Thyroid Disorders Community
levoxyl
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to thyroid issues, goiter, Graves disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Human Growth Hormone (HGH), hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, metabolism, parathyroid, pituitary gland, thyroiditis, and thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).

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levoxyl

Does anyone take this?  why did you pick this over all the other synthetics?   Is there any advantage to this one over synthroid?  It seems like the older endos i talk to seem to prescribe this more than synthroid.  I was curious to know more about why they would pick this one.  I realize there are choices out there, and everyone is different.  I am just curious if anyone on the group takes it, and why?
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Avatar_m_tn
I have to also ask: The first thing you have to eliminate is wether or not you are a "normal" T4 to T3 converter?? If you are not converting T4 to T3 than there is NO T4 only med that's going to help you..

this comes from your labs.. What i found is that my TSH, FT4 ad FT3 are in perfect harmony.. If my TSH is high than my FT4 and FT3 are low.. When my TSH is low than my FT4 and FT3 are high.. This is "normal" circumstances and tells you that you are converting well...

If your TSH is low and your FT3 levels are low then that means you might need to supplement with T3 meds as well as FT4.. "this is not the case for me" which is why T4only meds work for me.. That is the first step...
44 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
I have only been given Levothyroxine & Synthroid, no other options.

I do see where the Synthroid works better for me. Everyone is different in how they react to medications.

Levo worked for me for a long time, but this new Endo does not like it.
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1139187_tn?1355710247
I am hearing positive things about levoxyl (brand).   I am currently on a compound and i have been on it for about 8 weeks now.  My numbers are getting pretty bad and the doctor says the compound is not right for me.  My last full test showed that my tsh was at 65.  The ft3  was 1.3  (range 2.3 to 3.9)  and my ft4 was .4  (range .8 to 1.8)

currently my tsh is at 115 but i do not know my frees right now.   they are suggesting moving me from a compound of 150  to a levoxyl of 175.    

I just have not heard of this one really.  My pharmacist had to order it for me.   But i have not taken any yet.  
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1099201_tn?1338184518
I have been taking levoxyl since about 6 months after my diagnosis of hashimotos and I started on levothroid my the ent doctor but my endo prefers levoxyl and I have been taking that ever since January of 2010 or sooner. I have mainly been on levoxyl.
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1139187_tn?1355710247
someone told me that this could be "slower release" than the other ones?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Bruce, you seriously need to chill !  Going to whip out some tough love.  

June 15th you stated you were on T4 only 120mcg, beginning June 1st,.  June 26th you stated I feel better then I've felt in 3 yrs.  
Now you state your taking 150mcg.  Pharmacist ordered 175 Levoxyl.  

Now get this, all of what you shared was within a month (4 wks),.  Are you self medicating?  I'm not fond of Endo's, but don't think one would increase dose, then change brand in a month.

I can share links to all your comments.  

Also, not all your symptoms are hormonal.  You stated you've been on Klonopin & Ambian for sleep.  I know for a fact, these 2 meds have a whole list of symptoms themselves.  I was once a moderator at a psych med forum.  Klonopin can reduce tinnitus, but also can increase 10x's,.  Nausea and motion sickness can be caused by Klonopin and Ambian.  They can also cause fatigue, brain fog, brain zaps, memory loss, and the list goes on.  Klonopin can reduce anxiety, but rebound and make it 10x's worse, when going into tolerance.  This is the reason people stay addicted to psych meds, to relieve thier symptoms.  

I had a TT in March, been on 200 Synthroid, I was doing fine, cept for cold hands/feet.  Endo increased to 225, now I'm burning up, shoulder pain, trouble sleeping.  I see Endo on friday.  Curious to know what my labs state.  But through it all, I've been patience, allowing my body to heal, some day's are better then others.  Day's I don't feel good I rest, day's I do feel good, I'm active.  

I don't think anyone has any idea what your doing or what your trying to accomplish.  We all desire to help you, we desire you to feel well again, we all would like for one another to feel well again.  

Your not giving yourself or meds a chance to work for you, nor do you listen to the advice of knowledgable staff at the forum.  

Take a step back, relax, give your system some time to balance.  Or your going to have rough day's, along with good.  But the key is patience and allowing your body to heal after being sick.  Wishing you well on your journey.  

    

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Avatar_f_tn
Are you really taking the medication as your supposed to?

I know you were dismissed once for self medicating, so i have to ask...

No offense, but to me in reading your post through out the years " you seem to NOT want to get better". Forgive me if I am wrong..
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1139187_tn?1355710247
I was put on a compound after failed attempts at 7 months of erfa.  Since being on the compound, my tsh has gone from .96  to now 115.  I feel the dementia of a 85 year old man.   I went and sought the advice of a very wise endo here.  Why not?   Haven't gotten anywhere with my current dr. in 3 years.  She advised me to get off of the compound and try a commercial product.  She recommended levoxyl.   Before i would change to this, i wanted to do some homework.   Thats where I'm at.   sliding down the slippery slope.  
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1139187_tn?1355710247
and by the way,

I should be allowed to post informative questions without being chastised for asking them.   Why would i get yelled at for simply asking about a drug on here?  This is the thyroid forum, and it is a thyroid drug, correct?

If my posts seem to aggravate you so much, and you do not wish to answer them, with all due respect, just skip to the next question.   I won't be offended.  really!
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1797743_tn?1389217285
I take levothyroxine and have been on it since Oct 2012.  In that time I've had to adjust my dosage 3 times and feel it needs to be again. it can sometimes be a long road to get it right.  Something to consider is desiccated thyroids....I'm looking into them myself and have an appt with an Endo to discuss them.  The difference....Synthroid/Levothyroxine are only for one hormone...desiccated cover 5 thyroid hormones.  I'm reading a really good book on the subject called "Stop the Thyroid Madness"...you can do a search for it on Amazon.com or find all the info that's in it at a webpage by the same name....Good Luck!
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649848_tn?1357751184
You're more than welcome to post questions, but with your history, you might expect to be questioned.  

I don't think you were being chastised or yelled at.  We all wonder at the changes in your meds, because they really are hard to keep up with sometimes. We all really have tried our best to help you.

I've never done a lot of research on klonopin or ambien, but I do know they have their side effects; most prescription meds do. AJWS6 might be right.  Your other meds could be causing symptoms that you blame on thyroid issues.

We all have to ride out the rough times; that goes with the territory and you have to constantly be aware of side effects from other meds, etc.  For instance, I take a blood pressure med, which has a side effect of fatigue/tiredness.... that leaves the question - when I'm tired, is it because of my thyroid, my blood pressure med, I forgot to take my B12 shot, or the fact that I'm under enough stress to make a lot of people give up? It's all intertwined.

Patience is one of the most important aspects of thyroid treatment and even staying on a med for 7 months might not be enough.  I was on a T3 (fast acting) med for well over a year before my levels actually started changing much.

You have to give yourself time to get well.

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649848_tn?1357751184
FYI       Bruce has been, both, the desiccated route and STTM.
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1139187_tn?1355710247
I completely agree with you.  I could not agree more.   I have read sttm, i am a advid mentor to many people on the sttm web site.   I have learned a lot from sttm, but a lot of it i personally disagree with.  they tend to make a blanket statement for everyone on there, that is one thing i disagree with.  Mary Shomon, this site, and a couple others seem to be better since we all know that not one size shoe fits all people.


My current situation is very strange.   I was on erfa.  I was on it for 7 months.   I felt horrible.  I was thin and fragile.  The t3 in it hit me very hard, sometimes so hard i would have to lie down.   At the suggestion of some of my mentors including one very well known person on this board who i consider to be a "mentor"  i switched to t4 only.  I felt pretty good for about the first 4 weeks.  Then i started to gain weight and get really tired.   They checked my blood and found i was very hypo (won't go into details but at the time my tsh was 24 and my frees were bottomed)  so they raised me.   Then they checked me again, but this time my tsh was at 64 and my frees were even lower.    Then last week i was very tired and i started having some unusual issues i haven't had before - mainly with thirst and urination.  SO i went to see a doc since i swim a lot i thought maybe i had a urinary bug.  He checked my tsh and frees and this time my tsh was at 115 and he didnt tell me my frees (waiting for them to post).

So i consulted with my doctor via telephone in germany (she's there now).  She said we either need to increase the compound yet again (to almost 200 mg)  or to try a commercial product such as levoxyl.  

So again I'm at a cross road.  the compound doesn't seem to be getting into my cells.  SHe told me to either stay on the increased compound again or start on levoxyl.  My choice.  She would start me at 175 mg levoxyl.

So i came to this board to learn about this drug as i have never heard of it.

Put yourself in my shoes.  DO you stay on something that isn't working?  OR do you once again switch to something new?




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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Bruce, first off no one is chastising/yelling at you.  If you feel this way, my apologies.  Only stating facts.  I have sent you a pm,.  Wishing you well.  
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1139187_tn?1355710247
Does anyone take this?  why did you pick this over all the other synthetics?   Is there any advantage to this one over synthroid?  It seems like the older endos i talk to seem to prescribe this more than synthroid.  I was curious to know more about why they would pick this one.  I realize there are choices out there, and everyone is different.  I am just curious if anyone on the group takes it, and why?
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Avatar_m_tn
Bruce, do a search please.  Type Levoxyl in search box.  You'll be surprised what comes up :)
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649848_tn?1357751184
Some doctors will prescribe nothing but synthroid, others choose levoxyl, still others might choose something else.  The meds are pretty much equivalent, with the exception of the fillers/binders.

Right now, you're going by TSH again, which will get/keep you in trouble.

Have you thought about trying Tirosint, again?
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2192208_tn?1346529432
Although TSH may not mean much in a patient's eyes, it does have some weight, especially if it is as high as Bruce's...you will have some symptoms based on that number. What everyone needs to understand is: doc's obviously do not care about what the Free's say, i know for fact that mine does not because he doesn't  even test them! It's very frustrating when you try to get help because you feel like crap but are turned away based on your normal labs. We are only patient's and can do but so much. I had my TT in dec 09 and now i am on disability....go figure. I know that someone will say: it's not because of the TT but  beg to differ. Having a TT does not only affect your  thyroid function, it affects everything. in my oppinion, a little pill will not replace the functions that the thyroid once had.
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1139187_tn?1355710247
Hi Blsdnsvd.    Hope you are well my friend.    Here are my full labs

TSH 115   range .40-4.5
ft4   .5     .8-1.8
ft3   2.0      2.3-4.2

also i had another doctor run the same tests the next day (i was not made aware of this as it was part of a routine physical)   and everything was the same but my tsh was 91  not 115.
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Avatar_f_tn
I totally agree with you on doctors not going by Free's...Mine goes by TSH level. She did run the Free T3 & Thyroxine Free, however, I don't know why she bothered if she only upped the dosage on my T4 med even thought my T3 Free was at the lowest it could go....

Why are you on disability if you don't mind me asking?
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Avatar_f_tn
I will make it a third... I have gone to three drs who have only treated by TSH and my latest endo tests TSH and T4.  I absolutely have not been able to find a dr who tests or treats T3.  
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535882_tn?1396580285
wow!
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1139187_tn?1355710247
I can hardly function mentally most of the day.  I cant remember anything, I'm spaced out.  I am very anxious, and very tired most of the time.  i feel like i have a bad hangover most of the time i am awake.  Would you hire me?
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2192208_tn?1346529432
LOL at Bruce!  That sounds like me and then some! I'm sure that you recall some  of my older posts on here although i had to create a new profile  due to not being able to remember the old one nor my email address. I developed so many ailments after my TT, I had no choice. My anxiety is out of control, i cannot focus nor concentrate.I was diagnosed with RA which affects my daily affects my activities.That's just to name a couple.
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2192208_tn?1346529432
Hey Buddy,

I'm hangin in there. You know how that goes. The weather doesn't help although i  love summertime. Your labs are crazy! Are you still feeling good?
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Avatar_m_tn
I've been on a few different synthetics including levoxyl.. I think Doc's choose what they are getting promoted to endorse, unless the patient is educated enough to ask about others..

I have to say that i myself am sensitive to different brands.. I did well on Levoxyl for awhile "when i was first diagnosed, i was switched to synthroid due to insurance purposes and then switched to levothyroxine "again" due to insurance issues..

What i found is that my symptoms and my labs are very senstive to these changes and my doc even noticed the difference when i was switched back and forth.

the conclusion that i've found for myself is that generic is just that "generic" i myself don't believe that the generic version is as potent because when i'm on something other than name brand "synthroid" then i need a higher dosage to feel better.. It's the same concept as "you get what you pay for" if you pay for the more expensive brand "in my case" you get better quality and better results..

This has been my experience with different synthetic T4 meds.. My only option is T4 meds as well due to my insurance.. 7 years of "experiments" i have to conclude that "synthroid" has been more consistent in keeping me feeling better at the lowest dosage possible because in my personal experience it is better quality than any other synthetic T4 med..

Again.. this has been my experience and my opinion about it..

Hope this helps :)
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1139187_tn?1355710247
Hashigirl -  did you eventually adjust to the changes>?  what are you taking now?    the different between the generic and the brand was $2  LOL
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes i did eventually adjust to the changes.. If i was on levothyroxine then i had to bump, bump, bump.. until i felt better and saw any improvement in symptoms.. I found that when i switched to "name brand synthroid" i felt better and no bump bump bump..

I was on name brand synthroid for 2 years "symptoms free" when my insurance switched me to generic levothyroxine" my labs and my symptoms went crazy and this is after i was stable on synthroid for 2 years.. I am now back on name brand synthroid "with a lot of fighting my insurance" and just now getting back on track..

All of my symptoms came back and my labs went crazy "coincidentally" after being stable on synthroid and then switching to levothyroxine.. My doc didn't believe me until she saw the sudden change in "labs" that proved it..

I have to be bumped on Synthroid now "which i believe would have happened anyway due to "female" hormonal changes anyway.. but i again have to conclude that i have been more stable with less symptoms on name brand synthroid than any other T4 med..

I'm currently at 137mcg of synthroid and i'm heading towards 150mcg due to my symptoms appearing again.. But for me personally, i will never try to change synthetic T4 again just because of my personal experience..

I think if i was on a generic i could feel good but i would need a higher dosage to feel that than with generic.. It's the quality of the brand..

It's like laundry detergent.. If you buy always save laundry soap then your clothes don't get clean and smell good unless you use twice as much, but if you buy TIDE you use like half a cup and you get the results you want..

It's the same with me personally with T4 meds.. name brand synthroid is like TIDE and levoxyl or any other generic form is like "always save"..  

This is my personal experience with T4 meds and i hope this helps you...  
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Avatar_m_tn
I have to also ask: The first thing you have to eliminate is wether or not you are a "normal" T4 to T3 converter?? If you are not converting T4 to T3 than there is NO T4 only med that's going to help you..

this comes from your labs.. What i found is that my TSH, FT4 ad FT3 are in perfect harmony.. If my TSH is high than my FT4 and FT3 are low.. When my TSH is low than my FT4 and FT3 are high.. This is "normal" circumstances and tells you that you are converting well...

If your TSH is low and your FT3 levels are low then that means you might need to supplement with T3 meds as well as FT4.. "this is not the case for me" which is why T4only meds work for me.. That is the first step...
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1139187_tn?1355710247
well right now nothing is converting into anything so its hard to tell anything  LOL
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Avatar_m_tn
well you have to post your most recent lab results to get any idea of what's going on? do you have your most recent labe?
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Avatar_f_tn
Some misconceptions here...

First of all, you cannot confuse Levoxyl with levothyroxine.  Levoxyl is a brand name drug.  If you are prescribed Levoxyl, you get the same drug from the same company (King Pharmaceuticals) just like you get Synthroid from Abbott Labs every time if you are prescribed Synthroid.  If you are prescribed levothyroxine, you get the generic version from whichever manufacturer your pharmacy feels like buying from   Note the brand names it the following link:

http://www.medicinenet.com/levothyroxine_sodium/article.htm

When I started seeing my endo, he insisted on a brand name drug.  I was switched from generic to Levoxyl on the exact same dose.  My labs went down that month, and I needed a slight increase in Levoxyl to have the same effect as the generic I'd been on.

What's really important in determining if you convert well or not is the balance of FT4 to FT3.  FT3 should be higher in its range (as a percentage of range) than FT4 is in its range.  If on T4 only meds, once FT4 reaches midrange, a lagging FT3 will indicate slow conversion.  Bruce's FT4 is so low, 0.5 (0.8-1.8),  that there is very little T4 available for conversion, so no conclusions can be drawn regarding conversion until FT4 levels are higher.
  
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Avatar_m_tn
My bad.. I thought levoxyl was also a generic form of name brand synthroid synthetic T4..

With that said.. I have had better results as in lab and symptom stability on name brand synthroid than with name brand levoxyl OR with any generic form of synthetic T4 med..

The way you find out if you are converting is by comparing your symptoms to your labs.. The only reason i know that i can convert well is because my labs and my symptoms dictate the results.. it's the only way to know.

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649848_tn?1357751184
Bruce's levels are posted above, in this thread. Apparently, you didn't read it all or you would have seen them, and as goolarra noted, the FT4 is so low, there's nothing to convert, so conversion is irrelevant at this time.
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Avatar_m_tn
you are correct.. I did not read the entire thread and was only commenting on the original question about the difference between synthetic T4 meds..

if we compare a "normal" converter.. This was mine..

TSH: 102
FT4: 0.1
FT3: 1.9

Until my dosage was increased and i noticed how my TSH went down and my FT4 and FT3 went up then i didn't know how i was converting..

I recommend being on your meds for atleast 6 weeks and then have repeat labs to see how your levels fluctuate.. That is the only way to find out what you need to do..
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649848_tn?1357751184
Good idea to read the whole thread, before jumping in.  There was nothing said about difference in synthetic T4 meds.  Bruce asked specifically about Levoxyl.

We can't consider Bruce a "normal" converter, because he has nothing to convert.
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Avatar_m_tn
Will do going forward Barb..

Levoxyl worked well for me for the first year in diagosis... After that i have only found stability on synthroid.. as a "normal" converter..

Until you can post labs after at least 6 weeks of treatment then it's hard to determine if you are a "normal" converter Bruce..  :)
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1139187_tn?1355710247
Thanks for everyones help.

Hashigirl1972

how long were you on meds when the above labs were drawn?  Those are worse than mine.   what are your labs like now?
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Avatar_m_tn
That is EXACTLY how I feel every day.  I'm on Levoxyl 150 mcg but have been all over the board since 2002 from 187 to 100 mcg.....no endo has been able to get it "right" and keep it stable for more than a few months at a time.  I have bottles full of different levels of Levoxyl that I have been on and have had to change mid-way through the dose....I'm very frustrated and confussed.  I have been out of work since 11/14/11 because I can't focus, not able to concentrate or comprehend whats going on and I have NO energy/desire to get out of bed.....but I dont sleep more than 3 1/2 -4 hrs a night and sometimes I go for 2 or 3 days with NO sleep.  Now I phoned in a refill for my Levoxyl and my Pharmacist tells me that the manufacturor of Levoxyl is not producing it at this time and it may be awhile before they do!!!!  What do I do now....I'm lost and so confussed and frustrated....it's about time to give up!!!!!!  What good does it do, anyway!?!????
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Avatar_f_tn
First, you need to contact your doctor to get a new script.  Synthroid is still available as are generics.

Please post the lab results from the tests your doctor has ordered.  I'll bet he's dosing you based on TSH alone (even if he is ordering other tests).  Include reference ranges with your results as they vary lab to lab.
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Avatar_m_tn
Enen though I had my thyroid radiated in 2002, and I get my blood drawn at least 1 or 2 times a year...I dont understand what you just asked me....I have also suffered multiple concussions in the past several years and have Post Concussive Syndrome and am not sure what I have done or not!  Please tell me what EXACTLY to ask for and I will post to you.  Thanks Goolarra!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I am hoping this group can help me...I stubbled onto it by accident...I was looking for info to tell my doctor about why she should switch me to anything other than Levoxyl......  if there is anyone with ideas or help...I welcome your comments/suggestions.  This is an up to date website, right???
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, this is an up-to-date website.  We're all commenting "live".  We're all thyroid patients, not medical professionals, and we just have our own experiences and those we read from others to go on.  We're all volunteers, too.  Sometimes I think we do a lot more research than your basic doctor...

So, it sounds like we should start at the beginning.  I'll explain a little to you, post my comments, and you can ask questions if you have any.  If not, I'll go on to explain further.

FREE T3, FREE T4 and TSH are the three basic tests (thyroid panel) that your doctor should be ordering EVERY time you have blood work.  All three should be used, but many doctors think that TSH (which is actually the least reliable of the three and correlates least with symptoms) is the be-all and end-all in thyroid testing.  They couldn't be more wrong.  TSH is a pituitary hormone and subject to the influences of many factors.  It's an indirect measure of thyroid status.

One of the things that can throw TSH off so that it's basically useless is thyroid meds.  Once on meds, TSH becomes even less reliable.

FREE T3 (FT3) and FREE T4 (FT4) are the actual thyroid hormones.  They give a direct measure of your thyroid hormones.

When considering a meds adjustment, FT3, FT4, TSH and, most of all, symptoms have to be considered.  When all of these aren't considered, we often see what you are describing...doctors yo-yo your dose back and forth with every little fluctuation in TSH, and you remain miserable.

Do you get copies of your lab reports when you have blood work?

The fault here may not be the Levoxyl that you are taking, but the doctor who is inept at administering it.  Many of them haven't a clue.

If you have test results, we can take a look at those and see what your doctor is ordering.  Please post them if you have them and include reference ("normal") ranges.  Ranges vary lab to lab, so they have to come from your own report.  You'll find the range for each test somewhere near the result, often in parentheses.

What kind of a doctor is managing your meds?



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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the great information! No, I do not have copies of my blood work results and you are right...I believe all that gets ordered is a TSH & T4 results request. I will have to wait until next week to get the results from my doctors office as it is Saturday now & they are not open. I will be sure to get back to you and thanks again for the help!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Important information for patients: Voluntary recall of LEVOXYL

King Pharmaceuticals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer Inc, has initiated a voluntary recall of
LEVOXYL (levothyroxine sodium), which is used to treat hypothyroidism and certain types of goiter.

The company is taking this action after learning of complaints from pharmacists and patients of an uncharacteristic odor coming from LEVOXYL bottles. It was determined that the odor was caused by an oxygen-absorbing canister added to 100- and 1000-tablet pharmacy bottles to enhance the stability of the product. Pfizer conducted a careful health assessment of the situation and concluded that this odor is not likely to cause any adverse health consequences. However, the company discussed this situation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and decided, out of an abundance of caution, to voluntarily recall the product at the retail level. The company’s rigorous quality and compliance program includes an effective surveillance system that enabled it to quickly detect and respond to the odor-related issue.

Information taken from here: https://www.levoxyl.com/
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