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

Share this post

  • Sue

    I have had good results from Levothyroxine and Liothyronine.
    I was taking 125 mcu of Levothyroxine and now on 100mcu Levo and 10mg of Lio.

  • K. C.

    Dr. Pepper,
    I am one of your patients who has been successfully treated with Armour and I have been following this Armour shortage on various websites. I, too, am frustrated and angry at the drug companies for their irresponsible practices with medications that people depend on for a normal quality of life. If they experienced the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, I am certain they would not mess around with the production and distribution of the medications. Thank you for continuing to provide genuine and honorable medical care to so many people whose lives have been dramatically improved.

  • Tony Kingkade

    Most patients are on strengths between 15mg and 120mg. When pharmacists are unable to obtain a particular strength such as 60mg, they will dispense the 30mg with directions to take 2 tablets. Then this causes a spike in demand for the 30mg and it becomes in short supply. So right now, the lower strengths are not available due to having to dispense high quantities of lower strengths in place of the higher strength. In southern CA, 120mg and up are available from the wholesalers right now, but the lower strengths are only sporadically available.

    Forest Pharmaceuticals purchased Armour Thyroid from Armour in 1991, but Armour kept manufacturing the product for Forest until 1996. Then Forest began manufacturing it and reformulated it (the fillers) in order to improve disintegration. Now they are reformulating it again including a decrease in the amount of dextrose, increase in cellulose, and the addition of cornstarch to the tablets.

    Be prepared for patients to complain of a difference in effect, as this happened also in 1996. Although, many times the symptons are temporally associated with other hormonal changes such as starting estrogen replacement therapy which can cause more thyroid hormone to be bound to plasma proteins, something women entering menopause should be aware of.

  • Myrna Vaughn

    What about nature throid as an alternative? It is my understanding, it has both T3 and T4.

  • Adam King, CPhT

    Check with your local compounding pharmacies. The one I work at is currently compounding Dessicated Thyroid in the doses that are not currently available. Try to cut a deal with that pharmacist. Ours is offering compounded medication at a comparable cost to Armour Thyroid. Our patients have been greatful for this serivce. Make sure if you do this that it is Thyroid USP in IR Capsules.

  • A Barrett

    After trying without much success on synthetic medications, Armour has been (for the past 5 years) the only thing that has helped me be the person I once was before my thyroid disease. I am fearful that I will have awful symptoms (they were very severe) again should I not have Armour. It has made a huge, huge difference in my life – and my family’s life as well! After getting a call today from my mail-order pharmacy stating that they don’t know when or IF they will get a supply of Armour – and advising me that pharmacies are running out, and no other natural medication is available, I am actually scared!

    • Dr. G. Pepper

      Hi Ala

      I am also disturbed by the growing shortage of Armour thyroid for my patients. Due to the lack of guidance by the company making Armour in the face of this unacceptable situation, I have sort alternatives. Also, some knowledgeable members of metabolism.com have recommended alternative products. I have been switching some of my patients who have histories like yours, to Natural Thyroid, Naturethroid or Westhroid. These medications are also dessicated thyroid preparations and are more readily available from local pharmacies and mail order pharmacies. Medco mail order pharmacy recently sent a memo to doctors exaggerating the lack of dessicated thyroid preparations, and it may be some time before this particular pharmacy is able to respond to these types of prescriptions. The dosages of the alternative products are somewhat different then Armour so if switching products, you and your doctor will need to discuss the dosing thoroughly.

      Good luck and let us know how things work out for you.

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

  • Elizabeth

    Hi! I am printing all this out for my daughter’s appointment with her doctor this Friday. She is gluten intolerant, so the Armour has been perfect for her. She’s going away to college soon, so I really need to get her some sort of alternative that is not going to cause major adjustment issues. Does anyone know if the other natural products mentioned above are gluten-free? Thank you,
    Elizabeth

  • Marganne Meyer

    Hello. I’ve noted that the Armour appears to be the only designated generic for Medicare patients. So in addition to finding a substitute that may or may not work, there is a BIG financial consequence to this mysterious change to many Medicare recipients. What’s the best way to complain to Medicare (or wherever) about this? Is there an advocacy group looking into this? Imagine how many times per year this happens to all generic medications!

  • Dr. G. Pepper

    Marganne

    I don’t fully understand your point. What do you mean by “the only designated generic”?

    Does that mean the only generic for all forms of thyroid replacement or only for dessicated thyroid hormone replacement?

    What mysterious change are you referring to? That Medicare was no longer approving Armour?

    Just trying to be clear on what the point is. I’m sure our readers would like to hear more about this important issue.

  • Pamela

    I too have had severe side effects from taking Synthroid and Levothroid. Armour thyroid is the only replacement that has made my life and body feel normal once again. Now it’s in shortage? Unbelievable that a drug that has been around as long as this has (over 50 years, my father has taken it since he was 17, he’s now 69), is now in shortage because the FDA didn’t approve any of the dosages. The only dosage not in shortage is the 2 grain (120 mg). Through research, I did find some alternative replacements to discuss with my doctor, Nature-Throid and Westhroid. Let’s hope this works as well…I need the natural not the synthetic! 🙁

  • Tony Kingkade

    Marganne,

    Medicare contracts with Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM’s) to administer the Medicare Part D benefit. There are dozens of PBM’s throughout the country. Each PBM can set its own formulary within restrictions dictated by Medicare. So, Medicare doesn’t in fact exclude any manufacturer of thyroid, but a PBM might where another might not.

    Do you have a specific PBM that you know excludes other manufacturers than Armour?

  • Lawrence E Mallette, MD, PhD

    The shortage of Armour Thyroid and other brands of thryoid extract has devastated my office. We have received over 300 requests for changes due to the shortage. We can’t get the other work done!

    Synthetic T3 (Cytomel) at a dose of 5 to 10 mcg a day, together with a balancing amount of Synthroid or Levoxyl does the trick for most patients. Only a few find a distinct improvement on Armour versus Cytomel as a source of the T3 supplement. The symptoms experience by 50% of Synthroid- or Levoxyl- treated patients usually do not derive from the Synthroid itself, but from the lack of T3 in those preparations. This is possibly going to be the only work-around, as I’ll not go back to Armour until we have an explanation from Forest Pharma.

    I the Federal Government (FDA) responsible for this shortage. Likely. They are criminally neglegent in that case.

  • Beth

    We all know this would never happen with viagra!

  • sophie young

    We need to all get together and protest. Lets call Oprah,

  • Elaine

    We in Britain are also having major problems with the shortage of Armour Thyroid. the Armour is the only dessicated thyroid replacement medication the is imported and approved by the National Health Sevice, I am actually scared of the future if I can’t continue on Armour. I have been very ill for 2 years since I was diagnosed hypothroid and I just got so ill on synthetic meds that I ended up being hospitalized, I didn’t improve with the addition of T3 either.
    I don’t understand how this situation was allowed to happen in the 21st century.

  • Marilyn Hirsch

    I know we are all concerned BUT I think we have to figure our a united front on how we can get this matter straightened out. We need to contact SOMEONE..possibly our individual senator and assemblymen OR some consumer advocate that we can get petitions off too..We can talk or complain all we want but if we don’t get some SPECIFIC ACTION in the works we will be complaining forever…Anyone with perhaps legal experience..who can come up with SPECIFIC idea that we can ALL get involved in..as I see it..that is the ONLY way we will get this handled…otherwise it will be pushed around by the drug companies, FDA etc..LET”S GET ON THE BALL with specific action so we can get something done.I saw on another site complaining about our problem a bill in the House of Representatives H.COn. RES 342 which regarded a women;s access to estriol etc. It was signed by House of Reps and also co sponsored by Senators.. I have a copy of this bill if you want it..as a sample of what perhaps WE should be doing regarding the Armour! Any comments or idea??

  • Tony Kingkade

    First we’ll call Oprah as she has the almighty power to instantly increase the supply of powdered Thyroid gland with one simple wave of her wand. Then we’ll call our Congressmen as they have a history of total cooperation between parties to fix any medically related problem in our society instantly. By Tuesday (Monday is a holiday), this should all be fixed and all the pharmacies will be fully restocked. Meanwhile, we’ll throw all the executives at Forest Laboratories in jail just to make us feel better. And as responsible physicians, we’ll deny our patients optimal care by refusing to prescribe Armour Thyroid. That’ll show those bastards.

    To prevent this from happening again in the future, we’ll all need to eat pork 7 days a week in order to increase the stocks of pigs so more porcine thyroid glands will be available to make dessicated thyroid. Hey…I think I just ldiscovered the BIG SECRET. This whole shortage is part of a huge conspiracy by the pork industry to increase pork consumption. No wait! Pigs eat corn, right? So it’s really the CORN INDUSTRY that’s in on the conspiracy. I knew it! I knew it! Evil King Corn is at it again!

  • Mele

    I’m just devastated. I could only get a seven day supply yesterday of Armour at Wal-Mart. They have no idea what the problem is and told me to come in Tuesday and they would have some again. I had no idea there was a problem again (last year’s nightmare made me assume everything would be ok after Forrest redid their manufacturinging plant) until I googled today.

    I am 66 years old and have been on Armour Thyroid since I was 15 years old when I had a subtotal thyroidectomy for carcinoma. The only time I ever tried Synthroid was about 20 years ago when an endocrinologist convinced me that I was going to get osteoporosis if I continued using Armour. I only took it for two months, and when I walked into my family doctor’s office at the end of the two months, he took haveone look me and said “whWt is wrong? You are not you”. I wasn’t me anymore (and the blood tests he ordered confirmed that I was very low on T3 and barely in the normal range for T4). That was probably the most terrifying experience I have ever had. I had no idea how totally entwined my personality, and feelings of well being, are dependent on Armour. I still find it scary that “me” is a product of a drug I take and when I take a different brand, I am no longer me. I felt like a stranger in my own skin…weak, no sparkly, dramatic personality… instead dull feeling, acting and cobwebs in my brain. My family doctor said that he was putting me back on Armour immediately and slowly I began to feel like me again.

    I’m terrified now. I am in the middle of trying to prepare for a very complicated (nothing is ever simple or easy medically for me) cataract surgery in another city that I have fly to repeatedly for the presurgical appointments. If I have to go on Synthyroid again…how can I deal with this other upcoming surgery? It can’t be put off as I can barely see to drive now.

    Anyhow, I agree with others here that we have to organize and fight this. I find it very difficult to believe this is simply a shortage of the thyroid powder that Forrest is claiming is the problem. This is the FDA meddling, yet again, with patients very lives. I think I know an organization that will help us as they have fought bloody battles with the FDA for many years and have been victorious to a large extent. I am speaking of the Life Extension Foundation. I’ll be contacting them.

    Two other things. For what it is worth, I have noticed no problems with the change in Armour but for the first time in many years, I have not done thyroid blood levels in two years. But I feel fine so I guess I don’t have the absorbtion problem some mention with the new formula. I have had hair breakage though which I have puzzled over and that could well be due to the formula change.

    As for Medicare and Armour, I have had Medicare since a drunk driver hit me many years ago so I have had Medicare long before I turned 65. When Medicare Part D first appeared Armour was on the Medicare forumulary. That was in mid 2006. Armour was on the Medicare formulary in 2007 also. Beginning Jan 2008, Armour was removed from the Medicare formulary. My physician I did a lot of research, calling, letter writing, etc. about it. My drug plan was and still is from AARP/United Health Care. United Health Care is angry about the Armour situation. However, they cannot make a special exception to cover it when a physician asks them to do so (as mine did) because their hands are tied. They are required by law to allow ONLY drugs that are approved and on the Medicare formulary.

    AARP/United Health Care covers ALL drugs on the Medicare formulary and by law cannot cover any that are banned from the Medicare formulary. Armour was banned in 2008. I called Forest about it and was extremely puzzled by their lacksidasical response. My physician wrote Forrest also and they sent back a reply that had nothing to do with the question about Armour being removed from the Medicare formulary. My physician learned later that his, and my, suspicions were correct. It was removed because the FDA told Medicare that they could not cover a drug that had not gone through the NDA I believe it is called…where a new drug has to undergo extensive clinical trials as per FDA regulations. We learned that the FDA was requiring Forrest to do this if they wanted Medicare coverage for Armour. Well, that is not possible. Forrest charges very little for Armour. Where are they supposed to get the money for the many years of clinical trials that the FDA has demanded? The FDA knew that demanding this would effectively kill Armour and that was their intent.

    So, since Jan 2008, I have had to pay for a Medicare Part D plan that I can’t use because the only drug I take (unless I need an antibiotic or something short term) is Armour. Wat is worse, most health insurance companies follow the Medicare formulary so if Medicare no longer covers Armour then most insurance plans will not cover it either.

  • William Scrogins, RPh.

    We have Armour Thyroid in stock. We are a compounding pharmacy. We use the strengths that are available and make them into capsules of the common strengths. We hope to be able to get as much as we can to get as many patient through this shortage. We currently have about 20,000 doses. It sounds like alot, but it goes quickly. Call us if any of your patients want to continue their therapy. We can be reached at Smart Pharmacy Inc, Phone 904-221-8686.

  • Here is the website with good explanation for information on converting from Armour to two other natural pig dissected thyroid medications which cross-over grain for grain, meaning if you take 1/2 grain Armour you will take 1/2 grain of the new medication. As always, the user is cautioned that different meds may metabolize differently due to other filler ingredients and differences in process, etc, etc, so as Dr. Pepper complains and I unfortunately know all too well how AWFUL the patient feels while going thru all this. I called my prescriptioin in on Friday, and didn’t get a call back from the pharmacist until after my doctor’s office is closed informing me of the shortage (first I’d heard of it), saying they can’t get Armour, and can’t give me ANY alternative until my doctor approves it, and he’s not open until Monday. To make matters worse, his answering service is messed up and I can’t get thru to him. I either go without thyroid meds for two days (you all know how horrible I’m going to feel in Wednesday????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), or go to the emergency room to get my prescription refilled, which will cost me outside of my insurance way beyond what I can afford right now. )@#&($)(@#&$)(@#*$_@(*#$_@_@ Who do we go sue???

  • Daryl Sharwell

    In researching my alternatives to Armour Thyroid, my doctor is clueless and is no longer returning my calls, I discovered that Forest is also the manufacturer of Liotrix, a combination of synthetic T3 and T4, which is, of course, much more expensive than Armour Thyroid. Could it be that what is really going on here is that Forest would like all of us Armour users to switch to their new drug?

  • Lindsey Mizell

    I noticed only a few people are talking about compounding. Compounding pharmacies exist SPECIFICALLY for cases such as these. Compounding pharmacies can make virtually ANY MEDICATION that experiences a shortage. No one needs to go without their meds. We can make this from scratch by prescription from your doctor. We are a licensed compounding pharmacy: Specialty Pharmacy of St. Louis. 314-392-9900 We can likely ship meds to you if you are not in our region. Please do not worry, and simply call a compounding pharmacy.

  • Amy

    I guess we should all start raising our own pigs.

  • Tony Kingkade

    Lindsey,

    I know that the higher strengths of Armour Thyroid are more available – 4 grain (240 mg) and 5 grain (300 mg) – and could be pulverized and repressed or encapsulated into smaller doses. Yes folks, compounding pharmacies are a good solution.

  • stacey

    compounding pharmacy is very expensive, otherwise would be an excellent alternative

  • Sandra Jordan

    I too am having problems finding Armour Thyroid. I recently visited Utah as I thought maybe Florida was the only state having problems finding Armour. This is the only thyroid medication I have ever taken and hate to think I wll have to switch. Medicare does not pay for my medication so can’t figure out why medicare has anything to do with the lack of the drug. I go to a holistic/alternative practice and have an appointment soon to see what alternative she can offer me. Does anyone have any suggestions.

  • gina

    Curiously, although Forest’s product availability hotline (866) 927-3260 states that Armour is currently available in both 4 grain and 5 grain dosages, pharmacies have been telling patients that they are unable to procure it in any strength.

    Forest recently blamed the unavailability of their t4/t3 combo Thyrolar on a change in U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) ‘s specifications for that medication’s manufacture. A Vice President at USP has denied that any such requirement has been made.
    http://thyroid.about.com/b/2009/09/16/forest-lying-thyrolar-armour-thyroi.htm

    At this point, I am disinclined to believe any of Forest’s statements.

  • William Scrogins, RPh.

    In my opinion, the days of Armour Thyroid being inexpensive are over. By the time Forest complies with the FDA and has completed the NDA, this product will be much more expensive. Compounding pharmacies charge more because of the time, equipment and expertise of repacking the Armour Thyroid. My point is that I think you will find the current compounding prices not much more than the price of the reformulated product made by Forest Pharmaceuticals. They may even be less expensive. They are in stock at many compounding pharmacies including Smart Pharmacy at 904-221-8686. I hope this helps put some perspective on this situation.

  • Daryl Sharwell

    Costco claimed to have 60mil Armour, and my doctor called in a script, but when I went to pick it up, I was informed that it is 65 mil generic. Can anyone tell me what this is? The fact sheet they gave me was for Armour.

  • Tony Kingkade

    Armour Thyroid…is it really 60 mg? Actually, it’s 64.8 mg. The apothecary weight system was used in pharmacy back in the old days and has been replaced by the metric system. 1 grain is a weight measurement that is equivalent to 64.8 mg. Armour Thyroid is really 1 grain. However, depending on the person or manufacturer, 1 grain can be expressed as 60, 64.8 or 65 milligrams. If you are on 1 grain Armour Thyroid, you are really on 64.8 mg, but the stock bottle says 60 mg (they are allowed to do that). So one manufacturer will express 1 grain as 60 mg and another as 65 mg. Why not use 64.8 mg? They can. They just choose to round up or down for simplicity. And…manufacturers can vary a bit on either side of the true weight and still be compliant to FDA rules.

    Don’t fret over it.

    Remember, there are fewer strengths of dessicated thyoid available than levothyroxine has. So dosing precision isn’t the same. 1/2 gr to 1 gr to 1 & 1/2 gr (30 mg to 60 mg to 90 mg) for dessicated thyroid are much larger jumgs than 75 mcg to 88 mg to 100 mcg to 112 mcg to 125 mcg to 137 mcg to 150 mcg for levothyroxine.

  • Anne

    Does anyone know if cellulose filler in compounded dessicated thyroid pills lowers the strength of the pill? There is talk of the porblem withthe new Armour being because of increased cellulose. My compounding pharmacy can only use cellulose or lactose as filler. They also said they couldn’t give me my does without a filler. Can anyone enlighten me on this?? I have been on my compounded dose of 1.25 gram for almost a month and feeling less energetic.

  • Al

    So much of this game-playing by these big drug companies is nothing but money-related. It seems there is only proper regulation by the FDA when $$ is involved. No matter that people depend on these meds for their lives. This is a potentially serious crisis in the making. I depend on Armour supplementation with Synthroid since I have an imbalance between T3 and T4.

  • Diane Carr

    After having my Armour Rx abruptly changed (without notice from my Dr or pharmacy) when I went to pick up my latest refill, I spent several days trying to find an line source for Armour (I even tried Cananda). This morning I stumbled upon this site and informative posts. Thank you for the numerous suggestions to research compounding. I called a local pharmacy that does compounding and after they receive my Drs Rx (it must specify compounded thyroid), this will alleviate the immediate problem. Yes, it is more expensive and not covered under insurance, but I feel at ease not having to go back on Synthroid. I’m hoping this situation will rectify itself over time considering the numerous and passionate complaints. What can patients do to help other than educating our own doctors who don’t seem to have the time to do the research?

  • This pharmacy can compound a capsule using the pork thyroid in any dose
    a patient may need. Please email or call the pharmacy to inquire.

  • Mary

    The Women’s International Pharmacy can compound desicated procine thyroid. They are on the web

  • Tony Kingkade

    For Anne:

    The filler doesn’t decrease the strength of the medication. It is necessary in order to provide enough bulk so the tiny amount of drug that is in your dose can be pressed into a tablet or encapsulated. That said, there are some people who may have difficulty with a specific filler, such as a lactose intolerant person and lactose as an ingredient in the filler. Also, USP dissolution standards help assure that the tablet will breakdown in the gut so the drug can be fully absorbed.

    You say you are on 1.25 gram. You may want to check that. That would be an extremely hight dose, more than 4 times the highest strength made.

    For others:

    I don’t believe Forest is doing anything but trying to correct the supply imbalance. Talk about game-playing in order to increase prices and “criminal” behaviour is inflammatory. I know all of you are frustrated, but so are they. I really don’t think they enjoy losing all those sales every day. They are in business to sell as much Armour Thyroid as they can. Their market share of levothyroxine (as Levothroid) is smaller than Synthroid, Levoxyl and generic levothyroxine (ie Mylan). They would love to see more Armour Thyroid prescribed (instead of levothyroxine) so they can capture that market share. So I truly believe they are struggling, not conspiring or coniving. This situation will eventually correct.

  • Gatekeeper

    Is there any more news on this? I contacted Medco and informed them that I’ve decided not to take the Synthroid (after reading much info and personal experiences on the web). That I would be contacting a local compounder until Medco received a new shipment. I asked if they would notify me when it was again available, the answer: No, it was on me to periodically check with them. Such service.

  • Gatekeeper

    I think we all should e-mail Obama, as he’s the one who has given the FDA this power. You can e-mail his administration at: http://www.whitehouse.gov and click on “contact us” in the upper right hand corner. I just did.

  • Ann

    I have a question for the compounding pharmacists. Is it possible to compound a formulation of Armour that resembles the original formulation and not the latest reformulation?

  • William Scrogins, RPh.

    Ann,
    Our formulation is very close to the original formulation. We are using Armour Thyroid 5 Grain Tablets and repacking the powder into capsules of the strengths that are not available. We add Microcrystalline Cellulose ( just like the manufacturer Forest does) on some strengths to fill up the empty space of the capsule and to facilitate making the product accurately and consistently. We still have the capability to make the product. You can reach us at 904-221-8686. Good Health to all, Bill Scrogins, RPh.

  • Will S.

    Gatekeeper: Just a suggestion to do a little more research on this situation before blaming it on Obama. It was several years ago, at the end of the Clinton and beginning of the Bush administration, that the FDA began to investigate and reveal that Armour Thyroid had never been officially approved by the regulatory agency. Membership on the FDA consists partially of highly paid executives that came from pharmaceutical companies. It makes sense that they have an interest in making sure that only the big pharamaceutical companies have the money to get their drugs approved. Situations like this are why we need healthcare reform now. Yes, you certainly can and should bring this issue to the attention of the current administration, but please place blame where it is due, as fingerpointing in the wrong direction is unhelpful to those who are suffering.

  • Kris

    I am prescribed to 30mg Armour thyroid. I found 60mg tablet at Walgreens. Is it OK to take it in half doses.

    Waiting for the reply from doctors office.

  • Gatekeeper

    Will S, Thanks for the clarification. I can only hope the current Administration will hear our joint plea if everyone e-mails them.

  • Jessica

    I am so relieved to see I am not alone. I suffered FOR years with the unexplained woes of hypothyroidism. I always been a big talker of this “silent & invisable disorder”
    In reading and researching, while I still have the energy in my fingers to do so (im on day 2 of the subsitute of synthroid and liothyronine. I am on the verge of tears and at the same time NOT FEELING so crazy as I read the hundreds of posts that sound jUST LIKE ME. ALL OF US THYROID SUFFERERS KNOW THAT IT TAKES WEEKS AND MONTHS TO GET YOUR LEVELS RIGHT, AND JUST AS THE ABOVE DR. NOTED, IT IS FRUSTRATING TO THE PATIENT AND THE THE PHYSICIAN AS WELL!
    in ABOUT 1 month we’re all gonna be BACON!!!!!!!!

  • Jessica

    BACK TO THE BACON..I had a baby 2 year ago. June 2007 and notice then that my usual stinky MIRACLE pill was no longer as stinky….at precisely the same time I ended up in the hospital with symptons that felt like as described in thryoid storm (I was in my last trimester so you can imagine the horror of such symptons when YOUR breathing is already compromise by feet in your lungs . I was determined to get to the bottom of it and did called Forest. THEY called me back with this explanation that you know they are blowing hog warsh *(ha ha HEY LET ME CRACK A JOKE before I plummit into a state of mental depression) stating that they changed something in the packaging (adding some kind of silicone) to eliminate the smell…AS IF!!!! I DIDN’T & DON’T care if it smelled like pig POOP which really smelled someone “fishy” to me…THIS WAS MY MIRACLE PILL THAT GAVE ME BACK MY LIFE!!!!!!!
    I am CALLING A COMPOUNDN PHARM STRAIGHT AWAY TOMORROW…I AM NOT GOING TO GAMBLE WITH MY HEALTH! I HAVE 3 CHILDREN THAT NEED ME!!!!!!
    HOWEVER…IF SOMETHING FUNKY IS GOING ON, I AM READY TO STAND UP TO CONGRESS, FOREST, FDA, OBAMA WHOEVER WE MAY NEED TO SPEAK TO. I SET UP an email in order to organize this or for whomever may need to vent as we will all be plummeting down crappyville in a hot minute without our medication!
    PLEASE EMAIL ME AT ARMOUR09CRISIS@AOL.COM
    REGARDLESS THIS IS COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY UNEXCEPABLE..UNEXECUSABLE AND SOMEONE SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!!!!!!!!!!!! to put this on the patients, physicians and pharmacies to deal is absolutely rediculous and the fact that this company did not inform us of this shortage is uncalled for!!!!!!
    LOOK SEE I’M ALREADY GETTING CRANKY!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH
    I NEED MY ARMOUR!!!!!

  • Jessica

    if it aint broke….that’s all I have to say right now….

  • Gatekeeper

    I started a generic form of synthroid this morning. It is a light orangish color, three 25mg/day. I can only hope my body can make it work for me. I had thyroiditis and then had 1/2 my thyroid removed due to a couple of bumps, 10 years ago. The biopsy did nothing to relieve my fears, so had that half removed rather than take a chance.

    My homeopathic doctor put me on Armour right away and the dose was prefect from the get go. Sure hope I don’t gain weight or have other problems.

  • terri thyroid

    I too am experiencing the same thing no Armour – by the way – Obama has not repeat, not caused this latest Armour problem – this has happened before. Also, yes, if this were Viagra this wouldn’t be happening – McCain voted no insurance help for birth control but voted yes to insurance covering Viagra. Okay, off my soapbox, I can obtain porcine (dessicated pig) thyroid hormone from Community Compounding in Oregon. And they said their 15 mcg is more accurate than my cutting 30 mcg in 1/2 which is what I’ve been doing for years due to lack of exact amount. Also, if you already have a scrip at your local rx they should be able to transfer it to a compounding rx even if its out of state. Good luck !!

  • Lynnette Palmerton

    Thank you so much for your comment and information! I too am LOST without my Armour and the “fakes” just are not a good substitute! I live in Oregon also, and just called Community Compounding. They were extremely helpful and full of information. My doctor is faxing my prescription today! Thanks again!!!

  • Heidi

    I had been on Armour for the past 8 years. After switching to levothyroxine, in the past 8 weeks, I have gained nearly 17 pounds, I have mood swings, night sweats, and a harder time controlling my temperature again. Apparently my thyroid levels are within normal limits for the dosage I am on. I also have a prolactinoma for which I take cabergoline 0.5 mg 2x a week. I continue to get the run around from my current physician about sustaining an 1800 calorie diet a day, which for me would be well over the caloric intake I am currently on of approximately 1400 calories, and the good old question of “are you excercising?” I am in the process of trying to find someone to manage my care, but am thoroughly fed up with not being heard. As I truly believe this new medication is not working for me.

    Any suggestions?

  • William Scrogins, RPh.

    We still have Armour Thyroid in stock. We compound Armour Thyroid tablet strengths that were the last to be in stock (e.g. 4 grain and 5 grain ) into capsules of all strengths that you are seeking. We use the same excipient that Armour Thyroid uses to fill up the capsule and to ensure an accurate and consistent pack. We ship all over the United States. We take great pride in our work and our service. There is no need to be without this therapy. Best Regards, William Scrogins, RPh. Smart Pharmacy
    Voice 904-221-8686 Fax 904-221-3113

  • margaret

    is it available without prescription its not for me im looking for it for my sister

  • Gatekeeper

    I would really appreciate a price from the compounders posting. My doc says they’ve got someone in Bellevue,WA that will do a 90 day supply for $60. Still hard to pay that when I was paying only $25.

  • Sandra

    I too have had a wonderful experience with Armour thyroid after years of struggling with synthroid and have been symptom free of my Hashimoto’s for the last three years – until now. Lethargy, muscle aches, hair loss, temperature disregulation, digestion problems, and just feeling like a 60 watt bulb only able to muster up 15 watts of energy. After reading what everyone has said I called Forest Labs and spoke with a pharmacist, a nurse and customer care. They were very interested in what I had to say and would like anyone who is having problems since the reformulation to contact them. The reason for the change is a supposed bioavailability increase with the change between sucrose (why the original tasted sweet) to cellulose. Doesn’t make sense to me as cellulose in indigestible and if the active ingredient is binding to it, it may be less available than with the sucrose formulation. Any thoughts? I also asked about the rumored FDA requirements – NO the FDA is not requiring them to go through trials as they are grandfathered in under the “generally recognized as safe” ruling. They have also just released a large amount of the one grain size (60mg) to pharmacies so it should be available. He said that if the pharmacy didn’t have it yet to call Forest Labs again. He also wanted me to speak to a nurse to document the symptoms I was experiencing. The transfer was quick – no getting put on long holds, and she was very thorough and pleasant. The pharmacist, Pat, and the nurse that I spoke to want to hear from the people who are having difficulties with the change in formulation – so Call, Call and Call again. The only way to get the formula back to where it was is if we let them know it now doesn’t work. Call 800 678 1605 ext 66297 for medical input and 66298 for customer service and quality control. One voice is a whisper, many voices is a shout to be acknowledged.

  • Gatekeeper

    Did they say when other strengths might be available? I was only taking 45mg, so was given 15 mg, 3/day. How did all this miss-communication happen?

  • juannita

    I called forest Labs and was basically blown off. I was told they were unable to get the porcine glandular powder used for Armour. When I asked when they expected to get some, the customer “service” (I use that term lightly) told me she didn’t know. I asked if it would be a month? 3 months? 6months? A year? All answered with an “I don’t know”. When I asked to speak to a supervisor, she told me the supervisor didn’t know either and would not put me through to anyone else.

    My bet is that Forest Labs is selling the product to another pharmaceutical and wants to deplete their inventory. They obviously don’t feel they have any obligation to their patients. I did manage to get a couple of months supply of tablets I have to break in half. After that, I’m screwed. (I’ve managed to lose weight, get my blood pressure back to normal, and get my non-fasting cholesterol down to 122. it’s all due to getting my thyroid working again.)

    I’m planning to file a complaint with the FDA, send a letter to the Forest Lab CEO, send letters to my senators, representative, and the White House. The are so anxious to reform healthcare, let them start with irresponsible pharmaceutical companies that think about money more than patients.

  • Tpartrid

    I knew nothing about this, and actually picked up what was supposed to be a 30mg prescription–only to get home and discover it was 60mg. Not one person mentioned the change at the pharmacy. Many moons ago a pharmacist changed my dosage without consulting me or the prescribing physician to 32 mg and I faced a lot of trouble. Needless to say, I fired that pharmacy. This time, I am not only firing the pharmacy (I’ll take all my prescriptions elsewhere) but will be making a complaint. What would have happened had I not put on my glasses and read the tiny handwritten note that said there was a dosage change? They had my phone number, they had me at their window twice, and they had the prescription from the doctor for 2.5 days and not once did they relay this change to me or my physician. Whatever is going on with the manufacturer–is compounded by the bad behavior of pharmacies everywhere thinking that THEY are in charge of the patient, not the patient and the physician.

  • Sally

    I am struggling with the mental fog, depression and worsening muscle pain since being forced off the Armour. This is very frustrating to me; this “disappearance” of a drug that has been around for years, long before the synthetics were developed. I wonder how long it will be before I can get the Armour again and I wonder and fear how bad things will be by then.

  • Gatekeeper

    I’m happy to report that Clark’s Pharmacy in Bellevue, WA just sent me 100 days of compounded porcine thyroid, 45mg for $27. That’s the same price I paid for Armour thru Medco. Course next time I need to let them know I don’t need it next-day. That cost me $9 shipping. I’m good now for the next 114 days at least.

  • Sally

    Since Oprah is like God to many and also, by the way, suffers from hypothyroidism, maybe she could be a voice for the sufferers who feel so helpless now as she is also afflicted with hypothyroidism and weight issues. I think we should ALL email her.

  • Karla

    I had excellent results on Armour and was recently forced to change to Levothyroxine due the the shortage of Armour. Since that time I have had SEVERE pain and swelling in my arms/hands/legs/feet. I am curious whether others have this same problem. I can’t sleep at night due to the pain and tingling/needles in my extremities. I am at the end of my rope – any suggestions?
    Thanks!

  • Gatekeeper

    Karla, My side effects were very much like those I have when I eat gluten, bloating, constipation, weight gain. Probably caused by inactive ingredients rather than the actual drug. My doctor called in to Clark’s compound Pharmacy’s and I got 100 days of 45 mg desiccated porcine thyroid for $27 + shipping. Perhaps your doctor will do that for you. They’re located in Bellevue, WA.

  • sixrealms

    From the web info I’ve gathered, it seems that Western/RLC is not having a supply problem as is Armour/Forest. Never heard of the brand until reading about it on this blog. I found that my health plan has a lower co-pay for Westhroid and Nature-Throid. According to Western, Westhroid and Nature-Throid are hormonally IDENTICAL, differing only in the use of microcrystalline cellulose, a derivative from paper, in the Nature to make it hypoallergenic. According to the conversion chart, the dosage is the same for Westhroid as it is for Armour. I’m surprised that the pharmacies are not informing us of the alternative.

  • LA

    I knew nothing about this problem of non-availability of Armour Thyroid. I have been on Armour since 1978 and it has worked just fine. I had my annual prescription renewal in June and because I do not have insurance, I was able to get 200 pills at a time for a price break. I take 3 60 mg tablets a day and have been on this dosage for about 6 years, up from a previous dosage of 2 60 mg tablets. Today, 4 Nov 09, I went to pick up a refill that I called in a week ago. I was informed at the pharmacy that Armour Thyroid is no longer being made. Period. I took my last pills on 2 November so I have no medication at all. I have a call in to my doctor but he has not yet returned that call. We contemplated a switch to Synthroid a couple of years ago (for a variety of reasons, none of which are relevant here) but the doctor said it could be a very slow process of finding out exactly what dosage of synthetic hormone would adequately replace the natural Armour. At that time I had insurance that would have covered the lab tests required to determine the proper dosage. I am now without insurance due to the death of my spouse, and because of the hypothyroidism I am unable to obtain health insurance that is even remotely affordable. Therefore I can’t afford all the tests, all the doctor visits, all the rest of the hoopla that woudl go with switching medication. I’ve been fortunate so far that I’ve been able to keep my same doctor, and that he gives me a bit of a break paying cash for my once-a-year-visit, but he’s 60 miles away and I can’t even afford the trips back and forth if I have to start “nudging” a new medication. It’s bad enough to be without the medication for a while, but to think that it will never be available again? I honestly don’t know what to do.

  • Gatekeeper

    LA,

    Have your doctor send a prescript to Clark’s Pharmacy in Bellevue, WA I got 100 days of compounded porcine thyroid, 45mg for $27. My understanding is many compounders charge per capsule so 180mg (assuming you take all 3 60mg at one time?) may be no difference in cost. Do let me know, I’d hate to be giving out false info if it happens that my doctor got a special price break for her patients.

  • Deb

    The following is a forwarded e-mail that I received from my local FDA Representative :

    Thank you for your inquiry to the Division of Drug Information in Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration.

    Your inquiry has been forwarded to our office for a response. Provided below is language that has been written by the Office of Compliance to respond to thyroid inquiries:

    You have inquired about desiccated Thyroid products. These products are on the market and available to consumers, even though they are not FDA-approved. FDA has not ordered all unapproved thyroid products off the market. Rather, FDA has urged all companies who market unapproved drug products, including thyroid products, to submit applications for approval. FDA is concerned that drugs marketed without required FDA approval have never been submitted to rigorous scientific evaluation, and therefore may not meet required standards for safety, effectiveness, quality, and labeling. In addition, marketed unapproved drugs have been associated with numerous serious adverse events, including 23 infant deaths related to the use of unapproved carbinoxamine, 93 deaths related to the use of unapproved quinine sulfate, and 23 deaths related to the use of unapproved colchicine injectable products. Marketers of drug products in the U.S. have an obligation to the public to ensure through the FDA approval process that their products meet modern standards for safety, efficacy, quality, and labeling.

    Regarding possible future action against unapproved thyroid products, as a policy matter we do not discuss potential, pending, or ongoing actions except with the firms and individuals who are the subject of those actions. Class actions against unapproved drugs are made in accordance with the priorities discussed in FDA’s Compliance Policy Guide on Marketed Unapproved Drugs, http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/UCM070290.pdf. Information about enforcement actions against classes of unapproved drugs is posted on the FDA website. For additional information regarding unapproved drugs, please access our unapproved drugs website at the following link:

    http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/EnforcementActivitiesbyFDA/SelectedEnforcementActionsonUnapprovedDrugs/default.htm.

    Some inquiries to FDA have cited reports of shortages of unapproved thyroid products. RLC (also known as Western Research, manufacturer of West-Throid and Nature-Throid) reports that they are currently in backorder for all Westhroid and Nature-Throid products. Major and Forest report they have some of their strengths available. The reason provided by the companies for the current unavailability of some presentations has been manufacturing delays.

    We advise you to talk to your doctor about possible alternatives if you are unable to obtain your usual thyroid medication at this time. Please note there are several approved levothyroxine products available. Examples include Synthroid, Unithroid and Levoxyl and also Thyrolar (a T3/T4 product), which also remains available as an approved product. Please let our Drug Shortage program know if you have difficulty obtaining one of these alternatives listed above. The Drug Shortage e-mail account is drugshortages@fda.hhs.gov.

    If, after reviewing this information, you have any unanswered questions, please contact the Division of Drug Information by phone (1-888-463-6332) or e-mail (druginfo@fda.hhs.gov). Thank you again for your message.

  • Tigerroux

    The above statement is referring to “all unapproved drugs” and not just Armour. It appears Forest isn’t getting this drug approved, or if it is, they are taking too much time and pacifiying pharmacies with broken promises/dates that pass on to doctors and patients. I find it humorous that they would state “These products are on the market and available to consumers, even though they are not FDA-approved.” How can they be so blind with all the complaints? What’s even more frustrating is the fact that this drug (with exception to the more recent reformulation) has been around for nearly 100 years and then the FDA suddenly pulls this up. There are far more dangerous drugs approved by the FDA that are more threatening than Armour – including their synthetic thyroid products – such as Synthroid!

  • Margaret

    I just spoke to Smart Pharmacy in Jacksonville Fla. They old me they retained a large supply of 4 and 5 grain tablets which they were cutting down and repacking into capsules that match any current prescription. Sounds wonderful except that the dosage I was paying about $15 for will now cost me $90 plus $5 shipping. So what I used to pay for approx 6 months I will now pay for 1 month supply. I am in a quandry. I don’t want to take a synthetic (bad results in the past) but it’s hard to justify the huge increase in cost. I am not sure I have a choice…this is extremely frustrating.

  • gina

    Look here for options, including ordering Canadian Erfa Thyroid (identical to “old” Armour) from online Canadian pharmacies. Prices and policies vary; all have toll-free numbers. Doesn’t require much more than faxing a prescription (which MAY have to be re-written in grains, since Armour and Erfa differ by 5mg of filler – but some pharmacies reportedly will accomodate Armour prescriptions as is).

    http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/options-for-thyroid-treatment/

  • sixrealms

    No more than 2 weeks ago, having script for 90 days 60g Armour, CVS 1st provided 10 pills followed by 40 pills at the end of the week – never offering certainty that more will be available. Under my BCBS drug plan, my cost for the 90 is approx. $12 when purchased from either Medco mailorder or CVS stores. In the meantime, I found Sam’s club had stock and charged less than $16 for the 90 – this was the price without insurance coverage. Where is the power of the demand side of this market equation? Rev up your complaints to the FDA, Senators, pharmacies, etc. Check earlier posts and gather leads to contact – such as Forest – 800 678 1605 ext 66297 for medical input and 66298 for customer service and quality control, FDA Drug Shortage e-mail account drugshortages@fda.hhs.gov, FDA Division of Drug Information 1-888-463-6332 and druginfo@fda.hhs.gov.

  • Brenda

    I was not aware Sams Club had stock for prescription medications?? Is this so for any of their stores??? To my knowledge, none of my local pharmacies have any Armour thyroid available in any strength. I have been on the Levoxyl and Cytomel for only 30 days and am already experiencing considerable problems in functioning. I am employed full time and it takes all of my strength to just get through my work day and then I am totally exhausted. I cannot imagine what I will be feeling in another 30 days. Both my aged mother and my daughter, who is pregnant, also have had to change from Armour and I am so very concerned for them. We were all doing so well on Armour and have been for many years. I am considering contacting Clark’s Parmacy or Smart Pharmacy but uncertain what steps must be taken first. Do I initiate the call or must it be my doctor???

  • Gatekeeper

    My doctor called Clark’s for me and then Clark’s call me to get address & payment info. Turned out I could have waited longer as I am just now down to my last week of Armour (course I was on the synthetic for 3 weeks) so have yet to switch to the compound. I was reading another thread where it was mentioned that Armour made a filler change in the Spring, I didn’t think I’d noticed a change… but my hair is sure getting thin on top. Something to mention at my annual here in a couple of weeks. Good luck Brenda and let us know what you decide to do.

  • Sally

    About a week or so ago, I started taking a compounded rx of “Armour” (thyroid USP) from a pharmacy near me. The put it in with ginger to help absorption. I am feeling terrible, debilitating depression, anxiety, muscle pain and what I believe is “anergic depression” I can barely get out of my own way. I feel dead inside. Like a zombie who happens to have vital signs. I also think there is a lot of smoke and mirrors here as the pharmacists are being told that Armour as we know/knew it is awaiting FDA approval, however, that is NOT what the statement says that was put out by Forest Pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, many, many people are suffering unnecessarily. Also, the issue of the “reformulation” last spring has affected patient’s symptoms.

    http://www.hospitalsoup.com/health-conditions/thyroid/natural-thyroid-medication-shortage-hits-patients-hard

  • Susan Shipe

    Are there any updates to the group complaint to our representatives or FDA? Desperate in NC.

  • I called Smart Pharmacy (Wm. Scroggins reccommendation) and asked for 30 mg. or 1/2 grain and they said they could compound it for me. I was shocked to fing out it would cost $133 for 200 tabs. I was payig around $35 for it ! I can’t afford that!! But what is the alternative? Now that got me mad so I scrolled around the websites for more info on the shortage of natural thyroid. Everyone should check out the “Save Natural Thyroid Coalition” at http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id165472828833. This gives interesting info on the subject.

  • Gatekeeper

    Roxann, I got 45 mg, 100 caps (100 days) for $27 + shipping from Clark’s Pharmacy, Bellevue, WA. Google them, just don’t let them ship next day, adds $9.

    Btw, I’m not going back to Armour regardless. I’ve been on the compounded for a week now and my gosh, my energy has returned. I didn’t even know about this reformulation until “the shortage” and getting on-line to find out about that. I didn’t notice the change as I figured it was just the change in my job that made me so tired…. but not this week. As long as Clark’s holds the price above, it is very close to what my co-pay thru Medco was, so I can manage a few more dollars for a better product.

  • Nancy

    I am sooo frustrated and tired of being on the hypothyroid rollercoaster! Does anyone have a solution for patients that were on Armour Thyroid or Thyrolar2? I don’t want to go on Synthroid or Levothyroxine, it hasn’t worked and don’t want to go on the gaining 10 pounds, losing hair and nails AGAIN! It’s awful, and takes so many months to get through. After the shortage of Thryolar 2 in July, I was finally feeling good and adjusted to Armour, now that is gone… What can I do, does anyone have any advice???

    Hypothyroid and miserable…

  • Gatekeeper

    Have you checked into compounded dessicated porcine thyroid? I feel it works better for me than the reformulated Armour. See post #66 above.

  • Sally Anne

    I tried compounded thyroid USP (90 mg) from a reputable compounding pharmacy near my home in New Hampshire and had terrible side effects…Severe anxiety, shaking and worsening depression and leg pain. I dont believe at all that it is a result of an inferior pharmacy, but I dont think that compounded thyroid USP is the same as “Armour” as we know it (or knew it?). I wonder if there is any difference in compounding from Canadian Pharmacies. Dr. Pepper, can you address this?

  • Sally Anne

    I believe that is exactly what I got from the compounding pharmacy in my state. When your doctor writes on the prescription “Thyroid USP” I believe it is desiccated porcine powder. The bottle said there was ginger added “to help with absorption” I thought that was different. What is STILL not clear to me is exactly, I mean exactly how does “Armour thyroid” (Armour is a just a brand name) differ chemically from compounded desiccated “thyroid” powder because as I understand it that is exactly what is used for “Armour” is that correct?

  • talli dixon

    Oh for heaven sake order some EFRA thyroid from Canada,I had to start back on the synthetic drugs back in may because I could not find any Armor and it was down hill for me for 3 months, than I ordered EFRA from Canada the cheapest I found was from Universal drugs their phone number is 1-866-456-2456-I now feel just like I did on Armor.

  • Gatekeeper

    Hi Sally Anne,

    From reading here and elsewhere I’ve realized just how differently all these products effect us, what works for some doesn’t work for others, etc. My compounded version doesn’t mention any fillers, but that’s not saying they’re not there either. 😉 My understand of the differences (and someone correct me if I’m wrong) Armour supplied T1 & T2, plus T3 & T4, where the compounded version is just T3 & T4. Course most synthetics are only T4. I’m not sure why the reformulation made a difference in me, but I’m thrilled the compounded version is working. Plus, where I get it from it isn’t costing me any more than my co-pay for Armour. I’m only on 45mg having only had a partial removal of my thyroid after a bad case thyroiditis.

  • jlc90

    Just got off the phone with a Forest Labs representative in my search for refills of Armour Thyroid. First, she acknowledged that there was no shortage of the raw product (pigs) and, second, that they were working with their supplier (American Laboratories Inc) for a renewed supply of powdered thyroid gland. I flat out stated that American Labs probably wants more money for their product and she repeated her statement that they were working with the lab for a renewed supply. No shortage of product, Forest wants to produce so where’s the problem? Let’s lay it where it belongs-American Laboratories Inc. What else could it be? Call it greed, call it capitalism, call it supply and demand, did I say supply and demand? The demand is and has been there so what about the supply? No shortage, so they’ll create one to increase demand (desperate demand) and you will see the cost of these meds go up. In my opinion, American Labs is holding this whole country hostage to appease its stockholders. I could be wrong, but I have my doubts.

  • Gatekeeper

    jlc90, American Laboratories Inc is the only supplier of powdered thyroid gland? Where are the compounder’s getting it if that is so? If Staples can’t supply me with printer paper I don’t hold them accountable I just take my business elsewhere. 😉

  • Maura

    Pharmaca Pharmacy in Boulder, CO is also able to compound an Armour equivalent, but they need approval from the patient’s MD. Cost is $60 for a 90 day supply (I am on 120 mg of Armour). Phone: 303-867-3400. Hope this helps!

  • Mary

    Has anyone heard if the shortage is going to be changing soon. My pharmacy said they are expecting a shipment Feb 2nd?

    m

  • Karen

    I just got a call from my Wal Mart pharmacy last night informing me that they can no longer get Armour in any strength. They suggested contacting my Dr. to find a replacement. Wonderful. I will be talking to my Dr. today and will ask her about Nature-Thyroid.

  • Shelley

    I have been using Nature-thyroid and have found that it is actually stronger than Armoir. I have been feeling great using it! If your doctor is able to subscribe it, I believe you will have good results.

  • I got thyroid capsules from my doctor who’s working with Womens International pharmacy. They have to be taken one hour before or three hours after eating. I didn’t know what a hassle this can be! If I forget to take the pill, I’m starving by the time I can eat or if I eat I have to wait too long before my next dose and I get symptoms or if I eat to soon, it negates the effect of the pill! It was so easy with the Armour thyroid because it went right into the system taken by mouth. Im still mad about the reformulated Armour they sneaked on us!! I KNEW something was wrong with it! I think they reformulated it in July, I wasn’t too bad during the summer when I don’t work, but WHAM when Sept. came along I was totally exhausted all the time when I started school again. The doctor gave me kelp tabs and I took thyroid activator from Nature’s Sunshine. That helped. I guess stress does have a huge effect on the thyroid. Any chance any pharmacist cound make the sublingual tablets again or someone could tell me where they are sold?? Am I asking for too much?? Also, do the pharmacists know if they are compounding the reformulated Armour or the “good stuff Armour” when they say they still have it in the 2 to 4 grain strengths??

  • Gatekeeper

    Roxann,

    Similar story here regarding reformulated Armor. Worst when I was put on Synthroid. Back to normal on the compounded version of dessicated porcine thyroid from a compounder. I do take it around 4am when I have a hot flash that wakes me up, then I have no worries regarding eating foods that might effect or absorb it. Such as soy, which is a 2 hour wait! That means no coffee mocha for me unless I’ve taken it in the wee hours before getting up. You also need to wait 2 hours before or after taking calcium or strontium. Thus the strontium I take, which needs an empty tummy is taking about 1-2am… during another hot flash. (At least these hot flashes are serving to be of some benefit.) 😉

  • Joy

    I guess I’m behind on all of this, having just been notified by Fred Meyer (after 5:00 p.m. on a Friday) that they can’t refill Armour Thyroid. I ordered 400 60 mg. tablets of Thyroid from Canada – they show Armour Thyroid in parenthesis after the name. I take 90 mg a day. The cost was $71.75 (400 will last me over 8 months). Now I’m wondering if this was the right thing to do? Anyone else order from http://www.universaldrugstore.com? I sure hope Fred Meyer will keep their promise and fax the Rx to them. Went to the health store today and got vitamin B12 and Solaray Thyroid Caps – feel like I have to do something during the 2 weeks I’m waiting for the prescription. Oh, yeah, and my prescribing doctor went out of business the end of 2009. Wondering when a class action suit is going to start to be advertised on TV. Some ambulance chaser could have a legitimate field day with this one.

  • Sally Anne

    I would like to know about the possibility of a class action suit. I wonder if there is an attorney who would be willing to “take this on” ? It seems like subterfuge and smoke and mirrors.

  • Jim

    I can easily get a compounded armour thyroid prescription filled, but my Medicare insurance company denies coverage. Since traditional armour is not available and a compounded Rx is the only way to get natural dessicated thyroid, how can insurance companies deny coverage for a drug that is essential to health and maybe even life? Anyone have luck getting an insurance company to pay for a compounded armour Rx?

  • Lynda

    Jim – Check around at other compounded cos. if your pills are pricey. They all vary in price and some are taking advantage of the shortage by increasing their prices. Insurance cos. are not necessarily going to give you the best price in the cost or coverage of the pills even if they agreed to cover a compounded drug. I have found that the out of pocket expense is cheaper for several different types of drugs. With compounded thyroid, the prices vary a lot. One co. wanted to charge me $38 a mo., while another one only wanted to charge $20, but only $30 for a three-month supply. So ask for the difference in monthly amounts when shopping around and you might find you can save even more.

  • Gatekeeper

    My compounder charge is cheaper than my co-pay for Armor so I don’t bother sending it in.. Good point, LYNDA! I’m going to ask if I can get 200 days, it isn’t the price of the med. it is the price of the shipping that is outrageous. They claim UPS will only ship over-night and that costs me an extra $9!!! At which time the drug total is $5 over the co-pay… but my insurance isn’t going to pay shipping costs I’m sure.

  • Robin Nichols

    Wake up bloggers, this is a total govt blot, the big drug companies found out how cheap it was to get Armour vs what Synthroid or Levoxyl cost and shut down Forest Labs. It has nothing absolutely nothing to do with FDA approval. I was sick the whole time I was on Synthroid and Levoxyl, a family member of mine actually ended up in the ICU because the Levoxyl didn’t provide him with all the right T’s he needed. It took the hospital week to figure it, but they finally did and put him on Armour. I stayed so depressed on Synthroid and Levoxyl I wanted off this merry go round they call life. I know this sounds melodramatic but I assure you I’m not. I will be checking around for a class action lawsuit, I want in on that just to teach someone a lesson. This is a good example of why we need health care reform

  • Sally Anne

    Robin,

    Amen! I couldnt agree more. I really do wish there was an attorney to take this as a class action suit. It is about money and smoke and mirrors, not the well being of sufferers of hypothyroidism. This is the perfect case for “I smell a rat!” and the pharmacists and physicians are very indifferent on this and will just defer to the Forest Labs website. This is an abomination!

    Sally

  • America Mercado

    I have been on Armour Thyroid 2 Grain since 1959 and never had encounter with a shortage of my medication. Presently I am living outside of the United State and for years I have order my meds without any problem until now. Today I took my last pill… I feel like if I was left to die a slow death… I have no thyroid gland since my operation at the age of 9 years old and remember how my doctor in N.Y. told me never to stop my medication cause I couldn’t function without it! I’ve been in the same dosage for 51 years and feeling great, had a normal life never been over weight was able to have my family (4 children) and now I am force to experiment with a new medication! I sure hope something could be done so everyone who need this medication can get it. How can help us?
    America Mercado.

  • Jaclyn

    I am currently in the process of switching from synthroid to dessicated thyroid medication. my dosage on synthroid is 150 and am wondering what is a good starting dosage for natural thyroid medication?

  • Susan Shipe

    I was on 90 mg of Armour and when the shortage came I had to switch to 150 mcg of Synthetic meds. Not sure if you could just reverse the numbers??? Has Armour started manufacturing again?

  • stacey

    I also was on 90 mg Armour and when the shortage came switched to 150 mcg of synthetics also…however, the dose was too high and now I’m on 112 to and still don’t feel so good…I don’t think you could reverse the number and I don’t understand why the “switch” didn’t work. I was on 90mg armour for several years with no change.

  • Sally Anne

    Here is a conversion chart from Mary Shomon’s site regarding equivalent doses for Armour vs. synthetics.

    http://thyroid.about.com/library/drugs/blconversionchart.htm

  • Sally Anne

    I too was on 90 mg of Armour. I am now on alternating doses of Levoxyl, 137 mcg every other day and 150 mcg every other day ~ my labs are “normal” but I feel like Hell!!

  • Marilyn Mitchell

    I think the shortage of Armour is completely stupid – were they not making enough money on armour or need to push synthroid.