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Is there really a difference brand and generic
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Is there really a difference brand and generic

Okay Doc increased my synthyroid to 200mcg yesterday and when I went to pick up the medicine from CVS it read Levothroxine (levothyroxine)  they said it is the generic of Synthyroid and I should not really feel a difference in the name brand and the generic. Has anyone else seen a difference, I do not need anymore problems . Any information is greatly appreciate. Thanks-Pam
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97628_tn?1204465633
:- O
You should hand it back to them and tell them there most certainly IS a difference all endos will tell you there is and get the correct stuff. The unbranded generic is made by different people and is different in every bottle.
They are trying to save your plan a few bucks. Synthroid doesn't cost that much. Get the same formulation everytime.
Do everything you can to help yourself.
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196896_tn?1189759421
so if the dr writes a prscription that says...may be substitued...we should get the real thing? I wonder how many people have insurance that will demand the substitue.....

I just looked on my sample box and it mentions that there shouldnt be that big of a price difference and..talk with your dr about which one is best for you.....so yeah it looks like there is a difference in the two drugs

intresting.......
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97628_tn?1204465633
Public interest groups will claim it doesn't matter, that it'a all a "plot" for Abbott l=Labs to keep up their share of the levo market.  Ehhhhhh.
Dr, Lupo on this forum is part of the plot then LOL
These groups also claim there is no correlation between a particular TSH being maintained and symptoms .
I don't really care to be part of the "controversy". If it's even possilby true I wouldn't take the generic.
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209384_tn?1231171906
It's not that the name brand is better than the generic.  It's that when you start taking a certain kind you should NEVER take anything else!  My pharmacist did this to me for a very long time until I got new endo and new pharmacist.  Talk about a roller coaster ride.  When I met my new endo for the first time she saw that I had been taking Levothyroxine and she wrote on my script "No Substitutions!".  Think she meant it. ;)

I would take it back to them and tell them they should have known better, now give me my Synthroid.

Dac
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185634_tn?1257074739
This has been great information!!  Since I haven't started taking the meds yet, I will definitely be asking this question at prescription time.  Thank you!
Lori
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11852_tn?1216845043
I was told to always get your thryoid medicine at the same pharmacy to ensure it's the same thing every month.  Not only is there a difference in the name brand Synthoid and generic, there is a difference the the manufacturers.  I've been on levothyroxine the whole time and have not had a problem with it.  But whatever you start out with you should stick with, unless your endo approves the change.  My pharmacy tried handing me Synthoid once and I gave it back to them.
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198187_tn?1190637930
The first 3 1/2 weeks of synthroid was samples from the doc. this time she called prescription into the pharmacy for higher dosage. I did go back to the pharmacist because as we were walking to the exit my husband did you check and make sure this is the right thing I said "NO" so he looked and said this is not the same medicine I said WHAT...so we went back the pharmacist that synthroid is $25.00 the levothyroxine is $5.00 and right now that is a big difference for me with no job. I asked her all kinds of questions. She said yes normally you should stay on the same med's continously however, since i have really just started and the fact the doctor was changing the dosage it really should not matter.That if I wanted to try it and then next time go back to synthroid I could....this is at CVS Pharmacy...So, I do not know she said normally my doctor does not allow generic but it was my call. I look at the fact it was $20.00 more dollars for name brand. I know that might sound silly but right now $20.00 helps with bills.
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Avatar_f_tn
All thyroid hormone replacements are synthetic with the exception of Armour which is derived from pig thyroid (beef or sheep).
Generics are just a name change only, from high cost brands name medicines to low cost brand name medicines.  Just like  all other products sold here in the US: Toilet paper, clothing, clothes soaps, and foods, etc., etc., etc.  I buy a lot of generic products, which are made by brand name companies, with the same ingredients. Its the advertising of the "Brand Name" products that  is where the high cost comes from.  Generics don't carry the "Brand Name" on it nor is it advertised, therefore cost are lower.
Nearly everyone can take synthetic levothyroxine. It is identical to the body's own T4 . However, some patients thinking that "natural" means better, prefer natural thyroid hormones, which are made of desiccated animal thyroid glands.

Brand Names:
Armour Thyroid
Bio-Throid
Cytomel
Levothroid
Levoxyl
Levo-T
Naturethroid
Synthroid
Tapazole
Thyrogen
Thyrolar
Unithroid
Westhroid

Generic Name:  
Levothyroxine /L-thyroxine  (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Unithroid, etc.)
Liothyronine (Cytomel/T3)
Liotrix (Thyrolar)
Methimazole (Tapazole)
Propylthiouracil / PTU
Natural thyroid (Armour, Naturethroid, Bio-tech)
Thyrotropin alfa (Thyrogen)
Time-released T3, compounded

It is best to stick with the same medication.  However, when changing, its best to give it time to work and make sure test are done  because levels might change.  Once you are regulated on the new med. you should have no more of a problem then when on the old medication.

You should be fine.





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198187_tn?1190637930
Thank you so much for reply I was hoping you would answer. You seem to have a lot of information and it is greatly appreciate I'm going to give it a try for one month and see how it goes. Right now i know I should not but a dollar amount on my health, but right now if $5.00 med can help me that is wonderful...thank you
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209384_tn?1231171906
I understand completely about the money, am in the same boat.  I would just make sure to stick with the lovethyroxine when you go back.
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97628_tn?1204465633
If it's unbranded levothyroxine generic it is not the same med every time. It is manufactured at several different labs. There are branded generics, like Levoxyl, that are cheaper than Synthroid. Levoxyl cost me about ten bucks I think... The next trip to the drugstore CVS may have a generic made at a different lab and be different. From Dr. Lupo:

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Thyroid/messages/2390.html


It's not a matter of better, just like dac said, but consistency and the only road to consistency is to get it from the same lab each time.
That's my impression. Speak to your endo about it.
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Avatar_n_tn
What did you mean saying that Levoxyl-is branded generic. My doctor just switched me from Shyntroid to Levoxyl and she said --it is just different brand name. Could you explain please what is the difference between brand name and brandes generic? Thank you very much. Sveta.
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Avatar_f_tn
My understanding of the generic of any item is that the generic could have a possibility of not having a consistent quality that you could obtain from a brand name.  I have asked my endocrinologist this exact question regarding the generic vs. synthroid because of the simple fact that its cheaper for me to be on the generic rather than synthroid according to my health insurance.  My endo is adimant (sp?) about me taking nothing but the brand name.  I was hoping he would let me take the generic because it definitely is cheaper on my health plan.  Also, since the doc doesn't benefit finacially by making you take a generic vs. brand name I have to go with the professional and believe that if he things the consistency of synthroid is superior over the generic then I will go with it.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am more confused by reading all this than ever.  My Family Dr. had me on 25mcg of Levethoroxine then my Endo put me on 50 mcg of Synthroid but in parenthasis it says underneath the Synthroid (Levethroxine).  
They say you should not switch but sounds like they are the same thing?  I paid $10.00 for 30 Levethroxine 25mcg and now I pay $53.00 for Synthroid (Levethroxine) for 50mcg 100 pills.  I am so confused????  
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197575_tn?1215536224
Yes it does matter because you may have generic and then the next time you go to
the pharmacy, it may be a different generic.  Especially with cancer, it is best to stick with synthroid because they use the same ingredients each time.  I know there is a debate, but I have read many sites that with cancer treatment, synthroid is the best.
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Avatar_f_tn
Synthroid on Wikipedia says in parens -- Levothryoxine. So synthroid is Levothryoxine. My husband takes generics of most of his cholesterol, blood pressure, heart meds, etc. I know a lot of people are freaked about generics but do not worry so much.

The truth:
When a med is first created it is expensive for the pharmaceutical company to make it and market. So they give it a  "special name" like Synthroid. And it tends to be expensive to buy.
By the way Synthroid is only one of many names of Levothryoxine in different countries.

The patent on Levothyroxine (Synthroid) allows the company to use the name Synthroid for a certain number of years. It is  not forever, and when the patent runs out, many more companies can then make and sell Levothryoxine as long as it is called Levothyroxine and labeled GENERIC.

Synthroid and L-thryroxine have fillers to make the tablet large enough to swallow. Sometimes the fillers can make a person allergic and not be able to take it or absorb it well. However  the actual med inside the pill should be the same.

For example, Claritin used to be by prescription only. Now they are sold OTC and there are generics of these meds at a greatly reduced cost.

It is a big deal that the patent runs out and these meds can be sold as generics. The cost is very much less. it is worth it to try the generic and see if it works for YOU>

Can a generic to be of slightly different strength from company to company? Maybe. Even  Synthroid  could be "slightly" different from batch to batch.

Generics are NOT bad. They are good because they are cheaper.

I would NOT be afraid to be on L-thyro or to switch to save money. Stay  on whatever is working for you! Millions of people take the L-thyro and never miss a beat.

Heck, you can always go back to whichever one works best for you. Don't get in a panic about this.  And ask questions. My brother is a doctor and you would NOT believe how he blows my sisters and me off sometimes if we ask too many medical questions.

They are doctors and they are full of it. Sorry--but it's true, and you need to remind them they are still human!!! So ask whatever question you want.
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734073_tn?1278899925
forestdweller said that the doctors don't gain anything by pushing brandname t4 over generic. OH YES THEY DO, and it's not just samples to give to their patients! Those pretty little drug reps. and their big lobbying companies push all kinds of incentives/perks at the doctors to prescribe "their" drug. We really shouldn't fool ourselves here!  Also, there is a proposed bill included in the propossed "Obamacare" health package,that is offered as a "payoff" for the massive lobbying group called PHARMA and other union groups associated with health care. These groups are supported by these big pharm. companies who "intise" your doctors to prescribe "their" drug.  If passed, this will extend patents for an additional 5 years, extending them from 7 to 12 years! It really is all about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had my surgeon, my endo. and my regular doc. tell me that i should stick to the Synthroid and not change to a generic. i trust these men with my life. I had thyroid cancer and had my thyroid removed over a year ago. The reason they all have given me is the generics can be made by diff. manufactures and the pills can be off a little. Even on the FDA site it says that a generic Synthroid can be off by 12% and be ok. My levels have to stay the same and 12% is too much of a gap for me to try. BTW, my 12% number came from the FDA in a decision in 2004 on allowing generic Synthroid. i hope I helped a little.
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Avatar_f_tn
The Synthroid makes me sick to my stomach and I can't think straight. I was sure it was just me...After being on it for 3 weeks i had to switch to the generic, because that is why the pharmacy gave me when I handed them the prescription.

I did so much better on the generic! Yes! Ther  is something in Synthroid that was making me feel odd.maybe it is too strong or I am allergic to the fillers. I thought I was imagining it. But as soon as I switched to the generic, my mind cleared, I had twice as much energy and was not sick to my stomach. On the Syn I was practically comatose by 11 am. I was stumbling around like a drunk person!

Just sayin...there are bad things about Synthroid too. My brother takes Synthroid and always has for 18 years.
he says start taking whatever works for you. And then stick to that.

The  word generic gets a bad rap. Synthroid is the ORIGINAL generic. They put a special name on it but it is still Levothryoxine (generic.)

This hysteria is ridiculous.

And be careful about the labs that produce Synthroid as well and make sure you use the same lab. A lot of people get sick on Synthroid and have to switch to a generic or Levoxyl or Armour!

You need to use the same lab for the generic IF levo is working for you.

Our world is very complicated and even "brand names" can change from batch to batch or be contaminated. I never buy the brand name of allergy meds. It's stupid to pay more when you don't have to.
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Avatar_f_tn
Not everyone reacts the same to generic. I have been on generic for the last 13yrs, Levothyroxine, NOT one problem for me. I started out on the name brand, then it was switched to generic, I did NOT notice a difference.

Everyone reacts differently, not everyone will have a problem with it....
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Avatar_n_tn
For those of you referencing "Fillers", you are right on the money. The active portion can only be derived synth'd or natural, period. The tricky part is what "FILLER" is used. That is generally what causes problems in all products coming into external and internal contact with the human animal. Think drugs, detergents, roll on sticks, shaving cream, perfume, look at the labels and you will see the percentage of inert versus active components is very lopsided. Unfortunately, everyone is wasting each others time bantering the generic word "generic". A "neutral" filler or anti-allergenic filler would be optimum, but alas, that would drive the price point past normal brand names. Different fillers have to be used to prevent lawsuits from the various companies holding patents, copyrights, trade secrets or whatever methodologies determined to protect their intellectual properties whether generic or brand name. Thats why even generic brands have grand names for the most part instead of the long formulaic name... based on my knowledge of the subject.
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Avatar_n_tn
When diagnosed as hypothroid I asked my doctor to prescribe Armour, soley because my mother has the same condition and had experienced bad effects from generic and synthroid. Armour worked well for me (I felt better) and isn't very expensive. (I pay for prescriptions out of pocket.) Recently, I had to switch to Synthroid because the manufacturer for Armour was not able to produce the drug. Synthroid also worked well for me. However, when I recently had the prescription refilled I was given a generic brand, which was inexpensive. I took the medication for a week and felt horrible. So I took back my prescription and asked for Synthroid. Admittedly, it was about double the cost of the generic. But, I feel better. I just wanted to share my experience with trying three different types of hormone replacement. I'm not sure you *have* to say on any one replacement therapy, since two types have worked well for me, but there does seem to be some truth to the argument that there are 'fillers' that differ between the various brands and generics that affect the way you feel.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been taking the generic levothyroxine for 8 years & have never had an increase in energy.  I ask my physician appx 2 yrs ago to increase my dose & he increased the scrip from .25 to .50 to .75 to .88 & tested me every 6 wks until he settled on .50.  Still no relief in the increased energy dept.  So I went to an endro last Sept (09) & she tested the levels and kept me at .50, BUT SWITCHED ME from levothyroxine to synthroid brand.  WHAT an amazing difference it has made in my energy level & life.  And I have not been sick with sinus/allergy problems since Sept 09.  I am usually sick with allergy/sinus problems from Oct through March, but not one sniffle, stuffed up nose or sinus problem since last Sept.  I wonder if taking the levothyroxine caused allergy/sinus problems in me in addition to low energy levels.  I am just very thankful that the endro switched me to brand name.
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Avatar_f_tn
" When I met my new endo for the first time she saw that I had been taking Levothyroxine and she wrote on my script "No Substitutions!".  Think she meant it. ;) "

My Mom used to do that with out family prescriptions way back and it worked.  I think I'll do that if I finally get some medicine for my thyroid after diagnosis.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh, forgot.  Also wanted to add that it also works to write "Brand Name Only."
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Avatar_f_tn
I took Synthroid then Armour for five years. I then stopped when I learned that these could rob my bones and I wanted no pork. I was off hypo meds for about 8 years. I was using only natural supplements and topical iodine (CHEAP!) on abdomen (a.m. and p.m.) for most of this time. This year at 62 I started taking 100 mg. Levothroxin again because my blood test showed my thyroid was too low. I do not feel any improvement and am still the same weight but I will continue to try to help my thyroid with this med. I believe the natural supplementation of iodine (also drops in liquids) , natural supplements and diet do far more good! I do take calcium, magnesium, and zinc liquid and capsules to help keep my bones and am thankful so far do not have any problems with them even though I had rickets as a baby and broken bones. I pray that my experience inspires you. Blessings~ Jayna
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519736_tn?1253990426
if the prescribing doc doesn't want you on a generic, your script will have a  " DAW  "  on it..dispense as written.you will get the brand meds....no matter what they may be :)
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Avatar_f_tn
The generic thyroxin here in Australia has "Sterate talc" in it as a 'filler' which doesnt agree with me.

I never take generic.
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Avatar_m_tn
After being on Synthroid for 15+ years, I decided to buy the generic due to financial reasons. Well as I sit here writing this, I am sick as a dog. I've had nausea, GI problems, sweating, tremors, and anxiety. I thought I was just catching the flu or something but then I associated it to the Levothyroxine I've been taking (been on generic for a few days which is when symptoms started). Starting tomorrow, I'm back on my Synthroid (despite the additional cost). I never want to feel like this again. My father is on thyroid medication also and he said that this is "an allergic response" to something in generic (he's a physician also). I never, ever want to feel like this again.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am with you.  I was on Synthroid 15+ years also and decided in June of this year 2011 that I would switch.  I developed a pain in my side along with the GI issues, tremors, nausea,  sweating, and all of a sudden allergy to fish of any kind, omega 3 and wake up every morning stopped up and sneezing like there is no end. I would eat dozens of crab legs and catfish with no problems and then all of a sudden I cant tolerate it anything with fish.   All of this is very abnormal for me.  I switched to save 10.00 and I am going back to Synthroid and staying on it.  I dont care what anybody says there is a great difference and people like us who have had thyroids removed and damaged parathyroids can tell the difference.  Its the ones who dont have to go through what we go through that can bodly stand and say "there is no difference".  We suffer everyday of our lives and struggle to always find normal.  I wish so many times that I hadnt had the surgery to begin with but I did so now I really have to deal with this craziness for the rest of my life.
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1202943_tn?1347844252
I had my thyroid out via RAI.  I've been taking Synthroid ever since.  I also was getting a random sensitivity to seafood and my neck and throat would get bright red and I would get shaky.   I wonder if it has something to do with the high iodine content.  I also was continuing to have hypo symptoms even though my levels were fine.  I added low dose of Cytomel seven weeks ago and I feel MUCH better. I have barely had any problems with seafood either.  It seems that many people who've had their thyroids removed do better on a T4/T3 combo.  You might give it a try if you still don't feel well!
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Avatar_m_tn
There is a huge difference between generic and synthroid in price first off.  My prescirption plan E scripts charges $20 for three month supply of generic and $70 for three month supply for synthroid.  I cannot take generic because it does not work and I get side effects.  Burns me up that I have to pay high price
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