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Synthroid Brand vs Generic
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Synthroid Brand vs Generic

I just wanted to post my experience over the last couple of weeks with generic and brand (synthroid) medicines.  Alot of you posted to me early on about trying a different brand and you were right!  I started out on 50mcg generic levo.  My doctor wrote levothyroxine and didn't specify a brand on the rx.  That entire first week I felt for 8 or 9 hours a day like I was drugged, in a fog like state and I felt a little ill, I would get an overall weak feeling that would come and go for a few minutes at a time throughout the day.  I was jittery too, like I had drank a pot of regular coffee or taken too much sudafed.  My doc suggested cutting back to 25mcg for a week but that didn't make a difference.  Based on some of your posts about a week ago yesterday I called Walgreens and asked if they could refill the prescription with Synthroid instead which they did.  The fog and allmost all of the other symptoms went away.  I went back up to the 50mcg 4 days a go and I still feel a little hyper in the morning (i've switched to mostly decaf beverages), but all in all I feel so much better on the brand.
Cindi
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17 Comments Post a Comment
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314892_tn?1264627503
That is so great to hear!!

If you pay for Synthroid out of pocket, there is a coupon available on the website.

I love the butterfly!
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456333_tn?1206976813
Do you have the web site address with the coupon?  I couldn't find it just by a simple search.  I think I paid about $25.00 and I wasn't sure if that was full price or not.

Thx for the comment on the butterfly.  I was afraid it looked TOO cheerful and bright ha ha but it was all I could find on my PC that I liked!
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314892_tn?1264627503
https://www.synthroid.com/PatientResources/SignUp.cfm?CFID=115361&CFTOKEN=11546230

You can use the coupon for EVERY refill. $10 for 3 months(cheaper) or $3 for 1 month.

Did you know that the thyroid is shaped like a butterfly? (Levoxy- another brand name of levothyroxine is also butterfly shaped!)
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Avatar_f_tn
Okay, so is Levoxyl a brand name or generic?  I've been on Levoxyl for many years but since I had my TT it doesn't seem to be cutting it. And I'm also very jittery but I thought maybe I was going hper, now it could be the medicine?  Should I try Synthroid?
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456333_tn?1206976813
I believe Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid and Unithroid are the 4 brand names and I think they are made somewhat differently, differently enough that you are never recommended to switch between them month to month.
Have you had any recent blood work to see what range you are in?  I know jitteriness can be a side effect of the meds but it can also mean you are on too high a dose along with anxiety, restlessness, nervousness, insomnia and a racing heart.  I figure my dose is ok even though I feel a little hyper because I don't have the other symptoms here but I guess my bloodwork at 7 weeks will tell the whole story.
I don't know if you should switch or not but other people here have been on a few of these other brand names, maybe they can help out.
Cindi
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314892_tn?1264627503
Levoxyl is a brand name.

I have read that some people seem to do better on one brand over the other.

I have only been on Synthroid.

I would get levels checked to see if you are going hyper.
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Avatar_f_tn
I did go get my levels checked when I thought I was going hyper and my tsh was 8.0.  The month prior it was 9.5 so it's not coming down quick enough anymore. They've doubled my dose on saturdays and I'll get checked again in 4 weeks.  I thought I was going hyper because my heart races and I feel like I've had too much coffee. That's why I called to have my level checked. STILL HYPO! I'm gonna be living in hypohe// for eternity!  Was wondering if maybe switching to Synthroid would help bring it down, maybe the Levoxyl wasn't working good enough. I don't know. I'm so tired of this stuff. I feel perfectly fine, I just want the bloodwork to show it!
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456333_tn?1206976813
Do you feel worse on Sat's when your dose is doubled then on the other days?  i.e., racing heart etc.
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200220_tn?1361955154
I too was on levothyroxin (levothyroxine) 37.5 and my psychiatrist switched me to synthroid 37.5.  I immediately felt better.  The morning nervousness disappeared.   I took synthroid years ago and knew that i was ok on it then but my endo wouldn't switch me.  I didn't even ask the psychiatrist, he just put me on it.  It is much better.   Now if the nodules would stop putting out hormone I would feel great all the time.   the days that they do that I feel all the symptom, anxiety, depression, nervousness, legs hurt, weak. etc. etc.

linda
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Avatar_f_tn
I started the double dose thing last Saturday and noticed that on thursday  I was finally started feeling more like "me."  I still get the jittery feeling though, off and on but it's not noticably different after taking 2 pills.  I'm gonna call my endo tomorrow and ask about switching to Synthroid and see what the All Mighty Endo has to say.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I was on Synthoid for over 7 years. These past two months I switched to levothyroxin (levothyroxine). I did it at Walmart because it was much cheaper and i assumed it was th same. But recently I have joint pain in my both shoulders, tired, and not in a good mood.  Any chance this is because of maedicine?
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649848_tn?1357751184
I started out on synthroid in Jun 08 and it did nothing much for me, except leave me feeling just as bad or worse than I did before......In Jan 09, my endo switched me to generic levothyroxine + a small dose of cytomel and I'm doing great, even though I do still have some hypo symptoms.  I just had blood work done again last week and my TSH is very low, but my Free T4 and Free T3 are about mid range. I'm see my endo again on the 31st and I'm going to push for a small increase in the levo.  

I've been told that the difference in the brands/manufacturers is the fillers used in the meds, that affect each person differently.  Just thought I'd let you know that there ARE some who don't do well on synthroid just like all the others........

Liz94 - are you having any other tests besides TSH done?  Like Free T4 and Free T3?  TSH is actually a pituitary hormone and is not really indicative of what the thyroid is doing.  You need to have the "Free's" tested also, as they are the actual thyroid hormones and you need to know what they are in order to know what dosage/med you should be on.    After my original dx when my TSH was 55.51 and I started on med, my TSH totally bottomed out and my pcp was dosing me based solely on the TSH so he kept lowering my med even though my hypO symptoms kept getting worse - he pegged me as a hypochondriac.  I finally found a lab that would do the tests without a doctor's order and although I had to pay for it out of pocket, it was only $127 and SO worth it.  I was able to take those results with me to my first appt with my endo and HE changed my med based on the "Free's" rather than the TSH.  I've gradually felt better with every dosage change we've made, and even now, with still some symptoms, I feel better than I had felt in years...........
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1010279_tn?1252723673
I was dx with hypo and placed on Levothyroxine 50mcg.  I've been on it for 20 days and the first 10 days were REALLY ROUGH (new sx of chest pain, abdominal pain and mood swings) along with ALL of the hpo symptoms I already had.  I must say that those sx's are subsiding and I'm starting to feel alot better (still have extreme fatigue in the evenings and some heart palpitations, hair loss).  After reading the panels discussions ...I'm wondering if I should ask the doc to switch me to Synthroid.  My body is till adjusting to the meds, but I wonder if anyone has switched so early in treatment, and felt better?  I will be working ski patrol this season and can't IMAGNE feeling this cruddy.  I hope I can feel like "me" again soon.  
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649848_tn?1357751184
It takes at least 5-6 weeks for the med to reach full effect, so 20 days is not really enough time.  

You might have been started out on a dosage that was too high at the time.  It's best to be started out on lower doses and raised over time.  I was started on 25 mcg and raised by 25 mcg/week until I got to 125.  

There are different views on synthroid vs generic - some of do fine on the generic, some need the synthroid.  Most likely I would give the levo a few weeks longer and if you don't feel that you are making progress, you can ask to be switched - but I'm not a doctor, so that's just a personal opinion.  Some manufacturers use different fillers, etc and not everyone does well on a certain med.  In my case, I'm doing fine on the levo, but since we are all different, it might affect someone else differently.  

That will be a joint decision between you and your doctor.  
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1010279_tn?1252723673
Thank you for the advise.  It does seem that it is very individualized and it takes time to adjust and know what med and dose is right for you.  I don't know if this is common with hypo...but if I don't get at least a full 8 hours of good sleep, I feel HORRIBLE the next day with fatigue, palpitations, and no desire to exercise or do anything.  That's sooo unlike me.  I did half my dose one day and I felt much worse.  It's very strange to be taking a med that does in fact help your symptoms, but on the other hand you still loose your hair, feel fatigued ect.  I'll give it time and see what happens.  Thanks again!  
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I guess I've been writing this in a lot of posts lately, but this takes a lot of patience - much, much more than most of us ever dreamed we could summon.  I know nobody ever wants to hear that because we all want to get better right away and I'm so sorry that it just doesn't work that way.  I felt totally horrible myself at diagnosis and couldn't wait to start feeling better.  

One thing, though is that my hair DID stop falling out right away - though every once in a while, I have a bout with it falling out for some reason.  

At the same time, I tell you to have patience, I also have to say, if you truly feel like you are not getting better, or are actually getting worse, don't hesitate to contact your doctor again to let him know.  You might need to get blood work done again to get an idea of what is going on.  

I'll pray that you get to feeling better soon.  
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1010279_tn?1252723673
Thank you for the prayer and advise.  You're right....patience is needed in this situaion.  FYI...I'm on day 25 of the meds and feeling MUCH better.  I started a magnesium supplement of 400mg/day and my palps are pretty much gone, more energy and not as much depression.  Brain fog is still there at times and it's kindof embarrassing, but it's even less frequent.  Just alot of "blonde" moments!  LOL!

This panel, and the advise has been more helpful than ANY doc I have talked to, or any article that I have read.  My BF has Hashi's and is a Nurse Practitioner.  I'm going to recommend this website and Forum to her.  
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