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Adverse Recation to Levothyroxine (generic)
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Adverse Recation to Levothyroxine (generic)

Hi. I was recently diagnosis w/ hashimoto's  by TSh is 10. I tried to start taking 50mcg of Levothyroxine (generic), BUT I had to stop the med. after 5 days due to an unpleasant adverse reaction. Each day shortly after taking the pill I would feel drugged/intoxicated or unpleasantly high (as if on speed), this was followed by nausea, a headache, a warm or burning sensation all over my skin, and diarrhea. Each time these symptoms stopped about four hours after they began. Then I'd just have the headache and the warm/burning feeling on my skin, especially my face. HAS ANYONE ELSE EXPERIENCED THIS from the generic thyroid drug??? I even tried cutting the pill in half, reducing the dose to 25mcg but I had the same reaction, though not as severe. My MD said he's never heard of this!!!!! He wants my to try the brand drug, Synthroid. I'm very concerned! Any others with this reaction to levothyroxine or thyroid meds?? If so, what's the solution?!
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your body is just adjusting to a different level of thyroid in it's body. And i have had all those problems adjusting to any brand of thyroxine. And i actually feel the best on the generic brand. Those symptoms should go away after your adjusted.  U shouldn't be hyperthyroid on 50 mcgs so i don't think that is it. Just start with 25mcgs for awhile and work up to 50.
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In the beginning I would feel dizzy and drugged for about 1/2 hour and it passed and then by week 2 it went away.  I am on Synthroid.  That was on 25mcgs and now I'm on 75mcgs with bloodwork in about another week.  I have PapCa so they want to supress other side of gland and turns out that since my surgery the other half isn't working right anyway so I'd be on the Synthroid just to survive LOL and not even for the Cancer even if the gland was entirely benign.

With ea. increase I feel kind of dizzy for about 1/2 hr after taking the pill and within 3-4 days it goes away completely.

I would switch brands and see what happens ... sounds like alot of side effects going on and maybe it is something inert doing it to you in the pill and the name brand may have different fillers, etc. ???

Keep us posted,

Cheryl
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Does anyone know if Armour is easier for the body to adjust to?? Also, thank you for the helpful posts!!!  My MD said he'd never heard of someone having all these symptoms as a reaction to levothyroxine (generic)!  I was afraid that I'd NEVER be able to handle the thyroid med. (I'm still afraid!!!) I really appreciate your posts! --- I'm going to try Synthroid (the brand) this weekend. I hoping I won't exerpience as many horrible side effects on this drug. DOES ANYONE KNOW IF ARMOUR  is easier for the body to adjust to? Or if someone like me who is having a bad time adjusting to the synthetic drug  would handlemit better/with less side effects??? My pharmacist mentioned it and said some people to better on the natural hormone vs. the syntethic . (Again, the reaction I had to Leveothyroxine was: shortlly after taking it I felt:  drugged/intoxicated (so much so that I wouldn't drive a car!!), headache, nausea, burning or warm skin, and diarrhea, all symptoms lasted for 4 hours every time I took the med., even at 25mcg. My TSH is 10.  I took the med. for 5 days and gave up because it made me feel so horrible!! I had almost no symptoms from the hashomoto's/hypothyroid.
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Avatar_f_tn

Levothyroxine is a medication that contains naturally occurring thyroid hormone.
What brand and/or generic were/are you taking. Generic levothyroxine contains the same active ingredient as brand-name Synthroid and Levoxyl..


thyroid man is correct, for some it might take some time to adjust to the medication,  especially at the beginning of treatment....However:
Some people will have reactions against the binders, fillers, dyes, etc., in the brand of pills. Even each dose with its color will differ in ingredients. Some contain sugar and/or lactose.  From what I have researched, Levoxyl has the less ingredients than most others and  magnesium separate from vegetable sources incase you are a vegetarian as I am.

Hypersensitivity reactions to inactive ingredients, binders, fillers, dyes, etc., include urticaria, pruritus, - skin rash/hives, flushing, angioedema, various GI symptoms (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea), fever, arthralgia, serum sickness and wheezing. Hypersensitivity to levothyroxine itself is not known to occur.
Other reactions are caused from overdose of medications (cardiac symptoms as anginous pain, cardiac arrhythmia and palpitations, and cramp in the skeletal musculature. Tachycardia, insomnia, diarrhea, excitability, headaches, hot flushes, perspiration, weak muscles and weight loss may also occur). If you are experiencing these type of symptoms you should inform your doctor.

Not all brands have the same binders or fillers so if one brand does not work another just might.

Armour may not necessarily be better, and yes it can be harder to adjust, in which is another whole topic in itself.  


Good Luck!

Gl
GravesDiseaseAndRAI
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Thank you for all your VERY helpful and kind posts!!!  My Endo MD hasn't been very helpful, and hasn't given much info (or sympathy). -- The drug is called Levothyroxine, the pharmacist told it was the generic. The pills are oval shaped, white. I did NOT have a rash, hives, etc. As far as I know, I don't have any food allergies or other allergies. I've NEVER had such an unpleasant reaction to a drug before. Besides the headache, burning skin, nausea  and diarrhea, the WORST feeling was feeling like I'd been drugged or intoxicated!! I can't imagine a filler or dye causing that, so I'm assuming it was the thyroid hormone! I even felt when I cut the pill in half and began taking 25mcg.-- This weekend I'm gong to try the brand, Synthroid. I HOPE it doesn'r make me feel as horrible as Levothyroxine. Some posters said it takes time for the body to adjust, I really dread that!!! I was hoping to find a thyroid med. that didn't make me feel sick.
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Avatar_n_tn
your doctor doesn't seem to know much about the thyroid. These symptoms are just logical. The thyroid controls the whole body. IT controls blood circulation, so if your circulation has been bad for awhile from low thyroid and all of a sudden your circulation is better your going to have flushing in the skin until adjusted. The drugged up feeling is probably from more seratonin in your brain and more blood flow. Low thyroid can cause low seratonin levels. The diarhea (diarrhea) is because your body is used to it's digestive tract being slow and all of a sudden it's speeded up. Your whole body is speeding up. Reflexes and everything. U will eventually adjust and feel better than before. U will have an adjustment period to go through on any brand. Their all thyroxine. But maybe u will adjust easier on another brand.
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i guess it does't take much to become a doctor these days. Just a good memory and no logic.
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Avatar_f_tn
A couple of ideas.

Diarrhea could be from levels, it was for me, with frequency as well. However I was hyper.
I have external and internal problems with dyes/coloring in foods, drinks, medications and some clothing/shoes.  But I have not had problems with thyroid pills.  

Are you taking any form of or supplements with niacin?  I get the skin burning and  much more depending on how high the dose.  I had to reduce my
B-complex because to my surprise it contained too high niacin dose (for me) and before I realized it, my skin was burring a tad. Since the reduction my skin burning has stopped.

Other symptoms could be just the disease and headaches are seen in hypos until the correct levels are found.  thyroid man has  good  explanations of it all.

I hope you get there, where you want to be, that is.   Good Luck!

GL
Graves'DiseaseAndRAI
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I really appreciate everyone's posts and all the knowledge!!! Maybe you'll find this funny, my Endo. MD told me that he takes thyroid hormone (Synthroid) and  that he's never had any problems/adverse reactions!! IHis statement made me feel like a freak or nut.  -- --Thyroid Man, what you said makes sense!! I don't know if my circulation or serotonin were low, but several months ago I started experiencing constipation, mild tingling in my feet, and last month slight numbness in my hands, and heart palpitations, so I knew something in my body was "off balance".-- I just hope I don't have as many sied effects on the Synthroid and/or that I adjust quickly. I was taking the med. in the early evening because I couldn't go into work feeling drugged or intoxicated and with the diarrhea and nausea.
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Hi Graves Lady, I stopped taking vitamins and supplements about a month ago. I had the horrible side effects included the drugged/intoxiacted feeling even when the MD cut my dose down to 25mcg (which is a very small dose). I atopped taking the med after 5 days ( and have not taken any thyroid meds. for sevelal days). Now the MD has changed the brand from Levothyroxine to Synthroid. I'll start the Synthroid this weekend. At least I'll be at home if brand given me similar side effects. From what most of the poster are telling me, it seems like there is an adjustment peroid some people have to suffer through until the bodies gets used the new thyroid levels and/or meds., and that I may have to try different brands until I find one that "feels better". -- I've never experienced anything like this with any other type of medication!! And as far as I know, I don't have any allergies.
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Just thought I'd chime in here. When I was first diagnosed with a multi nodular goiter I was put on "synthroid" I did incredibly well on it for about 1.5yrs. after that time I developed the symptoms you described without the diarhea (diarrhea). My dr. @ the time checked my labs and all were in normal range, and he could not explain the symptoms. I knew it was the synthroid because I was not taking any other vitamins or medications other than an occasional motrin for a headache. To make a long story short- tried half the dose but I still felt awful- dr. finally weaned me off synthroid & I no longer had those awful symptoms.

  Fast forward 7 years I found I had to have a TT. My biggest concern was having to take that awful med again! My new endo assured me I would be fine and he would make sure of it. Needless to say my surgeon started me out on cytomel then to levothyroxine the generic same as you and when my endo found out he changed immediately to brand name- i am now on levoxyl 150mcg. and it does NOT affect me @ at all. The onlt symptoms I notice now are when I need an increase.

        I'm not sure why but my endo says generic is not as good as brand name and he does not prescribe it.
  
  I hope this helps in some way.
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Hi Mozartcowgirl, thank you for your post. Do think it is EASIER for the body to adjust to ARMOUR than the synthetic hormones? By the way, I had very mild hypo symptoms, so it's frustrating to think that the med is making me feel much worse than than the hashimoto/hypo ever did!!! -- Other posters mentioned the possibility of the fillers and dyes in the generic causing my adverse reactions (feeling drugged, nausea, headcahe, burning skin, diarrhea), and posters some say that my body needs an adjustment period to get used the thryoid hormone.  -- Do you know is Armour if the is "an adjustment time" to Armour? (I know everyone is different.) I'd really like to avoid feeling sick from the thyroid med again, especially the drugged/intoxicated feeling! I'll be trying Synthroid this weekend, and I'm already nervous.
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I never had any problems with armour.. still on it.. will always be on it.. dont mind it at all. saved my life.... the chemical ones.. well.. got rid of those long ago.. did similar things to me.. some people are great on it.. some arent.. perhaps you should inquire about armour.

go to
stopthethyroidmadness.com...

good luck!
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Thank you, Scarlet37 and others. Any piece of advice, or sharing your personal experience w/ thyroid med. helps.  I was in the deak until I posted on this board, and very concerned about the horrible reaction I had to the med.
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I get that drugged up feeling too when adjusting to thyroid meds at first. Maybe u could start out on just 12.5 mcgs. Break the synthroid into 4. I'm not sure if it is easier on Armour but I know there is and adjustment period for some on it. Some people on this forum have started out on Armour and where asking if adjusting to synthroid was easier. Also once u figure out what brand u like don't change back and forth between brands. Just switching brands can make u feel bad untill your adjusted to the new brand. It makes me feel bad to switch brands and there is an adjustment period to go through from just switching brands. Atleast there is with me. Your not adjusted to any brand yet so it will b ok to switch to synthroid.
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FOLLOW UP: I started taking 25mcg of Synthroid (the brand med) this weekend and still experienced side effects/adverse reaction from the med, though NOT as awful as from the Levothyroxine (generic). I do NOT have the diarrhea or the burning skin!!! Thank God!!!  However, I still felt drugged or intoxicated (though less than on the levothyroxine) and had some nausea. The nausea was much worse on Sunday, my second day on the pill. Fortunately, most of these awful feelings only last about 2 hours. I'm traking the med in the early evening, as I can't go into work feeling sick or drugged from the thyroid med. I really, really hope this is a temporary reaction or "adjustment period" and that it will pass with time. I can't imagine going through this everyday fro the rest of my life!! Especially since my hashimoto/hyp symptom were extremely mild! The med is so much worse!!
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If your interested i decided to try Armour again and have been on it for 2 days now. so far so good.NO doped up feeling. I don't think I'll be switching back to the synthetics.THE first time I tried Armour I was already a little hyperthyroid on too high a dose of Synthroid so it wasn't good.  I already feel more like myself and It's only been 2 days and I'm taking hardly anything to start out with. I was on levoxyl or synthroid for 9 years.  I could feel good on the synthetics but I know that wasn't a 100%. I'll wait till I've been on the Armour a month to decide if it is a lot better, but so far it is.
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Hi ThyroidMan,  Are saying that you switched to Armour and had absolutely, "no adjustment peroid" and no side effects from the Armour, so far??? What's your dose??? --   I'm brand new to the world of thyroid meds. As you know, I was started on Levothyroxine and only lasted 5 days due ot the horrible side effects (especially feeling drugged out). This weekend I switched to Snythroid and still had side awful effects though not as bad as on the Levothyroxine (no diarrhea on the Synthroid). -- I have VERY few symptoms from my hypo/hashi, so it feels like a cruel joke that I have to take meds that are making me feel 100 times worse than the thyroid condition!!!! I'm no trying to find a med that helps my hypo symptoms, rather I'm trying to find one that I don't have all these awful adverse reactions on (like feeling drugged, headache, nausea, etc). My Endo MD acts like he's never heard of this happening to a patient before me! Do you think it's worth asking him for Armour??? or should I try to stick it out on the Snythroid for 2 weeks and see if I "adjust". Do you think that Levoxyl is worth trying? Someone posted that it's fillers are sort of milder than Synthroid's.
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i was taking 75 mcgs of synthroid or else 50 mcgs of levoxyl. I needed a higher dose on synthroid. Right now I'm starting out on a very low dose of Armour. About 15 mcgs of Armour if u were to convert it to the synthroid dose.
But even on such a low dose i can feel it. So far i have had very mild headaches that don't last but a few minutes and episodes of mild nervousness. But overall I feel better and i feel lighter and less slugish. So far  the adjustment period is more good than bad for me cause i am feeling better.Also my mild depression is slowly going away. I haven't had the doped up feeling yet. As far as trying levoxyl I'm not sure .It seemed easier for me to adjust to than synthroid. But I still had the doped up feeling at first.It's up to u if u want to try Armour.I really don't think i'll be going back to the synthetics. The color in my face already looks better.So far the adjustment is easier for me than it was on the synthetics.It has only been 2 days though. The 2nd day has been easier with less nervousness.
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Hi Thyroid Man, I hope your health will continue to improve on the Armour!!! Thank you again for sharing so much helpful info. I've decided to try to stick it out on the Synthroid for a few more days, which isn't easy. This will be day four and I'm still feeling very drugged out and a little nauseous for a couple of hours after taking the med. I'd like to give myself time to try to adjust to the Synthroid rather than start all over with another med. The hard part is that I my hashi/hypo symptoms are VERY mild, very tolerable, so taking this med, which makes me feel awful, is like a cruel joke!! I'll call my Endo Md at the end of the week for his feedback, but I think he's pretty useless, and has offered little info. or options
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After the fourth day on all both thyroid pills I've tried (Levothyroxine and synthroid), I found the hives got really bad, and my lip swelled.  Stop the meds, hives are less, no swelling in lips.  I just got switched to Tirosint 75mcg, after asking if I could try Armour or Naturethroid.  I was told the doc didn't really believe in those.   Says he never heard of people really getting hives from the levothyroxine drugs.  Yet I read online that so many DO get hives.  It's like the company is closing it's eyes to an obvious side effect!  The new drug has none of the bad fillers, yet today, second day, I have breakthrough hives...though not yet itchy.  I am taking Zyrtec daily, something I've never done, to help control the outbreaks.  I too, had few symptoms before starting the medicine and now get diarrhea and the hives.  There has to be a better way to live than this.  To go from feeling well, to a really crappy quality of life, hardly seems worth it.  No wonder you hear about people just stopping the meds and giving up.  Doctors don't seem to understand what it's like for those of us with side effects.  Ideas, anyone?
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I know this posting is old but I am just getting over an 8 week chronic outbreak of Hives resulting in Anaphalaxix and it was found to be caused by major plummet of FT3 level.
Basically I was HYPO and FT3 and FT4 plummetted and hence the HIves.
I now carry an epipen due to the severe reaction.
Take a look at my pic and you will see one of the episodes of Hives.
Zrytek zonked me out totally .....I couldnt tolerate it.
I then went on TELFAST with no side effects but was also on Prednisolone due to the severity of it.
Since increasing my T4 med...the hives went.
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I know this is an older post but wanted to add my input for others seeking answers like us.  I experienced the EXACT same symptoms (right down to the 4 hours) that you did on Levothyroxine.  My doc was unavailable but later said he'd never heard of it.  My surgeon took me off of it til my Endo became available. I did my own research & insisted I be given the Brand name of Synthroid.  It has taken me a long time (12 weeks) to build up to 87.5mcgs & experienced all sorts of troubling symptoms, mainly sedation, the whole way.  But, I had a TT & had to push through them because my numbers had plummeted to 297.  I realize now looking back that a lot of the symptoms I was experiencing on the Synthroid were due to severe hypothyroidism, but at times I thought I was losing my mind. I had to remind myself that my feelings weren't "weird" just different than what I was used to.  I'm glad I perserved & pushed through as now I feel SO much better.  I would NOT have been able to push thru w/the Levothyroxine - I was truly very allergic to it.  Also, I take my Synthroid at night (4 hours after dinner) & so any sedation I feel happens when I sleep.  Hope this helps anyone out there who needs to know they're not alone - it does get better - just build up slowly.
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