Our team of medical experts are ready to help

Your questions answered


Fred asked...

hospital Consultant agrees with me that I need better grade of thyroxin but evry pharmacy takes the view that they only get in the cheapest form of levothyroxine. When I found a source for natural dessicated thyroid - which would be cheaper than the thyroxine/liothyronine combination i take now he sidesteps prescribing the natural extract. What do i do when i was fine for 10 years UNTIL Gp changed the brand of levothyroxine. ? Can I make polite complaint to NHS or do i have to go way of private prescription?

  • mother-thermometer-doctor-at-hand

    Do you need to see a GP ASAP?

     

    Would you like to speak with a doctor by video or phone at a time that suits you?

    Our Doctor@Hand service, delivered by Doctor Care Anywhere, is available on a pay-as-you-go basis with prices starting at just £60 per consultation*.

    Quote AXA20 to receive a 20% discount. (* Prices subject to change.)

The Answer

According to Thyroid UK natural desiccated thyroid hormone (NDT) - 'Armour', manufactured by Forest Pharmaceuticals, 'Nature-Thyroid' and 'Westhroid', both manufactured by RLC Labs, and 'Thyroid' manufactured by Erfa Canada Inc. - can be prescribed by their GP on a “named patient” basis.

Your GP may not be aware so you may wish to direct him or her to the Thyroid UK website.
http://www.thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/treatment/where_to_get_desiccated.html

Your GP may have to work out the dose you need so this may involve blood tests to check your thyroid function. 

It is a good idea to note that if your GP wishes to prescribe NDT on a ‘named patient’ basis he or she will need to specify the brand and the strength of the NDT he/she wishes to prescribe.This means that if your GP prescribes Armour thyroid then he must state ‘Armour thyroid 60mg’.


Please note that each grain of 60mg NDT contains Levothyroxine 38micrograms and Liothoronine 9mcrograms.
You should be aware that if you change to Nature-Throid or Westhroid your prescription must state the tablets as 65mg and not 60mg. If this is not correct on your prescription, your pharmacist will not dispense the medicine.

If your GP changes your prescription, he may also need to write another letter stating that the medicine is for hypothyroidism. Some doctors are now putting “natural desiccated thyroid” on the prescription, which may enable you to obtain any of the brands without keep having to get a letter from your GP.

The regular wholesalers your pharmacists uses is unlikely to supply NDT. They will have to order a supply from ‘specials’ or suppliers listed on the Thyroid UK website.


I contacted Idis  Pharma who informed me that although  currently have no supplies of Armour thyroid 60mg they are expecting some stock soon but they did not specify when.


I understand from your email that for the first 10 years your levels and condition was ‘fine’. It may be due to the brand of  Levothyroxine you were using, the brand of generic you were using or that  you may be due for a blood test to check the your thyroid function.

If you know the generic brand you received for the 10year period when you were well then your pharmacist can try and order that same brand and keep it in stock just for you. It will mean that you need to use that particular pharmacy at all times.

Just to make you aware Eltroxin is the original brand of Levothyroxine and is still available as tablets and liquids of varying strength. If this brand suits you, and may indeed have been the brand you used to have, your GP can prescribe it as Eltroxin.


Eltoxin, as far as I am aware is available through the regular wholesalers pharmacists use.

Eltroxin may be another option you could consider.

 

Newsletter sign up


Sign up to our monthly better health newsletter to receive updates on our latest health and wellbeing articles.


Sign up to newsletter