may be biologically active .
However, there does not appear to be any evidence that they produce any significant effect in these amounts.
Summary: Synthetic thyroid hormones are biologically identical to animal hormones and will produce the same effects. No pills are 100% natural all contain synthetic fillers regardless.