Tips on how to do desiccated thyroid sublingually

Though this was originally posted in 2009, it’s been updated to the present day and time!

The brand of Natural Desiccated Thyroid called Armour used to be easy to do sublingually, even if the official line was they didn’t make it that way. That means letting it dissolve under the tongue which can potentially make its way to the sublingual gland under the bottom of the mouth and more directly to the cells.

And patients liked that sublingual ability with Armour. It allowed them to work around the problem of swallowing desiccated thyroid several hours from having swallowed iron, estrogen or calcium–all which can bind ‘some’ of the thyroid hormones in your stomach.

It also helped those with digestive issues, since some of it may be bypassing the stomach.

But with the first newly formulated Armour in 2009, it became difficult. The pill became harder with less dextrose and more cellulose. It now fell into the ranks of all other desiccated thyroid pills, including Naturethroid and other good brands, as a more dense tablet.

Tips from patients on how to do sublingual

Even for those NDT brands which are made quite hard, below are tips from patients on how to continue doing desiccated thyroid sublingually. Let your doc know, too.

1) Some are adding a tiny touch of the contents of a Pixie Stix under their tongue. It’s flavored sugar in a straw, and the sugar seems to help the tablet dissolve sublingually through tissues under the tongue.

2) If you are using sublingual B12 lozenges to treat low B12, try adding it under the tongue with your desiccated thyroid. The action of the sublingual lozenge seems to move over to the thyroid tablet, say some.

3) Swish warm water in your mouth before you place the tablet under your tongue.

4) Crunch up the desiccated thyroid tablet before any of the above and before placing it all under your tongue.

Can’t I just swallow my NDT?

Definitely. You’ll just have to make sure you don’t also have a stomach full of iron rich foods, calcium or estrogen. Generally, it’s best to take your tablet away from any of the former, such as a two hour difference at the minimum.

*Have more sublingual ideas or experiences? Share it in the Comments section.

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Important note: STTM is an information-only site based on what many patients worldwide have reported in their treatment and wisdom over the years. This is not to be taken as personal medical advice, nor to replace a relationship with your doctor. By reading this information-only website, you take full responsibility for what you choose to do with this website's information or outcomes. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

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60 Responses to “Tips on how to do desiccated thyroid sublingually”

  1. Tonya Battistoni

    I’ve been taking Armour since 2008. I used to do it sublingual and it was amazing. Then Amour screwed us all when they changed the formulation. Flash forward to 2022 and now I’ve been prescribed Rybellus for my Type 2 diabetes. It has to be taken before all other meds and you have to eat a half hour after taking it or you will be sick. This poses a problem with the Armour. You cannot take them together. I’m going to try to take it sublingual again because there doesn’t seem to be much choice unless I try to take the Armour at night. Has anyone recently had good luck with sublingual?

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      FYI: It’s not that you “have to eat” 30 minutes later. It’s that you wait “at least” 30 minutes after taking it if you choose to eat.

      And the nausea is just a common side effect at first from this medicine directly.

      But if you do choose to eat 30 minutes or more later, armour is fine as long as what you’re eating does not contain calcium or iron or high fiber. Patients do fine with eggs, cereals with a non-calcium added substitute liquid, fruits, grits, veggies, etc along with armour,

  2. Grace

    Can I take my NP thyroid sublingually followed by my estrogen transbuccally or should I wait before taking the estrogen? If I should wait, how long should I wait before taking the estrogen after taking my thyroid medication?

  3. Jennifer Best

    Has anyone ever tried the levoxyl vaginally? I am extremely hypothyroid and am having trouble taken anything with t3 as it races my heart and all the rest are causing the area under my breast to swell badly and is very painful. My tsh is now 304 on a scale of .30-3.0 yes through the roof and I feel horrible. I need the meds but don’t know what to do. Thanks for any help.

  4. Edie Foss

    My insurance company started increasing the copay for Armour until it was up to $50, and a couple of years ago it had started out at under $20. They said that the price of the medication had not changed, but that they could charge more for it since it was becoming more popular….I was like WTH? So, my doc switched me to NP Thyroid, which my insurance company considers a generic for Armour. I actually like the NP better because it is sweet and dissolves easily under the tongue, and I never could get Armour to dissolve, even if I broke it up.

  5. Danny Heide

    Hi Janie,

    but even when you take the meds sublingual , it will still end up in the stomach once you swallow the dissolved stuff or is it already in the blood stream ? How fast are the hormones absorbed in the mouth and how long do you guys leave under the tongue before swallowing so it doesn’t get mixed up with what´s in the stomach?

  6. Nat

    I’ve been on Armour since 2010 and have steadily remained TSH less than 2. I realize the rest of the panel is more important for many identifiers but for me I know I feel well if I’m under TSH 2; like 1.5. Over the last few months I’ve felt fatigue and my arthritis like symptoms have returned. My recent test showed TSH 2.53 and T3 1.01.
    So I decided today to try taking my armour sublingual.
    It’s also helpful new info to avoid iron and calcium within four hours if taken orally.
    Question: do I keep the armour under my tongue until it all dissipates ? Or swallow the powder like sludge ? (That’s what I did today and it seems to have an effect as I’ve been sweating ever since!)
    Thanks in advance !

  7. Steph Edwards

    Help! I took non- prescrip nutrimeds porcine thyroid with no help, now on synthroid and plannjng in switching to Armour July 1. What is the diff between Armour and non_prescription?

  8. Patti

    I was at wits end with what to do since with taking it orally I still experienced hypo symptoms but became hyper (headache and jittery) if I increased it over 180 mg per day. I have hashimotos thyroiditis. Since switching to sublingual application, not only can I take more of it, at 180mg twice a day, but in so doing, many of my hypo symtoms have disappeared (chronic constipation, dry skin has lessened and brain fog is gone). I’ve only been doing this for 2 weeks but noticed a change almost immediately! Still, I’ll wait and report back as to whether it clears all my hypo symptoms such as no body hair growth, weight gain, water retention and low body temperature.

  9. Pamela

    I use NDT compounded by Pharmaceutical Compounding in New Zealand, it is in capsule form which is great as I can open the capsule easily. At present I am using the beginners protocol of 60mg a day. (The capsules are 120mg) so its easy to halve. I then halve it again and do 30mg in morning and 30mg in the afternoon. I just pop the powdered NDT under my tongue, it has a slightly malty taste.

  10. Renee'

    Question – I think I’m having trouble with any medication or supplements I take, I’m really sensitive. Currently I take 60 mg of Armour and I need to increase it because I’m still having Hypo symptoms but when I attempt to take more. My body temp drops and my scalp burns? I need to know if taking Armour sublingually will be easier on my Liver, etc.? So frustrated, I keep telling my doctor that I can’t seem to take anymore than my am dose of Armour without my system going crazy.

    • Reziac

      This sounds like you’re having a blood pressure spike. I get these when I’m underdosed. Try raising dosage by 1/4th grain at a time, at first every other or every third day. Also, I would add a potassium supplement, the standard OTC supplement once or twice a day.

  11. Joanna vk

    My doctor feels strongly that taking Armour sublingually is not as effective. Do you have references to M.D. published articles that support Armour to be taken sublngually vs orally? My doctor sent me an article that stated the molecules in NDT are too big for sublingual. Seems wrong but I don’t know if it’s true. I need help to defend this.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      We’re heard this crazy argument before….and it doesn’t take away from our experiences. When we were experimenting with swallowing vs sublingually several years ago, many reported an even better punch from sublingual. So something is going on. Also, the enzymes in your mouth break down the sugar and hormones better, so that may have something to do with it, too.

      • Reziac

        I suspect it is the pre-digestion done in the mouth that does the trick. I’ve found I get about the same result from either chewing up the tablet thoroughly before swallowing, OR dissolving it sublingually — but in either case, this considerably better than swallowing it whole. I found this true with both Unithroid (the only synth I can use at all, tho last year it stopped working for me) and Nature-Throid (what I’m using now. Yummy, tastes like tooth decay, but I got used to it.)

        BTW Costco has Nature-Throid.

  12. Tarryn

    Janie, if I take my NDT bucally or sublingually, do I still need to wait 4 hours before taking iron or calcium?

  13. Cynthia

    I finally got my doctor to switch me from Armour to NP Thyroid by Acella. At first, I did not notice much of a difference. However, once I started taking NP Thyroid sublingually, I immediately felt better. My energy has improved, but more drastically, chronic shoulder pain has been almost completely alleviated. I had been suffering for over 7 years. Previously I had x-rays and MRIs that showed no defects, but had serious crepititis, excruciating pain, and weakness. I underwent physical therapy, injections, pain meds, and accupuncture all to no avail…until I started sublingual NP. I can’t tell you how excited I am with this development and wonder if I could be the only one? I know I once found an article relating unexplained shoulder pain to hypothyroidism. Of course, I can’t find where I bookmarked it 🙁 If I can find it, I’ll post it! Hope this helps someone else 🙂

    • Jackie

      Did you ever find the article about hypo and shoulder pain? I have the same issue😂

      • Suzanne Gayet

        I developed frozen shoulder after my thyroid out. Went to a woman ortho after going to a man for over a year. Before I could finish that I had thyroid out she said hormonal imbalance. Said wont go away until balanced. Shortly after I started Armour thyroid because I couldnt handle the Synrhroid/Cytomel any more. Within a week or 2 my frozen shoulder gone.

  14. Anne

    Any thoughts on interactions between transdermal or transvaginal estrogen and sublingual dessicated thyroid? Should the administrations be separated? Or because they are being absorbed at different rates, is it okay to use them together?

    (From Janie: you just don’t want to mix them in the stomach).

  15. Kelli

    I had been on Synthroid for 15 years, happily thinking that my hypo was under control. Then suddenly the Sythroid stopped working all-together, over the next 8 months the dosage was raised from .125 up to .325 and my TSH just kept getting worse. My endo was about to give up and send me to a gastro doc thinking I had absorption issues but thanks to information from this site, I asked him to give me a chance at Armour. One month ago, he put me on 125MG twice a day. I bought a pill crusher (DMI brand, around $6). It crushes my Armour into a fine powder and I put it under my tongue allowing a little saliva under to help dissolve it. After on month on Armour, my TSH went from 50 to .01, the best my levels have ever been. I feel wonderful already, no longer tired or moody and hope to see even further improvement over time. I never felt this good on Synthroid. Looks like the current formulation of Armour taken sublingually was the answer for me.

  16. Carole Babb

    I am so very tired of government interference with regard to our bodies. The FDA has never been beneficial to the citizens it is charged to protect. The FDA is only there is create problems for the people who are dependent upon certain medications and/or supplements that SHOULD be available to the public. The FDA has never included the public need in its decision making process.

    If the American Public joined together and caused a huge ruckus about what the FDA is doing, there might be some changes.

    I have begun to applaud protestors using force, as this seems to be the only way to get attention. However, I fail to understand why any protestor would use force upon private citizens, their property, or their businesses – as this only results in a negative public response. I do appreciate and applaud actions taken against public officials, as they are the cause of the problem and should accept any repercussions resulting from their decisions.

  17. Juliane

    Is Nature-Throid gluten free? I am gluten intollerant and would like a recommendation of the best Armour replacement med.


    • Elize

      I have Celiac’s and am on Nature Throid since it is Gluten Free.

      Best wishes

  18. Samantha

    FYI: I was having a conversation with a lawyer when this subject came up… turns out that not a whole lot can be done if the pill doesn’t cause new symtoms that didnt exist before the pill was taken. Example: If the pill simply doesnt work and you die because of low thyroid, there isnt much you can do execpt try to sue them for false advertising. If the pill actually created a new problem that doesnt exist without the pill, then you have a case.

    It is probably best if we hold an intention for someone to start making the original formula again.

  19. Dawn Wood

    can I just correct the comment that all ndt’s have been banned in the UK. As they are legal medications they cannot be without a lengthy procedure, which hasn’t happened

    Earlier this year the Royal College of Physicians along with the Endo org and others put out a statement saying that thyroxine was the only treatment for hypo, as well as saying not to treat until TSH of 10. A handful of people were told by their endo that they had been told would be struck off if they prescribed it. However this letter hasn’t been seen and a number of dr friends of mine haven’t had one.

    Ourselves and other advocates and orgs in the UK challenged this and sent proof they were wrong. They haven’t had a cahnge of heart but then said it was advisory not mandatory, this after being asked if we could sue them if we got ill again on their regime. They cited just 6 pieces of reference to back themselves up.

    I get my armour on the NHS so prescribed, not privately bought, and instead of being taken off it I was put on repeat so i don’t have to bother the doc when I need one. Many of my members report the same so we are stll gettign it.

    However this problem with armour and forest is worrying as it adds more fuel to their campaign to get rid of it. i’m experiencing problems myself as are others here so how can we now defend the product when Forest are being so difficult.

    When the reformulation of Eltroxin in Australia, a couple of years ago, caused problems GSK did something about it and the patients were vocal enough to make them, but we shoot ourselves in the foot if we are don’t we

  20. Mia

    I’d be all for switching to Naturethroid if not for the Magnesium Stearate! It’s a neuro-toxin, friends! I’m careful to avoid it with all of my supplements.

    I must be the only person in my area taking it sublingually b/c my pharmacists had no idea of the change–no one had complained I guess! But my symptoms have definitely returned.

    Does anyone know if just increasing my dose will help?

    • brooke s b

      Wp thyroid made by same company as naturethroid has less inactive ingredients an less fillers and etc. It doesn’t have magnesium stearate.

    • Sally

      Here in Atlanta it is impossible to get naturethroid, I think it may be the same situation everywhere. That was hard enough to get my less-than-flexible endo to prescribe. She agreed to Armour, which was the only alternative. Has Armour improved the formulation at all by now (I haven’t started it yet)? Btw, since I moved here from the northeast, my dosage has been dropped several times: “Your T-3 is too high and TSH is too low.” And I even skipped my pill the day they drew blood! I was at about 3.25 grains, now it’s 2.25 grains. My hair is falling out, fatigue makes it impossible to concentrate. Can anyone recommend a doc or naturopath in Atlanta? Too tired too even beat my head against the wall. 😰

      • Sally

        P.S. I have hashimoto’s, is sublingual or even vaginal administration contradicted?

      • Janie Bowthorpe

        Actually, many pharmacies are reporting it back in, but in small amounts. They run out quickly. And to the contrary, a good alternative is NP Thyroid by Acella. Your pharmacist can call Acella to find out how to get some to the pharmacy. To find a good doc:

        • Jeannie

          I cannot take Stearates. I tried NP for 15 days and had huge painful neck and dead fingernails. Now my compounded med is crashing taste – suspect fraud? Will another pharm want to help me test? He will know it could bust a fellow Pharm?

      • Donna Dodd

        I see Dr. Ken Knott in Marietta – 770-421-8094.

      • Fred

        Sally, Dr Lindsay Fowler in Dahlonega gave me natural thyroid. Could not believe I found a doc that used natural thyroid in North GA. I looked for a long time all around Atlanta and found her in my backyard. She put me on NP Thyroid which is made by a company in Alpharetta, GA. It is the equivalent to Armour and Naturethroid.

    • Jeannie

      I too MUST avoid stearates! WP was a God Send. Now $320 to compound it (oneYr) but crashing. I cannot taste ANY gland. Dishonest Pharm? Panicking.

  21. michelle

    I just got my labs done after a week on the new formula, all I can say is what a drop!!!! my labs march28, 2009 old formula TSH less than .01 Free t4 1.9 Free T3 4.46 Labs taken after a week on new formula July 10, 2009 TSH less than .01 Free T4 .8 Free T3 4.25.

  22. patricia white

    why do good things have to change and now we go backwards???????? yes i too have all the old symtoms again i ask why ????? patty

  23. Colleen

    In response to Alice Cavallo, I had no idea that Britain had removed all the natural thyroid from the market. That is super scary! I had earlier posted in response to the reformulation that we should be calling Forest and our congresspersons. Since it seems that a lot of people are having a recurrance of symptoms after taking the new formulation, it would seem that something they added or subtracted is cancelling out the effective portions of the formula. So, couldn’t Forest be held liable if someone dies from their reformulation??? Since not having enough thyroid affects the heart, blood pressure, etc. I would think Forest would have had to run a gamut of tests and trials before the reformulation would be approved by the FDA.
    Curiouser and curiouser.
    By the way, I think the idea of using sugar with the new formula is a good one. I’m going to try it. It should only take a tiny bit.
    Good luck everyone.

  24. Julie

    I find taking the armour sublingually (in my cheek) with an altoid mint helps the armour dissolve and improves the taste. I will get labs checked soon. I was optimized at 4 grains for at least 8 months and feeling great. I have noticed hair loss and joint pain returning…so curious if new formulation having an effect??

  25. Alice Cavallo

    I have been hypothyroid for about 5 yrs. I took Synthroid for the first year, and didn’t improve AT ALL. After that time I read about Armour Thyroid. My new endocrinologist was quite nasty to me when I asked to try the Armour. Thank God my P.A. agreed to let me try. Overall, the Armour has done wonders, at least until several months ago. I started regressing and wondered what in the world happened!! My doc. even increased the dosage-still no improvement. I wondered if there had been a change in the Armour formulation, and just found out a few days ago, that indeed that is what has occurred. I will switch to Nature-Throid as others have been doing. But, a word of caution!!! If you call Forest Labs complaining of an adverse reaction, they have to alert the FDA. This will be taken as a black mark against natural thyroid meds. We’d better be very careful before we find ourselves in the same position as our fellow thyroid sufferers in Britain. The government has taken all natural thyroid meds. off the market. They can only be prescribed a synthetic-Synthroid! The poor people over there are going crazy. Forest has reformulated their product, yes, but the fact that we are no longer doing as well should not be termed an adverse reaction….That implies something far different than we intend. Let’s not wake up someday and find out there is no natural thyroid available in the USA.

    • Sian

      Hiya. Just thought I’d chime in about this comment because I’m in Scotland and we can get NDT here but, because it’s not licensed, we have to pay for it out of pocket. It’s just not available on the NHS. It’s a pity because It requires a private prescription and it usually runs about £30 a month (except Armour, which has recently jacked up the price to nearly £100 a month), but well worth the cost in terms of keeping your health.

  26. Pam in NH

    New Armour Thyroid is making my hypothyroid symptoms all come back! I first noticed the new formulation — no more sweetness, no more slightly porcine odor or taste, but instead a tasteless, pulpy mass just like the old T4 (Levothroid) preparation I used to take — when I took the first of a newly refilled bottle sublingually as usual. Yuck! I actually took the pill out of my mouth and checked to make sure it wasn’t T4. Nope, it is actually 60 mg of newly reformulated Armour. Called the pharmacy to ask if there was a mistake. They did not know, nor did my doctor, that Armour had been reformulated. But my body knew! That was two months ago.

    Slowly, all my hypothyroid symptoms are coming back: numb feet, numb hands, numb lips and face. Very painful. Cramping muscles. Ten pound weight gain despite strenuous workouts daily. Weight gain of 10 pounds despite careful diet. Terrible, painful PMS. Irregular menses. Headaches. The hypothyroid nightmare of my T4 days has returned.

    I am researching what to do and am open to suggestions. I did call Forrest Pharmaceuticals today and reported the problem to a representative who said I will next need to fill out an adverse reactions form with someone else in the company. He said they are receiving a lot of calls from patients who use Armour sublingually. SInce I have celiac deisease and problems with digstive absorption, sublingually is what has always worked well for me.

    And I have still been doing that with the new formulation. The taste does not matter to me a bit; what I am concerned about is that it is not being absorbed by my body. That, or they have somehow bound the T3 in a way that is no longer available to metabolisms like mine.

    Please, fellow Armour Thyroid patients, call Forrest Pharmaceuticals and report whatever adverse symptoms you may be experiencing on the new Armour formulation. They will track the symptoms and, who knows, perhaps, like the classic Coca Cola lovers of old, we can have our Classic Armour Thyroid back.

    Please join me in singing this true hymn to Forrest Pharmaceuticals restore thyroid health: “Bring back, bring back, bring back old Armour to me, to me ! “

  27. Elenor Snow

    Oh! I never thought — I knew my carpal tunnel coming back (like gangbusters!) had to be related to the new not-so-good Armour, but suddenly, the extra ten pounds that have appeared, despite my normal/unchanged diet, ALSO make sense! Doggone it, Forest! Why mess with a good thing?! (Heck, why DESTROY a good thing?!) I’m gonna try Nature-thryoid and/or Westhroid… See if they work better.

  28. Dawn

    I have a question about Thyroid S…where can we get it in the US?? Is there a safe and reliable international pharmacy from which we can get it??

    Also how does the new armour do for people if they add a dash of sugar under the tongue??


  29. Erin

    I’ve begun to crush my Naturethroid tablets between two spoons and add a bit of sugar – what a difference this makes! I feel the effects of the hormone much more than I did when I swallowed it. This has been a long, sometimes bumpy, ride with thyroid hormone replacement. Yes, I wish Armour had never switched their formulation. But I am so grateful that there is an alternative! Thanks to all who post their experience and hope in this site. It is so valued.

  30. Phyliss Myers

    I just started taking the new Armour so I would not know the difference. I break it up and put it under my tongue. Yes it is chalky, however, I do not mind. Especially since I do not have to wait long to have my first cup of decaf.

  31. Julie

    I know this sounds extreme, but Armour can also be taken vaginally. It will also disolve there and relieve you of the gritty problem of the sublingual way as well as taking it STRAIGHT into the blood stream, also by-passing the digestive tract.

    • Rainbow

      Has anybody actually tried transvaginal admin over a timeframe of at least several weeks and given feedback as to its effectiveness ?

      This is really interesting because, as Julie said, it by-passes the digestive system altogether which means that even the sublingual method may be effective specifically due to absorption via the oral membranes rather than the idea that sublingual only works because the contents eventually pass down into the digestive tract.

      • Jessica

        I have been wondering the same thing! Has anyone taken their meds vaginally? I currently take NP Thyroid (by Acella) sublingually and it take quite some time to dissolve. I love this idea of being able to take it without it affecting digestion at all. I often worry that some of my medication winds up being swallowed. Please comment if you’ve done this successfully without affecting blood levels.

  32. Fran Locke

    I have been on the “Old” armout thyroid for 3 years. I was forced to go to the “NEW” Armour thyroid and had a reversal of my symptoms in 20 days (fatigue,weight gain, depression ROUGH skin)- I found some of the OLD at a different pharmacy (I guess- it has the consistency of the same Armour Throid I had been taking & feel better in only 2 days). I called Forest Labs and they said MANY people are reporting problems with the new formulation. Ther response was basically “Tough- try something else”

    Anyone know anything? What other sources are there??

    excuse spelling- O’m lost w/out spellchecker!!!!

  33. Janet Conway

    I had no idea that hypothyroid has an effect on the digestive system. This is the first time that I have heard about it. I have digestive problems for years now and put the blame on my Hiatus Hernia, which is very small. I have also had a few endoscopies, to no avail. I don’t think that my GP is in any way stupid, But I will inform her of what I have learned today.Thank you.

  34. Nigel

    I’ve moved to doing Westhroid and Nature-Throid buccally, which means putting it between my cheek and teeth. I get the same benefit of absorbing all the goodies directly, but I don’t have to worry about swallowing the last gritty bits of the tablet too early that take longer to dissolve.

    I also take 5 mg methylcobalain B12 lozenge each time I take thyroid, which is 4 times a day. Great for low B12!

  35. Glynis

    I must be the exception to the rule – I haven’t noticed any change since Armour made the change. I did call them because it used to taste sweet and suddenly tasted chalky. It took a couple of days for someone to get back to me about that. I was afraid I’d gotten a bad batch or something. Anyhow, I go for blood work in a couple of weeks but I don’t think it has been a problem for me. I’m a personal trainer and work out hard 6 days a week – if my levels ever get screwed up, even a little, I *know* about it.

  36. Priscilla

    I’ve been on Nature-Throid since Monday. I break the pill in half, then put it under my tongue. The first day I took it, it dissolved really easily, although it was gritty. Since then I have had varying degrees of successful dissolving. It takes a very long time to dissolve. I have been thinking of adding a little sugar under my tongue when I take it, just because it tastes so horrible.


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