Behind the Disappearance of Armour Thyroid


After 50 years of exemplary therapeutic use and despite a large devoted following, Armour Thyroid and related dessicated thyroid generics have virtually disappeared from pharmacies in the U.S. An air of mystery with suggestions of conspiracy surround the shortage. The level of distress among Armour users confronted by their inability to obtain the medication, is extraordinary. Adding to the turmoil and confusion is the manufacturers’ continued reliance on flimsy and unconvincing explanations for their actions.

Several concerned individuals contacted the FDA for clarification of the Armour situation and received a prepared statement in response. A copy of the FDA’s letter explaining the government’s stance was posted to metabolism.com by an involved member. After studying the letter I believe I can offer a good explanation for the situation. The explanation, as I see it, is grounded in the fact that several thyroid medications such as Armour Thyroid but also including synthetic t4 medications like Synthroid, existed before the FDA was given full regulatory power. In 1973 the Supreme Court empowered the FDA to regulate the use of prescription medications in the U.S.. This meant that all prescription drugs would have to demonstrate to the FDA’s satisfaction, safety and efficacy for specific indications before pharmaceutical companies could promote the use of their drugs. Medications like Synthroid and Armour, already vital components of medical therapy for years before 1973 entered a grey area of legitimacy after that time.

Just a few years ago, I was astounded to hear from my pharmaceutical representatives that Synthroid faced being banned by the FDA since it never provided the FDA with the type of documentation of safety and efficacy that all modern medications had. After 30 years the FDA decided it wanted to rescind the right of the drug manufacturer to promote this medication which was considered safe and effective way before the FDA achieved regulatory power. What followed was a tense year during which the manufacturer of Synthroid went through the costly and bureaucratically intricate process needed for FDA approval, which it ultimately won.

What I believe is happening now is a similar scenario with Armour Thyroid and other dessicated thyroid products. What convinced me of this is the wording in the FDA letter which refers to Armour Thyroid as an illegal drug. The FDA has put Armour on its Most Wanted List and is intimidating the manufacturer (and prescribing physicians) by implying the law is being broken by continuing to make and use this drug. In the case of Synthroid, which enjoys the full support by the medical community and provides millions of dollars in annual sales the financial equation was a “no-brainer” in favor of putting the money into the process to gain approval.

Not so for Armour Thyroid which has been defamed by the American Academy of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and who’s use is much more limited and far less profitable to the manufacturer. I can imagine that the pharmaceutical company has already done the math and decided that not making Armour makes more financial sense that to continue making the “illegal” product and going through the FDA gauntlet for approval.

Where does that leave the patients who depend on dessicated thyroid preparations and the physicians who prescribe it? With no way to force the manufacturer to make the drug or to make the FDA to back down on its stance my guess is that Armour and related products will simply cease to exist and alternative prescriptions will have to be written. Please remember, I am the messenger here and do not sanction or in anyway condone what I see as the most likely outcome of this predicament. Perhaps by recognizing the existing reality a strategy can be developed to prevent this outcome.

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

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193 thoughts on “Behind the Disappearance of Armour Thyroid

  1. Tony Kingkade

    Other unapproved products include aspirin, phenobarbital, colchicine, phenazopyridine and porassium chloride oral solution. All these are still used daily in the U.S.A. What company is going to spend the money to go through the approval process for these drugs?

    Reply
    1. Kellee McIntyre

      does anyone really trust the FDA? there needs to be changes, now! IT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY, period. a Govt for the people? ya right. how about the smear campaign against the Burzyski clinic in Texas. scary.

      Reply
  2. Tony Kingkade

    But the problem with Armour Thyroid availability right now is the fact that there is only one supplier (American Laboritories Inc, Omaha, NE) that makes dried powdered Thyroid gland from frozen animal glands for all the dessicated thyroid products. Worldwide demand for powdered Thyroid gland has increased beyond their ability to keep up. Government regulations slow their ability to expand production.

    If there was a plant catastrophe, dessicated thyroid products could disappear from the market altogether. Kinda scary when you think of it.

    Reply
  3. marilyn hirsch

    We ALL have to unite and get some exposure on tv. etc. The suggestion to contact Oprah is an excellent one, especially since she too is a hypothyroid victim. Also Mary Shoman can be contacted as she is the expert on Armour Thyroid. Her email is thyroid.about.com. I intend to contact her and I suggest others do so as well. WE HAVE TO UNITE…we cannot let the drug companies put our lives at risk for their pocketbooks!!

    Reply
  4. Angie Reis

    I read your artical about Armour thyroid. I am a pharmacy tech and I have hypothyroid. According to your artical it states that some pharmacies may be just telling patients that Armour is not available. Well I called our distributor and they said that all strengths are on back order. I’ve read all sorts of articals and just don’t know what to believe other than it’s all about money. I finally found a doctor that will prescribe Armour. After 3 years following Hurricane Katrina of feeling just awful and in pain, just 3 days on Armour my world was so much better. I even am willing to stay with my doctor that does not take any insurance because he listens and will write for Armour. I am writing because I would like you to shed some more light on the situation and give me any true information that is available to you. According to my doctor they are not going to stop making Armour but why is it not available. Any info. would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Angie Reis

    Reply
  5. Lori Leonard

    WOW! I just called to have my prescription refiled, and I was shocked! Armour Thyroid has changed my life and I can’t imagine going back to the foggy-thinking, exhausted way I was! I was so sick I had to stop working and I had asthma that couldn’t be controlled, my children thought I was going to be sick and sleep forever…I CAN’T go back there! I tried synthetic thyroid products and I never responded, but Armour was like flipping a switch. I felt SO much better and now, because of money, the drug company is going to take wellness away from myself and so many others? This product is proven to work. Prescriptions are to make us well and to help us feel better. I certainly hope that the powers-that-be read what patients write here and take it to heart. HELP, PLEASE!

    Reply
    1. Pat Hemphill

      Hi….you can now get desiccated pigs thyroid from Erfa Laboratories in Canada. The product is called simply ‘Thyroid’ and is exactly the same as Armour……so help is at hand at last. Hurray, the FDA has no say on the Canadian product. My belief is that the Pharmacuetical companies are so very powerful in the US, that they did not want to see their synthetic meds lose market share….so they forced Forest Labs (through the FDA) to stop producing Armour….! Who thinks the same?

      Reply
      1. Aleta

        There are alternatives folks, don’t panic. If you have access to a compounding pharmacy they will make it up for you. I did when Forrest Lab went thru reformulation for whatever reason. There is also Nature Throid which I have now been on for several years. Medco, a mail in pharmacy offers a 90 day supply really cheap $9.00 with my plan. This year I have Primemail which is more expensive at $30.00 for 3 months, but still very reasonable. The manufacturer is RLC Labs. Check it out there is help out there.

        Reply
      2. Aleta

        Just be aware that the FDA is trying to stop its’ citizens from getting prescriptions filled from other country’s…they want to protect us. Always have a back up plan…

        Reply
  6. Dawn

    Oprah isn’t interested, she seems to go for the thinking and dieting her way out of trouble which if it works for her fine, but she isn’t bothered about NDT. Advocates have been writing, ringing and sending her books since finding out she was hypo to no avail. Dr Oz aint interested either lol.

    I am in the UK we have problems getting the stuff too and our NGOs are very active in making it more difficult for us to get. The FDA is a perfect body to help in this endaevour as most of us order from the US.

    Someone has an agenda.

    Reply
  7. georgia baker

    I think that every armour patient would be willing to donate one hundred dollars and maybe that would be enough for the armour manufacturer to gain FDS approval. Or maybe no amount of money could do it, if it is a conspiracy to stop manufacture.

    Reply
  8. Siobhan Tobin

    Instead of deciding that the FDA will take desiccated thyroid medications off the market, perhaps you could join Mary Shomon’s Save Natural Thyroid Coalition and make a difference for your patients in making sure that some form of these medications remain on the market.

    If you’re not already aware, the new Armour formulation is causing major problems, well documented by lab tests, for patients across the US. However, RLC manufactures Nature-Throid and Wes-Throid, which are wonderful desiccated thyroid products, and RLC has stated that they are in this for the long run, and will submit to an NDA if required by the FDA. Are you even aware of these products?

    Are you aware that you can prescribe compounded desiccated thyroid, and that it is still available in multiple pharmacies across the US? According to my doctor, while the FDA may require RLC and Forest to go through the NDA process, they will not be able to prevent manufacture of desiccated thyroid USP for compounding.

    Are you also aware that those of us with Celiac Disease, which is so common in patients with Hashimoto’s, cannot take Synthroid, Levoxyl, or many of the generics due to the fact that they contain gluten?

    Please consider teaming up with Mary Shomon and Janie Bowthorpe’s concerted efforts to save these drugs, instead of telling us that they will be taken off the market. Doctors like yourself can, and are, making a difference.

    Reply
  9. Nicole E

    I just went to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription for Armour Thyroid and the tech gave me this same explanation as to why it was no longer available. I’m all for getting together with those of us who know that it works! Mary, here we come!!…

    Reply
  10. Cathy

    We have a compounding pharmacy here in town, and I am able to get compounded desiccated thyroid. The pharmacist says there is no shortage of the raw ingredient. Unfortunately, my insurance won’t pay for it, though.

    Reply
  11. Bev

    I have been on Armour for 32 years now and have not had any problems with with it only Great results. For a short time i was taken off and put on Synthyroid because the doctor said that humans shouldn’t take anything that has a part of animals in them and i argued with him that this medicine has worked for me all these years but he wouldn’t change his mind, it worked the opposite on me rather it Didn’t work At All. Finally i found another doctor to switch me back to Armour and in a matter of days i could tell a huge difference. I can’t take Synthyroid or Unithyroid they just don’t work for me.
    It is about money because Armour has always been so cheap and it isn’t making them any money. I called my pharmacy yesterday and they said they had hundreds of the 30’s and 40’s left but when my daughter called today the owner said he doesn’t have anymore and can’t get any at all so they have them but aren’t allowed to give it out at all. We have to do something to stop them from pulling this off the shelves completely, so many people will have horrible problems and end up in the ER.
    How much does compounding thyroid medicine cost does anyone know?

    Reply
  12. Grace

    “humans shouldn’t take anything that has a part of animals in them …”
    so this guy must also be a total vegan too. milk chicken fish eggs steak cheese, all animal products and all being digested daily

    Reply
  13. Grace

    I just got some compounded in a denver pharmacy. sadly they only make it for colorado state residents. it was about $125.00 but I’m on a really high dose of Armour 120 mg 3x a day

    Reply
  14. Janaki

    Is there a way to get Armour or a comparable brand in Canada or through a Canadian pharmacy?

    I will NOT go back to a synthroid product. I could never get my dose high enough to get my TSH low enough without heart palpatations and depression/anxiety. Never again.

    Reply
  15. Janaki

    I was informed today by my pharmacy that they have only one bottle of 60mg Armour left and said I need to find some other way to get it. I had to fight hard to switch from a synthroid comparable.

    Reply
  16. eunice p anderson

    Google erfa. The Canadian Drug Company that makes their version of an armour product. Doseages are the same. I believe they are able to offer this to us due to Nafta. Requires a prescription, an FDA release form signed by doc and payment. Prices are cheaper than compound pharm. I do not know about duty. Under nafta there should be none but I emailed them.

    Reply
  17. Gatekeeper

    Write to the Obama administration: http://www.whitehouse.gov Perhaps if enough of us complain someone will take note.

    Btw, I contacted the local compounding pharmacy and they only had T3&T4 pork thyroid, not exactly what is in Armour, price? $1/capsule/day… ouch!

    Reply
  18. Amy

    You can purchase Erfa Thyroid from an online pharmacy with just a doctor’s prescription. Have your doc write for Erfa Thyroid or even for Armour (they come in 1 or 2 grains and 100 or 200 count) and upload to the pharmacy site. Universal drugstore and Smartchoicepharmacy both carry it. I paid $22 for 100 1 gr plus $7 S&H.

    Reply
  19. Cheryl

    My ERFA Thyroid, ordered directly from ERFA on 10/2 is still in their warehouse because the FDA has stopped Fed EX from bringing it into the country. I have found a compounding pharmacy here (Central Florida) who should have my meds by end of day 10/9/09. Been completely out for over a week. Levothyroxine made me sick and crazy!

    If you live in the Orlando area, contact Taylor’s Pharmacy at (407) 644 1025.

    Reply
  20. Polly

    In the US, it is legal to purchase thyroid tissue without a prescription. However, be aware that most of the thyroid tissue products found in stores have had the thyroid hormone removed. Yet fortunately, there are several places that sell thyroid tissue with the thyroid hormone still in the pills. Here is one such place. http://www.nutri-meds.com

    For dosage, you can’t go by the same weight as Armour pills. These thyroid tissue pills are not as refined / concentrated. (They weigh more for a given activity.) I have heard, but not verified with testing, that each pill at the nutri-meds website contains approximately the same amount of thyroid hormone activity as a quarter grain (15 mg) of Armour. Usually, the porcine works the best.

    I have absolutely no financial or other ties to that distributor.

    Reply
  21. Laura Flowers

    I don’t know what I would do without Armour Thyroid. It gave me my life back when synthetic thyroid replacements couldn’t. It’s devastating to think about. Now I’m wondering how to fight back as my pharmacist carefully hands out small amounts of it as best as she can.

    Reply
  22. Linda Stev

    I have also been saved by Armour thyroid, although I also have adrenal problems. My health has deteriorated as I’ve gone from Regular Armour thyroid to new Armour thyroid to Nature thyroid. I’m also trying to get my adrenal balanced. Al;l with the help of a wonderful M.D.. My mother and daughter are also having problems with the changes Armour has made….they were on it also. I feel too weak to fight this….yet to upset not to!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  23. Brenda

    Armour can be ordered with a doctor’s prescription from Canadadrugs.com. Ordered on 10/6, delivered on 10/17 via U.S. mail (appears to have taken an indirect route, but it was not stopped.) 100 tabs of 30 mg 1/2 grain was $35. Their service includes 24 hour call center, shipping is included in price, return if not satisfied, etc. My customer experience was perfect — you can call and ask them any questions and they give you good answers. I have no financial interest — just want you to know you can get it if you want to. I’m sure it has to be a major concern for anybody who has been using Armour successfully for many years to be facing this FDA created mess. I don’t understand why they let dangerous drugs persist but spend money and energy on enforcement measures against drugs that have a 50 year safety record! It’s crazy….

    Reply
  24. Lee

    I just phoned Canadadrugs.com. They “DO NOT” have Armour Thyroid – they have plenty of the “Erfa?” – brand, but not Armour Thyroid made by Forest.

    Reply
  25. marilyn hirsch

    I just called Canada Drugs inasmuch as I established an account for both my husband and myself since we both take Armour Thyroid and I spoke to one of the specialists there and he assured me they DO have plenty of Armour Thyroid sooo this is very confusing…I don;t think they would lie..at least I hope not..Will keep you posted.

    Reply
  26. Brenda

    The Canadian version of Armour (natural dessicated thryoid) is made by Erfa. They use the Armour name to describe it (“known as Armour Thyroid in the US”). It is called “Thyroid.” Sorry, I should have clarified that, but it is it’s equivalent. I believe there used to be a generic Armour sold here too (Thyroid USP), and this would be like that.

    Some people who have used Armour for years started ordering it from Canada when they had trouble with the reformulated Armour. It is the equivalent of Armour or Nature Thyroid in that it is made in the same manner from dessicated porcine thyroid in roughty the same proportions; fillers are a bit different. If you want to stay with a natural thyroid product you will probably have to go somewhere outside of the control of the FDA shenanigans. You can find the exact specifications for their product on the Erfa website. This product is controlled by the Canadian regulators, but like Armour, has been in production there for many years. Remember Armour (called that because it used to be made by the meat company) has been around for more than 50 years and had other companies that made the same product for patients in Canada. It is a natural product, so anybody can copy it and it can’t be patented because it is found in nature, not something the drug company created by rearranging molecules. You can copy the product, but not the brand name.

    People who used the pre-reformulation Armour says it is exactly the same as the old Armour and never skipped a beat.

    Hope that helps.

    Reply
  27. marilyn hirsch

    Brenda: thank you sooo much for your explanation..I feel much better and am really looking forward to doing business with Canada Drugs..they are very cooperative, cordial and I feel this will do the trick for my husband and myself..You are absolutely right..the FDA and for that matter the drug companies are nothing but money-hungry shysters with no conscience or interest in benefitting the public only their bank accounts..I am so grateful to have received the information about Canada Drugs…again thanks for your input and help. Marilyn Hirsch

    Reply
  28. marilyn hirsch

    Dr. Pepper: this is for YOU..you are an angel for helping those of us with hypothyroid problems your knowledge…your input and above all your sincere an unselfish dedication to the benefit of people is so unique..too bad there are not more Dr. Peppers instead of those who claim to be Doctors but are only in the field for the money. God Bless you…and keep you well…we need you and appreciate you beyond words. Marilyn Hirsch

    Reply
  29. Brenda

    Marilyn, you are very welcome. I had the same experience with Canadadrugs. I researched a couple of different companies and settled on this one because I thought their materials reflected careful, thoughtful and complete processes and their customer service was properly trained and answered the phone quickly, plus they were mentioned by someone else who had experience with them. And who accepts remaining prescription drugs if you aren’t happy for any reason? I hope it turns out as well for you. Best wishes for you and your husband.

    Reply
  30. Polly

    I was wrong about the approximate strength of the Nutri-meds product. Each pill is approximately equivalent to one grain of Armour, not the quarter grain which I had been led to believe before. The company says that the one grain equivalency is not exact though. Their explanation is as follows:

    Our thyroid is a whole-food concentrate, not an extract, and as such approximately 50% of the product is nutrients that are beneficial to the body but are excluded from products that are purely extracts. We do not test our thyroid for active factors, nor do we standardize in any way. If we did, we would have a prescription product, not a natural supplement–and not FDA compliant. Since Raw Desiccated Porcine Thyroid contain all nutrients inherent in the original raw product and we do not alter – add to, or subtract from – the basic substance in any way. The ratios/amounts of T3/T4 in each capsule are what you would expect to find in any one grain extract.

    One grain extract = one grain of Armour or Nature-Throid.

    Since Nutri-Meds is NON-Standardized you may have to make adjustments and may not receive the exact same hormone amounts in each bottle. If you did it would be standardized and require a prescription and be regulated by the FDA. Best guideline to follow would be to use one capsule/tablet of Nutri-Meds for each grain of Armour/NT that you are currently taking and adjust as needed.

    Reply
  31. Brenda

    Polly, that is good information. My concern with those types of products is because it is not standardized, you will not have enough consistency for your body to regulate the thyroid. This means that the varience of each pig’s particular thyroid is reflected in this product. So if a particular pig’s thyroid has less of the active ingredient, your thyroid will have to pick up the slack. That won’t happen right away–your body’s response will probably be two days after you take the product. So on one day you might feel good because you have enough thyroid, and on another you will feel poorly. If the amount you are using is very small (e.g. 1/4-1/5 grain), it might not be bad (would your thyroid adapt and remain more flexible in the amount it produces over time compared to to steady input? we don’t know because there is no research on this) but if you are on a larger dose I would guess that it could be pretty rocky with the ups and downs. Just a thought…

    Reply
  32. Brenda

    Sorry for all the typos on my last message (varience? I mean variance) — the print on my computer is too small :). I meant to say 1/4 to 1/2 grain might be okay. Also would add that the research suggests that it important to stay consistent in the amount and time of day for the best results with thyroid meds. But that could be wrong…who knows.

    Reply
  33. Dawn

    Yes there are sites where everyone can get together. There is news at stopthethyroidmadness.com/blog and members coming together at savenaturalthyroid.com

    Reply
  34. Polly

    Broda Barnes thought that giving just a tad more than was needed was fine. It was safe. He said that the body would adjust the TSH to compensate. Therefore, I think many people aren’t that sensitive to the amount. I’m one of those that can skip a day or so and still be okay. I don’t know why some people would be so very very sensitive, unless they were being underdosed or their adrenals were really weak.

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  35. Beverly

    Remember the Adrenal Gland functioning whenever treating the thyroid!

    According to the product insert in natural thyroid hormone products, and good medical practice, the adrenal gland should be regulated first, specifically the cortisol levels, and then the thyroid hormone should be added.

    If the adrenal gland is not functioning well, a person may have symptoms resembling hyperthryroidism on a low dose of thyroid hormone. In this case it does not mean that they need less thyroid hormone but rather that they may need adrenal support to be able to tolerate the dose of thyroid hormone that they need.

    Isocort works well for some with adrenal fatigue and for others, Hydrocortisone may be needed if their adrenals are exhausted. DHEA helps people who test low in DHEA to feel better too.

    The hormones all work together so it is quite a balancing act to get them all at their optimal functioning. Often when an optimal dose of natural thyroid hormone is given, the TSH will be completely suppressed. Free T3 and Free T4 and thyroid antibodies are much better ways to test thyroid functioning while taking natural thyroid hormone.

    Reply
  36. Kristi

    “humans shouldn’t take anything that has a part of animals in them …”
    What? That doc is an idiot because women are given estrogen all the time made from horse/mare’s urine but the FDA throws a big fit about the natural plant-based, compounded estrogens in the case of those types of hormones. Wonder what ur doc woulda said about estrogens made from mare urine being pushed so hard on us? Wow they just contradict themselves sometimes just to argue I think

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  37. valerie

    I have ordered from Canadadrugs and my Armour thyroid is on the way–they only had 125mg dosages, so since I’m on 90 twice a day, I will need to probably take 1 1/2 qd.
    I also have used a thyroid gland supplement with the thyroid left in–it;s called Thyodine and I get it from Greenwillow Tree—I have been out of my Armour thyroid for since the end of August, and have been existing on 2-3 Thyodine a day—feel pretty good, although not as good as when on the Armour–much better than being on Synthroid would make me feel–I”ve gained a few pounds, and have slightly less energy, but not the brain fog, depression or irritability that I would have. I’ll have to check out the Nutrimeds.

    Reply
  38. marilyn hirsch

    Dear Valerie: I order from Canadadrugs both 30 mg and 60 mg and was told my order is being filled since they got the RX from my Dr. I don;t understand your saying they only have 125mg,dosages,,that is disturbing as that would be way to high for both my husband and myself..Should be getting the order as they advised the orders were being filled and I will advise what actually arrived. Marilyn Hirsch

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  39. valerie

    Hi Marilyn, that is indeed strange. All in all before I got my order processed, I talked to a few different people, and were told different things. One told me that they had none in stock, and so I figured my order was cancelled, then later on someone called and wanted to know why my Rx hadn’t been faxed? They told me they had 120’s in stock, and then I was called later to say they had 125’s and that I would have to fax another Rx with that dosage! It’s all so confusing, and I think the pharmacies and doctors are as confused as we are. My doctor told me there existed no alternative to Armour (even by compounding pharmacies) and I would have to go on Levothyroxine once the Canada source dried up! And she said it would inevitably. After finding this website, I definitely need to print her out some info. I’m hoping the Armour won’t become scarce in Canada, but if it does, it’s nice to know there’s the Erfa route to turn to. Please let me know what happens with your order, and I’ll do the same.

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  40. Brenda

    Hi Valerie.

    I suspect your doctor is mis-informed. Before I ordered and received my 30 mg Erfa natural dessicated thyroid medicine from Canadadrugs.com, I had the thyroid medicine compounded by my local compounding pharmacy. I still have some. The problem with that approach is it is ridiculously expensive ($39 for 30 doses of 1/4 grain/15 mg equivalent per month) and not covered by insurance. Of course it is an opportunity for the compounding pharmacies, and according to what I’ve read online, some greedy compounding pharmacies are charging much more–over $100 per month for the same thing. So far the FDA has made no noise about getting rid of compounding pharmacies. They serve a special need — and they are a little pocket of individually made medicines that are not dictated to by the FDA. On a parallel issue, they make bioidentical hormones, which Big Pharma is not happy about either, but the FDA doesn’t say you can’t make them, just that you have to be careful about claims made about them.

    The great thing about the Canadian solution is that is it even cheaper than Armour used to be here, and they are regulated by the Canadian equivalent of the FDA. The maker of the Canadian “Thyroid” is Erfa, a Belgium company, is their niche is finding drugs that are being discontinued by other companies that they believe can be profitable and they have been making drugs since the 30’s, so I don’t think they are going to discontinue making it. I’m sure their plan is to make more! This is the jackpot for them! (If you want to know more about Erfa, and the Canadian version of Armour, go here: http://www.erfa-sa.com/thyroid_en.htm . They bought the brand from Pfizer Canada Inc in 2005 and have been making it since then. They are a Belgium company with a Canadian and international presence who buys and markets niche products from other drug companies that would be discontinued.)

    Natural dessicated thyroid medicine is used around the world, so I don’t think it is going away. It is the madness of the FDA in cahoots with the Big Pharma at work in the US that is causing the problem with availability. I believe RLC, the maker of NatureThyroid (another brand of the same thing) here in the US has vowed that they will continue making the drug, even if they have to go through the entire expensive approval process to get it approved by the FDA. Of course that will make it much more costly for us, to be sure, because they will have expended the money to go through that process and they will be the only game in town when the dust settles.

    Fortunately, while all this is being sorted out, we have the Canadian option. And it works just fine, and oh yeah, it’s cheaper.

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  41. marilyn hirsch

    Brenda: I think you are an absolute asset to all of us who suffer with underactive or other thyroid problems..it was thanks to you and your guidance and information,( which I look forward to with great anticipation) that not only led me to Canada but has done a job on helping my emotions ..knowing there IS an answer to obtaining desiccated thyroid.

    My only frustration is not knowing HOW we can do something to the FDA and their cohorts Big Pharma by letting the public KNOW what they are pulling..with no intention of helping the people but only stuffing their bankaccounts. There MUST BE A WAY that we can let the people know what they are pulling with their ability to payoff those in power at the expense of the people of America..As I said before is there a lawyer among us that can advise us as to HOW we can go about exposing their method of making themself the ONLY source of pharmaceutical products..depriving us of the beneficial ones..and pushing those that are detrimental. So many people have died because of insufficient testing etc. of products they push because they are profitable..and then something like Armour Thyroid which as been around for so long and is beneficial they are doing everything in their power to make sure it is taken off the market..If I sound enraged IAM!

    I learned that a lot of the RX’s on the market at the present time are going to expire hence their frantic need to make money on things like synthetic Thyroid which none of us, as far as I know have used successfully. I better shut up because this infuriates me…\

    I just want to say thank you Brenda from the bottom of my heart for sharing your knowledge with us..You are indeed a priceless gem!! Marilyn Hirsch

    Reply
  42. Brenda

    Marilyn, what a sweet note! Thank you for that. I’m glad to hear you are reassured about this situation. I know how frustrating and worrisome it can be to have such an important medicine that you depend on snatched away. Your anger is quite understandable and justified — it seems so irrational that a medicine that has been helping people for more than 50 years could be pulled by the FDA. My basic faith that people want to do the right thing suggests that those who made the decision to go after this drug at the FDA do not understand what it means to people like you. There is just so much ignorance — not only at the FDA but with doctors in general. I have been amazed by the lack of knowledge by conventional endocrinologists who ostensibly specialize in hormonal disorders — absolutely clueless! My script was written by an older family medicine doctor (a D.O.) who is near retirement, so who knows where I will find the next doctor willing to write the script? (That’s a problem for another day. ) The lack of support for these natural products by conventional medicine makes the FDA feel that what they are doing is reasonable. Most doctors could not care less if they are discontinued, and they would be hard pressed to even articulate the differences between the synthetic and natural medicines and/or how they should be used. They can’t even convert the drug potency equivalencies between them! The drug companies don’t like the exception that allows these old formulations to be grandfathered in, so they pressured the FDA for equal treatment under the regulations, and they caved. It is a technicality that allows the FDA to say these formulations must go through their rigorous approval process, which was created 30 years after the drug was in use! Technically, even though there is no rhyme or reason, I think the battle would probably best be fought along the path of least resistance — the technical requirement of drug approval will need to be met (which ultimately will do nothing more than raise costs for everybody.) Based on the long standing safety record of natural dessicated thyroid, which by the way is far superior to that of the synthetic products, should result in swift approval. If not, that’s where a lawyer would come in. But that takes time and money — we don’t have the time when it affects our daily life, nor do we want to spend the money, especially if we have other options. I sure am glad to have other options. I think natural medicine doctor advocates, their patients, and a committed company like RLC in the aggregate can generate enough power to eventually result in the return of this drug, especially while Big Pharma’s attention is distracted by health care reform. I hope it does. Meanwhile, please take good care of yourself.

    Reply
  43. Gatekeeper

    Valerie, I don’t know if you saw my other post, but I got dessicated thyroid from Clark’s Pharmacy a compounder in Bellevue, Washington. I take 45mg/day, and now it is all in one nice small capsule. 100 for $27 plus shipping (what I paid for Armour). So there are places in the USA not charging an arm, leg and thyroid for those of us in need.

    Reply
  44. Brenda

    Gatekeeper,

    Thanks for sharing the tip on Clark’s Pharmacy. It’s good to know that someone is selling at a rational price. I’m going to keep that option in my hip pocket..

    Reply
  45. christine

    Where can I go to get my armour thyroid??? I am so new to this page and I am so upset about all this. I was feeling better until the new 60mg armour came out then I started feeling some of my symptoms return.

    Reply
  46. Julia Burka

    My doctor informed me that there is a national shortage of Armour Thyroid because the pig products have been bought up by the federal government to make Swine Flu vaccine, which is grown in eggs and is a slow process. Does anyone know what ingredients are actually in the Swine Flu vaccine?

    Reply
  47. Terry

    Well now. Ask yourselves… who would not want us to use animal parts to make a medicine ? Who doesn’t want people to eat beef and uses every power in our infiltrated and manipulated government to see that the price of eating beef is made so high that most people cannot even afford it any more? Who has decided that the best way to manipulate a population is to simply make the things they don’t want us to have either unavailable or tax it so high that it’s simply out of reach?

    Who.. who.. who…….. could it beeeeeeeee……………..

    Reply
  48. Gatekeeper

    Julia, there are no pig products in the vaccine. Google Swine Flu Ingredients Fact Sheet, it’s in Adobe, not a website.

    Terry, except for technology (and the necessary need to always buy upgrades) I have a hard time believing in conspiracy theories. You’ve been watching too many Hollywood movies. ;-)

    Reply
  49. Janaki

    I actually agree with Terry. I think that some opponents of Armour, and the like, are transferring their political vegetarian and vegan beliefs onto this issue. I really think that this is one group that is powerful and does have some influence. I think it is fine to choose that lifestyle…I am not against it. But I draw the line at that dogma being forced on my lifestyle when they aren’t my beliefs.
    It is a complex issue and there is not one good reason for it. If there was, we would have figured it out by now.
    We have logic and over a hundred years of safe and effective use on our side. We have to continue fighting against all the forces working against natural thyroid.

    Reply
  50. Sally-Hashomotos sufferer

    Since there are a lot of postings on here, I am trying to find out if someone could post a list all together of the various compounding pharmacies listed throughout the postings on here. Thank you. Sally

    Reply
  51. Brenda

    I actually agree with Gatekeeper on conspiracy theories – – I have no idea who has it in for meat products, but I do know the forces behind the loss of Armour are all about M-O-N-E-Y — can you say “Big Pharma?” They are the ones influencing the FDA’s actions.

    I can’t think of anybody with less financial support than the vegetarian movement. The meat industry has been a powerful lobby for many years with lots of resources and there’s no sign they are going away.

    Sally, regarding a list, I doubt that anybody has a summary list that includes all the posts. Sounds like a project. If you want to find one, I’d start with my local compounding pharmacy (look it up in the phone book or ask a doctor). Otherwise, you can search the web for compounding pharmacies. There are a ton of them and I’m sure they are all capitalizing on the Armour mess. Have fun.

    Reply
  52. Brenda

    One more thought, Sally — I’d check out Clark Pharmacy (above) about if I wanted one because they are the only one anyone’s mentioned that has a reasonable price.

    Reply
  53. marilyn hirsch

    please tell me what I am doing wrong i cannot get a message of help through to Sally..I have sent many messages before but cannot get through with help for her this time..what am I doing wrong>>>Marilyn Hirsch

    Reply
  54. Sally-Hashimoto's sufferer

    Brenda,
    I dont know if you live in New England. I guess it doesnt matter. I found a GREAT site and on the right-hand side there is a link that says “Find a Componding Pharmacist” It asks you to “register” but all I had to do was enter my first and last name and email address. After that you just enter your zip code and how many miles from there you want to search (i.e., 5, 25, 50, etc) and I found a few near me so what I will is call them and ask if they can compound Armour and get a price. I see my PCP Monday to get results of my TFTs and for a physical. Hopefully, she will give me another Rx so I can fill through compounding pharmacy.
    Here is the link-International Academy of Compounding Pharmacies.

    http://www.iacprx.org/

    Reply
  55. marilyn hirsch

    okay now I will try for the sixth time to be of help to Sally. I have been very satisfied with CanadaDrugs.com phone #1-800-226-2784.they are eager to help and very very helpful.Of course your will need your Doctors RX and his request for # of renewals as well. My hubby has received his 30 mg. of Armour Thyroid and my 60 mg. is enroute. They are reasonably-priced and very eager to help..I would suggest you call them and see if they cannot be of help to you..And my thanks once again to Brenda who guided me to them. Good luck Marilyn Hirsch

    Reply
  56. Sally-Hashimoto's sufferer

    Thank you Marilyn and Brenda for your help. It is much appreciated. I called the compounding pharmacy nearest to me (2 towns away) that I got from that link I enclosed in my last post. They said that #100 90 mg pills would be $62 but that is a 3 month supply so I will have my PCP fax it in or call them. This is a pharmacy in Bedford, NH. I have been off the Armour for a couple months now and I am really feeling the difference and it is NOT fun. There are some serious quality of life issues at stake here for many. Even when Armour “returns” to the shelves, since the “reformulation” it is not as effective. Mary Shomon’s website mentions someone who is going right to the source (wherever and whomever that is) to get to the bottom of the reasons for the reformulation. Sally from NH

    Reply
  57. Brenda

    Thank you, Marilyn. Glad you got through.

    Just as a point of clarification to Sally, a compounding pharmacy is different than a regular pharmacy. They make the drugs, you would find them in the US vs. out of the country. As Marilyn says, if you want to buy an Armour equivalent, try something like Canadadrugs. They sell a thryoid drug like Armour made by another company.

    If you want a compounding pharmacy here in the US, try something like Clark’s pharmacy — Gatekeeper came up with that one. Sorry if I misinterpreted your question.

    Reply
  58. Gatekeeper

    Marilyn, I was just pondering… I wonder why my doctor, who is a Canadian practicing here in Washington State went with a compounder, Clark’s, instead of suggesting a Canadian pharmacy?

    Reply
  59. marilyn hirsch

    Gatekeeper: I really do not know the answer to your question I only know that I am super satisfied with the CanadaDrugs outfit..the decision or choice will be yours..why your Dr. did not suggest them puzzles me but then again Doctors in general of late puzzle me..they are so quick to give drugs and to fight alternatives!! Marilyn Hirsch

    Reply
  60. Gatekeeper

    I was pondering, not expecting an answer really. ;-) Though it is not the case with my doctor. I have osteoporosis, and she has me on strontium not prescript drugs. I only have 1/2 my thyroid (which probably doesn’t work all that well due to the thyroiditis I had over 10 years ago), so she put me on other support supplements plus Armour. Anxiety attacks, checked for food allergies, took me off gluten & diary, gave me a supplement called Zen. Female problems, a different support supplement, colds & flu, immuno-biotics & anti-viral supplements. Plus all the good supplements, fish oil, D3, calcium, magnesium, etc. The only regularly used prescript I had was for Armour and one my eye doctor submitted for eye irritation. My doc is one of the rare ones.

    Reply
  61. Brenda

    Hey Gatekeeper,

    Technically, it is illegal to get drugs from Canada, you know (the feds look the other way because they know there are good reasons for doing it and some states have conflicting laws). If I were your doctor I might be wiling to give you a prescription, but I doubt that I would actually recommend it to you. Especially if she’s a Canadian :). Out of an abundance of caution, you know. Wouldn’t be prudent. :)

    But seriously, if my compounding pharmacy wasn’t so inefficient and charging an irrational price, that’s where I would have gone. The problem with any compounding pharmacy is you have to know them. Are they any good? What kind of third party accreditation do they have? What kind of internal testing do they do to make sure their compounds are accurate/within standards? That’s the beef the FDA and some of the professional groups (like the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology –another silly group of old men with irrational arguments to resist change) have with them–who’s watching them? It is true though that the drug companies are allowed a large tolerance (I think it’s +/- 5%, but my compounder’s certifying body requires +/- 3%).. But it is valid to say you should know your compounding pharmacy–very well.. I personally talked to the owner of mine about “how do we know it has what you say it has?” Your doc sounds like a winner — absolutely awesome. Count your blessings there. All the more reason why I would go with the compounding pharmacy that she recommended. She would know if the pharmacy was good 1) because she probably checked it out and 2) because she has multiple patients using the same place who would give her feedback and she would stop recommending them if there was a problem. That’s good. There’s some leverage with a business in the U.S. , especially one filling scripts from all over the country. Their reputation is important. If you are not happy with the drugs from Canada, at least Canadadrugs.com will take them back (they understand their weakness so they are trying to show they are for real), but that won’t help you much if you get drugs that are impotent or worse yet, too strong. In truth, there’s probably no greater risk with drugs from them than drugs here, because the Canadian government is watching them. But after all, to me it is just a mail order business. I’ would have gone local first had I known then what I know now about your compounding pharmacy, especially learning about the kind of doc you have and that it was her recommendation. That’s a great big green flag on the pharmacy from my point of view. I might switch. So thanks for the further insight. Great info.

    .

    Reply
  62. Gatekeeper

    Hiya Brenda,

    I wish we could clone my doc. Thanks for the info on the why, that explains that. Sounds like if someone lived closer to the border it would have work.

    Btw, I have a BFF, same doc, same dose of Armour. She went with the Synthroid for about 2-3 months, she thought her lack of energy was due to going off caffeine. She finally took my advice, had doc call in prescription to Clark’s. In just a few days, energy was back.

    Reply
  63. Brenda

    Amazing how many people struggle with the fake stuff. I guess when someone feels awful from a thyroid problen when they finally get anything that helps they are grateful, and probably have no idea how good they could feel — maybe that’s the secret of Synthroid Success (that and a very nice marketing budget, ala the pharmaceutical rep.) Glad to hear it worked for your friend. Cha-ching. Your compounder is sounding better and better.

    Reply
  64. Sally-Hashimoto's sufferer

    I have a question for anyone and everyone and it is one my husband asked when I told him I am going to get my PCP to give me an Rx on Wednesday for my Armour and have it sent to a compounding pharmacy. Months back I called Canadian pharmacies and they said they had none but that they get theirs from U.S. anyway. I personally am not comfortable having to go to another country to get my medication. My question is…..HOW IS IT THAT A COMPOUNDING PHARMACY CAN GET THIS MEDICATION AND “REGULAR” PHARMACIES CANT. Dr. Pepper, I would love to have your input on this. Sally

    Reply
  65. Sally-Hashimoto's sufferer

    Marilyn, I mean no disrespect but I am a bit concerned regarding the extent to wish you are “pushing” Canadian pharmacy. It is nice to hear all options but we all, in the end, have to do what we, ourselves, are comfortable with and I would not be comfortable getting my Armour from another country though completely respect other’s decision to do so. Sal

    Reply
  66. Brenda

    Sally, you are talking about the basic difference between a drug produced by a drug company, and a compounding pharmacy. The compounding pharmacy makes make things you can’t get in a standard drug, or they put together drugs to create a customized drug delivery for a specific person or treatment. Let’s say you need a dose that the drug company doesn’t make. The compounder will develop the dose you need into a single easy to use pill/tablet/cream or whatever, instead of you having to cut a tablet, open a part of a capsule or whatever. A regular pharmacy just opens the drugs from the drug company and puts it in bottle with a label on it and sells it to you. But the compounding pharmacy takes the raw ingredients (in this case standardized dessicated porcine thyroid powder) and puts it into a pill or a capsule. I don’t know if they add any fillers, but it would depend on how each compounding pharmacy puts it together. A compounding pharmacy does not need FDA approval for every individual drug concoction they put together. They can make anything using any substances that have been previously approved/generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA for use. That’s why it its a good idea to be sure you have a good pharmacy with knowledgeable pharmacists who knows what they are doing, with good quality control practices. Before the current day drug production processes, every pharmacist was a compounder. Now, its a very specialized type of service.

    Sally, I think Marilyn is being very helpful because she was in the same situation you are — needing help and not knowing where to turn, and was happy to find a good solution. She’s just trying to assure you that it is in fact a viable a solution. Many, many people are buying the Armour equivalent from Canada successfully. But you should do what you feel comfortable doing. Hope you settle on a solution that makes you happy.

    Reply
  67. Brenda

    One more thing, Sally. The canadian pharmacies don’t have Armour anymore because Armour isn ‘t making it anymore They have an Armour equivalent, from a company called Erfa — sort of like a generic brand. This is a natural product with the same active ingredient in each brand’s product. The brand name doesn’t mean much, except each brand puts its own type of fillers in their pills or capsules to help with the production process and/or protect the potency — like aspirin. In Canada you would be getting a different brand. Also, wanted to mention that I did read an article that said the FDA told the maker of the natural dessicated thyroid powder that they had to stop making it. I don’t know if that true, but if it is, when the powder is gone, it will be back to Canada, Turkey, or wherever in the world the FDA has no control and drug companies are still making natural dessicated thyroid pills. For now though, it seems the compounders have the powder so they can “make,” or more accurately, assemble, it for you.

    Reply
  68. marilyn hirsch

    Sally: I am sorry you took my suggstion as “pushing” another country.. I am sorry you felt that way I thought I was being helpful inasmuch as I was in the same frustrated situation and found a great and very satisfactory solution..thanks to the advice the Brenda was kind enough to share with us..I feel bad that you took my trying to be helpful as “pushing you to go to Canada..Brenda helped me and I thought knowing that I had a good experience it would help you..obviously I was wrong..good luck in whatever decision you make..believe me I will not be offering you any suggestions in the future even though I am a nutritional consultant and have a lot of knowledge…despite that none of us know everything so when someone like Brenda puts herself out to be helpful…I was very grateful and as such I thought I would try to be helpful to you..guess I was wrong.! Marilyn

    Reply
  69. Gatekeeper

    Hey Marilyn, don’t let one stop you. Had it not been for my doctor knowing a reasonably priced compounder I would have been looking further north myself.

    Reply
  70. Brenda

    Marilyn, its clear to me that you are a very generous person who makes an effort to helpful. That’s awesome. You do have to actually read the posts to understand such things.

    Reply
  71. Sally-Hashimoto's sufferer

    Marilyn,
    I am grateful for your help and information and I am copying all of these posts with the information and saving it. I really do appreciate your information and may end up taking it. I am still very confused as to how a compounding pharmacy can make available what others cannot. I thank you and Brenda for caring and I know you both have suffered as I have. I am going to make a folder on my computer with all of this information and print it out and try to make sense of it. This all has my head spinning. The bottom line for us all is our health and quality of life. Thank you for your help and please feel free to add to it. Sally

    Reply
  72. Sally-Hashimoto's sufferer

    Gatekeeper, My intention is not to “stop” anyone. This is a forum for obtaining information and I am grateful for any and all. I dont know what people mean by the “fake” stuff. I found a very reputable compounding pharmacy near my home and I have no idea how I will feel on what they make for me but I have to assume (and maybe incorrectly?) that something compounded in Canada would (or should) be exactly the same chemically as something compounded in Bedford, NH as these are based on a prescription. I would like to know if this isnt true. I assume the only difference would be the addition (or not) of “fillers” I do welcome information and plan on becoming better educated on this issue which has severely affected my (our) health. Sal

    Reply
  73. Gatekeeper

    What we call “fake” is the synthetic “man-chemically-made” hormone called Synthroid and all its generic versions, that only has T4 in it. Now if your body has the ability to change T4 to T3 I guess you’re okay, but many bodies can’t or do not do it well.

    My understanding is the Canadian stuff is NOT compounded but is similar to the Armour we’ve all used, just a different company making it in pill formula like Forrest use to.

    The reason Compounders in the states have porcine thyroid is they order the raw ingredient in large quantities, nothing illegal about them doing that. Those amounts would look large to us, think how very little you take. I know my 30 days of Armour would fit in a thimble.

    As far as your intention not to “stop” someone, that’s good to hear. In the future you might want to re-read your typed words before hitting submit, as I had the same interpretation as Marilyn.

    Reply
  74. Brenda

    Sally,
    Before I found canadadrugs.com, I used the compounding pharmacy in my area that I was familar with. Now as I mentioned, they aren’t the most efficient place in the world . The compound they made for me was not actually from natural dessicated thyroid powder. It was chemically manufactured synthetic T4 and T3 from tyrosine in the same ratio as Armour (this type has to be kept in the refrigerator.) I noticed the feeling it gave me was different (I don’t know how to explain it except to say it wasn’t as smooth, kind of agitating.) When I discussed it with them, they told me they could have made it from the actual desiccated thryoid powder, but didn’t know why exactly they didn’t. That was a bad answer. It could have been confusion from when the doctor called it in (they aren’t real good with details either.) The compounding pharmacy was charging the same for both versions, but either charge was too high (more than 3 and a half times higher than the canadadrug option). Theoretically I would have to pay this for the rest of my life and it would not be covered by insurance, so I started looking for another option. I bring this up to 1) illustrate that different formulations can affect different people differently, and 2) that you have to be specfic about what you want. Some people do better on a natural product, while others do better on synthetics. If you have been using a natural thyroid formulation, your body is probably adapted to it and you will be happier (at least at first) with a similar product. (The thyroid is very sensitive — some people have had trouble with switching even between different natural products, ostensibly because of the minor differences between fillers.) So I suggest you have a discussion with the pharmacy just to be clear about what you are getting, and be careful to use a compounding pharmacy with a good reputation. I wouldn’t just pick one off of a list.

    Reply
  75. Sally-Hashimoto's sufferer

    Brenda,

    What a great point and really food for thought. I work from home as a medical transcription editor and I am about to take my lunch. I am going to call that compounding pharmacy in Bedford, NH and ask them exactly what they make their version of “Armour” out of. Hopefully, I will have figured this out by Wed. when I see my PCP and ask for another rx for Armour (I had been on 90 mg until I could not longer get it). Thank you so much for caring enough to take the time to share your experiences and the information I really need. I will let you know. Sal

    Reply
  76. marilyn hirsch

    Brenda..if I had a medal I would proudly put it on your chest..You are not only knowledgeable but put yourself out to help those of us in the hypothyroid boat..I know your help sure saved my hubby and myself. we are on the Canadadrugs Rx and doing great AND they are reasonably priced for a 3 month supply.soooo, if it were not for you I really don;t know where we would have turned..compounding pharmacies are NOT my cup of tea..Stay well we all need you and your unselfish way or sharing very credible knowledge with others..As a nutritional consultant I have suggested many of my clients ask their doctors about Armour Thyroid through the years and they have all done very well..therefore we were all frustrated with this farce that has been forced upon us by the money-hungry pharmaceutical industray.we are all very happy now with Candaa Dr\ugs thanks to our wonderful and unselfish helper….Brenda..

    Reply
  77. Brenda

    Hey Marilyn, thanks for your kind words. I appreciate the opportunity to be helpful.

    Sally, glad to hear you have a game plan. When you get your script from the doctor, you should ask the doc to specify “natural dessicated thyroid” on the prescription so you won’t get synthetics — I should have mentioned this before. Also, if you keep a copy of the prescription, you can use it in a variety of ways, depending on what you learn through this process. If your compounder is too expensive and/or you want to switch to another one for some reason, you could just fax in your script to the new place, or if you late decide to change to ordering from Canada, since you are using standard amounts, you should be able to use the same script. I don’t know about you, but personally, I’m all about maximum flexibility to do whatever works for me. :)

    Reply
  78. Sally-Hashimoto's sufferer

    After reading the helpful information on here, I called the compounding pharmacy and asked very specific questions and the pharmacist was very helpful. They make their “Armour” prescriptions from thyroid USP which is exactly what Armour is made from. It is a desiccated powder for pigs’s thyroid. She said (and this differs from other things I have heard) that there is NOT a shortage of desiccated thyroid powder but that the manufacturer of Armour (Forest Labs) is awaiting FDA approval. This is interesting because that is not the same as the statement put out to the media/public by Forest, but it may be what the pharmacists are being told. Interestingly, I called many pharmacists in the past few months and asked them what they were being told. Virtually everyone said “nothing”. It is also interesting that Armour has been around since the early 1900’s and worked fine for millions. No one was worried about FDA approval then and until the synthetics started being made, it was the only available medication for hypothyroidism. In addition, Synthroid only received FDA approval in the last few years and was also on the market for years prior to that. Just my opinion that there are many layers to this. It would be nice for the patients who are now suffering as a result of not being able to get their Armour to know what is REALLY going on; however, that still doesnt change the fact that it is current unavailable through noncompounding pharmacies and doesnt change the fact that the “reformulation” is not as effective and we cant get to the bottom of why. I am going to check again on Mary Shomon’s site as there is someone who is looking deeply into exactly what the change was with the reformulation. This is a very helpful site and it is nice to exchange information and experiences with other hypothyroid sufferers. Thank you all. Sal

    Reply
  79. Nicole E

    I talked to my doctor yesterday about the shortage of Armour and she, too, said it is because the FDA has put a hold on the making of the product. She explained that they way the Armour is created is not regulated where the exact mg/grains is in each dosage. For example, I take 60mg a day, but it may not actually be 60mg that each pill is giving me each day because of the current way Armour is made. (I don’t pretend to know how it is currently made… if only we had a way to make it at home.) Although there is a current hold on the mfg. of the armour thyroid, I am hopeful that the FDA and Forest Labs will work together to create a method to making the product where it will have the same “weight” per pill and we can all be happy. I just hope that in the process that they don’t reformulate armour in such a way that is negative for so many who depend on it.
    Until then (assuming that it will happen, but more hopeful than anything) I am going to switch to the synthetic stuff. It is too stressful wondering where I am going to get my next Rx filled at. I just hope my body will not go berzerk in reaction to the “fake” stuff. And when armour resurfaces as an available, not expensive, product, then I’ll get back on it. Oh, how I will miss you, Armour. Good luck to all you other Armour users.

    Reply
  80. Mary H

    After using Armour Thyroid for years I had to switch to Synthroid 2 months ago. I do not like it at all and do not feel well on it. I am so very upset that I can no longer get Armour Thyroid and like other disappointed users hope that the FDA and Forest Labs will work it out and give us our medication back!

    Reply
  81. Brenda

    Sally, Mary Shoman does have a detailed summary that she maintained on what happened with the natural dessicate thyroid products on her About.com website ,but she hasn’t updated any more info since Sept when I last looked at it. It’s three pages long, but the last page has the most recent info: http://thyroid.about.com/od/thyroiddrugstreatments/tp/desiccated-thyroid-2009.htm. I think it’s pretty clear, combined with the info on this site and others what is happening.

    Nicole, I’m not sure I agree with your doctor’s explanation. The difference between Armour and other over the counter thyroid glandulars is that it IS standardized, meaning that you get the same amount of T3 and T4 in each tablet. The natural dessicated thyroid product makers have actually had fewer FDA actions for quality than the makers of Synthroid and/or it’s equivalents. These products have been working effectively for many years, and lack of consistency in the dose has not been the problem. The reason why the product is unavailable is not 100% clear because covert discussions are going on between the drug makers and the FDA, but you can see, as described by Dr. Pepper’s explanation above, combined with the Shoman history and the FDA statements that this is about the FDA asking for approval of previously unapproved drugs. Other drug makers like RLC labs, the maker of Nature-Thyroid as well as Forest Labs, the maker of Armour, and the generic makers are no longer sending product to the pharmacies. Most doctors know less about what is going on than the patients who have actually researched to find out what is going on. Sad, but true.

    Reply
  82. Elise

    Hi. Does anyone know when Armour was reformulated? I am trying to track if that is when the hypothyroid symptoms I used to expereince began to reappear. Why was it reformulated?

    Reply
  83. valerie

    Elsie, I think I read somewhere that it was reformulated sometime in the Spring of 2009-I haven’t heard a good explanation of why, other than something having to do with the fillers maybe?

    Reply
  84. Gatekeeper

    Just saw this mentioned on the thread “Shortage of Armour Thyroid Strikes Home”
    Thyrolar (generic name Liotrix) mentioned by the FDA as a replacement for Armour. Looked it up and appears to be a synthetic with T3 & T4. Has anyone tried that? Perhaps that would be and alternative for those who can’t find a compounder?

    Reply
  85. Brenda

    Hi Gatekeeper,

    Ah yes, Thyrolar. Check it out on the Forest Labs site: http://www.thyrolar.com/ Kinda of funny if the FDA mentioned it, because they have the same problem with Thyrolar as they had with Synthroid and Armour — it was never approved and would need to go through the approval process. There is a little box on their site, saying the U.S. Pharmacopeia requires a reformulation so they are out production and don’t know when it will return. Looks like they may not have anything left to sell! Thyrolar is like what the compounder made for me that I mentioned above — I found it to feel a little bit “different.”

    By the way, I decided to investigate compounding pharmacies because I need a refill on my BHRT. Since yours was so cheap on NDT I made a few calls to compare prices. Seems like Clark Pharmacy has extraordinarily low prices. I read a couple of reviews which bashed their customer service, but people said it was so cheap they went there anyway. I did discover though that I overpaid by about 25% for everything for not so great service at my compounder, so I’m shopping the BHRT now, talking to the pharmacy owners, asking about accreditation. PCAB seems to be the most highly regarded, but there aren’t many pharmacies with that one, including my current pharmacy. I may want something on this side of the country (I’m in Illinois) to avoid long mail times, but again, what I learned from you was very helpful.

    Reply
  86. Gatekeeper

    After I posted that I did more research as found similar info. The lady I talked with at Clark’s was nice enough, looking at those reviews, snow is something that area rarely sees. The other review, interesting, can’t explain, maybe someone was having a bad day or just found out someone had canceled their favorite med. ;-)

    Reply
  87. TL

    Has anyone used Pen Col Compounding in Denver, CO and is it a legitmate product? Please no one from Pen Col respond to this — only Armour users who have had Pen Col compounding their meds…
    Thanks,
    TL

    Reply
  88. marilyn hirsch

    TL: this is a great question..and one I have been asking for ages..we can all complain to each other but a petition to the FDA by Armour users would be fantastic. I asked that question a long time ago but no one answered or had any suggestions…If anyone on the blog has some specific suggestions please forward them to us and let us get the ball rolling. we can complain all we want but our voices have to be heard by those who know our voices and votes count!! So I, along with you TL will be awaiting any advice as to how we can get the ball rolling…hopefully soon…the FDA has gotten away with soooo much it is about time we made them accountable to the people!! Hopefully, as I asked before we have some with legal knowledge that can put us on the correct path to make the FDA accountable ..once and for all!!

    Reply
  89. Sally-Hashimoto's sufferer

    To TL: I am not away of any petition to the FDA. I would like to believe it would help but I dont know if you can change big pharma. I know that is a coalition that has been formed in Yahoo Groups that I joined but I must admit I just have been too busy to read the message on it and have not signed in in a long time. However, I believe it is a website like this one to exchange information, experiences etc.

    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/CoalitionForDesiccatedThyroid/

    Sally

    Reply
  90. Brenda

    Hello all,

    There is another group at http://www.savenaturalthyroid.com/ with a lot of info and they also have a facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Natural-Thyroid/121680434089?ref=mf , which has links to a petition so you can sign up there if you like.

    I just don’t believe a petition will have any effect on the FDA. The FDA has regulatory authority, and the argument is if Synthroid had to go through reapproval, then why should the Forest and RLC or any natural thyroid maker be exempt? “It’s only fair.” With so many economic issues and the health care debate, I don’t think this little pocket of loyal customers in this niche market has much chance of garnering a lot of attention.

    However, I think any value would come from all the noise, because it creates interest in financing the NDA (new drug approval) process for a natural dessicated thyroid product. A petition would likely best be directed at Forest or RLC to show them how much support there is for the product. There’s a lot of hub-bub already, so I think an enterprising company or group of doctors will eventually do the NDA. But that will take time to complete, and the product won’t be available for a while.

    You may want to inform legislators of your dissatisfaction with the FDA by a letter writing campaign, which is the best way to get a senator or representative’s attention. They respond to actual paper letters from their constituents/voters the most — not general petitions, emails or phone calls. A lot of letters gets a bigger reaction.

    But if you want to weigh in on a petition, you will find like-minded people at the links above. I think the market has proven that it does exist and it is only a matter of time before the product is reintroduced. But it’s going to take a while…

    Reply
  91. Sirvana Martinez

    I’m very concerned with the disappearance of Armour Thyroid pills. I’ve been using it for over 10 years without any allergic reaction, at all. However, all the synthetic pills for hypothyroidism have been giving me allergic reactions because I’m allergic to iodine. For this reason, my endocrynologist prescribed the Armour Thyroid pills to me. I have had a wonderful outcome by taking this pill for all these years. I think it is quite unfair to remove Armour Thyroid pills from the market, for my health is at risk without it. For all those who are in control of this ban, Please!!!, take this into consideration.

    Reply
  92. Angel

    I am wondering if there is any way to purchase Erfa with out a prescription?
    My husband and I do no that have health insurance and I can’t see a doctor, or get labs, or meads through any pharmacies here in the US. I have been ordering mine on line with out a persecution now for the past 6 months and now I can’t get any desiccated Thyroid anywhere with in a reasonable price.
    I no longer feel very good on Armour and things have gotten worse for me as time goes by while on Armour. I can say that I do not feel nearly as bad as I did on Synthroid though. Synthroid almost killed me and it was so hard to find a doc that would prescribe Armour for me 2 years ago. Once I was on it, I started to feel like my old self then they reformulated it and now I feel horrible again.
    I would love to try Erfa, but with out a prescription, I am not sure how to find it online.
    Any help would be appreciated!!!
    Angel

    Reply
  93. Dawn

    Sirvana, you mean they make levothyroixine out of iodine? I cannot tolerate any iodine supplements, if this is truly what they are made of then there is no wonder I was getting worse and worse on synthetics.
    x

    Reply
  94. Dawn

    I cannot get ERFA either, my best beside old Armour is Thyroid S, followed by Nature Throid, in irder of ‘wellness’

    Reply
  95. Brenda

    Angel: I feel for you — sounds like you are in a tough spot because these drugs do require scripts. However, if I were in your shoes, I think I might try one of the over-the-counter thyroid glandulars, or try mixing the glandulars with Synthroid. Obviously if you can’t see a doctor right now, mixing with Synthroid/equivalent is out of the question.) Look at the earlier comments in this thread to see Polly’s discussion of Nutirmeds strengths, as well as my comments on the issues with using an over-the-counter product. It might work for you since you can’t get a script. I don’t know how much you need, but if it isn’t a high dose, the glandular might help.

    Dawn: If you are in the same boat as Angel, you could try that suggestion. But if you can get a prescription, you can buy ERFA from Canadadrugs.com. If you read above, you know that several of us had good experiences with them. The prescription needs to be written generically, so it says “Dessicated Thyroid” or “Thyroid USP” in one of the potencies offered by ERFA. (You can check their website here http://thyroid.erfa.net/index.php/en/thyroid-monograph.html to see the strengths –30 mg, 60 mg, and 125 mg.) If you have a doc who will write for Armour, you shouldn’t have a problem getting them to write a generic script which you can use at any of the Canadian mail order outlets.

    Hope that helps.

    Reply
  96. Angel

    Thank you so much Brenda!
    I have Graves Disease and was treated 8 years ago woth RAI ( radiation) and I no longer have a functioning thyroid. I am totaly depened on replacement for my life.
    I take 4 grains of Armour and 50 mcg synthroid to go with it. I had to add they synthroid after the reformulation, it has helped a little bit and any bit helps LOL.
    I am still looking on line for desicated thyroid and it is still very hard to find on the internet. My pharmacy is starting to get a more stable supply if the 1 grain Armour.
    The price of any desicated thyroid on lin ehas gotten to expensive for me to afford any more. I am going to have to do the synthroid and some cytoml and hope it can get me through the day until I can get the good stuff.
    Thank you so much for your support!!!
    Angel

    Reply
  97. talli dixon

    I have tried the Canadian EFRA and compounding both did not work for me the Canada thyroid made me feel nauseated all of the time and gave me a pounding headache the compound gave me severe diarrhea and a burning stomach,I do not have a thyroid so am in desperate need of finding armor thyroid,all of the drug stores in my town do not have any,I was able to get 30 pills last month but do not know what to do when they are gone.please if you find a sorce please let me know.

    Reply
  98. marilyn hirsch

    I realize that we have NOT had any messages since November 23rd and I not only miss them but was wondering WHY? I also wanted to ask a question..possibly directed at our guru Brenda..My hubby and I are using the Armour from Canada..and while we are very pleased we both seem to be suffering with itching especially on our backs very shortly after taking our dose in the early AM…do you have any idea what could be causing this..could it be an ingredient they are adding that was NOT in the original ARMOUR tabs..sure would appreciate your input and suggestions if any..thanks as always..Marilyn

    Reply
  99. Sally

    I havent posted because there is not much to post. I am STILL awaiting availability of Armour Thyroid. I had thyroid USP compounded by a pharmacy in my state (NH) 90 mg and I had horrible symptoms when taking it, increased depression, anxiety, mood swings, worsening leg pain so I have gone back to my previous regimen of Levoxyl 37 mcg every other day and Levoxyl 150 mcg every other day. I really dont feel there are any other options for me at this time. I feel only slightly better since stopping the compounded “Thyroid”. I am not sure why I reacted so drastically to it but I HAD to stop it. So, status quo for me which isnt great but I am trying to make the best of it. My metabolism is all but destroyed and I cant lose weight, compounding my frustration. It would be nice to have some news on this problem but I am not sure there is any to report. I think this is an atrocity by “Big Pharma” and we are suffering.

    Reply
  100. Gatekeeper

    Sally, so sorry to hear about your bad reaction to the compounded version. I, otoh, had a totally opposite effect. I actually am better and more energetic on the compounded version (45 mg). I guess the reformulation of Armour was affecting me and I didn’t even realize it between school getting out for summer vacation and when I went back in the fall the job had changed hours and routine, so I just figured I was overly tired from the change. Nice to be back better than before.

    I am interested in your leg pain, are you taking magnesium and D3 supplements? I’ve had recent calf pain, but I just got new winter shoes, so I’m fairly sure that’s why, not my thyroid meds.

    Reply
  101. marilyn hirsch

    I contacted the Canada Pharmacy that is supplying u s with the Armour Thyroid..which, by the way we are very happy with other than the itching I mentioned. I spoke to a pharmacist there and he assured me the the Armour Ingredients are exactly the same as the original Armour formula..the only possibility is that some exipients could be different..he suggested I go to google search and put in ERFA PHARMA canada and they will tell all the specific ingredients that are in their formula as well as the comparison to the Armour formula..so I shall do that now and will post later on with any results I get.. I remember someone saying they too has itching problem withARMOUR’s formula which made them wonder if ARmour had changed their ingredients as well. Boy they sure loused us all up..the pharmaceutical industry has no conscience just a hunger for money..hope they ALL end up with sub-clinical thyroids…wouldn’t that be wonderful.?

    Reply
  102. Brenda

    (Marilyn, just saw your latest update while putting in my post– looks like I was thinking you and your pharmacist — details below should save you some time.)

    Hello Marilyn, Sally, and Gatekeeper — good to hear from you!

    Marilyn, so sorry to hear that you are experiencing what sounds like some type of allergic or food sensitivity reaction to the ERFA. I looked up the fillers to see if there were any likely suspects for creating a problem. Here’s what’s in there: “Desiccated thyroid derived from porcine thyroid glands (which you were obviously already taking) Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, magnesium stearate, sugar and talc. Gluten-, lactose-, paraben-, sodium-, sulfite- and tartrazine-free.” It should be easy to determine if you have known sensitivities to the filler ingredients. Maybe you are allergic or sensitive to talc — some people are. If you take any supplements at all you would be exposed to magnesium stearate, and you probably would know if you have a reaction to sugar or cornstarch. Actually Armour has more potentially offending fillers.

    The Armour fillers are calcium stearate (same action as magnesium stearate), dextrose (which is a particular sugar molecule), microcrystalline cellulose (fiberous for binding the medicine), sodium starch glycolate (could be from corn, but could also be from potato or wheat — just don’t know) and opadry white (which is just to color the pill consistently—but is actually titanium dioxide which is supposed to be toxic—geez!). The Armour fillers seem more offensive to me than the ERFA, but everyone is different.

    I have thought about the fact that taking porcine thyroid could result in development of a food sensitivity, since supposedly food sensitivities develop by repeating the same food all the time…I guess it’s always something.  I started itching (power of suggestion) when I read your email, but honestly have not noticed anything like that.

    Sally, I know you probably don’t want to hear this right now given that we are talking about negative stuff, but I would look at the ERFA option if I were you just to see if it works for you. Just a thought…

    Hope all is well with everyone otherwise.

    Brenda

    Reply
  103. Brenda

    Marilyn,

    I know the Canada drug pharmacist was comparing the Erfa to the original Armour and I didn’t not have the ingredients for the original Armour — just the current Armour version. The Erfa ingredients could be exactly the same as the original Armour, but i have can’t tell since they changed the Armour formulation. I have to admit you gave me a chuckle on the sub-clinical thyroid curse — that was a bit devious for a sweetheart like you! :).

    Reply
  104. Brenda

    I just happened on this totally by accident (so strange) and it relates to Armour reformulation and fillers: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/03/12/armour-thyroid-ingredients.aspx
    This article discussed the reformulation BEFORE the 2009 reformulation, where according to the about.thyroid site, Armour “underwent a reformulation of fillers, including a decrease in the amount of dextrose, increase in cellulose, and the addition of cornstarch to the tablets.” The fillers discussed in the 2000 article on the Mercola site ARE NOT the same as Erfa, which suggests Erfa and Armour were not identical before the 2009 reformulation. Not sure if the Armour prescribing info is correct, though, because it doesn’t even show the cornstarch that was supposedly added to the new 2009 Armour. Yeesh! Not that it really matters, Marilyn. If you are having a reaction to the Erfa, what the fillers are just don’t matter. You may need a different solution. (Everytime I think about you itching on the back of your neck, mine starts itching. ooohhey vey! :).

    Reply
  105. Jennifer Broeker

    CVS told me over the phone that they had Armour 60 mg. I had my doctor call it in. I take 180 mg, so it was 3 pills, which I used to take early in the morning. I never heard anything, so I went to my doctor, and got Levoxyl 112 mcg and Cytomel 30 mcg. The Levoxyl was morning only, and the cytomel 15 mcg morning, and 15 mcg early afternoon. I got home, and low and behold, my Armour came in the mail. I took my usual dose the next morning, and felt so close to a heart attack, that I called 911. I was breathless, and my heart was pounding. I tried gradually increasing the dose, but I wasn’t alright, and I knew that it must be the unpredictable, reformulated one. Despite the twice a day, on an empty stomach inconvenience, I turned to the Levoxyl + Cytomel regime, and I’ve done wonderfully on it. Prior to all of this, I tried the compounded version of Armour, and I got worse and worse. Then I had compounding time released T3, and it did absolutely nothing for me. That’s been my experience, and I’m only now getting my life back to normal on the Levoxyl/Cytomel combo. This has been a nightmare, but I think I finally found a solution that works for me. I hope this info can help someone.

    Reply
  106. Polly

    The source of the fillers could have changed. For example, perhaps they changed to genetically modified corn if it were cheaper.

    Reply
  107. TL

    This is an update from a long time user of Armour. I’ve been on Armour since 1984. Now at 60 yrs old I was taking 145 mg of the old Armour. In August I started cutting 120’s and 60’s to get my “guess-ta-mated” dosage right since it was hard to get the right scrip. Long story short – started having heart palpitations and really weird feelings in my chest…weak, elephant sitting on me, real slow breathing and weak, weak weak. Ended up in the ER with what my Dr’s EKG said was a heart attack. Thanks to GOD I am OK in the heart department – Prayer works. ER Dr couldn’t find anything wrong with my heart afater two EKGS, blood work and xrays!

    My Dr took me off of Armour for one week because my T-3 levels were high.. My Magnesium was really low. Dr put me on 500 mg of Magnesium and Vit D. Felt excellent for a week with no Armour. Went back on the reformulated Armour 120mg and having weird feelings in my body again. However, the Magnesium helps balance the Adrenal gland that helps balance the Thyroid.

    RE: The filler in the new reformulated according to my Dr is basically “paper,” which replaced the “sweet corn” taste and smell. You can smell and taste difference from the old Armour. Has anyone had any adverse or strange feelings from the reformulated Armour? What about after taking ERFA?
    Thanks for reading and for any shared thoughts!

    Reply
  108. Gatekeeper

    I didn’t realize it at the time, but the new format wasn’t working as well for me, plus my hair was thinning. Then the shortage and a month on synthyroid and it got even thinner, worrisome by that time. Start the compounded version and my energy is back and my hair already seems thicker (but the last part is probably all IN my head rather than ON, after only 1.5 weeks on the compounded version). Other wise I don’t think any of my other odd behaviors this summer can be contributed to it. ;-)

    Reply
  109. Brenda

    Really interesting! TL may have hit on the difference with the calcium stearate vs. magnesium stearate. Thanks TL and Gatekeeper for sharing your experiences. The Mg may be a very small amount but it could make a difference in how the glandular thyroid is metabolized because there are catalyzing actions from the minerals. I found I was low on Mg so I’ve been supplementing with that since last summer. You really can’t tell from blood tests (if doctors run them at all) if you are magnesium deficient because Mg moves in and out of cells based on blood chemistry and isn’t normally stored in the blood so by the time the blood test shows a deficiency its really bad-, mine was; depleted by intense sweating during long bike rides/exercise. Interesting info on Mg deficiencies here: http://www.centerformaged.org/index.php. It is clear that deficiencies lead to heart trouble. On your question TL, Marilyn noted above she’s feels fine except for a possible sensitivity or allergy (itching). I’m a bad person to ask for comparative performance on Armour since I was only on Armour for a month before I had to find another solution (ultimately tried levothyroxine, compounding, and Erfa) so I can’t compare old/new formulation –still trying to find the right balance with what I have.

    Reply
  110. Polly

    Biotics Research has a NATURAL T3 product with nutrients that help support the conversion of T4 to T3. Maybe it would help some people. The product is called GTA-Forte. I’ve tried it, but have not been on it long enough to comment.

    Reply
  111. Joe

    When I couldn’t get Armour Thyroid, I took NatureThroid by RLC Labs. I don’t know what the difference is, and I’m not knocking Amour, but on the NatureThroid I felt normal for the first time in a couple of years. But now I can’t get either and I’m on compound. It doesn’t cut if for me. I don’t know why. I just want the NatureThroid back because that stuff was great. My thyroid got KO’d by pegintron 3 years ago.

    Reply
  112. Chris

    Hashi patient here. I struggled horribly for years and finally found a solution in an Armour/synthroid combo. It’s my belief that the FDA has no right to control/restrict my access to the only formulation that works (dessicated pig thyroid). After all, it’s proven, not a mind altering substance and has no other illicit uses. I WON’T STAND FOR IT, and I will take every possible measure to ensure a steady supply. Including relocating overseas if necessary. My life is far more important that some FDA bureaucrat’s arbitrary decision.

    I’ve already looked into purchasing from Canada as it seems the FDA is looking the other way right now. However, I will travel to Canada or anywhere else necessary to procure dessicated thyroid.

    I can foresee a time where the FDA makes it impossible to legally purchase dessicated thyroid of any sort here in the wonderfully FREE USA.

    Reply
  113. marilyn hirsch

    I feel for you Chris and I agree that this, the supposedly greatest nation in the world is actually acting like a dictatorship, governed by the almighty pharmaceutical fatcats! I wonder if ANYONE, hopefully a lawyer perhaps can give us some ideas as to HOW we can reach those who control out destiny like the senators and reps, many of whom are honest, but many of whom are NOT and are bought off by the pharmaceutical companies. Having been in the field of nutrition for many years, and having been involved in getting , with great difficulty some things done to benefit the public..I SAW with my own eyes the tons of “lobbyists” who practically sat on the shoulders or our senators to get them to pass bills that allowed them in the field of drugs to get some products on the market..SOMEHOW, SOMEONE ,must know HOW we can reach these senators to let them know what is being done to those of us who benefit from the dessicated pig thryoid!! I know my two senators have listened to me as I have contacted them but THEY ARE not in charge..WE the people should have a way of getting our problem out to the public who perhaps will benefit us in our efforts to get this product back on the US Market. I am getting if from Canada..but as Chris said who know how long that will be ok..the arm of the pharmaceutical companies is longer than a snake. So…someone out there, I am sure there are some lawyers who suffer with hopthyroidism too…HELP US with specific suggestions as to how we can UNITE to let our senators know..if they don’t take an interest on our health…we will take an interest in seeing that they get defeated..Bet you that will work! I wait with great anticipation for someone out there to come through with some good, sound and hopefully successful means with which we can win this unfortunate battle for our health!

    Reply
  114. Rebecca Utkin

    The FDA is ruining my life and the lives of so many other people who greatly benefited from this AWESOME medication. I am an 18 year old female from NYC. Right now I have joint swelling and pain on a daily basis, migraines that last for days sometimes, PMS, menstrual difficulties, weight gain, bloating, poor digestion, nausea, mood instability, poor memory, poor concentration, dizziness, anxiety, feeling cold, chest pain, dry skin, cravings, and my hair is starting to fall out again. Is the government and FDA so evil enough to allow people like me to suffer like this? The FDA has no right to tell patients what medications they are taking, especially since Armour Thyroid has helped people for many years now, safely and effectively. The reformulated version doesn’t help me at all. F** the greedy FDA, and f** the disgustng US government which doesn’t give a damn about people’s well being.

    Reply
  115. Carol

    I’ve been a thyroid patient since about 1970. I had Graves’ and was put on Armour Thyroid. When Synthroid came out, I was put on it for a number of years and never felt right, had immune system problems, a recurrence of Graves’ and the generic was even worse! I was put back on Armour Thyroid years ago, and have felt FAR better! Less immune system problems, less hospitalizations that were directly related to my thyroid, etc. I’ve also tried the generic “Thyroid” instead of “Armour Thyroid”, and within a short period of time had digestive problems, falling out hair, the dry eye & dry skin, and many other not great symtoms and on and on… The generic for Armour is NOT the same – weather its the binders, they heat it too much or whatever it is, it is NOT the same! There are hormones that haven’t even been identified yet that are likely in Armour & are not in the others. Just because they haven’t made a test for it doesn’t mean they don’t exist either!

    Rebecca, I can relate to your symptoms as well – ALL of them! Synthroid is bad enough, the generics, levothyroxine, etc. are worse! Are we going to all have heart attacks, CHF, etc. as a direct result of the FDA doing this??? Can they be charged for murder? That’s essentially what they will be doing!

    The FDA allows radioactive iodine treatment, which when I had mine, was given two doses back to back, now they want to tell me I have to be in more pain, have an acceleration of arthritis, more meds for the problems this will create if this is what they do? Will I have an ostemy bag as a result of the FDA’s misguided actions? Heart failure? Infections? create even more antibiotic-resistant bacteria as a result of having to use more of these as well?

    Does anyone know if Efra is manufactured the same as Synthroid?

    And we are trying to do “Health Care Reform”? If this is someone’s idea of reform, or safety issues, they have not a clue what they are doing!

    ALL the synthetics have caused me all sorts of problems – health problems! The generic is not quite as bad, but is NOT the same, and causes constipation, and on and on and on…

    If what is written here is what the FDA has done, then they need to get this straightened out for ALL of us who are glued to the hip with doctors for the rest of our lives by an apparently legal overdose of radioactive iodine in the early 1980’s (I had 2 doses in 2 months!) I stop taking it, or don’t take the right kind, and I can die! IF what’s being said is true, this is genocide of those with thyroid problems.

    Please, if anyone knows if Efra is manufactured the same as Armour Thyroid, PLEASE post here!

    Will have to write the FDA myself, and FYI, if you have a bad reaction when they change you over to a synthetic, be sure to report it and tell them it was the change from Armour to whatever synthetic… this can take weeks to come up, as the half-life is about a week or two, and effects can take even longer.

    Reply
  116. Bobbi

    A couple of days ago I ordered Armour Thyroid from CanadaDrugs.com. I called because I had never done it before. 1-800-226-3784. The man on the phone was friendly and helpful and even though they do not carry 90 mgs, I have 100 60mg tablets coming my way by MAIL. Do not use FedX or UPS. They cannot bring the drug into the country. The cost is about $38 for 100. All I had to do was fax my prescription to them. It takes a couple of weeks to get them, so don’t wait. I asked him what the problem was in the US and all he could say was, “I find it strange that every country in the world can produce this drug and the US can’t.” Thank you BigPharma and FDA and the US Congress. I hope you can find a doc who will write the scrip for you.

    Reply
  117. Sally Anne

    Bobbi,
    I think that what you will be getting from CanadaDrugs.com is a compounded version of thyroid USP which is not exactly the same as Armour. It may still “work” for you, however.

    Reply
  118. Aleta

    I am fortunate I have not had a problem getting Nature-throid (2grain) from my local compounding pharmacy. I was taking Armour thyroid for 13 years (Forest Labs) until the shortage and reformulation issues came about.
    If you are looking for an alternative call RLC Labs that make Nature-throid and Westhroid at 1 877 797 7997 and make inquiries about supplies.
    Contact the FDA by writing a good old fashion letter and let them know about your concerns. I did for what it’s worth.
    I also contacted CanadaDrugs.com today for a medication for my cat. The cost in the states went from $47.88 to $72.00 per month. FYI it is a human medication prescribed by my vet. I will not let my cat go blind because of an increase! So do the research and make some phone calls. There are alternatives out there. If you don’t have a computer the library does.
    Good luck in your search.

    Reply
  119. Bobbi

    Well. I asked him if this was the same formula as the new or old Armour Thyroid and he said it was the old formula. Maybe I need to talk to someone else.

    Reply
  120. marilyn hirsch

    My husband and I have been getting the ArmourThyroid from Canada Drugs for several months now..they are not only nice to deal with and prompt with their order..but the two of us are doing great on the product..in fact we are about to re-order shortly.they said it take about 2 weeks..so they suggested not waiting til the last minute..they have our RX’s for the full year so they send us a nice supply each time and they are very reasonable in price as well. I cannot praise them enough..and it is BRENDA whom I shall bless forever as she guided us to them..I would not hesitate to recommend CanadaDrugs to anyone based on my personal experience..so good luck..as for hoping the FDA or pharmaceutical field will EVER have anything but the big bucks on their mind..is like having a fantasy..I really keep hoping someone out there who is a lawyer can give us specific instructions as to where and to whom we can go with our legitimate complaints about their wilful neglect of the needs of the human race and their ongoing need to fatten their wallets!!

    Reply
  121. deven

    I wanted to thank everyone on this website thus far for all the good information. I recently was given a script for amour (my dr. is unaware that there is a shortage) he is not a specialist in the field, he happen to run a blood test as I was miserable and had complained so much…he said he suspected hypo for me…..well I did and finally have answer to what I describe as years of hell!
    No one else caught it but I have been limited to this dr. as I have no insurance (been unemployed for a year) this guy only charges me a small office fee so anyway, I was able to have him rewrite the script for the 100tab through the canada pharm in which trying to be patient as the dizzy blond at the doc’s office is just taking her sweet time faxing to canada and btw the people there are so nice and have resent the info to my dr. office twice now…………….
    With any luck, I will know some better quality life because I really thought that I have been insane and was never going to feel good again. Weight gain, hair loss, weakness, no memory, anxiety, have not been able to concentrate…..so many things but feeling tired, so tired all the time all of this has almost ruined my life……….so I am thankful that I found this website among some others!!

    We will see when I get my meds, I will post again…deven

    Reply
  122. Bobbi

    Deven – If you have to, you can take matters into your own hands and get a paper script from the office. Then you can fax it yourself. Sorry it is taking so long.
    Bobbi

    Reply
  123. deven

    I called today, sat. and the canada pharm got it! Yea! Now, I just need to hang in there but again I have hope that I will feel so much better. Even a little bit of an improvement for me will give me even more hope that one day I can get this thing right!
    At least I might be able to get some energy and my emotions will not make me look like a mad women, its hard to explain to people why you are acting crazy or seem depressed!

    Thanks again everyone.

    Reply
  124. Amy

    Is anyone getting the ACTUALA Armour Thyroid product from Canada? Or, are you getting the Canadian version by ERFA? Anyone used ERFA product with success?

    Reply
  125. marilyn hirsch

    AsI stated in a previous message my hubby and I are very successfully using the Erfa product from Canada with great success..I would NOT hesitate to recommend it..It is supposedly the version of Armour’s Thyroid..that is what my Dr. asked for and what the person i spoke to told me we were getting..so to me it is GREAT! Good luck! Hopefullly the long arms of our pharmaceutical companies here will not end our ability to get it..My respect and regard for the pharmaceutical companies in our country is in the basement..as I said repeatedly all they care about is the money…and I still hope WE will find a way to get the public on board to help us end their mercenary power over our health needs!

    Reply
  126. Donal Campbell

    I am taking a product called “Thoride” from Pharmawest Pharmacy out of Canada which my hospitalization policy will not pay for. Cost is what my deductable was anyway.
    Have not been taking Thoridelong enough for a lab evalueation

    Reply
  127. Shannon

    I have been using the Erfa Thyroid for several months now and it’s been great. I get it from Universal Drug Store in Canada because it’s the least expensive I’ve found and I take a LOT of thyroid every day. It’s even less expensive than if you got it from the manufacturer. You call them up, give them your information, they’ll give you an order number, you fax in the prescription free and in a week you’ve got your meds. They frequently have special and you can get discounts sometimes.

    I don’t do testing that often because I’ve been on natural dessicated thyroid for so long. I just see how I feel and I watch for hypo symptoms and I’ve done well. Even if Armour starts US production again, I probably won’t switch back. Every formula is different and takes some adjusting and I’m sick to death of having to do that all the time. I plan to stick with the Erfa stuff.

    Reply
  128. Mark Burstyn, Pharm.D

    I am a compounding pharmacist is Arcadia, CA.(over 25 yrs expericence)
    I own Colonial Pharmacy (www.colonialrx.com). My supply of Armour 1gr(60mg) ran out in late December. I am now compounding Thyroid into capsules.Armour is only a Brand Name of Thyroid(The Armour company is not exist anymore, Forest Pharma just bought the name and rights to the med). My formulation only uses Thyroid and microcystalline cellulose.
    Any strength(up to 3gr)is $40 per 100 caps. shipping is $6(priority mail) in the US. Just Have your Doctor fax a prescription for you. I Hope this
    Take Care
    Mark Burstyn, Pharm.D
    Colonial Pharmacy
    1326 S Baldwin Ave
    Arcadia, CA 91007
    626-447-3591
    626-447-4679 fax

    Reply
  129. Paris

    Hi,
    I thought I was losing my mind because…My doctor talked me into a synthetic, assuring me I’d be better because, as he explained, synthetics are more presise in dosage..Bologna!……..I got so sick…….I had to go to another Dr. to get my Armour back….But…I had No idea it had been changed….I was confused because now I’m taking Armour again & I was still sick! Thank goodness now I know I can get the original Armour formula again & I pray that I will be somewhat well again.

    Reply
  130. Betty Nearing

    Hypothyroidism runs rampant down through the generations in my family. My grandmother was prescribed Armour thyroid in 1904 and was purportedly one of the first cases diagnosed. I was told as a child that her case was written up in the New England Journal of Medicine. I might have the year wrong, but my mother had the prescription bottle for years (1901-02-03 or 04. My mother was hypothyroid and I am hypothyhroid. I only had male children and this hypo has not shown up in them. Did the FDA ever hear of grandfathering in a drug that has been in use for well over 100 years? Who is paying the FDA to give grief to a company supplying a much needed drug. I was on the synthetics and felt miserable, but almost had to beg to be given a prescription for Armour. My doctor said the blood levels were easier to monitor on the synthtics. I, too have found a pharmacy that will compound dessicated thyroid for me.

    Reply
  131. Carol B.

    I am now taking Erfa and I love it. I do not want to go back to Armour. The reformulation has been a nightmare. Sometime last summer, I started getting a pounding in my chest at rest and had a hard time sleeping because of it. I had to wear a heart monitor and found my heart was skipping beats. They could find nothing wrong with my heart and didn’t know what was causing it. Also started gaining weight again.

    Well, thank heaven for the internet. I found many others were getting the same symptoms.

    Now on Erfa the heart problem is gone and I hope the weight will go away too. I don’t want to go back to Armour….the reformulation has ruined it for me.

    Reply
  132. Nicole E

    Carol B… I, too, had the problems with my heart, but it was after my doctor had switched me to levothyroxine from Armour. When I was having the heart problems, wherein I would have to stop what I was doing and really take some deep breaths for a few moments to regain normalcy for a bit, I called the dr. office and they told me that it was just a reaction to switching to the new script. When I told my doctor about it at my last visit she said that she had never heard of heart issues as a body response to the medication switch. Either she is sadly misinformed or has a lot to learn about those of us who have taken Armour in the past and have had to make some sort of switch to a new medication. I miss Armour, but if Erfa is truly working then that is the next path I want to take. Where do you get it? What is in it? And any other information you can provide regarding Erfa would be appreciated.

    Reply
  133. marilyn hirsch

    Dear Carol: My husband and I are doing fantastically well on Erfa which we get from Canada..Here is the information you need call; 1-800-226-3784 and talk to someone there they are very nice to deal with…You WILL need a prescription from your Doctor to send to them for the Erfa which is filled by a Doctor in Canada..We are on our second refill already and are doing great..so I wish you good luck..I think the Erfa is a twin to the Armour..isn;t it a shame our country only cares about money and not its citizens.? Good luck Carol…don’t despair..you will do fine on the Erfa.! Marilyn Hirsch By the way it is NOT expensive either!

    Reply
  134. Carol B.

    Marilyn, Nicole is the one inquiring about Erfa. I already take it. I get mine from Universal Drugstore at http://www.universaldrugstore.com. After extensive research I found it to be the most reasonable. You need a prescription from your doctor. They will fill it if the script says Armour. Erfa is just called Thyroid. My new doctor advised Canada when I told him Armour was nowhere to be found and I didn’t want it anymore anyway.
    From what I can gather the FDA has relaxed their rules on getting thyroid from Canada since Armour and NatureThroid fiasco.

    It seems most doctors know nothing about the reformulation and the problems it is causing, but my new doctor is a great listener. I am just thrilled that I can lay down at night now. Without my heart pounding in my chest.

    Nicole you can find out the incredients in Erfa at: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/armour-vs-other-brands/

    Reply
  135. carol3942

    I was Carol B. Registered and this is my login. Sorry Marilyn, I guess you were talking to the first Carol. Marilyn, did you have to up your dose a little after you started Erfa. I upped mine a little and now it is perfect.

    Reply
  136. marilyn HIrsch`

    Dear Carol B : I apologize for confusing you with another of our fellow thyroid sufferers. Yes, I too had to up my Erfa from 30 to 60 mg. and I too am doing fine now. I get mine as I stated from Canada drugs and I am super satisfied with them they are very reasonable..so I have no complaints whatsoever..my only complaint is against Big Pharma…has anyone seen that Sen. McCain is sponsoring a bill to do away with supplements..why aren;t they doing something about drugs they put on the market that literally kill people..look at this Avandia..and they NEW about the serious harmful effects but kept it on the market..and now they want to go after supplements..I may be wrong but I have never heard of anyone dying because of a supplement they were taking..it all boils down to how much money is it that buys their so-called conscience..I will shut up before my pressure goes up..I still wish their was a way that we could let the rest of the public know what we have gone through with the Armour situation..I used to be so proud of our country..I still am..bit is the money -hungry, no-conscience pharmaceutical companies that I literally hate! Enough ! Hope everyone is doing well and I am so grateful we have been able to find other sources to keep us functional!

    Reply
  137. Betty Nearing

    Since when has thyroid been considered a supplement. It is prescribed for a very real and debilitating disease. If Congress wants to do someting useful, let them pass legislation that is helpful not harmful.

    Reply
  138. carol3942

    Hi Marilyn, I think I am the confusing one since now I have gone from Carol B. to carol3942. I thank you so much for your input. I agree with everything you said and that John McCain bill is very disturbing. I do think more people have had problems or died from FDA approved drugs that were eventually taken off the market. I am up to my ears in control from Washington….corruption is an ever growing problem. Lobbying is nothing more than legalized bribery and one of the biggest is pharmaceutical manufacturers. They are involved heavily with this so-called health care reform. Actually, what needs reformed is Congress then maybe we can get decent health care. I am so glad you are doing well on Erfa as am I. I hope nothing interferes with that.

    Reply
  139. Mark Burstyn, Pharm.D

    Please consider still keeping our US Dollars in Our Country. I am not fan of Big Pharma Or Big Insurance Co’s, But why so quick to buy from Canada when I and other Independent pharmacy owners continue to offer an easy solution(either compounding Thyroid or Calling for Armour thyroid). I have 1/2 and 1grain Armour tabs in stock now. Please consider shopping locally or at least in the US before so quickly calling pharmacies to our Northern Neighbor. I still have 2 kids to get through college(lol-no joke).
    I usually can ship your order the same day that I get an order from your MD.
    Please feel free to call me with any questions(either about Armour Thyroid or anythingelse).
    Mark Burstyn Pharm.D
    Pharmacist/Owner
    Colonial Pharmacy
    Arcadia,CA 91007
    626-447-3591
    fax626-447-4679
    mburstyn@pacbell.net

    Reply
  140. Brenda

    Mark,

    I’m certainly sympatheic to the sentiment you expressed. I tried compounding, and found the price for a measly 15 mg was $36 for 30 capsules-that was one month! My compounding pharmacist was apparently trying to take advantage of the situation. Now, I get 100 30 mg tabs of Erfa for $35 (twice the potency), including internationl shipping. They have 24-hour highly responsive customer service (I don’t even have to waste time going to the pharmacy) and they will take back anything you aren’t happy with.

    I’m not blaming you or the pharmacists in general, but why is it that in the US, where we should be able to spread production costs over a much larger base, are the cost so much higher? If we can’t be competitive on the world stage, then maybe we shouldn’t be in the business.

    I think it’s great that you now how have the 1/2 and 1 grain Armour tabs, but if the manufacturer is going to be this unreliable and indifferent (changing the formula, not able to maintain production so distributors have stock, etc.), why should customers go back when they have found a reliable source at great price somewhere else?

    Other countries don’t see the medical profession as a path to great wealth, but more as a chance to serve others. Why does everything have to cost so much more here? (And don’t blame malpractice insurance — it’s much more than that.)

    I’m generalizing here and I’m definitely not saying that this is you, doctors in general follow mindless protocols with little creativity or insight. Scan the lab report and look of “H” or “L.” “If it says ‘X”, then do this.” Most frontline supervisors in business use more critical thinking and judgement than I see from the typical physician in this country, and they don’t make nearly the money a physican does in this country. Spain pays their doctors about $100,000 per year, which I think is about right for the degree of difficulty exhibited by the typical medical doctor in their very narrow practice areas.

    I think we have spiraling health care costs in this country compared to the rest of the world because underneath it all is a sense that health care is a path to riches. Why can’t we charge a reasonable cost and make a reasonable profit? Big pharma plays to Wall St and worries more about their next earnings call than the sick people who turn to them for help.

    I don’t mean to personally attack you, Mark — I have found compounding pharmacists to be far more creative problem solvers than just about any other doctors in the system, and I do understand the ideas of buying here first. I tried that, unsuccessfully.

    I just wanted to give you another perspective on why a potential customer might go another route–and I’ll admit to a little venting about the sorry state of health care greed in this country.

    Brenda

    Reply
  141. carol3942

    Mark, I would gladly order from you, but I have problems with the reformulated Armour. I can’t take this pill. Now if Nature-Throid comes available I will try it. I understand it has been reformulated also, but it was for the better I hear. I also got tired of the hassle of finding natural thyroid….never knowing if I would run out before I could find some. I don’t know what is going on in the U.S. with all the reformulating and shortages, but it’s not fun going all over the place trying to find refills.

    Reply
  142. Mark Burstyn, Pharm.D

    Brenda
    thank you for the response. I wont take any of it personally. btw, I sell any strength up to 4gr in 1 cap for $40 for 100 caps. I think that is a very fair price. It does take alot of time to compound the 100 caps even with a capsule machine. I would like to invite you and others to still consider buying from a willing pharmacist in this country.I can mail it to your door too.
    Take Care
    I am Committed to Service, Family and Inspiritation.
    Mark Burstyn, Pharm.D
    http://www.colonialrx.com
    Take Care

    Reply
  143. Brenda

    Mark,

    A very fair price, indeed! I’ve actually filled capsules myself (to avoid supplement fillers) and it is time-consuming.

    Good for you for resisting the urge to take advantage of others in their time of need..

    Brenda

    Reply
  144. Linda

    I hope someone solves this problem i have spent more on blood work and ultrasounds, that my insurance company would be better off paying for or allowing me to get Armour Thyroid..
    I just want to know how to fight,… and who to fight

    Reply
  145. Charlotte Thompson

    I will have been on Armour Thyroid, same dosage for 38 years this June. Now I am going to start taking levothyroxine. I do not like this at all. When I had my left thyroid removed, my surgeon (an excellent doctor) told me to not ever change my medicine. I need Armour Thyroid and want it badly.

    Reply
  146. Jaime

    I hate this issue. I am going to have to use ( forced ) artificial thyroid products because the FDA is playing mafia games.
    I was feeling great with Armour Thyroid and now, after a few months on compounded Thyroid ( which is not working, I have gained weight, lost hair, feel sluggish…) I will have to use the artificial stuff.
    I am mad, and it is very irresponsable and indeed criminal behaviour for the FDA to order Armour Thyroid off the market in a callous, wanton and preposterous manner with high disregard for human health.
    Lets file suit against the federal government, and its agency, the FDA. I will gladly donate to hire the best attorneys and , even if I will not get any Armour Thyroid in the near future ( and see my health go down the drain…I am not getting any younger…) let’s make the government recant, and pay a hefty fine for what is clearly criminal behaviour.
    It is obvious the government and its greedy agency, the FDA, care less about health, only dancing to the tunes of corporate greed and power trips, so lets set the pitbull dogs free to run after the government and the FDA, lets show them that when tough it gets, the people get tougher than them, because the government is here because the people entrusted them with power to enforce the laws that we, the people want to be in effect, we never intended to create a monster child that will turn against his parents and bite them.
    That is what this government agency, the FDA and the government that allows it to act like that has become, an intractable and antisocial child that has to be put back in place.

    Jaime._____________________________________________________________

    Reply
  147. christine

    I just ordered thyroid at my pharmacy and got Armour. I just spoke with my pharmacist and he said that armour is back in stock.

    Reply
  148. Marilyn Hirsch,NC

    Jaime: I agree with you l00% and have asked in the past if anyone with legal expertise could advise us as to HOW we can go about making the FDA amd the greedy pharmaceutical companies be accountable..for horrors like the 83,000 serious complications from Avandia (given to diabetics) and Vioxx which caused deaths!! All the are interested in the MONEY..too bad one of their families can;t be made sick anytime someone suffers as a result of their greed? Boy would things change! But meanwhile I too would be more than willing to donate to good attorneys to see that something..at long last …would make FDA and BIG PHARMA responsible for their irresponsible releases of dangerous drugs! And also the big-money lobbyists they pay so that the government officials will allow Big Pharma to get their drugs passed easily. Years ago it took three long tests before a drug was released on the market. Granted that meant a wait and less money for money-hungry, conscience-lacking Drug Companies..Then they paid money and got things speeded up and less accountable as to the results of tests..WE MUST DO SOMETHING and we have to get the public;s awareness of the unfairness that is going on. not only unfair but DANGEROUS! If anyone out there is a a lawyer or can suggest one that could help..please let us know how we can get this started! As a nutritional consultant for many years I have NEVER seen anyone get serious reactions from a supplement..and if they are so dangerous how come PHARMALAND wants the right to dispense supplements? Why? Because many people are using them rather than the dangerous drugs and what is it doing? Hurting BIG PHARMA in their bank accounts. I will be anxiously awaiting word from someone with legal knowledge who can put us on the path to making Drug companies accountable..They go after reputable Drs with great medical background like Dr. ROwen, Dr. J. Wright, Dr. Andrew Weil etc. who have the experience and training to know the benefits of supplements in many cases rather than drug. Not to say that a drug is not sometimes needed..but it should be tested sufficiently to be sure it is safe.I will be waiting impatiently for a legally-knowledgable one of us to help us get this going.

    Reply
  149. SB

    I just got my first shipment of Thyroid from Canada. I am a little nervous to take it because I worry about side effects. My thyroid labs are in the normal range but I have problems with constant fatigue, weight gain, dry skin and all kinds of other problems. My first doctor offered to put me on Ally but finally i found someone who seemed to take me seriously and suggested this medicine. At first I was ready to try now I am just scared. Anyone had any major problems on this medicine?

    Reply
  150. Carol B.

    Hi SB, I have been on Canadian Thyroid for about 6 weeks now. I am feeling great since I adjusted the dosage. I don’t have any side effects and I would recommend this drug for thyroid problems if your doctor thinks it may help you.

    I had side effects with all the synthetic thyroid meds and also the “new” reformulated Armour. I hope I can keep getting the Canadian Thyroid because I have no problems with it.

    Reply
  151. marilyn hirsch

    My husband is on Coumadin or Warfarin and is taking the Canadian Thyroid with great success..but his Dr. is having problems getting his Coumadin level up to the 2 he is seeking..does anyone know IF the dessicated thyroid could be interfering with the Coumadin and if so…how does one cope with this? thanks for help!!

    Reply
  152. Mark Burstyn, Pharm.D

    Marilyn
    usually anticoagulants(warfarin) are increased by Thyroid- so it is a bit puzzling to see the opposite effect. Has your husband changed anything in his diet? more green leafy veggies(vit K) or salads will decrease effect of warfarin.
    Has there been any change in vitamins or supplements? These are the type of things that could be affecting his blood values. The main point to member is to keep things consistent.
    If the change in thyroid product is the reason then his md or anti-coag clinic should be able to adjust for the change and get him in back in range over a few weeks.
    Take Care
    Mark Burstyn, Pharm.D
    Colonial Pharmacy
    Arcadia,CA
    626-447-3591

    Reply
  153. marilyn hirsch

    Mark You are an angel! I thank you sooo much for you input..I have taken him off a lot of supplements ( I am nutritional consultant for many years) and Our diet is very consistent..I am conscious of the VitK foods so he no longer gets blueberries and a very modest amount of the dark green lettuce and minimal brocolli but he is now coming up to his coumadin level but has a way to go. he was 1.1, 1.2 and now 1.3 My nephew who is a physciain monitors him every week but it;s been difficult getting him up to the 2 he wants..I am consistent with his diet and though he is 6″5 he is only 176 lbs and exercises daily. He was put on coumadin because I saw a few things I thought were odd a swollen ankle and more sleepy times through the day than I thought were normal so I requested he have a test and when they did the test they sent him to the emergency room where they discovered aortic valve problem and leaky atrial valve…so the coumadin is a so-called insurance policy. He did NOT need a stent or surgery but, much to my chagrin he is on coumadin, benicar and solitol..and tektura as well. Knowing how much I HATE drugs this ha been rought on me but I realize it is necessary.I appreciate your advise that the adjustment will take time..it has been a few months not weeks..but I guess we have to be patient.Again thank you soooo much for your help and interest..I wish I could give you a hug. Marilyn Hirsch

    Reply
  154. marilyn hirsch

    he is altering his dose from 2.5 one day and 5 mg the next and he gets tested every tuesday..he has been coming up slowly as I said from 1.1 to 1.3 This tuesday we will see. I see where there is a possiblity that the dessicated thyroid he is taking 30.mg might be hindering the level..that concerns me because he NEEDs the thyroid which he is getting from Canada…and which is helping him tremendously..I would HATE or be fearful if they took him off. This is so frustrating and worrisome! I am doing EVERYTHING possible diet-wise so it is these two things that are in the limelight now..the dessicated thyroid AND the Coumadin..Hopefully this next Tuesday test will bring him closer to the 2 level. Mark again I so much appreciated your input you are a DOLL!! Marilyn

    Reply
  155. marilyn hirsch

    Mark: I wonder if I could pick your knowledgeable brain? I have been having a problem with excessive itching of late..and my husband is complaining of the same. I very much fear it could be the thyroid we are getting from Canada…I was wondering if they added any new ingredient since we were NOT having this problem with previous shipment. I wish the old Armour were still available..although we ARE doing okay as far as the benefits of the Canada pills..but the excessive itching is driving us nuts. I am LIVING literally on pantothenic acid which IS coping with the itching but I really need someone like you knowledgeable who can perhaps give me a suggestion in this regard? I look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for your help! Marilyn

    Reply
  156. Linda

    Hey everybody, I was losing hair for a year and I thought I will be bald and felt like I wasn’t living. So i started with the vitamins and coconut oil and I felt really great my hair stopped falling not even one and then doc put me on 50 mg levothiroxine ( or smth like that). After 3 days I thought I will have heart attack (I’m 24 y/o), but then it went away as I downed it to 25mg ( my tests went from TSH 4,02 range 0,5-4,5, to 0,83 and T4 1,1 range 0,8-1,8 T3 290 range 230-420, after 2 weeks I switched to 30 mg of armour and hair started to fall again:(((((( It’s so frustrating. I donno why is that but I stopped Armour and now on supplements and hair doing better but not so much. I still have prescription for Nature-throid. I do not know what to do , should I refill it or should I try nutri-meds natural supplements. I have a lot of stress in my life and I know adrenals play a good role in it but I try to support them everday with vit’s. I pray everyday I’ll lose those 25 pounds I gained. For over half a year my docs said I was ok my TSH was 2,96 and In just 3 month it went up to 4,02 and If you ask me any symptoms I have it, I tested n thank got i don’t have cushings, thou my morning cortisol is very high and after 12 till 6 i’m dead, after 6 I feel great. Thanks for any advice

    Reply
  157. Jen

    A few years ago Wal-mart told me Armour Thyroid was no longer available. I went to Sam’s club. I haven’t gone a day without. When my 240 mg (4 grains) were on back order I recieved enough 60mg to compensate. I had my script filled last week and was not informed of any problems.

    Reply
  158. Jennifer Broeker

    I was told 6 months ago that CVS had it, if you use them, and have the 3 month supply option. It has to be through insurance though. Maybe this will help someone.

    Jennifer B.

    Reply
  159. Diane

    I am so ashamed to live in a world where profit is worth more than life. People from the FDA should be ashamed of themselves. When it’s time for them to meet their maker, they will definitely go to hell. Keeping people sick then producing natural products to better their lives is down right evil, evil, evil……I hope they rot in hell for all of internity……

    Reply
  160. Lorri

    I tried canadian thyroid by erfa and had serious heart palpitations no matter how much I lowered the dose. Went on reformulated armour. Seems to be ok but am in the process of increasing the dose.

    Reply
  161. Bobbi

    I don’t know what is going on, but after months of ordering Armour Thyroid from Canada because Express Scripts, CVS, WalGreen and Costco couldn’t get it anymore, I just had my subscription filled at Express Scripts. This is mail-order, 3 month supply and they say they can now get it whereas they couldn’t for about a year. Does anyone know what is happening? Is our beloved Armour Thyroid coming back to the US? Anyone?

    Reply
  162. Tony Kingkade

    Yep, it’s back in stock. Has been for a while, now. All it took was a conference call between Oprah, the FDA and Forest Labs. Now it’s suddenly available again. Some powerful woman she is!

    Reply
  163. Sally Anne

    I have been getting my Armour (not compounded) from Colonial Pharmacy for months now by mail and I am very happy with it. I will continue with this as long as the supply is there.

    Reply
  164. TL

    The current Armour has been back at different locations for a while. The biggest difference to me is the taste. The old Armour and had the “corn” filler and had a distinct taste and smell. It has been replaced (FDA forced them to change it) with the “paper” filler. If you notice, it tastes like paper now. Seems to be working for me, however I have experienced more hair thinning on the new Armour and limited dosage amounts. My local pharmacy in NC has been getting it OK since March.

    RE: Oprah? Is that true or a joke?

    Reply
  165. Kim

    It is a matter of cost for the US drug companies to manufacture it. It is not profitable enough. So, my doctor in the US now writes a prescription for Armour Thyroid and he faxes it to a reputable pharmacy in Canada. I get Armour Thyroid from Canada Drugs since I tried other synthetic thyroid medicines and they made me feel awful. But when I went back on Armour Thyroid I felt like a million bucks so it works best for me. Their website is: http://www.canadadrugs.com/ and their toll free telephone number is 1-800-226-3784. I have been receiving Armour Thyroid from Canada Drugs for 2 years now and I have had no problems. The only drawback is that you must wait generally 2 weeks to receive the drug so plan ahead. If I had to fly to Canada once every 3 months or 6 months to get this drug I would because I was so sick when I took Synthroid and other thyroid medications here in the US as a replacement to Armour when I could no longer get it though my pharmacy. Plus it is a more natural thyroid medicine which I am in favor of. I hope this information helps because I went through alot to try and find Armour but I was afraid of ordering the medicine from India, China, etc. but Canada has stricter regulations on medicines than we do in the US and I ask what was in the medicine so that I would know what I was getting when I ordered from Canada Drugs.

    Thanks,
    Kim

    Reply
  166. Heather Stewart

    You know that Nutri-meds has Dessicated thyroid products, right. Porcine and Bovine Thyroid. I only just found this myself, and you probably already know, but it’s worth checking…

    Reply
  167. Cindy

    There was an article written and published in the Readers Digest telling about FDA scientists who own stock in pharmaceutical companies. There are also the representatives from these companies that make regular stops at all clinics to get their drugs sold by the Doctor. If we don’t believe there are gifts, trips, and free samples, we are fooling ourselves. It is indeed all about money. Not just what is going into the pockets of doctors, but the people that decide which drugs will be approved or not. I am currently taking Levothyroxine and the generic form of Cytomel. It is better, but is going to be very expensive when my insurance runs out. There are ways to buy thyroid drugs online, but they want too much personal information, such as the last six digits of SS#, birth dates and so forth. i would not be too difficult to rob identities with this information. The best suggestion if to find a reliable overseas pharmacy that does not require an prescription and just treat ourselves. After all it is exceedingly difficult to get properly treated by any main stream doctor.

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  168. TL

    I haven’t had any problems getting the new Armour since supplies picked up, but I have had some weird things going on with my body. Just wondering if anyone else has had any? Things like, more than normal hair loss, weird sensations of the tongue. Let me know if any of you have experienced any thing unusual after taking the new “paper filler” Armour.
    Thanks
    TL

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  169. Suzy

    This is a great thread and I have read through all the posts, recognizing my story in many of them, and my frustration in almost all of them!

    I am just about at the end of my rope in waiting for doctors and politicians to have the first and final say about what is okay for me to do with my health and my own body.

    Yes, I know that medications can be abused and that we should all be careful. But, I also know that there are OTC medications that can be abused and we should all be careful! (In fact, I refuse to USE OTC medications, instead I prefer to use natural remedies and they work wonderfully without side effects. Of course, I do a LOT of research and study about it. What I’m NOT finding in that research and study is an adequate replacement for Armour!)

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s back in 2005 or so, but not until I pushed for it! At the first appointment with my PCP about it, I handed her a brochure about thyroid dis-ease and had checked off 23 of 25 symptoms indicating I had something going on with my thyroid. She did tests (the usual, uninformative tests) and sent me a note in the mail saying “all normal.”
    I had to call her office and make another appointment, and asked her to run more tests. (I had looked up info online and knew that the standard didn’t tell us diddly.)
    She still sent me a note in the mail telling me, “All normal.”
    Then I asked for the lab work to be faxed to me.
    EVEN *I* could tell all was not normal. My antibodies were elevated.
    When I returned, I told her I KNEW all was not “Normal” and she said, “I don’t know what else to do.”
    I said, “Well, can refer me to someone who DOES?”

    She referred me to an endocrinologist who said, “I can take one LOOK at you and tell you have a thyroid issue.”
    GREAT, I thought! Finally!

    Oops! She was a Synthroid pusher! She started me on that horrible medication and not only did I NOT feel any better, but my heart started having problems!
    When I researched, I asked to be switched to Thyrolar, for the T3/T4. That was better, definitely… still not perfect.

    When I finally dumped the endo and PCP, who were pretty clueless, and saw a naturopath, he suggested Armour. I was a pretty staunch vegan then and resisted. After two years of conscious-wrangling, I decided to give it a go and my life completely changed. I had more energy, my hair stopped falling out (which was quite a relief, since my hair is down past my waist and I didn’t want to cut it!), I slept better, and I could finally get some benefit from all the exercising I was doing to drop the extra 30 pounds that seemed to suddenly appear when my thyroid problems started, despite the fact that my diet hadn’t changed!
    Unfortunately, the naturopath was an hour away and had to be paid for all out of pocket, so I kept searching for a doctor closer to me. When I found a DO who was up on things, I switched over to him. He is great, but my pointless insurance doesn’t pay for him either and he wants blood tests every year that my pointless insurance also won’t pay for because this DO is not on their approved list.
    So, I had to do all sorts of maneuvering… make an appointment with that first PCP, ask her to do all the tests that the DO asked for (without making her suspicious that I was doing it for another doctor because I didn’t trust her judgment), then get the test results faxed to me, and then I had to fax them to the DO. I had to do that EVERY year. AND I had to argue with both doctors that I don’t CARE what the lab work says (within reason, of course)… if I am going to do what they suggest, then I need to feel well, and if I don’t feel well, then what they are suggesting isn’t working! So, we have to agree to go by how I FEEL, not what the numbers on a piece of paper say!
    On top of that, I went through all the other stuff… US has Armour… US is out of Armour… US reformulates Armour… now Armour doesn’t work as well… US is out of Armour again! I finally found the Canadian solution (using CrossBorderPharmacy) and started getting a six-month supply at a fraction of the cost I had BEEN paying, AND all without even driving to a pharmacy! ((I also eliminated wheat, dairy and corn from my diet, and happily my dosage requirements went down. ))
    However, this year I got a letter from that PCP stating she’ll be moving and isn’t seeing patients anymore!
    You mean I have to start this crazy process all over again??? For crying out loud! Why in the world do I need the APPROVAL and authorization by and from someone else to know what I need to do for my health??
    I can drink myself to death if I want… I can smoke myself to death if I want… I can eat processed junk food until my liver explodes if I want… I can drive my car into a tree if I want*… but I can’t decide for myself whether or not to take a natural supplement at the dose that FEELS right to me???
    (*Not that I would do any of those things!)

    I’m ready to find another resource for this, and I’m interested in anyone else’s ideas about how to do that!

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  170. Brenda

    You don’t have to go to your PCP for the blood tests. Just order them yourself and get them delivered to your email and send them to your DO. Generally, buying direct is cheaper than paying 20% through your doctor. It’s amazing all the markups because each person in the chain marks it up. Just search on “online lab tests” and you’ll find a bunch of them. They all use the largest lab in the country (Labcorp) with a zillion locations, but they compete against each other for packages and pricing. You can get the TSH, Free t3 and T4 for under $70 (all the online providers has coupon codes — take 10 to 15% off the online price). In fact, you can get probably every test your DO is asking for annually in a package dirt cheap! And if he writes it down what he wants for you with a diagnosis, you can submit it to your insurance company! For example, you can get TSH, the free’s, plus full spectrum of annual tests including CBC, lipids, liver, kidney (chem 26) , AND ferritin for less than $135 (enter STTM10 to get 10% off) from one of the vendors (Healthcheck USA). I shop all the vendors to see where I get the best price (some are good in one area and bad in another). I tell my Doctors I only order routine tests myself because I refuse to pay the markup (which is the real problem with the Health care system) and then I get it in my email — usually the next morning, and fax or email it to them. It give me more control and ensures that I see the labs first so I can research and questions before I talk to them. Don’t put up with the nonsense — You’re in charge :).

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  171. Suzy

    Thank you, Brenda! I plan to keep that information and use it!
    I also plan to start looking for another dessicated thyroid source, because I’m tired of dealing with this issue of needing a prescription for something that helps when there are more dangerous things at the local drugstore that anyone can purchase without one!
    Makes me wonder if I need to hook up with a local organic pig farmer and get thyroids and desiccate them myself! Shees!
    It’s very frustrating!

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