Yes, desiccated thyroid is making its way to pharmacy shelves!


With all the panic among thyroid patients of the last several weeks, we are now seeing light at the end of the current tunnel of desiccated thyroid shortages. More reports are coming in by patients that it’s appearing on shelves at their local pharmacies, including both Armour and Naturethroid. Sure, it’s a trickle compared to the amount of US patients that need it. But it’s a sign of hope of more to come.

On the CDT (Coalition for Desiccated Thyroid) yahoo group, where patients have been discussing the shortages and finding places to get their desiccated thyroid, patient Elenor gave just one more example:

“After losing “my” Wal-Mart’s last left-over bottle of Naturethroid to some other thyroid person (lucky him or her){wink}, I called around to pharms — and Sam’s Club Pharm two towns over had just gotten ONE bottle of 60mg Armour in yesterday. (I did also find a CVS that had a bottle and a half of the 90mg Armour — so there are some dribs-and-drabs left around… My doc wouldn’t write for me to get that too…) (YAY!) Emailed my doc’s nurse begging her to do it right away — which thankfully she did, so they dispensed it “to me” and I can pick it up today! Down to three days left in my possession, so … WHEW!”

Elenor concluded: Still gonna see my doc 5th Oct and try to order 500 tablets from Canada. I do not EVER want to be scrambling like this again — for ANY reason…

And we all agree with you, Elenor!

Clearly, our current shortages were caused by two factors: demand being greater than supply thanks to websites like Stop the Thyroid Madness (STTM), forums, groups and others, as well as the remarkably poor timing by the FDA in causing the only remaining generic makers of desiccated thyroid to cease production.

And in case you haven’t caught up with what’s going on, you can read a summary of the history about the FDA and regulations which will explain what we will have to face for desiccated thyroid in the future, which is our real challenge.

**JOIN US TONIGHT for our weekly THYROID PATIENT COMMUNITY CALL hosted by Janie Bowthorpe. We’ll have an open topic night and perhaps a surprise guest (still waiting on confirmation on that). Let’s talk about the shortages, ways to continue treating during this time, and more. NOTE that I have moved up the times by one hour. Just click on the link and you’ll see a countdown of when it starts: 6 pm Pacific, 7 pm Mountain, 8 pm Central and 9 pm Eastern.

27 Responses to “Yes, desiccated thyroid is making its way to pharmacy shelves!”

  1. Lora

    International Pharmacy now have 4 and 5 grain tablets in stock. Although you can only order 1 bottle, there has never been a restriction on that before.

    I have been on nature thyroid for a month since the shortage or armour, and have never felt worse. The re-formulated armour seems to work better for me, so I have today ordered the 4 grain tablets, I will split them in the meantime whilst I am waiting for Armour to come back into stock properly.

    I know that doesn’t help anyone in the US, but for all of us overseas who have to pay provately for our prescriptions, there is some hope of continuing to medicate.

  2. movement

    “And in case you haven’t caught up with what’s going on, you can read a sum­mary of the his­tory about the FDA and regu­la­tions which will explain what we will have to face for desic­ca­ted thy­roid in the future, which is our real challenge.”

    Mmm. What if they find it unfit? Is there a risk for that? And does it then make gettin Thyroid-S impossible forexample. What is the timeline for this whole process? 🙂

  3. Mark

    IF Forest Labs and RLC Labs can not make Dessicated Thyroid, USP, we compounders will have the ability to compound it. Our Thyroid, USP has the same ratio of T3 and T4 as the manufactured tablets (in fact, our thyroid capsules are made from thyroid, USP powder identical to what is used by Forest Labs, et al.). Compounders can compound with ANY chemical that has a USP Monograph, by Federal Law. USP stands for United States Pharmacopeia. This body sets the standards for drugs and chemicals for human and animal usage.
    DID YOU KNOW: Dessicated Thyroid USP can be 90% to 110% of its stated strenth and STILL be sold. For example: 60 mg. Armour Thyroid CAN be as low as 54 mg and as high as 66 mg and still be sold as 60 mg. Thyroid USP.

    At my pharmacy, we only allow a 2% variance.

    In fact, we usually make our Thyroid, USP capsules even cleaner than the tablets: no excipients save microcrystalline cellulose. We can even make in cellulose (veggie) caps and use other fillers like PROBIOTIC powder if desired.
    Another advantage is: no more splitting/breaking/combining different strengths to come up with a proper dosage. Or taking “an extra tablet on Sunday” or “60 mg. for 2 days, then 90 mg on Day3, then 60 mg for 2 days and so on”. We just average out the weekly dose and you take the SAME dose every day. Very simple. Very sensible.

    Call a compounding pharmacist. If you need to find one in your area, go to and put in your ZIP Code and you will be provided with websites and phone numbers of compounding pharmacists.

  4. brad cherson

    should anyone in the atlanta area need a supply of compounded thyroid, I just received 3 pounds on friday.
    all from PCCA with the Certificate of Analysis available upon request.
    we are compounding all strengths with Avicel, microcrystalline cellulose. This is the formula recommended by professional compounding centers of america, of which we are members.
    Good health to all
    BRad Cherson Compounding Rph

  5. Gary Osborn

    We have compounded thyroid porcine and use in our clinic also. Thank you for telling the world about porcine thyroid. I woudl closely with all raw material suppliers who seem to have plenty but it may be a while till on shelves. Is FDA up to something?? Any way, we are helpign out in teh meantime as well as many otehr compounding pharmacies. 800-969-6601

  6. Dave

    I too had palpatations and being awake at night from the re-formulated Armour. I luckilly found some 1 grain Naturethroid and the first two days were fine. The third day my blood pressure went up noticeably and I didn’t sleep very well. I cut the tab in half and am just doing the 1/2 grain, hoping I can build up to the 1 grain. I was taking 1 grain of the Armour for about 4 years and was fine until the re-form. Any bright ideas, folks? Thanks.

    (From Janie: May be time to get your adrenals checked: as well as ferritin: )

  7. Christy Strauch

    I was just told by a pharmacist at my regular pharmacy that Armour thyroid will NEVER be available again and that he suggested a T4 med. He also said all doctors will be prescribing only T4 soon. I am having him hold the last 2 bottles he has of 5 grain Armour. I feel a bit guilty but I am desperate. I take 16 grains per week so I figure half the 5s daily and a one grain on Sundays or whenever. If this won’t go through for some reason, there is a pharmacy here that will make some up for me with the dessicated porcine thyroid.

  8. Alexia

    I just received my meds from a local compounding pharmacy..YAY!!!!!!!!!

  9. Bader

    I contacted my pharmacy today and they told me that they got 60 mg Armour in stock, HOWEVER when I called my doctor in FL to renew my prescription, I was told that the board of doctors in Florida DECIDED NOT TO PRESCRIBE ARMOUR OR ANY OTHER DESICCATED THYROID, UNTIL THE SHORTAGE ISSUE IS RESOLVED!

    Since I found them, why do they make it more complicated?! It seems that it’s time to change doctor for me.

  10. Jennifer

    wow!! sad to say i am just lucky i am not the only one! i have tried the t-4 meds to no avail that were given to me by the PA. i quit taking for a year. my doctor who i love listened to me and heard every symptom i described and immediatly told me i had all the symptoms to warrant needing something that took care of not only t-4 but the other hormone levels. Problem was is that i hit 3 pharmacies with armour rx in hand and no one caried it and i got three reasons why not. walgreens said they just dont carry it, cvs said it was on back order and walmart said that the company that manufactuars it is pulling it completely. well i went today to pick up what i thought would be a t-4 med again and to my surprise i got armour. i am just praying that it works and that this shortage is resolved!!

  11. Sarah

    I just picked up Armour from my local pharmacy…I am thrilled but am also a bit skeptical as I had problems with the new reformulation back in July. Does anyone know if the formulat is back to normal?

  12. Day Na

    I scored three months worth of Armour – was not greedy and got a years supply. Some of us absolutely positively cannot fiddle with the other meds. It is interesting to see how people are doing on them. My well-being depends on this and the pharmacy hopping paid off and I will do it again knowing what I know now thanks to this website.

  13. sally

    I just obtained the one bottle of 60 mg that made its way to my local CVS pharmacy (which had previously run out).
    I am finding it is not the same. I used to take 90 mg and would be fine. Now I am feeling fuzzy and a little tired. Almost like I am having RT3 symptoms of my thryoid not accepting the hormone.

  14. Nichelle

    I am new to this and was prescribed T4, levothyrixine, because my doctor did not think there was any of the desiccated thyroid available. Do any of you know of a pharmacy or pharmacies in the twin cities area that have it available now?

    Thank you so much!


  15. Judy

    Called my pharm today and they said they have armour in a few different strengths and that it was coming in again.

  16. Chris

    Since the Armour reformulation ( iwas on 2 grains) I tried Nature Thyroid and felt great but I had to take 3 grains. Then I couldn’t find it and I have now had 2 compounding pharmacy’s make me 3 grain capsules but they do not seem to be working. I have added taking one grain of Nature Thyroid along with it(I started with a 1/2 grain extra for a week) because I have a little that I found at a local pharmacy, but I still feel like I have a combination of hyper, hypo symptoms. I am very tired and feel like I am arthritic,my feet hurt, yet I get really shakey feeling.Can anyone recommend a compounding pharmacy that is working for them?

    (From Janie: ask the compounding pharmacy you are using if they are doing desiccated thyroid, or just synthetic T4 and synthetic T3. Second, ask if there is a slow release in the filler. If there is, tell them to remove it. Third, if a filler is cellulose, make sure it’s microcrystalline, not methyl)

  17. neti` jay jenkins

    In July, upon BARELY filling my usual Rx for 90 mg.Armour Thyroid, I began ‘hearing’ the unbelievable rumor among pharmacy staff … for a moment, I thought I was on another PLANET! My objective mind mused, “This canNOT POSSIBLY be ‘accurate!'”

    The next question immediately arose, “WHY in the world would THYROID be suddenly ESTOPPED from availability to me AND ‘my’ “JI-NOR-MOUS” demographic of MILLIONS of women across the United States, alone!!

    I mean, it hadn’t yet even occurred to me with respect to all our ‘brethren’-Sisters across the world!! I’d actually begun to feel like an illegal DRUG ADDICT! Suddenly, my ‘lifeline’ had been ANONYMOUSLY YANKED out of my personal reach!

    I had ZERO ‘power’ to do ANYTHING about it! This has been & remains overwhelming shock from which I still ‘react’ into ‘panic mode!’ [And I KNEW millions of us across the country would be also so suffered!]

    By September my area pharmacies ALL were just plain OUT! Tuff-SOL! Since THAT time to THIS, I’ve become increasingly infuriated! At this moment, I’m 1000% LIVID!

    To this day, (15 Oct) I have yet to overcome my shock, disbelief, and being ‘played for a FOOL’ by the dirty-money, power-grab politics of the pharmaceutical industry in this country, namely, PHARMACO lobbyists, et al., whom
    I have pretty good reason to believe are at the ‘brackish-waters’ BOTTOM of this deliberately DESIGNED, ILLEGAL & DRACONIAN ‘Directive Proclamation’ upon Forest, et al., to callously VICTIMIZE MILLIONS!

    I will be very surprised if an obviously viable class-action lawsuit ISN’T ‘brought’ against these ‘bottom-feeders’ & politically-bought, money-grubbing crooks who ‘should have’ [& most assuredly DID] “know” the extreme deleterious nature of the flabbergasting consequences to this demographic of MILLIONS of mostly over-50, post-menopausal WOMEN!

    Since ‘everybuddee’ is so damnedably ‘enamoured’ with the International World Court these days, perhaps an INTERNATIONAL COMPLAINT could be ‘so brought,’ as WELL!

    Meanwhile, my ‘ability’ to ‘swim’ in the subsequent Levothyroxine MUCK for an uncanny FOUR weeks, DEvolved into the very next duration of contiguous [9/23-10/13/09] days of worsened ‘hypo-thyroid’ & thyroid deprivation symptomology! I became VERY ILL ‘overnight’! Each day thereafter a ‘new’ & more severely ‘attacked’ segment of my body! This unusually-weird process continued relentlessly, for the next THREE WEEKS[!], effectively preCLUDING any ability to tend to any daily necessities or domestic chores!

    ToDAY is the tip-toe tentative’ second day of slowly ‘coming back ’round,’ & I’m lookin’ at enormous ‘make-up’ lists for all that time this business has cost me, my daily VITALITY, AND the general sense of well-being that NO ONE has the ‘right’ to summarily dispose of!

    I am so grateful to find Janie’s website! I was chatting online last night with “Aubrey,” “No. One Sun” of my all-grown-up Twin guys; & it was HE who actually found Janie’s website address for his ‘purr-old Mom!'[“Yes, he IS a VERY GOOD ‘Boy!'”] (They BOTH are! Yay!)

    I’d been online ‘googling’ anything I could get my ‘sites’ on! I found one main thing — the fundamental ‘break-down’ of Thyroid hormone to be comprised mainly of two essential ‘parts.’ Well, after all, I AM 62 now & have been ‘hypo-‘ since 1985!

    I did garner from my first resource-dig that the ‘other half’ of thyroid hormone that can be Rx’d to combine WITH the (I know, KRAPPY ineffectual) Levothyroxine … & it is called “Cytomel.” Purportedly, Rx Cytomel will provide/produce our missing “T-3” element of the hormone, ‘bridging’ the ‘gap’ left open by the unbelievably IGNORANT single Rx’ing by ‘our’ so-called “doctors” for “synthroid,” ALONE!

    It set me to wonder HOW in hell can they knowingly place us on ‘half’ of the medication we require! I’m having to take a dad-blamed BLOOD TEST to “prove” I need the other part of the hormone now! I’ve only ‘required’ the ‘big daddy’ for the last 26 YEARS!

    Plus, I’d already TOLD my “Dr.,” way back in JAN’RY that my system had never, & would not NOW miraculously ‘return’ to pre-failure capabilities!! Duh! Astonishingly, she still has ‘NO CLUE’!

    Evidently the taking of a little ‘extra trouble’ is NOT in her HMO “Job” description! (Funney enuf, EYE found a LOT of informative sites, ‘first-try!)

    I’m gonna keep my nose to the grindstone in addition to as much ‘nosin’ around as I’m able. “Sportin” the added-imposition of fibromyalgia AND digressive spinal arthritis in conjunction with THIS politically imposed & wholly DESTRUCTIVE TRAVESTY is almost more than I can bear to contemplate … yet, that’s what I, & all the “rest’uv’us” must bear-up under every day THESE ‘daze!’

    Wow! This has turned into a ‘book report!’ I apologize for taking up too much space. Maybe it won’t even get the ‘go-sign!’ If not, I can’t ‘do it again.’ hehe! But I SOO appreciate the ‘window’ in which to lay-out the insidious & hideous developments WE’ve ALL been mutually CAUSED to endure.

    Thank God for Janie, who is able to DO so much for so many! Many Special Thanks to YOU, Janie! Kudos Galore! //^_^\\ (Neti` Jay)

  18. Dwayne

    I just picked up my armour yesterday at Rite Aid- they just got a bunch of it in- at least the 60mg tablets- I take 90 of them a month (3 grains). Just so people know- this new shipment is also the newly reformulated batch- in a way I was kind of hoping that the original formula would be making it’s way back due to the number of complaints but I opened the bottle and smelled it and knew intstantly it was the new formula. At least it’s starting to come back though- even the little bit of hormone in this is still better than levothyroxine. I may switch to Nature-throid at some point. I am going to use this bottle and see how it goes.

  19. Linda Greene

    We have any strength of dessicated thyroid needed. We also ship for free within the US. We are Shertech Compounding Pharmacy of Asheville, NC
    1642 Hendersonville Rd
    Asheville, NC 28803
    (828) 236-1097
    (828) 236-1098 – fax

  20. Dwayne

    To the lady up above who keeps writing women need their thyroid- MEN TAKE IT TOO- I am so sick of the media and even mary shomoan whatever the hell her name is keep saying women with anything that relates to thyroid. I have news for you- MEN HAVE HYPOTHYROIDISM TOO. I am a 36 year old male who suffers from it horribly without medication and herbal support- so let’s just get it straight. That really annoys me.

  21. joan compton

    The pharmacy in Pleasant Garden, NC has 60 mg tabs, but the new formula ): I seem to be getting tired again. Is there a lab in the US that will compare the old and the new?

  22. Kristi

    I was switched to synthroid when the armour disappeared and felt horrible. I finally took matters into my own hands and called a Canadian pharmacy. They carry dessicated thyroid, my doctor faxed the prescription and I got 100 tablets for 50 dollars without insurance. I think that is a fair price for my health and mainly my mental health. I am starting to feel better after a week back on it but still not 100%. Luckily I have a doctor who is starting to be forward thinking and realize that everything he was taught in med school might not be current or correct!

  23. Ava

    NO it is not making a comeback! My mother uses desiccated thyroid (she is allergic to the synthetic, highly) and cannot get a refill. EVERY SINGLE ONE of the manufacturers is experiencing a shortage of it. See:

    Furthermore, the reasoning Armour was out for so long was because the manufacturers, Forest, replaced the filler product without FDA approval, and without informing physicians, pharmacies or patients, which resulted in many people having adverse reactions to the product that hadn’t before. so the FDA is investigating Forest and is believe it or not, looking into eliminating natural thyroid from the market altogether!

    (From Janie: Actually, many have reported Armour to be back on shelves in their areas. It just hasn’t made it your area. 🙁 But with so many reporting problems with the newly formulated Armour, looking into Naturethroid or Erfa’s Thyroid is preferred by many right now. And by the way, we have no proof right now that the FDA is removing desiccated thyroid. In the future? Maybe. But we’ll have to see, since the future may mean expensive clinical trials rather than a removal.)

  24. Sandra

    Hello to all,
    Just a quick question that maybe some of you who have had much success on dessicated thyroid can clarify before my next appt with my ND.

    Quick history, I am 46 and had in 94 full thyroidectomy and 5 lymph removed due to papillary cancer. Last 3-4 years hypothyroid on .15 levothyroxine, all levels fine according to family doctor, I developed multiple food sensitivities, energy poor, quality of life suffering greatly, need to work full time. Now on 4th well known ND and hope will help me but….

    Here is my question, many of you are so panicked at not having your dessicated thyroid and I wonder if I too will feel so much better on it. My new ND said my levels are fine as well but has not tested t3 and t4 yet. She won’t give me any dessicated thyroid until she is sure that the mercury chelation I did previously has removed the mercury since she says it plays havoc with my thyroid levels and we need to remove the mercury before adding dessicated thyroid. I am so sick and tired of being tired and cold and sad. Do you agree with this approach. I feel I really don’t have that much time and that if only I could have the dessicated thyroid then it will give me the much needed support my immune system needs and then I can handle any cleansing, chelations much better, I am so scared about how poor my liver is functioning so your feedback again is so welcomed.

    Blessing to you all and I am so grateful for this wonderful website!


    (From Janie: you may get quicker and more responses from patient groups: )

  25. Chris Burgess

    Check with you local compounding pharmacy. Many of us have taken the time to aquire both T4 and T3 and are compounding capsules. Be sure that the pharmacy has on record test from a thrid party lab that proves they are not only accurate with making capsules but have had thier T4 and T3 aliquots checked for potency.

  26. Andy

    3 months on the new improved Armour formulation I went back to full blown Hypothyroid. 2 weeks on Nutri-med’s thyroid and I am feeling semi normal again. Will order their adrinal’s to go with my next order to see if that helps.

  27. Molly Glidden

    I did great on Armour’s new formulation! This medication is all I can take due to severe drug sensitivities and a chronic bladder disease. My prayers are that Forest Pharm. will continue to make the 15mg as I take them 3 times a day. I had problems cutting up the 30 mg as it caused my blood levels to be off. The Company does not recommend cutting these medications.
    Lets hope that 2010 brings back the lifesaving natural dessicated thyroid!


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