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7991152 tn?1396061810

Is Synthroid & Levothyroxine the same?

I have been on thyroid hormone for 45 yrs.  I switched to a generic; levoxyl once for about 2 yrs and never want to do that again.  I didn't attribute it to the switch because me loosing my mind didn't happen immediately. I couldn't understand what was wrong, I felt like my mind was not there, not me, crazy.  Then read in a pill book that levoxyl had difference dosages of ingredients then Synthroid did.  I remember there being significant differences.  I got back on Synthroid and immediately felt better.  That was about 5 years ago.   Two days ago, I pick up my prescription get home and it is generic. I am almost positive it said, Levothryroxine, which 90 days cost $38.00.  Well, today I go back and tell them I need my "Synthroid"  and please don't change to generic. Ok, no problem they said, and charged me $106.00 for 90 days.  When I get home its in a NEW bottle, that says, "Synthroid (then underneath in small letters) Levothyroxine Sodium Tablets, USP".   What is this? Is Synthroid, Levothyroxine have I been taking this one all along and pharmacy doesn't explain and charges me triple the cost?  Please any insite would be appreciated before I go to pharmacy and go off.  Thanks.
6 Responses
1756321 tn?1547095325
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of generic levothyroxine made by a number of different pharmaceutical companies. The various brand name and generic tablets of levothyroxine may differ in how much levothyroxine they contain; how much of the levothyroxine is absorbed into your body; and, how much levothyroxine circulates in your body.

If your doctor has switched you from a brand name levothyroxine – such as Synthroid – to a generic version, you may experience symptoms of too much medication or not enough medication."

Excerpt from About article: Levothyroxine: Is there a difference between brand name and generic versions?
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
All Synthroid is levothyroxine sodium, but not all levothyroxine sodium is Synthroid.  

There are several "brands" of levothyroxine sodium... Synthroid and Levoxyl are the 2 main ones.  Then there are also several manufacturers of generic levothyroxine sodium.  

All manufacturers are allowed a certain "tolerance", meaning their products can vary by a certain amount.  Some argue that generics are not as good as brand names.  While there may some variance, an 88 mcg pill should contain 88 mcg levothyroxine +- the allowed tolerance.

One of the biggest differences is the fillers/binders/dyes that each manufacturer use, which some people react to.  The other big difference, as you found out, is the cost, which will be higher for a brand name than for generic.

Because it takes levothyroxine approximately 4-6 weeks to reach full potential is your blood and the T4 circulating in your system is that which you took a couple weeks ago, any immediate reaction would be caused by fillers/binders.

Some of us do just as well or better on generic levo as on name brands.
144586 tn?1284666164
Synthroid is a brand name. The formulation has been changed several times over the years. The FDA site has information on the history of this product.
Avatar universal
Levoxyl is not a generic.  It is a brand name, just like Synthroid is.  It comes from the same manufacturer every time you refill your script.  Think of them like Coke and Pepsi.  Both are brand names.  Both are colas.  Some people like one better than the other.  All the other "colas" you can buy are like generic levothyroxine.  Though all are cola, each has some difference ingredients in it, like dyes, etc., depending on who makes them.

As Barb said, brand name versus generic comes with a huge price increase.  However, as far as thyroid meds are concerned, different people react differently to the inactive (fillers and binders) ingredients in the different tablets.  So, the advice is always "if you find something that works for you, stick with it".

You've already had a bad experience with generics.  I guess you have to decide if it's worth $68 to possibly repeat that bad experience.  
Avatar universal
I should have added that if you have your doctor rewrite your script you could save half the cost of either script.  Ask your doctor to write your script for double the strength, e.g. if you take 100 mcg, ask him to write the script for 200 mcg, with instructions to take 1/2 a pill per day.  45 pills will then last you 90 days, and you will only pay half as much for the 45 pills as you paid for the 90.  
Avatar universal
My doctor changed me to Levoxyl from Synthroid and I had such a allergic reaction , needless to say back on Synthroid.   I am allergic to the fillers In meds.. My body just cannot handle generics if switched from name brand.  
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649848 tn?1534633700
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