Shortage of Armour Thyroid Strikes Home


In my medical practice I have many individuals taking Armour thyroid for treatment of hypothyroidism and doing well on it. In the past few weeks I have had numerous requests from pharmacies and prescription supply services requesting I rewrite my prescriptions of Armour due to lack of availability of certain pill strengths. Until this week I have been able to get around this obstacle by utilizing the available Armour strengths in various combinations to arrive at the correct total dose. In the last few days the Armour shortage became so severe that several drug supply companies said they were totally out of all Armour dosages and that an alternative treatment was required.

In some cases of hypothyroidism it has taken many visits over many months to arrive at a satisfactory thyroid replacement plan. It is a great feeling for the patient to know that their symptoms will be controlled on their specific medication plan. It is upsetting to have to change prescriptions at this point in treatment because the medication is no longer available. Making matters worse is that I am unable to explain why this shortage has occurred and when, if ever, the medication will be available. The responsible pharmaceutical company has been elusive in providing answers to these questions and supplies no guidance to prescribing physicians.

I am aware that other preparations of dessicated thyroid are available and that several contributing members of metabolism.com expressed their satisfaction with these preparations. I am investigating the alteratives as fast as possible but it is another frustrating failing in our system to have patients and physicians placed in this position.

Gary Pepper, M.D. Editor-in-Chief, metabolism.com

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