Options for Thyroid Treatment
Here is a list with summaries of your options. These are in no particular order. All have thyroid patients who love their brands, and if there are any reported issues, it’s explained in the summary. Ingredients listed on this page.
Please help your doctor learn about all these, if need be.
1. ERFA aka “Thyroid”
Turns out Canada’s pharmaceutical “Erfa Canada, Inc” has always produced an excellent desiccated thyroid product, which they simply call “Thyroid”, but which patients call Erfa. It’s almost exactly like the old Armour used to be (before Armour was reformulated in 2009 and ruined, say patients), thus you can do it sublingually. The FDA allows US citizens to order this from Canadian website pharmacies. List below. I, Janie, use this and love it. See the January 20th, 2010 blog post about favorite Canadian pharmacies. NOTE: many patients worldwide reported that suddenly, their latest batch of Erfa was resulting in a return of awful symptoms in 2014, even though they had done great for years. There were enough reports of this problem that we concluded that there were, in fact, some bad batches out there. By 2015, we are possibly seeing those bad batches disappear hopefully.
2. ACELLA’S N.P. THYROID
In late 2010, there suddenly appeared a “generic” version of desiccated thyroid–a real shock to patients since the FDA, in all their wisdom (cough), shut down all generics in 2009. And so far, it appears the Acella version is very workable, say patients, plus there’s the bonus that it can be done sublingally. It appears to be made very similar to what Armour used to be made before it was reformulated in 2009. Patients report being very happy with this product as well as liking the Acella company.
Naturethyroid is a tried-and-true desiccated thyroid which has been around since the 1930’s, and is made by RLC labs. It appeared to have been reformulated in 2009, but many patients still swear by it. Some chew it up before swallowing for better absorption; others do well just by swallowing it. Hard to do sublingually.
4. WP THYROID formerly WESTHROID-P
Westhroid has been around almost as long as Naturethroid, but 2013 saw a new version called Westhroid-P with only two named “fillers”: Inulin (from chicory root) and medium chain triglycerides (from coconuts). So far, so good! Note: WP Thyroid also has lactose, even though it’s not stated.
Armour has been around the longest and until 2009, Armour by Forest Labs was the darling of all desiccated thyroid products. We could do it sublingually, and even if swallowed, it worked well. But by early 2009, it had been reformulated (an increase in cellulose, which binds thyroid hormones, and a decrease of sucrose). Because patients saw a return of their symptoms, they finally learned to chew it up to release the thyroid from the excess hardness and fiber. Then in 2012, some of the tablets became soft again and patients were happier. But in 2015, back came a lot of complaints after Forest Labs was acquired by Activas. See this blog post.
6. NUTRI-MEDS, THYROGOLD, other OTC products:
Nutri-Meds is an OTC desiccated thyroid “supplement” in both bovine and porcine. It’s far weaker so you’ll have to take a lot more, but patients have always been thankful for its presence. Tell your doctor you are using it to maintain the relationship. http://www.nutri-meds.com/
Thyrogold is sold by Tammy Lowe, widow of Dr. John C. Lowe, and many are very happy with it. Capsules are 150 mg and 300 mg from New Zealand pasture-fed cows and 25 mg of Coleus forskohlii, which is said to promote thyroid function. www.naturalthyroidsolutions.
There appear to be other OTC products on the net and some with bovine thyroid from new zealand cows which look promising. We just have to be careful with those which have a lot of “other” ingredients, because those go up as we raise, too.
7. THYROID-S, “THIROYD”, T.R:
These are three different brands of desiccated thyroid made in Thailand that many patients swear by and are ordered over the internet. Google “thyroid-s Sriprasit” or “thiroyd greater pharma” to find sources. Information on ingredients here. Keep your doctor informed of your use. A third brand has been mentioned in 2013, called TR and by T. Man Pharma in Thailand. All three with known ingredients are listed on the Armour vs. Other Brands page.
8. A GERMAN PHARMACY
…will supposedly send the medication abroad, prescription required and credit cards accepted. They source the thyroid from Europe and have no shortages. They will also compound any strength and combination you require. “THYREOGLAND” from Munchen (Munich), Kloesterl Apoteke, Waltherstrasse, 80337 Muenchen. Phone: 089 54343211 (Let me know if my information is incorrect, please)
9. INTERNATIONAL VERSIONS OF DESICCATED THYROID
Shown here. Use the Contact form at the bottom of any page on STTM to let me know if I need to list others or make corrections, please.
10. COMPOUNDED DESICCATED THYROID:
This is a method of “making” your desiccated thyroid via a compounding pharmacy. It works, but is far more expensive than any of the above, and in most cases, patients say there’s no need for it. And beware of two important problems: 1) some compounding pharmacies just use synthetic T4 and synthetic T3 and still call it “compounded Armour”. ASK for proof of what you are getting. 2) many of these pharmacies still try to use cellulose as a filler, which binds the thyroid hormones, even if they deny it. Instead, ask that the filler be something like powdered Acidophilus or oil.
11. SYNTHETIC T4 with SYNTHETIC T3:
Granted, patients who have tried this synthetic combo, then switched to desiccated thyroid, report the latter has even better results. But the synthetic combo is still a much better choice than being on T4 alone, we’ve discovered as informed patients! You can even choose to be just on synthetic T3, but remember that you’ll have no T4, the storage hormone, to covert to T3 for you, so you’ll have to dose it more, such as 3-4 times a day. Five times a day hasn’t been as effective as 3 or 4. Also, many patients report disliking the slow release version of T3–it’s an inexact man-made release and often runs out…and you feel it. Patients prefer dosing the T3 themselves with Cytomel of Cynomel. Read more here.
IMPORTANT NOTE: if you aren’t doing well on most anything you try, don’t necessarily blame the product (especially if STTM hasn’t reported on problems patients are having on it)! You could very well be here: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ndt-doesnt-work-for-me
You could also have an underlying illness like chronic EBV, Lyme, or others. Lyme patients often need to be on T3-only until it’s better treated. But check out your adrenals and iron/ferritin FIRST, and dose correctly according to what patients have learned. Teach your doctor!
Finally, some react to the fillers in a particular brand and find that they don’t to another brand .
How to find a good doctor: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/how-to-find-a-good-doc
Ingredients in different thyroid brands: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/armour-vs-other-brands
Why desiccated thyroid is a better choice than T4: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work
Order your own labwork to show your doctor later: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/recommended-labwork
***Order the Revised STTM book for even more details: http://book.stopthethyroidmadness.com and http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/stop-thyroid-madness-ii-book
CANADIAN PHARMACIES LIST (may not be complete):