Thyroid Cancer / Nodules & Hyperthyroidism Expert Forum
Synthroid vs. Levothyroxin(levothyroxine)
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Synthroid vs. Levothyroxin(levothyroxine)

I was diagnosed with Graves Disease over 10 years ago; had the radiation pill treatment and was rediagnosed as Hypothyroid.  I have been on Synthroid since that time and have been followed by an Endo.  She told me to not take any generic form of Synthroid as it is not the same effect. She said she had had some patients who had a bad reaction to generic form of synthroid.  My pharmacy filled my Synthroid Rx with Levothyroxin (levothyroxine) but I had them change it back. I know the generic is cheaper but afraid to change.  I take 75 mcg per day. What is your opinion?
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97953_tn?1193367871
Consistency is the key -- sticking w/ one brand ensures consistency while the pharmacist can not ensure that you will get the same generic (manufacturer) each time. It's more expensive though, so in cases where cost is a huge issue and the patient is not very high risk (ie, thyroid cancer, pregnancy or heart disease) we ok the generic and follow labs more closely (which then increases the healthcare costs in other ways....)
14 Comments
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All thyroid med. have their own inactive ingredients, plus dyes and all the generics  have the same active ingredient T4. If a person is sensitive they might have a reaction from the inactive ingredients or dyes from any of the brands, as well as Levothyroixne, Armour, Cytomel or the equivalent.   The FDA has determined that generic Levothyroxine and brand-name Synthroid and Levoxyl are equivalent. The FDA requires all drugs, both brand-names and their generic counterparts, to be proven safe and effective. Since generics use the same active ingredients and are shown to work the same way in the body as their brand-name counterparts, they also have the same risks and benefits.  From my re/search, I have found the Levoxyl has the least inactive ingredients.
With any medication change could have an influence on thyroid levels, so they should be checked 6 weeks after starting any new brand. After that, it should not present a problem, unless other issues are present. Good Luck!

GL
thyroid patient
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I was given Synthroid because my levels were still not normal, even though they kept raising the dosage. I am now taking 137 mgs of Synthroid, and feel better than I did on the Levothyroxine.
I am 46, and no matter how I try, I can't lose weight. I am also insulin resistant, so my doctor put me on Metformin. My mitral valve is acting up after only two doses, so I don't know if it's an interaction between the two drugs or what? My heart feels like it flips over. I also have GERD and IBS, so maybe it's not my heart.
Does anyone else experience this?
I hope it isn't because the Metformin already is working for my insulin resistance.
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168348_tn?1379360675
There is always the risk of the generic being provided by your pharmacy through different manufacturer and that could be different with inert ingredients.  I had this happen with Miralax laxative.  Was on it for 1.5yrs and once it was refilled and had an awful taste.  The pharmacy told me it was a new mfg. that Walgreens decided to use generic label for that month.  The taste was not dangerous.  But,I stopped using it . would you take a chance drinking something with a metallic taste even when the mfg. tells you they know about it but it is safe to drink ?  Well, anyway ... they went back to orig. supplier and end of story.

I have seen many on the patient to patient thyroid community see dramatic differences from generic vs. brand-name.  They may never know why.

I believe to be consistent when you take your meds, how long you wait to eat afterwards, when you have your bloodraws taken and that the same mfg. makes the meds.

Just my 2 cents as a patient on 75mcgs name brand Synthroid.

Synthroid may give coupons/discounts on their website if that is helpful.

Cheryl (partial thyroidectomy 1/07)
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In another group I belong to, there are menbers who are doing very well on Levothyroixne.

Like thyroid levels, thyroid medications, one shoe does not fit all, one brand of thyroid medication does not fit all.

I myself prefer Levoxyl due to less inactive ingredients.  I am looking for another brand with even less because I am a vegetarian.  I believe one of the ingredients sources, in which most brands contain,  is derived from beef.

To be safe, doctor should write on the prescription "no subsitutes" or similuar (what ever is required by your state).
The brand name or type and the Mfg name should be typed on the bottle as well.  If not something is suspecious and I would challenge the pharamcy.  

In Florida, an order signed January 28, 2008, the judge ordered levothyroxine sodium off of the negative formulary list.  I am sure lots of State ruled the same or will follow in the future.

GL
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168348_tn?1379360675
I believe that whatever works best for you and your Dr is the way to go.  I wonder, then if beef is a derivative how much caseine is in either brand-name or generic?  Caseine is in beef as we eat it .. interesting if that has anything to do with some people's reactions -- anybody know if caseine is in the med .. the comes the other question .. is lactose a filler in generic vs. brandname?

On the MedHelp group there are many doing very well on Levothyroxine and, as I stated, many who have had issues.

GL, please feel free to stop by the MedHelp Patient to Patient Community -- one of which I know you are familiar with.  I am sure your "other" group has info, too, but I speak for our group here at MedHelp.

Cheryl
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't believe you will find Casein listed in beef.
Casein is a protein that is found in milk, and, most imitation cheeses contain casein, which is derived from milkcheese, and,  used independently in many foods as a binding agent. Some brands of canned tuna fish contain casein. Casein is a salt, meaning it has no net ionic charge, of the element calcium.  Sodium caseinate, Casein sodium salt.

Levoxyl does not contain Casein nor lactose nor sugar.
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257333_tn?1212448212
I still have yet to have anyone answer about the weight issue.  I cannot fit into the pants that originally I was able to months ago.  Eating less.  I am hyp now on levoxl...taking 150,cgs/  How long until I am able to at least lose 10 pounds....That is all it would take to comfortably fit into my original size.
Lisa
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168348_tn?1379360675
GL - Thanks for the info on the Caseine, Lactose and sugar. Those items can be allergins for some people and they never know it is in some meds.  But given they aren't in Levoxyl that is good news!

Yes, I tend to agree with you on the beef thoughts .. caseine is sometimes in deli processed meats as binders, etc.,   & even tuna where the caseine is "added" in as a preservative.  Interesting to note that yrs ago (in regard to allergies) I used to hear many suggest staying away from meat because it comes from a milk-producing animal ..and, thus, may contain caseine?  Who knows .. maybe an old-tale most likely.  Beef, in its natural state doesn't have casiene in it from what I was able to find online.

Lisa - ck. you messages .. I sent you some places to find some up-to-date info on the wt. gain that was recently posted at MedHelp.  If anybody else needs, them, just send me a message!

Cheryl - Co-CL Thyroid Disorders & Expert Forum





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168348_tn?1379360675
Here is a great thread from the patient community to take a look at in regard to patient's opinions as we wait to hear what Dr. Lupo thinks!

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/533066

Cheryl
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541234_tn?1266678697
i started thyroid trouble and never understood why i was gaining so much wt water wt, so my dr ran test and said my tsh are normal but i packed on from 160-to start up to 190  then i choked on bacon and almost died so when the ent dr did the nasal scopy he found the nodules and goitors sooooooooooo back to my family dr who ran the tsh panels and ana etc and off to the endo i go well my first endo said none of your levels concern me your not hypo thryoid  yet i have all theysymptoms she said you have thyroidtitis severe well it took 6 mos and i drank pomegranet juice 4 oz daily and i felt better and the wt came down and now its climbing again i got a new endo who said hes putting my thryoid to sleep and this will shrink my goitors soooooooo i am hoping my wt will start changing  soon i'm on week 3 of which is  100 mcg but i had palpatations start so i have to call my endo back and drop my dose i guess  keep me posted
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257333_tn?1212448212
You say it is water weight.  How can you tell the difference.  I do feel that it is that because my ankles are swollen and hands and feet etc.  What are your symptom on the weight gain?  where are your clothes tight?
  
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm not a vegetarian but Levoxyl has worked for me since 1996, too.

To the others, be cautious for the inert ingredients in thyroid medication. Some will not allow the medication to be properly absorbed into the body.

Candy
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541234_tn?1266678697
well i graduated into ONE SIZE FITS ALL clothes elastic waist in the summer i cna't wear my rings pants to tight shirts too tight i swear my boobs are gaining wt no wonder men call them water balloons!  so the dr said i have summer retention reduce my salt intake, and drink lots of water  i drink lots of lemon water with real lemons i don't put the rind in the water as the E-COLI  scare so i do have to alternate gatoraid or propell cause i sweat and get heat sick i have left  calf leg cramps at night only crazy thing my endo said my vit D was dangerously low so you might want to ask your dr to do that blood test test?  alot of my muscle pain and aches are gone since i have been on vit D  3 wks now  watch your diet  we forget how much salt we par take in , i'm starting pomegranet juice again hoping my wt will shift i'm in aqua therpy for my shoulder so i am exercising  i'm in nys
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