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Thyroid Patients Facing Unavailability of Levoxyl and Levothroid

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drugvialHypothyroid patients getting thyroid prescriptions filled are fast discovering that Levoxyl (a brand of levothyroxine drug – synthetic T4 – made by Pfizer) is off the market currently, and not due back on the market until at least the middle of 2014. Various excuses have been offered by the company – odor of the tablets, and so on — but they’ve pulled all sizes of Levoxyl off and it looks like it will be a full year before it’s back on the market. Meanwhile, Levothroid, another brand of levothyroxine, is also currently not available.

For thyroid patients taking Levoxyl or Levothroid, you’ll need to get an equivalent thyroid medication. Your options include the following:

  • Unithroid – a brand name levothyroxine drug (tablet)
  • Synthroid – a brand name levothyroxine drug (tablet)* (*Note – Synthroid has both acacia and lactose as fillers – so be aware of potential allergic reactions )
  • Tirosint – – a brand name levothyroxine drug (liquid cap – hypoallergenic)
  • Generic levothyroxine from various manufacturers (only recommended if you can ensure that you will get refills from the SAME manufacturer each time, otherwise you risk getting some variation in potency from one generic drug to the other, even at same dosage size)

Other options…

You may be interested in a natural desiccated thyroid drug, which includes both T4 and T3 in natural forms. (Some people do better with the addition of T3.) In that case, your options include:

  • Nature-Throid and Westhroid (from RLC Labs), brand name hypoallergenic natural thyroid drugs
  • Armour Thyroid (from Forest), brand name natural thyroid drug
  • Generic natural thyroid, from manufacturer Acella (considered to be good quality)

A subset of thyroid patients take straight T3. This can be in the form of the brand name Cytomel (synthetic T3), generic synthetic T3 (aka, “liothyronine”), or compounded, time-released (sustained-release) T3.

Compounding pharmacies can also do combinations of any thyroid drugs — levothyroxine, liothyronine, or natural thyroid. (Be sure that you use only a compounding pharmacy that is recommended by your physician for quality work on thyroid drugs.)

Are you having trouble getting your thyroid medications? Share your thoughts here in the comments.

  • thiamia

    I am unhappy with the generic levothyroxine I now have to take because levothyroid is no longer available. I am allergic to synthroid and Levoxyl did not perform well for me. So I now have a medication that swells me up, causes me to forget from one second to the next, & I have to live with severe muscle pain.
    I am at the mercy of the Pharmacy companies, who are not concerned with my health. They are only concerned with having customers & money.
    I have had to take these medications because of thyroid cancer I got in my teens. And I am convinced that these companies quit researching this problem, thinking they knew it all. What a joke that is. Oh I am surviving. But that is all I am capable of doing.It is not living. And I know that something is missing from every one of these substitutions. They are close but it just does not fulfill the full need. I believe I would not have made it this far if not for my sheer will to do so.
    I know no one who has lived as long as I have, being on thyroid medication, as long as I have.

  • Diane M. Roach

    I am allergic to all the others, my thyroid has quit and I never had a problem with levothroid. only generics of and synthroid about killed me with one dose. what are they trying to kill us taking it away. Obviously it didn’t harm many people so what is the real reason? let’s see way option, take levothriod or maybe die or have all the problems I do now, hhhhmmm !!! I want the levothroid back, same ingredients it had, no alteration, at least it helped me!!

  • Keith

    I read a book called “The Iodine Crisis” by Lynne Farrow.
    Try adding Iodine to your diet I use Maine coast Kelp granules also Lugol’s Iodine is a good source of Iodine.

  • cynthia_ramsey

    I finally convinced my doctors to refer me to an Allergist and Endocrynologist who know and agree some patients are allergic to Synthroid. Hopefully I’ll be on Tirosint (same dose as Synthroid) soon because Synthroid causes a terrible itching rash and raised sores, dizziness, weight gain/swelling in legs, headaches, vomiting, and more.

  • Sonoranliz

    I was diagnosed late in life with low thyroid. I took Levothroid for14 months before it was taken off market. I had more energy and my skin problems were minimal. I even had an extremely long term bout with exzema on my ankle that completely disappeared! For the first time in my life, that itchy crusty scaley nastiness was GONE! I was so mad when I couldn’t get Levothroid anymore. Synthroid hasn’t worked and my exzema has come back with a vengeance. I found a very interesting website to share… It certainly explains quite a few symptoms / troubles I’ve had in the last 50 years. Bring back Levothroid!

  • Heather Besaw Hunter

    I have a question> I have had Thyroid since i was 9 am not 42. they can never get it regulated. “supposedly” I have Hypo but i am smaller. anyways My Thyroid is low yet they keep lowering my dose. Should it not be if im not getting enough Thyroid they should higer it? Please advise for anyone that knows

    Thank you

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