Tips on how to do desiccated thyroid sublingually

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Armour desiccated thyroid by Forest Pharmaceuticals used to be easy to do sublingually, even if the official line was they didn’t make it that way.

And patients liked that sublingual ability with Armour.  It allowed them to work around the problem of swallowing desiccated thyroid several hours from having swallowed iron, estrogen or calcium–all which can bind some of the thyroid hormones in your stomach.

It also helped those with digestive issues, gluten intolerance or Celiac (a common problem for some hypothyroid patients) by bypassing the stomach.

But with the newly formulated Armour in 2009, it became difficult. The pill is harder with less dextrose and more cellulose.  It now fell into the ranks of all other desiccated thyroid pills, including Naturethroid and other good brands, as a more dense tablet.

But no matter what brand you use (especially the growing group of patients who are having their doctors switch them to Naturethroid), below are tips from patients on how to continue doing your desiccated thyroid sublingually. Let your doc know, too.

1) Try adding a touch of the contents of a Pixie Stix under your tongue. It’s flavored sugar in a straw, and the sugar seems to help the tablet dissolve sublingually through tissues under the tongue.

2) If you are using sublingual B12 lonzenges to treat low B12, try adding it under the tongue with your desiccated thyroid. The action of the sublingual lozenge seems to move over to the thyroid tablet.

3) Swish warm water in your mouth before you place the tablet under your tongue.

4) Crunch up the desiccated thyroid tablet before any of the above and before placing it all under your tongue.

Also note that you can swallow your desiccated thyroid. You’ll just have to make sure you don’t also have a stomach full of iron rich foods or calcium, or estrogen. Generally, it’s best to take your tablet 4 hours from any of the former. P.S. See comments below on the newly formulated Armour, and farther down, a post on Naturethroid.

*Have more sublingual ideas or experiences? Share it in the Comments section.

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26 Responses to “Tips on how to do desiccated thyroid sublingually”

  1. Priscilla

    I’ve been on Nature-Throid since Monday. I break the pill in half, then put it under my tongue. The first day I took it, it dissolved really easily, although it was gritty. Since then I have had varying degrees of successful dissolving. It takes a very long time to dissolve. I have been thinking of adding a little sugar under my tongue when I take it, just because it tastes so horrible.

    Reply
  2. Glynis

    I must be the exception to the rule – I haven’t noticed any change since Armour made the change. I did call them because it used to taste sweet and suddenly tasted chalky. It took a couple of days for someone to get back to me about that. I was afraid I’d gotten a bad batch or something. Anyhow, I go for blood work in a couple of weeks but I don’t think it has been a problem for me. I’m a personal trainer and work out hard 6 days a week – if my levels ever get screwed up, even a little, I *know* about it.

    Reply
  3. Nigel

    I’ve moved to doing Westhroid and Nature-Throid buccally, which means putting it between my cheek and teeth. I get the same benefit of absorbing all the goodies directly, but I don’t have to worry about swallowing the last gritty bits of the tablet too early that take longer to dissolve.

    I also take 5 mg methylcobalain B12 lozenge each time I take thyroid, which is 4 times a day. Great for low B12!

    Reply
  4. Janet Conway

    I had no idea that hypothyroid has an effect on the digestive system. This is the first time that I have heard about it. I have digestive problems for years now and put the blame on my Hiatus Hernia, which is very small. I have also had a few endoscopies, to no avail. I don’t think that my GP is in any way stupid, But I will inform her of what I have learned today.Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Fran Locke

    I have been on the “Old” armout thyroid for 3 years. I was forced to go to the “NEW” Armour thyroid and had a reversal of my symptoms in 20 days (fatigue,weight gain, depression ROUGH skin)- I found some of the OLD at a different pharmacy (I guess- it has the consistency of the same Armour Throid I had been taking & feel better in only 2 days). I called Forest Labs and they said MANY people are reporting problems with the new formulation. Ther response was basically “Tough- try something else”

    Anyone know anything? What other sources are there??

    excuse spelling- O’m lost w/out spellchecker!!!!

    Reply
  6. Julie

    I know this sounds extreme, but Armour can also be taken vaginally. It will also disolve there and relieve you of the gritty problem of the sublingual way as well as taking it STRAIGHT into the blood stream, also by-passing the digestive tract.

    Reply
  7. Phyliss Myers

    I just started taking the new Armour so I would not know the difference. I break it up and put it under my tongue. Yes it is chalky, however, I do not mind. Especially since I do not have to wait long to have my first cup of decaf.

    Reply
  8. Erin

    I’ve begun to crush my Naturethroid tablets between two spoons and add a bit of sugar – what a difference this makes! I feel the effects of the hormone much more than I did when I swallowed it. This has been a long, sometimes bumpy, ride with thyroid hormone replacement. Yes, I wish Armour had never switched their formulation. But I am so grateful that there is an alternative! Thanks to all who post their experience and hope in this site. It is so valued.

    Reply
  9. Dawn

    I have a question about Thyroid S…where can we get it in the US?? Is there a safe and reliable international pharmacy from which we can get it??

    Also how does the new armour do for people if they add a dash of sugar under the tongue??

    Thanks!

    Reply
  10. Elenor Snow

    Oh! I never thought — I knew my carpal tunnel coming back (like gangbusters!) had to be related to the new not-so-good Armour, but suddenly, the extra ten pounds that have appeared, despite my normal/unchanged diet, ALSO make sense! Doggone it, Forest! Why mess with a good thing?! (Heck, why DESTROY a good thing?!) I’m gonna try Nature-thryoid and/or Westhroid… See if they work better.

    Reply
  11. Pam in NH

    New Armour Thyroid is making my hypothyroid symptoms all come back! I first noticed the new formulation — no more sweetness, no more slightly porcine odor or taste, but instead a tasteless, pulpy mass just like the old T4 (Levothroid) preparation I used to take — when I took the first of a newly refilled bottle sublingually as usual. Yuck! I actually took the pill out of my mouth and checked to make sure it wasn’t T4. Nope, it is actually 60 mg of newly reformulated Armour. Called the pharmacy to ask if there was a mistake. They did not know, nor did my doctor, that Armour had been reformulated. But my body knew! That was two months ago.

    Slowly, all my hypothyroid symptoms are coming back: numb feet, numb hands, numb lips and face. Very painful. Cramping muscles. Ten pound weight gain despite strenuous workouts daily. Weight gain of 10 pounds despite careful diet. Terrible, painful PMS. Irregular menses. Headaches. The hypothyroid nightmare of my T4 days has returned.

    I am researching what to do and am open to suggestions. I did call Forrest Pharmaceuticals today and reported the problem to a representative who said I will next need to fill out an adverse reactions form with someone else in the company. He said they are receiving a lot of calls from patients who use Armour sublingually. SInce I have celiac deisease and problems with digstive absorption, sublingually is what has always worked well for me.

    And I have still been doing that with the new formulation. The taste does not matter to me a bit; what I am concerned about is that it is not being absorbed by my body. That, or they have somehow bound the T3 in a way that is no longer available to metabolisms like mine.

    Please, fellow Armour Thyroid patients, call Forrest Pharmaceuticals and report whatever adverse symptoms you may be experiencing on the new Armour formulation. They will track the symptoms and, who knows, perhaps, like the classic Coca Cola lovers of old, we can have our Classic Armour Thyroid back.

    Please join me in singing this true hymn to Forrest Pharmaceuticals restore thyroid health: “Bring back, bring back, bring back old Armour to me, to me ! “

    Reply
  12. Alice Cavallo

    I have been hypothyroid for about 5 yrs. I took Synthroid for the first year, and didn’t improve AT ALL. After that time I read about Armour Thyroid. My new endocrinologist was quite nasty to me when I asked to try the Armour. Thank God my P.A. agreed to let me try. Overall, the Armour has done wonders, at least until several months ago. I started regressing and wondered what in the world happened!! My doc. even increased the dosage-still no improvement. I wondered if there had been a change in the Armour formulation, and just found out a few days ago, that indeed that is what has occurred. I will switch to Nature-Throid as others have been doing. But, a word of caution!!! If you call Forest Labs complaining of an adverse reaction, they have to alert the FDA. This will be taken as a black mark against natural thyroid meds. We’d better be very careful before we find ourselves in the same position as our fellow thyroid sufferers in Britain. The government has taken all natural thyroid meds. off the market. They can only be prescribed a synthetic-Synthroid! The poor people over there are going crazy. Forest has reformulated their product, yes, but the fact that we are no longer doing as well should not be termed an adverse reaction….That implies something far different than we intend. Let’s not wake up someday and find out there is no natural thyroid available in the USA.

    Reply
  13. Julie

    I find taking the armour sublingually (in my cheek) with an altoid mint helps the armour dissolve and improves the taste. I will get labs checked soon. I was optimized at 4 grains for at least 8 months and feeling great. I have noticed hair loss and joint pain returning…so curious if new formulation having an effect??

    Reply
  14. Colleen

    In response to Alice Cavallo, I had no idea that Britain had removed all the natural thyroid from the market. That is super scary! I had earlier posted in response to the reformulation that we should be calling Forest and our congresspersons. Since it seems that a lot of people are having a recurrance of symptoms after taking the new formulation, it would seem that something they added or subtracted is cancelling out the effective portions of the formula. So, couldn’t Forest be held liable if someone dies from their reformulation??? Since not having enough thyroid affects the heart, blood pressure, etc. I would think Forest would have had to run a gamut of tests and trials before the reformulation would be approved by the FDA.
    Curiouser and curiouser.
    By the way, I think the idea of using sugar with the new formula is a good one. I’m going to try it. It should only take a tiny bit.
    Good luck everyone.

    Reply
  15. patricia white

    why do good things have to change and now we go backwards???????? yes i too have all the old symtoms again i ask why ????? patty

    Reply
  16. michelle

    I just got my labs done after a week on the new formula, all I can say is what a drop!!!! my labs march28, 2009 old formula TSH less than .01 Free t4 1.9 Free T3 4.46 Labs taken after a week on new formula July 10, 2009 TSH less than .01 Free T4 .8 Free T3 4.25.

    Reply
  17. Mia

    I’d be all for switching to Naturethroid if not for the Magnesium Stearate! It’s a neuro-toxin, friends! I’m careful to avoid it with all of my supplements.

    I must be the only person in my area taking it sublingually b/c my pharmacists had no idea of the change–no one had complained I guess! But my symptoms have definitely returned.

    Does anyone know if just increasing my dose will help?

    Reply
  18. Dawn Wood

    can I just correct the comment that all ndt’s have been banned in the UK. As they are legal medications they cannot be without a lengthy procedure, which hasn’t happened

    Earlier this year the Royal College of Physicians along with the Endo org and others put out a statement saying that thyroxine was the only treatment for hypo, as well as saying not to treat until TSH of 10. A handful of people were told by their endo that they had been told would be struck off if they prescribed it. However this letter hasn’t been seen and a number of dr friends of mine haven’t had one.

    Ourselves and other advocates and orgs in the UK challenged this and sent proof they were wrong. They haven’t had a cahnge of heart but then said it was advisory not mandatory, this after being asked if we could sue them if we got ill again on their regime. They cited just 6 pieces of reference to back themselves up.

    I get my armour on the NHS so prescribed, not privately bought, and instead of being taken off it I was put on repeat so i don’t have to bother the doc when I need one. Many of my members report the same so we are stll gettign it.

    However this problem with armour and forest is worrying as it adds more fuel to their campaign to get rid of it. i’m experiencing problems myself as are others here so how can we now defend the product when Forest are being so difficult.

    When the reformulation of Eltroxin in Australia, a couple of years ago, caused problems GSK did something about it and the patients were vocal enough to make them, but we shoot ourselves in the foot if we are don’t we

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  19. Samantha

    FYI: I was having a conversation with a lawyer when this subject came up… turns out that not a whole lot can be done if the pill doesn’t cause new symtoms that didnt exist before the pill was taken. Example: If the pill simply doesnt work and you die because of low thyroid, there isnt much you can do execpt try to sue them for false advertising. If the pill actually created a new problem that doesnt exist without the pill, then you have a case.

    It is probably best if we hold an intention for someone to start making the original formula again.

    Reply
  20. Juliane

    Is Nature-Throid gluten free? I am gluten intollerant and would like a recommendation of the best Armour replacement med.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  21. Carole Babb

    I am so very tired of government interference with regard to our bodies. The FDA has never been beneficial to the citizens it is charged to protect. The FDA is only there is create problems for the people who are dependent upon certain medications and/or supplements that SHOULD be available to the public. The FDA has never included the public need in its decision making process.

    If the American Public joined together and caused a huge ruckus about what the FDA is doing, there might be some changes.

    I have begun to applaud protestors using force, as this seems to be the only way to get attention. However, I fail to understand why any protestor would use force upon private citizens, their property, or their businesses – as this only results in a negative public response. I do appreciate and applaud actions taken against public officials, as they are the cause of the problem and should accept any repercussions resulting from their decisions.

    Reply
  22. Kelli

    I had been on Synthroid for 15 years, happily thinking that my hypo was under control. Then suddenly the Sythroid stopped working all-together, over the next 8 months the dosage was raised from .125 up to .325 and my TSH just kept getting worse. My endo was about to give up and send me to a gastro doc thinking I had absorption issues but thanks to information from this site, I asked him to give me a chance at Armour. One month ago, he put me on 125MG twice a day. I bought a pill crusher (DMI brand, around $6). It crushes my Armour into a fine powder and I put it under my tongue allowing a little saliva under to help dissolve it. After on month on Armour, my TSH went from 50 to .01, the best my levels have ever been. I feel wonderful already, no longer tired or moody and hope to see even further improvement over time. I never felt this good on Synthroid. Looks like the current formulation of Armour taken sublingually was the answer for me.

    Reply
  23. Anne

    Any thoughts on interactions between transdermal or transvaginal estrogen and sublingual dessicated thyroid? Should the administrations be separated? Or because they are being absorbed at different rates, is it okay to use them together?

    (From Janie: you just don’t want to mix them in the stomach).

    Reply
  24. Cynthia

    I finally got my doctor to switch me from Armour to NP Thyroid by Acella. At first, I did not notice much of a difference. However, once I started taking NP Thyroid sublingually, I immediately felt better. My energy has improved, but more drastically, chronic shoulder pain has been almost completely alleviated. I had been suffering for over 7 years. Previously I had x-rays and MRIs that showed no defects, but had serious crepititis, excruciating pain, and weakness. I underwent physical therapy, injections, pain meds, and accupuncture all to no avail…until I started sublingual NP. I can’t tell you how excited I am with this development and wonder if I could be the only one? I know I once found an article relating unexplained shoulder pain to hypothyroidism. Of course, I can’t find where I bookmarked it :( If I can find it, I’ll post it! Hope this helps someone else :)

    Reply
  25. Tarryn

    Janie, if I take my NDT bucally or sublingually, do I still need to wait 4 hours before taking iron or calcium?

    Reply

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