As I’m on my journey to finding the right medication and dosage to manage my Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism, I’m learning more about the different medication options out there, and there are more than I realized.
Levothyroxine sodium is a synthetic version of T4 and is the main medication used to treat hypothyroidism. Brand names include Unithroid, Synthroid, Levothyroid and Levoxyl, you can also get generic Levothyroxine.
Liothyronine sodium is a synthetic version of T3. Name brands include Cytomel and Triostat.
Liotrix is a synthetic combination of T3 and T4. Brand names include Euthroid and Thyrolar.
Natural thyroid is also known as desiccated thyroid or thyroid extract and is made from dried and powdered pig thyroid glands. This is the only ‘natural’ thyroid medication as it is not synthetic. Brand names include Armour Thyroid, Nature-throid*, WP Thyroid* and Westhroid.
*As of September 5th 2020, Nature-Throid and WP Thyroid have been recalled due to sub potency. RLC Labs, Inc issued a voluntary recall of a total of 483 lots of Nature-Throid® and WP Thyroid® in all strengths, all counts of product within current expiry to the consumer level.
(Can we talk about natural thyroid medication for a minute. Total sidebar. What? Huh? Pig thyroid? Wow. I’ve heard people say that they are on or switching to Armour, I had no idea what it was until this post. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Can vegans take it? Maybe that’s something we should talk about. Anyway, back to the actual post…)
Of course, finding the right medication is an important part of treatment, but it is only one part of the process. The other thing to consider is dosage, which will be determined by your health care provider. You may not get the intended results with the first medication or dosage you get prescribed, I didn’t. My first prescription was for 25mcg of generic levothyroxine, and while it did help at first, after a year, my TSH has increased. Now I’m on 50mcg of Unithroid. So it may take some trial and error before you find the right treatment for you.
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your health care provider