More on Acella desiccated thyroid….plus RT3 ratio calculator fine tuned!


Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 12.21.12 PM(This post has been updated to the present day and time. Enjoy!)

In 2011, I had a friendly and informative conversation with Philip Vogt, the President of Acella Pharmaceuticals, and Ellen Gettenberg, Director of Marketing.   Acella is the company which brought out what is often termed a generic form of desiccated thyroid, but appears to be simply another great brand name of NDT. It first caught the eye of thyroid patients in November, 2010.  And I want to pass onto you what I learned:

Acella is different

Acella Pharmaceutical of Georgia, USA, is not like the gigantic pharmaceuticals we often hear about. Instead, they attempt to target the under-served markets, producing medications for particular niches of treatment, or those which are low-profile medications.  They also seek to produce lower-priced competitive versions of certain medications while keeping the quality. Thyroid patients appreciate that, especially after seeing the 2015 horrible rise in price for Armour desiccated thyroid after Forest Labs was bought out by Activias–often triple the original price–besides the fact that patients began to report a return of symptoms.

How they make their version of desiccated thyroid

When it specifically comes to its desiccated thyroid, they go by older version “recipes” – using more dextrose (sugar) and less methylcellulose, which we love  But in their case, the tablets are stated to contain NO cellulose. That is actually good.  Their tablets are also not as hard-pressed as Armour seems to be now. That means patients who like doing their NDT sublingually can make the Acella version work. 

The ingredients

Acella started out with a 65 mg tablet to represent a grain, but by 2011, became a 60 mg tablet for its “grain”.  They also make a 30 mg tablet  (1/2 grain) and a 90 mg tablet (1 1/2 grain). The desiccated thyroid is speculated to come from the same manufactured source as do other brands.

Says the website:

The tablets contain both tetraiodothyronine sodium (T4 levothyroxine) and triiodothyronine sodium (T3 liothyronine) providing 38 mcg levothyroxine (T4) and 9 mcg liothyronine (T3) per grain of thyroid (or per 60 mg of the labeled amount of thyroid). The inactive ingredients are calcium stearate, dextrose (agglomerated) and mineral oil.

Note that like all manufacturers, they use the “synthetic” names for T4 and T3, but desiccated thyroid is NOT synthetic.

Reports by patients

They love it. It’s rare to hear anything negative about it. (If you do have a bad reaction to even Acella’s NP Thyroid, here’s your reason: So we say “Keep up the good work, Acella!



HAVE YOU LIKED THE STOP THE THYROID MADNESS Facebook page? It gives you daily inspiration, information, and discussion on certain topics.

ABOUT THE RT3 ONLINE CALCULATOR on STTM: My brainy techs have added three more combinations to the calculator, so it is now ready-to-go to help you figure out your ratio: So far, the feedback is very positive and we have seemed to remove “most” kinks. REMEMBER: you need to put your Free T3/total T3 in first, then all the measurements will appear for the RT3.

WHEN TESTING YOUR THYROID LEVELS: remember NOT to take your desiccated thyroid, or your T3-only, before labs, we learned the hard way. The T3 rises consistently after you take it, giving you false-high reading and freaking your clueless doctor out.  **Picture doctor, eyes bugged out like a giant wasp, looking at lab result** With desiccated thyroid, the T3 will peak in approx. 2 hours, then a slow fall; with T3-only, it can take approximately 4 hours to peak. Recommend labwork found here.

NEED A GOOD PATIENT GROUP? Go here.  Of course, the groups are free and can be very helpful. Or, you can choose a paid consultation with Janie, which seems to be extremely helpful for those who want more immediate feedback and help.

TYPICAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS about thyroid, treatment, more issues:

104 Responses to “More on Acella desiccated thyroid….plus RT3 ratio calculator fine tuned!”

  1. Shauna

    I don’t know about the other pharmacies, but with Walgreens you really have to go through a few hoops to get it. You call their ON-LINE number (877-250-5823) and specifically ask for NP thyroid by Acella. Just to make sure, I emphasized that it is NOT Armour thyroid. The NP thyroid by Acella is NOT listed in their line up of products on the site (weird huh?) You have to request it. Then there is a funny process you have to go through to get it to your local pharmacy. But on the upside, it is easier the next time! Good Luck!

  2. Laura Fleckenstein

    Jewel Osco and Marianos in Chicago area have it available within one day of request.

  3. David

    I’ve been getting 60 mg tablets of NP Thyroid from my local Publix without any problem. Oddly enough my insurance company classifies 30 mg as a T1 drug and 60 & 90 mg as T3. And my copay due to an increase from Acella just went from $14 to $26 in one month. Anyone have any idea why the dramatic price increase?

  4. Krista

    I started taking Armour a few months after switching from Levothyroxin. When I went in for a recent refill, my pharmacy gave me NP Thyroid without even asking me. I made them change it back to Armour. Not sure why they decided to change. It was more expensive…so maybe??

    • Joan Fitler

      Actually the Thyroid Np is a very good med…for me anyway. I took Armour for awhile and all of a sudden it stopped working for me so now its Thyroid NP by Acella :)

      • Joan Fitler

        Update on the Acella Thyroid NP. It used to work really good BUT This batch I started taking mid aug was from May 2015 and it has done some strange things to me. For one my labs I just took at the end of Aug 2015 made my levels all over the place ,High T3 and low T4 and TSH rising. I have spoke to the pharmacist at Acella an well as in the Medicinal part of Acella. I was assured the formula has not changed except one of the fillers was removed last year. When I take I become fuzzy headed and sleepy. I was taking it sub-lingual and that was thought to be the problem but now I am taking it orally and the same reaction. I am about done with this Acella :( I may try Natures Thyroid, which my natural path says he likes anyway. If you are having the problem as well with funky labs perhaps it would be good for you to call Acella so they can be aware from someone else too. Acella Pharmacist David (678) 325-5306 Hope things workout for you too :)

        • Annette

          I had my thyroid removed in 2001. It took 10 years and 3 doctors to finally get peace of mind with Armour. Over the past 5 years, I have discovered occasional variations, especially with the naturally dessicated products. . .but my hair/eyebrows never fall out like with Synthroid. Plus, (don’t forget) when Forest Labs sold, Armour was moved twice before it’s new, more expensive home. It sucks getting a “bad batch”…I think variations should be expected from time to time considering how the product is made… Although it’s a little more inconvenient, I found that by only ordering 30 days at a time, instead of 90, it is easier to roll with any variations.

    • Anna


      Have you been doing fine on Armour? I have been considering switching to it if I cannot get Acella, but most people seem unhappy with Armour these days…?

  5. Tammy

    I switched to Acella since Erfa is dealing with reformulation problems. I have been taking Acella for almost 2 months so far. I’m not having any problems taking it sublingually. They did not have Acella at any of the pharmacies where I live. I called my doctor & told them of the Erfa problem & I needed to find something else to take & I wanted to try Acella. The doctors office sent CVS pharmacy a script for the Acella. CVS ordered it & had it the next day. I paid $20 co-pay for 180 90 mg tablets, over a 90 day supply. I take 1 1/2 pills per day. I was paying $80 for 500 Erfa Thyroid tablets & it went up to $175. I would imagine the price increase has something to do with the porcine virus that ended up with millions of pigs slaughtered & another reason would be greed of course. I like the NP so I’m sticking with it.

  6. Cathy Poland

    How can I get Acella desiccated thyroid in Canada?

  7. Anna

    Still no news on the alledged reformulation of Erfa? I find it so strange that the company cannot find out what is wrong with it, or at least admit something seems to be wrong…I got a 500 ct bottle of 125 mg pills which made me feel like I had taken nothing all…all hypo symptoms returned with a vengeance.

  8. Cathy Poland

    I live in Canada, have been taking Erfa for years. I just started on a new batch and don’t feel very good. I’d like to get something from the US but don’t know how to get it as I need a US MD prescription. Help!

  9. Sonia Tolson

    CVS did not have the 60 mg in stock and has told me they are on back order from Acella. They haven’t heard anything else from Acella. They called around to all the CVS in Tucson and it was the same at all of them, they were out of stock. =(

  10. Rosemary Archer

    I live in a small rural community. I read so many good reviews on NP thyroid that I requested my doctor to switch me from Synthroid to NP thyroid. I have been taking the 60 MG of NP thyroid for approximately 6 months. It was time to increase the NP dosage (which we know I would) but my pharmacy told me that the 90 MG is on back order. Now I read from other people that CVC are saying that the 60 MG is on back order. Hope it is truly just a big demand and nothing more going on that has put the product in a shortage situation.

  11. Laray


    Does anyone out there have any clues as to why my thyroid medicine stopped working? It appears to be in my blood but not my cells. I was on compounded T3 for 7 years and apparently was told that the T3 receptors can burn out. I tried Nutri Meds porcine Glandular a few months later and it worked! However, I was allergic to it. Eight months later I was cleared of the allergy through N.A.E.T. so I went back on it with no side effects; however, it stopped working too! I am now taking WP Thyroid 2 grains or more and my eyebrows have not grown back and I still have a very sluggish metabolism and insomnia. In Feb. 2014 the T3 only stopped working within ONE week. I did not do anything drastic nor did I lose blood. I still can’t figure it out. It’s almost like people with diabetes when insulin doesn’t get into the cells only the T3 remains in my blood and I believe is not getting into my cells. HELP ANYONE? Does ANYONE have any clues as to what I need to do? ~Laray

  12. Irmajean Gaines

    I have taken Armour Thyroid 1/2 gr (30mg) for a number of years after a partial thyroidectomy in 1976. I did great on it until about 3-4 years ago when Armour changed their formula. I have taken the thyroid from Acella now for sometime and I do as well as I use to do on Armour. I have switched back and forth between the Armour and the one from Acella and I definitely do better on the Acella brand. I asked for generic Armour and they said they didn’t have it and the Acella is what they gave me. I like it better. Actually, my feet started tingling and it seems to do it more often when I am taking Armour. They don’t tingle as much when I am taking the Acella, in fact, none. SOOOOOOOO…..I guess I am trying to say, I am doing fine on it. Just my
    take, from my experience……!! It is much cheaper also!!

  13. Paige

    I’ve been taking NP thyroid by Acella for almost a year now and I like it very much, better than any other thyroid med I’ve taken. I took Levoxyl for many years and wanted to change to natural thyroid but was afraid of the change because of how sensitive my thyroid is to ANY change. But when Levoxyl disappeared I took the plunge. I got the info about NP thyroid from Stop the Thyroid Madness. I do take the NP thyroid sublingually every morning and I am quite happy with it. What it’s done is send my T3 up into good, normal ranges without taking anything other than the NP thyroid, whereas for many years I was taking an expensive compounded bioidentical T3 that just stopped working one day and sent me into a scary hyperthyroid state.

    I highly recommend NP Thyroid by Acella. Problem is, I went to my pharmacy today and they said the 90 mg I take is backordered. No real info on why. Does anyone have any reliable information about this?

  14. Jim

    I started my sad thyroid journey on Levothyroxine prescribed by a doctor who refused to prescribe a natural alternative. I never wanted to start on synthetic, but she wouldn’t listen. I found another doc who typically prescribed Armour. He was knowledgeable about the formula change. He said his patients initially had some problems but he resolved with a dosage change. I still requested NP by Acella as it sounded like the old Armour, and it paid off for me. I’m doing MUCH better. I contacted Acella and asked how they’re doing as a company and if there was anything I could do personally to help their business grow. I was told business is good and to basically keep using the product. NO problem!

  15. nomorebadnews!

    Any news on the situation with inadequate Acella and the so called shortage or back-ordered NP? I just found out-through another patient-that Erfa is going bad all of a sudden, like Armour did back in 2008. Oh the joys of being stuck in a rut of non functional medicine, and the nightmare of being ‘just another thyroid patient’-yes this is the end of my life part two…I really do feel like I am dying a slow death. I have been taking Erfa all this past year, as I felt it was definitely the best option for me, and after having issues with Acella’s shortages way back in 2013, I feared the worst, and went back on Erfa!

    Well then, I suppose my mental, and physical (chronic infections since May 2014) break down this past year all makes sense now (in part) since Erfa decided to be sneaky, as there is obviously something really wrong with their product, and everyone is talking about it again..This is really sad. And I am only one person out of thousands of other patients!! What gives?

    So, here’s my problem; is there still the issue of shortages with Acella’s NP, and if so, what would be a good sub? Would WP be worth it, or Nature-thyroid? I did really, really well on NP the year of 2011-2013 and a half, but the issue of the shortages was absolutely NOT something I wanted to chance. I took Nature Thyroid before Acella, and did not feel it was working well..although I’ve heard the conversion is slightly less potent? I don’t know..What can I say? Is there anyone out there who does well on WP, or Nature Thyroid? Or does anyone know about the back order issue at Acella? Seriously this is all too much. Can someone please keep this dialogue going..? Are there really shortages, are there back orders nationwide or what? Are there any ANY brands that can help us, and manufacture and deliver a quality and therapeutic hormone replacement? This whole business is really getting to me….what a mess.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Erfa was only bad last year. Patients are reporting doing better on it this year i.e. last years batches ran out. As far as others, it’s really individual what NDT you want to take. Some swear by Armour; others swear by WP or NP, etc. Acella’s NP-Thyroid has been reported easily gotten.

      • nomorebadnews!

        Thank you, Janie, for the response and helpful feedback…I really should not have ranted so much in my comment-how embarrassing. I just feel so frustrated by all of this. I thought Erfa was a Godsend. I wish these companies would stop playing around with their formulations. I guess I am still not able to forgive the makers of Armour….all of this for what? For money. That’s it. It’s really debased to do this to sick patients in my very bitter opinion.

  16. Lisa

    i switched from Synthroid to Acella Thyroid in December 2014. My thyroid levels were good but I was experiencing hair loss which I blamed on the Synthroid. I wanted to go back on Armour Thyroid which I had taken previously with good results. Insurance wouldn’t approve Armour due to cost so I was given Acella Thyroid instead. This medicine is awfull!! My hairloss has gone from bad to horrible. I lose handfuls every day, much worse than I was on Synthroid. My levels hormone levels went from stable to all screwed up. My T3,is at top of range but T4 is at very bottom. TSH keeps rising. The only reason I am still on this drug is that I managed to get pregnant a few months after starting it (that fact is the only redeeming thing I will say about this drug). I am still losing handfuls of hair daily even though I am 5 months pregnant and should be experiencing fuller hair. My son is due Dec 3 2015 and I will be going back on Synthroid the day he comes out. If you are thinking about going on Acella thyroid and having hairloss, I strongly recommend you find something else. This medicine is making me go bald!

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Lisa, how frustrating!! But there’s hope, because what is happening to you is not directly because of Acella. It’s happening because of what Synthroid has done to you, which NDT like Acella “reveals”, as does your high Free T3, which is called pooling and is due to the same problems. Start with this:

    • Joan Fitler

      Hi Lisa,
      Its a miracle I got to see your remark. I say that because that is what the batch I started taking from May has done to me.High T3 and low T4, its not a coincidence. I have spoke to the pharmacist at Acella an well as in the Medicinal part of Acella. I was assured the formula has not changed except one of the fillers was removed last year. When I take I become fuzzy headed and sleepy. I was taking it sub-lingual and that was thought to be the problem but now I am taking it orally and the same reaction. I am about done with this Acella :( I may try Natures Thyroid, which my natural path says he likes anyway. Since you are having the problem as well with funky labs perhaps it would be good for you to call Acella so they can be aware from someone else too. Acella Pharmacist David (678) 325-5306 Hope things workout for you too :)

  17. Carol Chase

    I had a total thyroidectomy in March 2013 and was one levothyroxine for 6 months. During that time my hands and feet started to go numb and I had pretty bad joint pain. The doctor sent me to a osteo Dr and he said I needed surgery for carpel tunnel. I refused and asked my Endo to put me on Armour which fixed all the neurological problems, weight gain, and tiredness. I was on Armour for 1.5 years (at $50.00 month). I wanted to try Acella NP Thyroid because everyone said it worked great and is much less expensive ($10.00 month). I have been on it for 6 months and the neurological problems/joint pain are coming back as is the weight gain. I really want to switch back to Amour but it is so expensive. Is there anything else I can do to get the Acella to work better. I am taking 60 mg 2 x day.

  18. Harriet Edwards

    I am loving the NP Thyroid. Have been on it since 8-7-21015. It has changed my life. Had been on Synthroid for 15 or so years and felt horrible. Could not get a doctor to change it. Finally found someone who would. Life is so much better.

  19. Katie

    Has anyone else heard of T150 by Xymogen? My integrative wellness dr in Florida put me on this back in 2011. It’s not a prescription, just a supplement. Lately, my depression, fatigue and weight gain have all come back.
    I moved to Southern California last year and need to find a good dr here who will help me get on something like NP Thyroid or Armour. I need relief!

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Katie, T150 is bovine NDT, but as happens all the time, doctor’s don’t get their patients to raise it high enough. Thus, symptoms come back. And another problem…T150 has a lot of other ingredients in it that as you raise it to get enough Bovine thyroid, you are also raising those other ingredients. It’s problematic. If it was me, I’d MUCH rather be on ThyroGold if I was going to be on something over-the-counter. You can google it.

  20. Tracy

    Hi ! is there a website i can order NP Thyroid with out a prescription?. I’ve been ordering Armour from a canadian one but the price keeps going up and up, and they don’t carry NP. I’m ready to switch but need a source to order from. Thanks ! Email me here:

  21. Ellen

    I am wondering if Acella NP thyroid was recently reformulated. I started on Armour in 2007, and switched to erfa when Armour was reformulated. I then switched to NP thyroid when erfa was reformulated. My lasted batch of NP thyroid looks shinier than my old batch – kind of like when erfa reformulated. I haven’t taken it yet, just wondered if anyone knows anything about this

  22. Linda

    Thank you so much for these reassuring comments. I have been on dessicated thyroid for about 5 years. Realizing from your info, that I must have been on erfa. Over the past 6 months I have lost about half of my hair. I also get horrendous muscle cramps. I was doing so great, but there has been a radical change. I also started noticing an unpleasant body odor and smell in my urine. Now I have cut down the erfa to 1/2 tab, the smell is gone, but my test shows dangerously low… hair still falling. An order of synthroid is on it’s way, but I went that route years ago… it wasn’t working for me. Not sure where to turn. Can we lodge a complaint?

    • chris

      Linda, I just read your comment on body and urine odor, have had the same experience but no idea why or where it comes from, are you thinking low levels of thyroid causes this, or the drug itself. Curious, I have never come across this until now…..thank goodness for forums.

  23. K. McLay

    I love NP Thyroid made by Acella. Several years back I had settled on Armour by Forest. It did ok in comparison to other meds I had tried but I still had trouble with some hair loss and fatigue days. While traveling in 2010 the pharmacy switched me unknowingly to the Acella brand. I started losing weight I had been trying to get ride of for ages and ended up realizing I was on a new thyroid med. My hair stopped falling out as well. When that bottle of meds ran out I got Armor again and my weight started to rise again, and my hair began to fall out all over again. That was when I realized it was the NP Thyroid by Acella that had made such a great difference. I made the switch permanently to Acella and have never looked back.

    Fast forward to 2015… I recently returned home from vacation and felt so wore out. I just thought it was because I had over done it while traveling. A week or so later I realized my hair had been falling out. So, I just checked my med bottle and realized the pharmacy sent me the wrong meds, lol…. Instead of Acella, I’ve been taking Armour by Forest for the last few weeks. It all makes sense now! I’ll be running back into the arms of Acella’s brand.

  24. Edie Foss

    I have been taking the NP Thyroid as a sublingual for almost 3 months now. The Armour just “stopped” working as well as it had been over the past year. I love the NP Thyroid as a sublingual….I take 1 grain 3X per day, and this way it doesn’t interact with food and such. Plus, my armour had gone from about $13 a month to $50 over the course of about a year. I can get NP Thyroid at the cost of a generic….$12 for a one month supply. That works for me!!


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