Survey on patient experience on the NEW Armour–not a pretty picture

It’s been about a year since Armour desiccated thyroid, a very popular prescription natural thyroid product on the market for decades, was reformulated. Forest Labs stated there were two changes: the raising of cellulose, and the lowering of sucrose.

Why did they do this? It could be strongly related to the fact that in late 2007 through 2008, patients who used the 3 grain tablets reported they were suddenly and entirely ineffective. So, many of us surmise that Forest was attempting to “improve” (cough) their product.

Says one of those patients:  I had switched to the 3 grain tablet months before to save money and I used my pill cutter to cut it in half.  Then around November, my work pants were getting tight and I would come home tired, achy and weak. It didn’t take me long to figure out that Armour in the 3 grain was now like a sugar pill!

In the meantime, Forest brought out the newly formulated Armour, & patients who finished their old batch started the new batch. And since then, it appears a large body of patients have run as fast as they could to Naturethroid, or compounded, or T4/T3 or Erfa. The reason: a return of former hypo symptoms on the “new” Armour.

I have completed an informal survey with 24 individuals responding, and asked the following questions. After each question, I give a summary of the answers.

  1. How long of doing well occurred on the newly reformulated Armour before you started to notice that you weren’t doing well?
  2. Most answers are in the area of 2-3 months, with three saying a month, one 4 months, and three stating a few weeks. And comparing this to comments we’ve been seeing for the past year on patient groups, it’s common to feel good at first, but to crash within that 2-3 months.

  3. What clued you in that you weren’t doing well on the new Armour?
  4. The answers are all over the map: fatigue and exhaustion, hair loss, brain fog, weight gain, sleeping problems, constipation, achiness, depression, hormonal problems, moodiness, dry skin/elbows/thumbs and cracking skin, flaking fingernails, heart irregularity, forgetfulness. Five report skin breakouts similar to poison ivy.  Fatigue and hair loss were the most common answers.

  5. Did you try raising it? What were the results?
  6. The majority tried raising it, and results were: no results; barely made any difference: more energy but skin was a mess. The majority said nothing happened. Two doubled it with no significant results.  Two developed fast heart rate with no improvements elsewhere. One had to lower it because of a very low TSH. One stated she raised it to get her labs back up to where they were before…with little improvements.  And one said it made her too hot to continue raising it.

  7. Did you try adding T3 to it? What were the results?
  8. All said no. One said she tested here RT3 ratio and it was 11, which is bad.  One stated she asked her doctor for T3; he said no. I’d sure like to find someone who did add T3 who could tell us the results.

  9. Did you do anything else to try and make the reformulated Armour work, and did it help?
  10. All reported nothing helped enough.  Many stated their doctors tested for other problems, ranging from heavy metals, low iodine, B12–the latter helped one gal’s tingling. One stated her doc put her on Aprotocol for the digestive tract which helped the constipation but nothing else changed. One added compounded desiccated thyroid to her Armour—it didn’t help. One gal tried Thyro-care, which helped. But she and two others report getting a poison-ivy like skin rash on the new Armour.

Currently, we see newly diagnosed patients put on the new Armour, and veterans can’t help but wonder what will happen to them.

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On my April 17th blog post, read 10 reasons thyroid patients are still frustrated, angry and sick. That is followed by the April 19th blog post Should thyroid patients avoid self-treatment at all costs, with an interesting and strong Guest Post by Sheila Turner of TPA-UK and a good followup to the former 10 reasons post.

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32 Responses to “Survey on patient experience on the NEW Armour–not a pretty picture”

  1. Priscilla

    Sadly, I am having similar experiences with the new Nature-Throid. There are no good American alternatives.

    Reply
  2. Berni

    I am not newly diagnosed but have finally found a doc who would treat my Hashis instead of telling me it’s all in my head.
    I was put on the new Armour 1/2 grain to start. Been on that for about 5 weeks now. Felt better fir a few weeks but am now feeling worse. Will be redoing labs asap & back to see doc about dosage.
    Reading about the Armour issue worries me. I am desperate to feel better and hoping I won’t have any problems but instead get balanced.
    Ugh. A real big ugh.

    Reply
  3. Venizia

    I was surprised to hear that Naturthroid also changed their formula. Do we know why? It does seem like a conspiracy and I do not think I am paranoid. I am concerned because, I found a fantastic doctor for which 3 of my sisters are now seeing because I recommended her. However, she has put them all on Armour. They had all been on a t4 only med before. They are seeing good results but I fear things are going to go the opposite for them from what I have read here. What are the American alternative that work??? The million dollar question, I know.

    Reply
  4. Natalie

    Janie

    Thank you for all of these newsletters and updates! I find them to be extremely valuable. You have done a fantastic job of bringing the truth to us “hypothryoid-ites.”

    It’s too bad that such a “simple, inexpensive solution” as desiccated thyroid should be so difficult to obtain. I agree that Big Pharma must be behind the inavailability … they make so much more money — billions — on medications prescribed individually for the huge range of symptoms.

    Reply
  5. Johann Mitchell

    Everybody keeps talking about the replacement of sugar with cellulose, but nobody seems to be mentioning something odd I’ve noticed.

    I had been taking Armor Thyroid at 3/4 grain a day. I couldn’t get it in that strength, and had to get 1 grain pills and cut them.

    When I used to cut them with my little pill cutter, they kind of crumbled. But the reformulated Armor Thyroid didn’t crumble. It cut cleanly, for the most part, but after I’d cut one, the two pieces were still stuck together by a very thin film that seemed to coat the tablets! I’d have to pull the two pieces apart, and I have to tell you that the film connecting them is TOUGH, considering it’s so thin!

    I’ve found that by pulverizing my dose, it’s MUCH more effective! Reduced to powder, it’s as effective as the old formulation was (judging by the way I feel, which, I know, is not very precise).

    Reducing the pills to powder is not easy with that coating on them, and I wouldn’t say they taste good, but I feel so much better when I do it that I think it’s worth the effort and bad taste. They don’t taste VERY bad.

    Two months ago, I started getting Nature Throid because I couldn’t get Armor anywhere. The pills I got in that batch were crumbly, the way Armor used to be before they changed them.

    Last month, I got my refill, and I’m not really sure if I got Armor or Nature Throid. I asked my doctor to rewrite the prescription so that I could get either in an effort to get SOMETHING while the drug was so hard to find. But I can tell you that the pills have that thin, fine film coating. And I can feel a difference since my pills have the film. It feels like the old, bad Armor from last year!

    I’m going to have to start smashing them to powder again!

    Reply
  6. Nancy

    I was on the old Armour and doing fine. When I had to open a new bottle, I had a severe allergic reaction. Both ears blocked up and I felt like I was in a tunnel. It was a horrible feeling, however I clicked in that this was the new formulation. So after 3 hours I took an old formula Naturethroid and the symptoms went away.
    I’ve been on ERFA sucessfully now for about a year.
    My husband was just prescribed Armour 1/2 grain. His doctor felt the Armour would be fine for him…

    Reply
  7. J. Crowley

    Very interesting and insightful observations by Johann Mitchell. It does make common sense that pulverized tablets would absorb better. I bought a Mortar and pestle for about 4 dollars and easily pulverize my supplement tablets for better absorption.

    It would be good to hear from a Pharmacist who can give a scientific explanation of this.

    This is not as convenient but it sounds like is a good alternative to many for now. If everyone taking Armour tried this for a while it may provide interesting and supportive data for changing the reformulation. This may more clearly show that the new formulation is bad not the concept of NTH. All of the current problems with Armour provide convenient fodder for the Anti-NTH crowd. This could prove important in making positive change.

    Reply
  8. DeAnna

    Janie,
    I just have to praise you for saving so many lives. I remember when I received your book a year ago – I just cried reading it. I have followed Mary Shomon on FB as well and read one of her books. I am just realizing most comments from her are just too vague and misleading for me – I tried to comment on her FB to a desperate patient who had no access to a listening doctor in the UK about possibly exploring options like self medicating and Mary scolded me that the patient needed to speak to her doctor first.

    As a nurse, I would never recommend to a stranger to use a certain medication – but there is nothing wrong with researching and becoming knowledgeable about your health – as a matter of fact, people should be expected to be aware. Kind of like the Dr. Oz doctors…they give you a great headline – but once you get to the article – the details are blank.

    I’m an RN so I could get completely riled up about all of this – but I will find restraint. In nursing school – we ONLY learned about T4 supplementation. Even in our medical books, it read Natural Replacement drugs were “difficult to regulate”. But if people actually researched the history of thyroid diagnosis/treatment – the first century of discovery – people were successfully treated on Natural Thyroid – the first documented photos/patient was treated on NT. In fact, successfully treated with NT as the only treatment for over 100 years but dosed by symptoms not one lab value. It was not until 1973 when that worthless (for thyroid) TSH was invented – the first man made wonder pill – we started having strange symptoms seen and alas – then we had to create the diagnosis for the patients with the normal tests and unexplained symptoms…hence the CFS and Fibromyalgia. Not to demean these patients at all. Yes those patients have definite life disturbing symptoms but as so many great Doctors have explained in detail like Dr. Lowe – there is a connection with the Thyroid/Endocrine. How can a society put 100% faith in a lab test which they themselves have changed the range/values at least 10 times since created in 1973?? TSH should only be used to rule out a pituitary issue. After that – common sense tells you this is an unneeded thyroid lab or at the very least not as an only option “thyroid panel”. So frustrating when I get a response from a 13 year educated physican explaining the opposite.

    For me – 32 year old female. Total Thyroidectomy at 2 years old for goiter. Struggled my entire life to feel just half “normal” but always crashing down from that all mighty worshiped TSH – most likely worsened by teenage hormones/birth control. I was on Synthcrap for 28 years. Finally traveled and found a Holistic doctor who would prescribe Armour. LOVED it for one entire year of my life. All of my scalp psoriasis, rosacea, anxiety, non-existant sleep life, moodiness, extremity swelling and weight gain (I always fluctuated within 10-15 lbs) but learned to be very strict with my diet growing up without a thyroid – all went away after finally finding the right dose for me combined with adrenal therapy. Almost one year to the day of finding relief – I come crashing down – literally it seemed like within weeks – my symptoms which were actually vague but present on Synthcrap returned but 10 times worse on the reformulated Armour. Even the Holistic doctor could not explain it. Since then – I have not been able to find a normal replacement for me – it feels as if I’ve almost shocked my system. I struggled to even find a pharmacist that would special order the Westhroid for me – when that failed – my PCP put me back on Synthcrap after he became nervous with his patients experiencing such unusual symptoms. So now I’m on Synthroid and he sent me for the “testing” and now I’m combined with the ADD medication. I even tell him I leave his office in tears – I am just so tired of fighting and only ultimately depicted as “depressed” or “crazy” for thinking there is something better out there. Now I’m back to square one thousands of dollars later. I could have Forest Labs on a platter. I pray I live to see the Pharmaceautical Companies and the FDA exposed for the fraud they have committed for almost an entire century. Watching Food, Inc and living this thyroid misery has just been a wake up call that we as a society are controlled by our Government. The USDA, FDA and Big Pharma Companies are all doing a great job controlling us like puppets in their game they call billions of dollar winnings. Sad to think our medical society could grow a cow from a petri dish but cannot fathom a different treatment for that butterfly gland!! True inhumane fraud!

    DeAnna

    Reply
  9. Rita H Losee, ScD, RN

    I was on Armour 90 mg from 11/04 until 10/09 when I couldn’t get a refill due to a “supply problem.” I got switched to levothyroxine 90 mg in Oct. By December, although I didn’t put it together until afterward, I was having hypo symptoms.

    On Jan 1, 2010, I did the Lobster Dip at at Old Orchard Beach, Maine, cold water, cold air, hot time! Then I worked 3 – 11 as a psych nurse the first through the 4th. On January 5th, I was exhausted and couldn’t get out of the recliner. I attempted to work on Jan 9th and only lasted for 3 1/2 hours. I’ve not been back to work since.

    I have chronic Lyme disease and at first thought I was having a relapse (significant symptom overlay between the two). In Mid-January, my serum T4 and T3 were normal. AND I was a mass of screaming hypothyroid symptoms. One of my most significant symptoms was pulse elevation to 115 on climbing one flight of stairs (in early Dec, I was attempting to re-start my running habit and ran a half mile steadily on two occasions). A 25 mcg dose of Cytomel was added to my T4 script and within a few days, my pulse didn’t go over 100 post stair climbing.

    Unfortunately, I was in a Lyme relapse AND I’ve also developed hypoadrenalism. It’s almost 5 months now and I am still in the recliner and am dreadfully incapacitated. The recliner is almost as worn out as I am! I am now on 150 mg of dessicated thyroid. And several hundred dollars worth of supplements.

    I contracted the Lyme while through-hiking the Appalachian Trail at the age of 59. In retrospect, I know that since my original diagnosis in 1994, my hypothyroidism as been constantly under treated. My serum levels have always been “normal.” I have always had thinning hair, receding eyebrows, wretched fingernails and am usually found cuddling under a blanket while I am sitting quietly.I am finally being prescribed by a doc who is willing to treat the symptoms, not the lab work.

    I am eagerly anticipating fingernails and hair!

    In the meantime, one decade of my life has passed in a significantly compromised state.

    Reply
  10. ellen weir

    thank you Johann for suggesting crushing the armour. makes a big difference. thank you ellen

    Reply
  11. Kara S

    Any chance that the crushed Armour functions similarly to taking it sublingually?

    While I did best with the original Armour, luckily I did alright with the reformulated version. When I no longer was able to find any in January, I mail-ordered Erfa. I just haven’t been as happy with it… I can’t increase it enough (in 1/2gr increments) to where the hypo symptoms are gone and I have no hyper symptoms. 🙁

    A bottle of Nature-throid should arrive next week; I had high hopes for it, but after hearing that it was reformulated and that Priscilla had poor luck with it, well, I guess I’m not as excited.

    I’ve been thinking about trying sublingual with one of the versions (Erfa/Armour/Naturethroid), not sure which. Is anyone having luck doing that with the reformulations, and if so, what are your experiences?

    Before I forget, DeAnna’s post was terrific. I totally agree.

    Good luck to all, and many thanks to Janie for this forum.
    Kara

    Reply
  12. Mark F

    I’m currently taking 3 grains of new formula Armour. My doctor instructed me to chew it. That is what I do and it works for me. Previously I was letting them dissolve in my mouth (new formula took too long). My doctor let me know that the armour cannot be absorbed sublin­gually so it didn’t matter.

    Reply
  13. Kathy L.

    After reading this blog,I started chewing my Naturethroid 2 days ago and saw a BIG difference right away. Great energy without jitteriness. The coating must be affecting the absorption rate.Thank you Johann and thank you Janie for this website.

    Good luck and good health to everyone!

    Reply
  14. jen

    i have been taking armour sublingually for a year – first the old and now the new. obviously the new armour does not dissolve/absorb completely under the tongue; but i leave it there until it is broken down as much as possible and then swallow the rest with water. i have not noticed a big difference between the old and new as far as effectiveness. i am still ready for a nap on some afternoons, but other days are fine. i never know whether to attribute afternoon ‘tireds’ to my two toddlers, my workout regime, or the fact that i am a military spouse and spend most of my time solo while my husband is away! it’s easy to blame the thyroid but sometimes i think other life components are responsible as well!!! good luck to everyone, hope the crushing, breaking down, or ‘melting’ of your natural thyroid helps for better absorption!

    Reply
  15. Melody

    WOW. I was at 5 grains of old sweet Armour, now down to 2 1/2 grains new Armour due to racing heart that peaked 190 (Jan 22nd) when the Paramedics arrived. Going to crush the Armour and see. I was blaming the high levels (T3, T4, Free T3&4) in my labs, on chemo for stomach cancer but maybe it’s the new Armour.

    Even now on 2 1/2, my resting heartbeat can be 90 beats a minute. Having intestinal issues that chain me to the bathroom sometimes too. Dr blamed it on to much Armour. IDK, this can be so difficult to navigate and asking for a Saliva test for adrenals is useless. It has no “clinical” use. I’m trying to wrap my mind around treating adrenals but it’s so foggy for me to understand.

    Thyroidless since 1/07, cancer free 1/10.

    Reply
  16. Berni

    I have been taking the new Armour sublingual…not crushing it. It seems to dissolve okay, but I wonder if breaking it up would help even more. I’ll have to try it.
    I just don’t think I am on the right dose for me yet.

    Reply
  17. diane

    I use a compound pharmacy. Check the internet for one near you. Its a can be costly but worth it.

    Reply
  18. Elailne Claudio

    I have been taking Armour’s for about 3 yrs. My doctor started me on 30 mg. After two or three weeks he asked me if I noticed any difference and I said no. He then upped me to 60 mg. That was the magic number. I started losing weight quickly w/o changing my diet. It was wonderful. Then perhaps about 6 months ago, maybe more, I started gaining weight quickly. My doctor had me take 60 mg. one day and then 90 mg the next. There wasn’t any difference.
    So then he had me take 90 mg every day. No difference. So about a month ago I just started taking 120mg, 2 60 mg. pills each day. The first week I lost 4 lbs. but seem to be at a standstill. I am going to try crushing the pills and will start with the 90 mg per day to see if that will help. My nails tear easily and I have lost lots of hair in my eyebrows. I have gotten the last 2 or 3 30 day prescriptions at a compounding pharmacy. I am going to ask them what formula they are using, the old or the new?
    The last time I picked up my pres. they said I could now get 3 months at a time instead of just 1 month. When I first started I used to get 6 months at a time. The price has gone up since then. I paid about $27 for the 6 months.
    Now a month was costing about $12 and change. I will keep reading to see what is what. Has anyone gotten in touch with the Forest co. to see why the formula was changed and what is going on? Thanks.

    (From Janie: I suspect it’s because in late 2007 and 2008, patients discovered that the 3 grain tablet was like taking nothing at all. So several have guessed that they reformulated all the strengths to “improve” it.)

    Reply
  19. Diana Fendley

    I recently received your e-mail/letter about cellulose in thyroid medications and the effect it was having. THANK YOU SO MUCH for publishing this. I have been on the thyroid medication merry-go-round for a long time now. I have a doctor who is very willing to work with me, but was still having horrible problems with my thyroid medications. I was beginning to think that there was no answer, and that I would just feel horrible the rest of my life. I have tried the “new” Armour and it made me feel horrible, but I was able to have my doctor write a prescription for “compounded” natural thyroid. It was somewhat of an improvement, but I still was having so many problems. I knew from my own reading and research on the Internet that most problems with medications are the binders and fillers that they use. After reading this article I called the compounding pharmacy and asked them what filler they used. Sure enough, cellulose!! I told the pharmacist that I talked to that I was having real problems with side effects and wanted to try a different filler. She at first recommended “lactose,” but after doing some research of her own called me back and said that lactose can impair absorption of the thyroid. So we agreed to try “corn starch.” Since I have no allergies to corn starch that I am aware of, we tried it. I have been on the newly compounded thyroid for only two days and can tell a world of difference. I mean I feel like a different person. My eyes aren’t red and irritated, my sinuses aren’t driving me crazy (which I thought was pollen allergies). My stomach isn’t gassy and hurting all the time. It is a MIRACLE!!! I feel ALIVE again!!!!!!!!

    So for everyone out there who is having problems with your thyroid, if you are able, run don’t walk to a compounding pharmacy and get the cellulose out. I also, for years, have been taking a number of vitamins that I finally had to quit taking because I felt bad after taking them. Well, I did some research on them too. Sure enough, one of the main ingredients is, you guessed it, CELLULOSE!!

    The only sad part about all of this is that the compounded thyroid medication is costing $75.00 a month, which insurance won’t pay for of course because it’s “compounded.” How wrong is that?? But, I would eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to be able to afford this stuff to give me my quality of life back. Fortunately, I can afford this, but I know a lot of people can’t. If anyone is interested, the pharmacy that I use is:

    Prescription Compounds
    5302 O’Donovan Drive
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808

    (225) 766-9577
    (888) 876-8778

    They will ship anywhere in the United States

    Keep up the great work you are doing, you are truly changing lives.

    Sincerely,

    Diana Fendley

    Reply
  20. Y. Miranthis

    For people who have a problem with the new Armour and can’t get an alternative natural dessicated thyroid:

    I have an idea how you might get the new Armour to work for you. I am not on Armour thyroid and have no way to test this idea.

    What if you:
    Crush the tablet using a mortar and pestle (as Johan suggested earlier).
    Finely mince a small slice of apple and combine (stir) it into the Armour powder.
    Let the apple enzymes work on the powder for a few minutes.
    Place the mass on a soup spoon and take it sublingually.
    The sugar in the apple may (?) help carry the hormone into your system through the sublingual tissues.
    After the hormone is absorbed, the applesauce can be swallowed.

    I think part of the problem may be that the Armour tablet no longer has the simple sugar. And if you use a bit of fruit pulp to replace that sugar, maybe you can absorb and utilize the hormone more fully? Try it if you like, and see.

    Reply
  21. Lisa Ostendorf

    First, I want to thank Janie sooo much for such an incredible website and book. I was so ignorant, (though searching), and at the mercy of my ignorant Drs. for 9 and 1/2 years, (of formal Hashi’s diagnosis, although I’m sure I was hypo since childhood). I am soo right there with DeAnna and wonder daily how I might be able to make a difference with the thyroid insanity. I am also truly invested in this crusade as both of my kids, ages 16 and 11 are also hypothyroid, although In the “normal range” (what a JOKE!) on their labs. My daughter also has Hashimoto’s! I’ve never heard of a 16 year-old having this! So our saving grace is education via this website, etc., since we cannot get proper treatment from any one doctor in my town. One of the only helpful things my doctor ever said was to chew Armour and Naturethroid and this has made the medication work for me. Although I never have gotten to try the new Armour since we never have gotten it here. The Naturethroid seems to work fine and I also use a compounded dessicated thyroid that is made with the same raw ingredients as Armour. I do not know yet if it also contains cellulose which sounds like a really stupid thing to add to any prescription drug that is supposed to be absorbed by the blood. But again, maybe Forest secretely
    “wants Armour to fail”, so they can focus on more profitable and PATENTABLE drugs. I also think from reading this and also from a friend’s experience that the higher doses of the old Armour were not very strong and that’s why people are needing less of the new version. If you would like to order the dessicated thyroid I use which is really good and made with Armour’s porcine source you can contact: San Ysidro Pharmacy in M ontecito, Ca 93108 1-800-796-2452 1-805-969-2284 They also will ship anywhere in the US and possibly further, and they also have a website.
    Again, I can’t thank you enough for the incredible work you are doing Janie, and also thanks to all the others who bravely fight for the right treatment and share their stories that we may all learn from.
    Very sincerely,
    Lisa

    Reply
  22. Liz

    I felt sick the FIRST pill I took of the “new” Armour.
    After a few months, the RT3 was VERY high.
    The initial feeling was the same as when I took Synthroid–a “T4” feeling. I had to lie down right away because my BP became very low within a half hour.
    I believe more has been changed than just fillers.

    Reply
  23. Angie Reis

    Well I see from the date, most of these comments are from a year ago. I have been hypothyroid since Hurricane Katrina but wasn’t diagnosed till about a year later. I was put on Synthroid and felt no relief at all. After several changes in dose I decided to see an endo. well I decided to ask her about trying Armour and she just refused. I actually went in there on my 2nd visit loaded with questions like, “how do you treat your patients, do you listen to their complaints or go strictly by the blood test”. She said if the test are normal then that’s how she treats a patient. She left the office and came back with a 2 page info on why Synthroid is better than Armour. Then she left and so did I!

    I found a doctor that wrote for Armour and 3 days on it I felt better than I had in 3 years. About 8 months later is when the reformulation of Armour took place. I have been back to the pains in feet and legs again for a long time. My doctor said it wasn’t that big of a change but I can tell it is. I’m beside myself on what to do now. My flexability is awful, I’m so stiff and have problem with sciatic nerve on top of everything. I really have lost faith in doctors. I constantly read any and all info to figure out what to do. For the post above by Johann Mitchell, I crushed my Armour and have not had any changes in the way I feel. Question for anyone else who may read this. Has anyone tried Erfa? Does it work for you? Thinking about talking to my doc about it.

    (From Janie: if you are crushing Armour and still not feeling better, you may just not be on enough. Otherwise, many of us are on Erfa and love it. )

    Reply
  24. Angie Reis

    Hi Janie, I only crushed it for 3 days so far. No one has mentioned how long they were crushing it before feeling better. Do I need to give it more time? I saw my doctor in January and just made another appointment to discuss everything and will ask him about Erfa also. Thanks.

    (From Janie: Crushing is the first step. Raising is the second. Third is making sure the problem isn’t making too much RT3: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/reverse-t3 )

    Reply
  25. Cathy

    Those of you who recommend crushing the new Armour, do you think that chewing the tablets and then swallowing them with water might be equally effective? My doctor (who is on Armour herself) told me that she has always chewed the tablets and she notices no difference whatsoever.

    (From Janie: Yes! That’s what is meant–chewing it up to break down excess cellulose.)

    Reply
  26. Aileen

    Just came across this site for the first time last week, read some of the comments about the need to chew the armour thyroid tablets for better digestion and began chewing them. However, I just called Forest Labs and spoke to someone in the medical dept., who said that they do not recommend chewing the tablets or grinding them. They continue to recommend swallowing them whole. According to the person i spoke with, the reformulation consisted of decreasing the dextrose and increasing the cellulose to help to digest them. I’m going with that.

    (From Janie: FYI: whatever Forest says hasn’t taken away from patient experience with chewing them up. Many report far better results after they chew them up to release the desiccated thyroid from the excess cellulose and decreased sucrose.)

    Reply
  27. marie

    My doctor says I have Hashimotos (tpo whacky). He gave me a script for Synthroid I said no way so he gave me a script for Armour. I went and picked it up tonight but now I don’t know if I should start it after reading this site. Is it working for people at all?

    (From Janie: it works far better if you chew it up before swallowing.)

    Reply
  28. chantel

    After a year of being dx Hashi’s,I finally got my endo to switch me from synthroid 125 and cytomel (t3) 15mcg, so armour, 90mg to start. I just picked up my supply and am very nervous about it not working! Does chewing it really work much better? I am at wits end… i am young, 28, and jsut cant fathom going through this forever. I know i am fortunate to have found this site early on in diagnosis… Any input is appreciated. I will actually make a note right now in my calendar to report back here in 1 month exactly and let you and future readers know how i feel!

    Reply
  29. LeAnn

    Im breaking out in round red rashes (*gross*) …also having palpitations…trying to get adrenals checked…<—trying* I am only on 2 1/2 grains of armour and stuck…but what buggs me the most is the chest pains…:(

    Reply
  30. Beth Tillery

    I have been on Armour 60 bid and generic T3 15 mg bid since December 2014. Seemed to be tolerating it well. My last T3/RT3 ratio was better. BUT, I have had occ skin break outs, from ?? Had Influenza B about 3 weeks ago, and on day 7-8th, broke out in generalized red raised rash. Tested neg to chicken pox & herpes simplex. I’ve stopped much of my supplementation (Iodine, MSM, stabilized Rice Bran) in fear I was making things worse. Had 6-day course of steroids with some drying of rash, but then rash increased and started spreading up chest & neck to upper arms. (basically covers chest, abd, back, thighs, posterior upper calf’s) I have started a 2nd round of steroids today (did scabies RX last night – which MD didn’t think it was due to nothing on hands/ waist etc -nothing on breasts or buttocks) and have new steroid cream. Got to thinking about the Armour and noticed that there are a number of comments on the web about causing a rash. The Dr office who superscribed it said that since I was tolerating it, it would not be the cause. Any suggestions. Consult to dermatology soon -she added steroid cream. Going NUTZ!!

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  31. Karen Gardner

    Just started new batch of Armour for one week – feeling weak. Called Doctor he called in new prescription in case this is a bad batch. Will try new pills and chewing and see if that helps. Endo told me she heard Pfizer new owners are going to change fillers on Armour. Hope they put back to original formula. Everyone should contact Pfizer and beg them to put back to original formula

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    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Karen, though it’s true that Activas (the new pharma that bought out Forest) appears to have changed something, being on NDT for only one week can cause some people to feel worse if they started too low. Or, even if they started on one grain, some have to start raising sooner than two weeks to counter the worsening.

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