Just a note to support all those who have warned against generic vs. name brand thyroxine. I posted here a couple weeks ago thinking my dosage was off only to find out the generic substitute was the culprit all along. Back on Synthroid and, most important, back to normal.
Cold extremities, inability to sweat even after strenuous exercise, allergies, brittle fingernails, aching joints(although my Dr. says that has nothing to do with it). Pretty much classic symptoms of hypothyroid. It seemed I couldn't get enough thyroxine in my system. Kept increasing dosage thinking I would ultimately get to the right level. I am not saying this applies to everyone and I was refusing to accept that generic was not "as good as" name brand. I am now a believer. Having said that, I will probably still buy Costco brand Ibuprofen. ;-)
If levothyroxine is working for you, great! For many it works beautifully. For my family and me we *have* to be on Synthroid or we get very hypo. Others can't take Synthroid. It's all crazy and many will tell you it's all in our heads but I disagree - some of us are very sensitive to specific medications.
I looked back over some stuff in my folder and I was on synthroid several years back but my insurance company - for whatever reason, wanted me on generic. I do remember now that my dosage had to be increased when i went on that - but that was the only difference. Every body is different - but I am glad to have that info in case it is ever needed!
LOLOLOLOL - i know what you mean about the meds - xanax saves me during PMS!!!!! ;.)
As I stated, I have always assumed generics were "equivalent" and never had any reason to question that belief until my experience with generic Synthroid. It may just be the brand my druggist carries. I, like you, will not try it again. Life is way to short, especially without a Thyroid. )
Cheryl, what drug store was that? I work for an insurance company and we just switched from Caremark to our own pharmacy benefits manager but we still use Caremark for our 90 day mail supply. My company is really pushing generics and is even doing a $0 copay for generics for the next couple of months so if I could get a 90 day supply of synthroid for $0 that would be great!
Generally I don't mind generics of drugs but there are a few that I am brand specific about (tylenol & excedrin). Other than that I haven't had many problems with generics. But there are some meds (including seizure meds) that just *don't* work the same as the brand name, no matter what the drug companies say. They might be metabolized a different way or have different fillers in them which alter the way they work. According to my surgeon even among synthroid & all its generics the bioavailability of the T4 is different so she suggested I start with 1 brand & try it for 6 months with dose changes before switching to a different brand because the dose for the 2nd med will need to be different from the first one anyway.
I know that the fillers/ compounds/preservatives that are added to drug preperations are totally at the decreation of the Pharm. Co. and there are NO established protocols regarding these. Thats why meds vary so much. If I am allergic to say Synthroid because of a component within the drug by switching to another manufacturers brand it may be Okay because they use filler A instead of synthroid filler B which reacts differently in my body.. Does this make sense to everyone? It is not so much the actual hormone in the drug but rather all the extra components that cause the variations...Regards
Just the other day I called my pharmacy line to ask about benefits of generic vs. namebrand Synhroid and they told me they DO NOT CARRY the generic~~~~~I guess not much calling for it .. this is the 90day mail order division of Caremark who is a huge insurance carrier for pharmacy benefits! They told me to have the Endo script "generic" ok but since they don't carry the generic they will FILL THE NAMEBRAND @ GENERIC PRICING .. so that would be $10 vs. $25 .. that is a help and so glad she "tipped" me off on them not carrying the generic.
I read online to use only the namebrand .. generics could produce different outcomes ? First time I've read anything like that.
Just to be prevent any confusion for anyone reading this thread: Synthroid is not different from levothyroxine. It is one of several "brand name" levothyroxine pills--I take Levothroid, which is another.
If a person is taking generic levothyroxine and doing well, the "doing well" situation may not last. It seems to be difficult to manufacture levothyroxine with a high level of uniformity. Even the brand names have had less than a perfect track record, but they do seem to be a better bet than any of the generic brands.
The risk with a generic is having a return of your unique set of hypothyroid symptoms--whatever those symptoms might be--even though you are taking the same dose of levothyroxine as always, or at least you think you are. If there are ups and downs in potency from one batch of pills to another, then there will be ups and downs in the dose you are receiving.
Although ordinarily I strongly favor the generic version of anything that is prescribed for me, my endocrinologist convinced me that where levothyroxine is concerned, I should take one of the brand names. He said that it does not matter which brand; just stick with the same brand over time, and if something causes me to need to switch to another brand, have my TSH level reassessed a few weeks later.
I am writing with a word of support for something GravesLady said as this thread unfolded: "The issue with the replacement hormone is CONSISTENCY. Most of us do not consistently eat exactly the same thing day in and day out for breakfast. That being the case, waiting an hour before eating makes sense. Otherwise, the amount of the drug absorbed could fluctuate on a daily basis, making it difficult for you to regulate on a single dose of hormone." I agree entirely that taking levothyroxine (whether you are taking a brand name of it or a generic) on an empty stomach makes sense if it does not cause a person any problems to take the drug that way.
When taking the medication on an empty stomach DOES cause a problem of some sort, the sufferer should know that taking the medication with food is a reasonable option. The food will not change the way the drug works mechanically. A high level of self-discipline is needed, however, because GravesLady is right. If you are not careful, you can create fluctuations from one day to the next in how much levothyroxine is absorbed. It is therefore important to eat the same amount of food of the same sort before every medication dose. If a person does not naturally eat the same thing day in and day out for breakfast (I have to admit to being a fuddy-duddy who did just that, even before my hypothyroidism was diagnosed), forcing oneself to become consistent in that way is vitally important.
This is an important addition to what I have said in recent days about taking medication with food. I am grateful to GravesLady for causing me to notice that when I stressed consistency, I did not go quite far enough.
Thanks a bunch. I don't normally use Caremark for my 90 day supply meds but I'll definitely do it now. My husband picked up our daughter's prescription vitamins the other day and was amazed when we didn't have to pay anything. I told him about the $0 copay for generics until 3/31 (and the corresponding billboard in town); he's so excited he's rummaging through the house see what other generics we can refill before this program runs out. :-)
Recently my thyroid dose became too high. My doctor now has me taking 150 mg on Saturday Sunday Tuesday and Thursday and 75 mg on Monday Wednesday and Friday.
(Previously I was taking 162.5 mg each day.)He plans to do blood-work after 30 days on this schedule to see if I'm back in range.
Has anyone any info on this type agenda? I haven't been able to find any reference to varying dosage in this manner.
I, too am taking a varying dose of Synthroid. I am taking .112 and .125 on alternating days. I realize this is long past your posting date, but just thought I would add this bit of info. I also cannot take the generic form. I tried it last year and became extremely "hyperthyroid" and am actually now having great difficulty getting back to "normal", even though I am back on the brand name. IBLeeah
If anyone comes back to this thread... So if I have this right, the generic for synthroid is levothyroxine. I was on synthorid samples from the doctor for the first 6 weeks and as he increased them it was to much but now I have the generic and am taking the same amount that was to much on the synthroid. Ok thank you for letting me recap that. I have now been on the generic for 12 weeks I am going for lab test to check levels. I want to go back to synthroid to see if I feel better should I tell my doctor? I am afraid of going hyper.?????
thanks for lettting put that out there.
I was switched to generic thyroid recently.I was trying to save some money b/c my insurance co pays are so high, and every dollar counts. anyway, after 2 months on generic thyroid, my TSH was 4 something. ( don't have the exact figure, just over 4). I was stunned.I have taken synthroid since 94 and never had a TSH over 2.5.I am starting back on synthroid today. The generic is worthless if it does not work.
I was on levothyroxin for 2 years and my psychiatrist switched me to synthroid. I immediately felt better. I had extreme nervousness amongst other symptoms and they stopped almost immediately. I had asked the endo for the whole two years to put me on synthroid as I had taken it years ago and had no symptoms with it. linda
Anyone ever had an allergic reaction (rash all over) from taking Levothyroxine?? Didn't get the rash until after the first month? Doc said it may or may not have been from the Levothyroxine and maybe I will never know for sure? Doc put me on Synthroid now and I'm only in my 2nd week so I was wondering if I'll get a rash from it also? Just wondering if anyone else had this reaction?
I don't know about the rash problem, but it may come from fillers used to make the pills.
What I know about generic thyroid meds is this;
Synthroid, Levoththroid, Levoxyl, and all name brand forms of Levothyroxine are held to stricter manufacturing guidelines. If the label says 100mcg, the allowance of error is ten percent plus or minus, including the strength at the expiration date.
With generics, the allowance for error is plus or minus 25%. The other problem with generics is the fact that several companies manufacture generic Levothyroxine, and each company uses different fillers.
The pharmacy may be giving you a generic from company X for several months, and then their supplier sends them generic Levothyroxine from company Y, and suddenly you are taking a different drug, without even knowing it.
Name brand drugs are more desireable for conditions where a few micrograms difference may make you ill, and different fillers give some people problems.
Thyroid disease is hard enough to control without taking drugs of different strengths every time you get your perscription refilled.
i have been on synthroid for maybe 5 years........since feb i have been having severe muscle pain........we have not been able to find a reason for this.i read some time ago that abbott changed their filler and many people were having problems with synthroid.......at the time i started with the pain my neice in another state also was started on synthroid and had a severe toxic reaction.and guess what? she had the same symptoms i am still having.........can it be that the filler was indeed changed? is there anyone out there with the same problems?.........there are days i can hardly walk,days my arms hurt so bad i can't do anything.........i really am curious if others are experiencing similar ptoblems.i have no insurance........so i can't keep running to the Dr .for testing.i even cut down on the disage on my own,,,,and i am actually sleeping better.
Do you know when they changed it? I've been on synthroid my whole life (23 yrs) and never have taken anything else. Since March I have had problems with severe leg weakness/ pain in both legs. Going to a nueromuscular dr in early august due to these symptoms. The only difference I have is my arms have not been affected as yours have. Do your legs/ arms feel like dead weights at times? Very curious!
i started having weakness in arms and pain in my legs in february.late february.........and yes i had the dreaded heaviness,but only in the legs tho as i've had a previous stroke and i did have that prior to this but it really got worse since feb.(i normally only had the heaviness if i were tired)......... now i am at wit's end as i hurt so bad all the time.........my neice quit having any symptoms affter she stopped the thyroid.i would like to try another brand of synthroid....no generics...........but i hesitate to do so and throw my thryoid out of wack.i can't remember when i heard that abbott changed their filler but i read it in here ,that i do know.and i know i read another support groups board and it was mentioned that many were having these problems too.
I have seen some on this community change from generic to name-brand and feel much better. I am on name-brand w/o any side effects other than anxiety when dosing it too high but that is med related not filler related.
If anybody has info on the change in fillers I'm all ears!
I was having alot of muscle weakness and pain. I couldn't really tell whether it was joint or muscular. It just hurt! Anyway, I came upon a message board about Synthroid users having this problem and someone said to take your Synthroid at bedtime. I started this and about 99% of my pain has disappeared! I have flareups occasionally, but I can handle that. I had gone to a chiropractor (who told me I was dehydrated), had xrays done of my back and neck. I was soooooo miserable. I was taking prescription pain killers and muscle relaxants or motrin just about every day. It took me about a year to figure this out. Try it and see what happens.
i have been taking my synthroid at night for over a year now........they say that by taking at night your body absorbs more of the med. with this being said,i cut back on my dosage to see what would happen.the muscle pain is down considerably.but i also quit eating at any restraunts that use this new refined soybean oil....and you know soybean is a no no when on thyroid meds.....so far i have found only chik-fil-a does not use it.i only go there because my elderly father likes their food.since he refuses to eat but will eat there i have no choice........i have resorted to keeping a log and if need be i will cut back more as i feel much better other than some muscle pain at times.
i neglected to answer your prviuos question on whether my arms feel like dead weights at times...the answer is no.!!! never have,just that hurt awful in upper muscles.........and it started on outer part of arm then went to inner,,,now still hurting but it's not preventing me from doing ordinary chores like it did before............i have continued with cutting back on my thyroid dose,which is my choice and those who would do this should consult your Dr...........i have no insurance right now,a new Dr i cannot trust either.In 6 mos i will be on medicare and have a new Dr lined up that i know is very knowledgeable.basically i am at the lowest dosage possible right now and i am doing much better..........it's odd but i take it 2 days ,then off one............and on the 4th day i feel great,very little pain if any..........by day 3 in the cycle i am at about 3+ pain level....after documanting this i really feel it is the med..and must be the filler..........as i feel fine...other than severe pain on day 3. i am actually sleeping better on lower dose and i now can do some work around the house i could not do a month ago...
I have been on synthroid for years & dr. orders regular blood tests to be sure dosage is right. My latest test indicated slight hypothyroid so she raised the dosage, but prescribed levothyroxine (generic for synthroid). I came on here to see what everyone has to say about it. From reading all the posts I am going to request the prescription be written for synthroid. I do NOT want any generic. It's so important to keep throid in balance and worth any extra cost.
LEG PAIN...I have it badly, but have had 4 back surgeries and attributed the leg pain to my bad back...I figured it was the nerves in the bad back causing leg pain. When I read about some of you with leg pain & heaviness in the legs (I feel like I'm walking in wet cement & can hardly lift each leg to take a step) .... I am definitely going to try your idea of taking synthroid at night. I've always taken it in the morning before eating or drinking anything (dr. recommended routine). I'm anxious to see if taking it at night makes a difference.
Thanks to all of you for taking the time to post on here.....
Sounds like going back to the Synthroid might be something for you to work out with your dr.
I have read about the effectiveness of taking the med at night too. That was an option my dr gave me but did caution that it needs to be taken on an empty stomach, several hours after eating. So that's something to think about. I found the idea of scheduling dinner in order to give time to take the med and get to bed at a reasonable hour too much, so I opted out. However, each of us is different.
I hope you find what's best for you and that it works.
I had some sorta weird rash while on levo. It was only on my legs. I was okay with synthroid, but when I ran out of samples they put me on generic. It didn't work so well lol! It couldve been a filler who knows:)
Question....If I am currently taking Levothyroxine and I just recently found out that I am pregnant...do I necessarily have to change to Synthroid? Prior to me getting pregnant, my doctor told me that I needed to let him know 6 months prior to me getting pregnant, so that he could switch me from Levothyroxine to the brand specific Synthroid. I am just curious, if I am normal on Levothyroxine then why would I need to change. I would assume he would just need to increase or decrease my dosage as my pregnancy progresses. Let me know what you think. Thanks!
One and a half years ago, at 61 years old, I was started on generic levothyroxine 50 mcg. Since then, I have had very loose BMs several times each day with occasional diarrhea. For the first 61 years of my life I had one regular BM once a day or every other day and, if anything, tended toward occasional constipation. I have never taken Synthroid, only the generic. I recently had a colonoscopy, biopsy, blood work, and stool testing done by a Gastroenterologist and all tests were negative--not even any polyps found. Has anyone else suffered from this problem with the generic? If so, was the problem solved by switching to Synthroid?
i am really glad i found this board. i am just about at my wits end. i have been on so many different strengths of the levothyroxine that it has been ridiculous. i asked my doctor to put me on armour thyroid, but there are so many issues with pharmacies keeping it in stock that she did not want to do that. i remembered to ask her specifically to fill my prescription with actual synthroid as i remember feeling better on it. i have been having having difficulty with balance mainly because of weakness in legs and just an overall sense of being off balance, especially in open spaces such as airports or just outside. i even broke out in a very horrible rash on my chest. i took my first dose of 100 mcg synthroid today and i am sure hoping to see a change for the better very soon.
I was put on generic and had many strong symptoms of hyper thyroidism occur. Heat sensitive, nervousness,etc, increase pulse, trembleing.
Went back to synthroid and it was fine again. My doctor said lots of trouble with generic l thyroxine
My daughter has been on levothyroxine for 2+ years. Every 4-5 months she has an episode of suspected intestinal blockage. She has severe abdominal pain either in her side or, more recently, just under her rib cage. Four times we have had an xray done and been told there appears to be blockage. Solution given: Miralax for 2 wks. This, of course, creates loose somewhat unexpected bowel movements. I think the anxiety worrying about having an urgent bowel issue while at school or on the bus makes this solution a terrible one. Should a 10yr old really need to take a softener so regularly? We have watched her diet and had her only eat soft foods to see if it helped. Did not.
It has been suggested that the generic synthroid may be the culprit.
Thoughts? Can using generic synthroid cause intestinal blockage or gas?
I'd be more inclined to suspect that her thyroid meds and levels of thyroid hormones are inadequate, resulting in her remaining somewhat hypo, with resultant hypo symptoms that include constipation. Does she exhibit any other hypo symptoms? What thyroid tests are used to monitor her thyroid hormone levels? What medication is she taking and how much daily? If you will post her thyroid test results and their reference ranges shown on the lab report it will help members assess this possibility and advise further regarding the possible need for different tests and increased medication.
i am just beginning synthroid but I have have the variance issue with other drugs. I recently was overdosed on a generic that I had been taking for over 30 years. unbelieveable how things can change overnight. My doc did not want to take me off my meds in fear that i would have a seizure. my level was up 25% more than ever. slightly above the norm scale but 25% up for MY norm. I decreased my meds and took 2 on alternating days and 3 on opposing days to drain the excess out of my system. It is working but it takes time. this may be your doctors way of helping you get normal again without hurting you physically. I noticed the dosages were lower. trust him but clarify with him about it. Good luck
I took the generic for 3 months, I couldn’t really tell a difference, 3 days ago I started taking the brand name Synthroid and my friend at work mentioned to me how energetic I seemed. She wondered what I was taking. I am convinced that the brand name works better. I feel better.
I have been on the generic for just over 4 months now, after switching doctors due to retirement from the military. My normal TSH measurement was in the 3-5 range, everything seemed fine, no hypo symptoms. Just had my TSH tested, its 350 now, and my cholesterol is very high as well, which is of course another symptom of the hypothyroidism, or is for me anyway. The doc wants to send me to an endocrinologist, but I'm going to insist on trying the synthroid again first as that seems to be the only thing that has changed. I'll let you all know
The main problem with generics in the case of thyroid hormone replacement is the accuracv of the generic. These drugs are measured in mcg - 1 millionth of a gram. The generics can be quite inaccurate +/- 20 mcg. Intolerable for most.
My daughter picked up her new RX a couple of weeks ago and didn't notice that it was generic levox vs. her normal synthroid. I called the doctor once I saw that and asked if she was supposed to have the generic. He said no, but he forgot to mark the box that says "no generic"...at anyrate, she developed this intense facial rash this weekend - itchy bumpy face, neck and ears. I am pretty sure it is the levox, as that is the only RX she is taking! Thank God she has a new synthroid RX at the pharmacy!!
Who did you speak to at Caremark. I had to argue with the pharmacist there to get the real deal that my doctor prescribed with no substitutions.
Am now on synthroid since levoyxl recall (1 month) and am feeling so much
better, no more exhaustion.
One of the ingredients of Synthroid brand levothyroxine is acacia. Acacia is a family of shrubs and trees, and it is used as an ingredient in some medications to provide form and shape to tablets. Some people who have pollen allergies and hay fever -- especially to tree and grass pollens -- may also have an allergy to acacia, including when it's an ingredient in a medication. So, for some thyroid patients with allergies, taking Synthroid can cause allergic symptoms, including mood changes, runny nose, watery eyes, and congestion, among other symptoms.
Also contains lactose
I have been on Synthroid for 2 years now...forgot them when I went to DR, which was no problem but upon my return, I almost went nuts trying to get back on . Will NEVER do that again. I too, am sore all over but just thought this was normal for my age. (67)I take mine in the morning on an empty stomach and don't eat before noon. I am, however, considering taking them at night before bed now. My friend takes the same pill but with NO warning about food. ??? These comments are all so different but then I was told some people have a difficult time finding out what is good for them. I gained a lot of weight leading up to discovering my problem but now that I am taking that pill, I can' t seem to lose. What else is new? Tootsjps
Are you sure that your dosage is correct? What symptoms do you have besides weight gain? Please post your thyroid related test results and reference ranges shown on the lab report. Also, if tested for Vitamin D, B12 and ferritin, please post those as well.
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