What does the production of a new generic desiccated thyroid by Acella mean??

Even tho I saw this mentioned by a patient here or there on patient groups, and later saw it mentioned elsewhere on the net, I have been very hesitant to talk about it on this very widely-read website called Stop the Thyroid Madness.

Namely, there is a new US-made natural desiccated thyroid product out there. It’s considered generic, and is being actively substituted for Armour when patients go to pick up their Armour at the pharmacy. It’s made by Acella Pharmaceuticals LLC in Alpharetta, Georgia, which was formerly Brookstone Pharmaceuticals. And I just found out that the inactive ingredients are listed as calcium stearate, dextrose monohydrate, maltodextrin and mineral oil. Anybody see cellulose in there?? Neither do I. Very nice.

It also contains the same T4/T3 amounts we are used to in the 60 mg, one grain tablet: 38/9. Oh, and it’s still called an “unapproved drug”.

Now before you get all ticked off at me for NOT wanting to talk about it here as it has been done elsewhere, understand this: last year, we saw the FDA shut down ALL generic production of desiccated thyroid. The implication was that ONLY ones around since the 1930’s (Armour and Naturethroid) were allowed to exist, being an unapproved drug. So…I worried that by mentioning it, we might give TOO much attention to a new one and see THIS ONE shut down.

But right now, I am seeing information about it on certain medicine website, including this one connected to our government.

Don’t ya just love the way things happen with a medication that turns lives around and we know NOTHING as to whythey are happening or when from the FDA?? Pitiful, typical…and sad.

***If you want to talk about this new generic version, which some patients are accepting in place of Armour and trying, go to the NTH (Natural Thyroid Hormones) yahoo group here. It’s so new that there’s not a lot of feedback yet from folks, but I suspect we’ll start to see more and more.

P.S. If you have been through any long-term stress, you need to know that your cortisol will go high to help you cope, and in turn, it can drive your potassium and magnesium levels low. That happened to me this year as I went through prolonged stress from the economy. So be sure and get those tested, and specifically the RBC (red blood cell) rather than serum. The RBC tests will show what your cells have.



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47 Responses to “What does the production of a new generic desiccated thyroid by Acella mean??”

  1. Lisa S.

    Hi there! I know I’m late to the game in commenting here, but I’ve been reading up on options for myself, since I’m not sure my NatureThroid works so well for me. I’m trying to dig more into Acella Labs. Are they considered to be Big Pharma? I guess I have a hard time in possibly using NP Thyroid if they are technically Big Pharma. I guess I need to research deeper. Who knows, maybe NatureThroid’s RLC Labs is part of Big Pharma. I guess I’ve already compromised my vegan values by taking NDT, so oh well, I guess…lol.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      All pharms which make prescription meds are part of what is termed “Big Pharma”. But Acella seems to come across pretty nice, too, and NP is excellent. But we’ll leave it up to you 🙂

  2. Emma

    I used to take Armour, till my insurance switched me to Acella about three months ago. Since then, hypo symptoms have been creeping back up on me–weight gain, fatigue, hypotension, brain fog, edema, low pulse, etc. I feel like a frail 80 year old woman at this point. I suspect it’s not a coincidence, and the Acella has something to do with it.

  3. lou

    Trying to figure out what to do…..Erfa thyroid has tripled in price and there are shortages, plus I am paying out of pocket. Tempted to try Acella instead since it presumably is available in the U.S. and my insurance might pay. They are weaseling out of a lot of things these days. But having to start over again with a different thyroid med after those years ago when I tried everything, ended up with Armour only to have them change the formulation. Now my Canadian source has problems with supply and price. It just seems never ending. Solve one problem and another one pops up. Just when I had to increase the dose due to unavoidable soy exposure, ongoing.

    The whole thing of shortages and price increases looks like a racket to me. So we are charged more because everyone wants it and there isn’t much. Why isn’t this considered price gouging?

    Erfa said in january that they lost their supplier and they were looking for another one. That does not sound good, plus it is ten months later and no apparent progress.

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Erfa has had problems for three years now. First their product was causing many loyal users to see a return of their symptoms, all while the company denied repeatedly anything had changed. Now the shortage. It’s very irritating.

  4. Lauren Messenger

    I had been taking Armour Thyroid for a few years and this past refill got Acella NP Thyroid as a substitution. Tests revealed I was WNL for the first time! I was so excited.

    A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a somewhat fishy odor when I opened the pharmacy vial. Coincidentally, I was experiencing nausea, lower abdominal pain and other unmentionable intestinal difficulties. Since I do have celiac disease as well as diverticulosis/diverticulitis and was traveling at the time, I ascribed my digestive problems to those three things. When I got home yesterday and opened the vial for the NP Thyroid, I was met with a wall of stench that smelled like decaying flesh. My husband, on the other side of the kitchen, could smell it. Has anyone else had this problem?

  5. Tammy

    I think I started taking the Acella NP Thyroid 3 yrs ago or so. I have not had any problems with it. I have lost 60 lbs & kept it off. I don’t feel tired all the time. I was taking Erfa after the Armour reformulation. I like the Acella since I can take it sublingually. I have Cigna Ins & they were paying for the NP Thyroid. Last time I ordered a refill thru mail order I was told it was no longer covered by ins because it’s not FDA approved. I used a Good RX Coupon & got a 6 month supply for $93. I was paying $20 for 90 day supply when the Ins covered it. I prefer to fork out the almost $200 per yr for the NP Thyroid vs taking levotyhroxine for $10 for a 90 supply from Wal-Mart. I hope Acella does not plan on any reformulations.

  6. Karen Grandpre

    For the last 3 or more months the armor thyroid has not worked well for me. My eyes are worse my stamina is way down, I keep falling a sleep while sitting or standing, having palpitations, dry skin bad. I can not take synthetics of any kind with out repercussions, I can’t even do blood pressure or antibiotics because of synthetics. When the Dr.’s removed my thyroid over 40 yrs ago the Dr. prescribed synthroid I took it for month went back told the Dr. I was allergic to it. The Dr. shined me on so I quit taking it. Not realizing at the time I should not do that. I have had to study and become informed since Dr.’s won’t listen, I need to find where I can get comparable Armour replacement! Thank you!

  7. Sarees online

    Much thanks to you for the connections. Simply taking note of that the T3/T4 proportion in the Acella item is not the same as that of Armor Thyroid.

  8. KC

    I’ve been itchy and getting hives ever since I started the Acella NP Thyroid two months ago. So today I had my prescription changed back to Armour. I’d always done pretty well on Armour, but switched because of the cost, and relatively good reviews. But the savings aren’t worth the itching.

  9. Sam

    My cousin have tried both, and armour is much much better solution… I guess, in her point of view… She just feel great

  10. Anna

    Janie, has Acella confirmed that NP Thyroid has somehow changed?

    I was on Erfa from 2011-13, did great on it, then started itching terribly on it (after the labels changed from blue/white to green/white and pink/white respectively), so I guess it was somehow reformulated too…Armour is not available according to my pharmacist (who even told me it is not being manufactured anymore…). Anyway, I don’t know if it would be any idea trying Armour, given all the negative reviews since the reformulation…?

    I have managed to get NP and, so far so good. I am not too thrilled about the mineral oil, though, but I am not sure it contains enough of it to cause any problems…anyone who knows?

  11. Dee

    I can’t believe this. I know these are comments about Acella, but I’ve been on ERFA Thyroid for over 5 years and it worked great for me until the shortage last summer/Fall. Now it’s changed – the appearance, and ‘something’ in the ingredients, and I can’t tolerate it. Had a bad reaction to just one dose of it and felt like I’d been run over by a truck. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m in Canada, so don’t have much selection. Can’t take sythetic meds, either.

  12. B.Anna

    Acella has changed its Fillers…since that I get very worse..and hypo

    • Terri

      Yes I believe Acella did change it worked great till shortage in June 2013. I also had big problem with it after the change. I am so mad they keep doing this to us. 🙁

  13. Kesha

    After having an allergic reaction to the the generic version of Cytomel, manufactured by Mylan, my doctor put me on Armour. Well, the prescription from Walgreen’s was actually for Acella. I was on 75 mcg of Levothyroxine and 10 mcg of Liothyronine. I am now taking 1.5 grains of NP Thyroid by Acella. Is that a correct conversion?

  14. KM

    I really love the Acella brand of Armour. I have faithfully used a couple other brands of desiccated thyroid over the years but never could completely settle flare ups that would last days at a time.

    While I was traveling back in 2010 the brand I had been using (Forest) wasn’t available at the pharmacy, but the pharmacist assured me this new stuff (Acella) was the same thing. I nervously took what I could get and went on my way. Wowza, within a few weeks my weight had dropped back to normal, my hair had stopped falling out and my ups and downs evened out. Long flare ups just stopped. I have a fatigue spell like once a year now that lasts about a day (they were happening once or twice a month before).

    If I can’t get Acella and have to take anything else temporarily, my weight goes up drastically, hair starts falling out, I can’t think straight, fatigue completely takes over, it’s awful…..

    I’ll stop there and just end this with, I LOVE ACELLA.

  15. Bernie

    I can’t get my doctor to think anything other than Synthroid. Am not doing well on it. Have a nodule. Seems to be worse as I can feel it when I swallow. Had ultrasound and he felt it hadn’t changed, wo he made no change. Am not sleeping well, losing hair, sometimes feel like I’m ready to have a heart attack, etc. current dosage is 88mcg Levothyroxine. I wish I had access to a less old-school doctor.

  16. kim W

    I was switched to NP Thyrois without my knowledge in April 2011. I’ve had problems with fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, chills and couldn’t figure out why. I had my blood work done in Jan 2012 and my numbers went down a little. I just found out about the switch this month when I picked up my perscription and asked about the name change on my bottle. I’m now working on getting put back onto the Armour Thyroid that I may not have lost weight on but I hadn’t been gaining. I’m up over 15 lbs in the last four months and couldn’t figure out what was happening so I ran to have my bloodwork re-done. Be wary of trying a new drug. It may work for some and not others.

  17. Christine O L

    I notice people saying that ERFA from Canada is expensive. I get mine through http://www.CanadaDrugs.com – they do not charge shipping. I don’t recall how much I paid, but I think you can check it out on their website. Takes at least 3 weeks to receive. Need a prescription – have 800#’s for fax and ‘phone.

    I also use Value Pharmaceuticals -www.valuepharmaceuticals.com ph: 1-800-234-9185 they also do not charge shipping. 500 one grain ERFA for $125.00 last time I ordered. This takes up to six weeks. I have not ordered since they informed me that I now need a prescription, since I have a good supply.

    I’ve not had any perceived quality problems with either supplier.

  18. nikkie

    I was on the Armour for a short time but was either not taking it enough or taking it with my vit. because i was given no info on how to take it I felt awful so my doctor swtiched me to Thyroid NP I don’t like it my hair really starting falling out and my nose runs all the time I have tried this week to take a Armour since I have some left. I actually feel better.

  19. R

    I’ve been taking 60mg Armour for 2 years. It has been helpful and I had no adverse side effects. Last month unbeknownst to me my pharmacy substituted my prescription with Acella NP Thyroid. After taking the Acella for a few weeks I noticed a significant increase in hair loss. When I stopped the Acella and returned to the Armour, my hair loss stopped. In the future, I will make sure to always get the “Armour” as prescribed by my MD. I’m curious to know if others have had this experience.

    (From Janie: some have had to opposite experience: Armour causing hair loss and Acella stopping it. It appears that when making any change of brand name, you may need to make adjustments.)

  20. D

    I’ve been on Acella Thyroid for a week and I think I’m having an allergic reaction to it. I have Hashimoto’s and Celiac.

    I switched from Erfa (which seemed to be working ok, just was so expensive to get from Canada) and stayed on the same dose (4 grains) but I seem to need more because within a day or two I had a return of hypothyroid symptoms. Cold, tired, inflamed thyroid, foggy thinking.

    But beyond that, I’m having reactions that I normally get when I eat gluten or am allergic to something. I have hives almost daily, my hands are very achy, I’m swelling in my legs and hands and my tongue got really swollen the other day. So much so that I had trouble getting words out.

    If Acella truly is gluten free (I just wrote them to re-verify this) I can only assume I’m allergic to the mineral oil. I just read that mineral oil allergies can result in hives and swelling. Argh. Sigh…

  21. Thyroidgirl

    UPDATE TO LAST POST. I called Acella and they told me there were no issues with NP Thyroid availability. Then called my pharmacist. The pharmacist who told me NP Thyroid was not available was mistaken, and was thinking of Nature-throid. Big relief for me, but may be an issue for any of you currently doing well with Nature-throid.

  22. Thyroidgirl

    I tried the reformulated Armour for a few months and suffered for it. My pharmacist suggested NP Thyroid and things have been better since – not perfect, but better.

    Then today (out of the blue – and I love to be blindsided) the pharmacy told me they are having a hard time getting it. Thay gave me enough to last 21 days. That’s all they had. It was nightmare enough when Armour went awol. But now this? Is anyone else having a difficult time finding NP Thyroid? Will the nightmare never end?

    If I have to go back to the new Armour I might as well not take anything.

    (From Janie: check other pharmacies–that may be an issue with just that pharmacy. Second, go here: https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/options-for-thyroid-treatment (

  23. JC

    Why don’t you go to your pharmacy and have them print out a spec sheet on the Acella Thyroid NP and give it to your doctor?

    Why did the Armour and NT formulations change? It is anyones guess, but I would guess it is to help their bottom lines.
    They found a cheaper way to make it and they put that cost savings in their bank accounts. (I don’t think they lowered the price). They sold the changes to the FDA as no impact on the products form, fit or function.
    Drug companies and Medical device companies do this all the time. It is how they show profit growth with mature products. Wall St. loves it.

  24. Chris

    I have a question, why did the new makers of Armour change the ingredients/formulation? My doc says he’s never heard of Acella, so I can’t get that (unless I find a new doc). I wonder if people wrote to the new company making Armour if they would ‘listen’ that we want the old Armour back. Just a thought yet I’m not sure they’d listen (or care).

  25. M Keenan

    I don’t think NP thyroid by Acella is FDA approved so they may end up changing the formula.

    • Rita

      I started taking NP and have never been so happy in my life! As they say, the lights went on and I’m back to my VERY happy, motivated self. HOWEVER, I am allergic to mineral oil and I think I’m starting to get symptoms that I don’t like. (the same ones I have when there’s mineral oil in any product). I think everyone should call the company and insist they change to the Coconut Oil the way WP does (WP didn’t work at all for me). It’s healthy and obviously is able to bind the formula.

      I don’t know what I’ll do if I have to give up NP…. I find it a life saver.

  26. Kate

    I picked up Acella yesterday. Started taking it last night. I am taking a little more than half my ‘usual’ dose, and I still feel like I have increased. I feel good today, not great, but an improvement. AND I’ve lost 2 pounds. So far, I’m very impressed. I’m just hoping they continue to sell it, and that they don’t change it. Yeah, I’m not super thrilled about the mineral oil, but it obviously doesn’t interfere with absorption and they have to use SOMETHING to keep it all together… I don’t think many people are allergic to it either, which should help those with sensitivity issues?
    If things continue on the upswing over the next week, I’m calling the company to beg them to continue to do things the way they are, for all of us who need them.
    If any of you decide to try it, you might want to start with a lower dose and see how you feel. I think I am absorbing MUCH more of Acella than I was of Nature-Throid, and if I had tried to take the same amount, I would probably be miserable right now.

  27. Stacy

    Just picked up my first prescription for the NP Thyroid by Acella Pharmaceuticals(the now so called generic version of Armour)after a very long DISCUSSION with the pharmacist to get him to agree to order it because they do not have it in stock. Here is the funny…He tries to tell me that just because Armour was reformulated that has nothing to do with my hypo symptoms returning and that Armour isn’t “regulated” so depending on the health of each particular pig each every batch of Armour is going to vary!! I am giggling right now 🙂 I proceeded to tell him that if I was unable to obtain and at least try the NP thyroid from Acella then I was going to try the Erfa from Canada. His response was NO,NO,NO, you don’t want to do that because Canada doesn’t have regulations on their prescriptions and I could get a medication from them that has glass in it!!!! Just when I thought I had heard every ridiculous and pathetic story about natural thyroid another comes along. Anyway, mission accomplished I got the NP from Acella and I will post again in a week or two to update on how things are going….

  28. Devereaux

    I can not thank you all enough for having this website and sharing your lives.

    I found you last Friday when I left my doctors office a sniveling, enraged basket case (as I have been for months now).

    I stopped by the fabric store, a favorite haunt, to try and unwind, as I actually did not need to purchase anything.

    When the young woman at the counter asked me how I was doing…I unraveled!

    Sadly, it was not far for me to go in my present state.

    In under 5 minutes I gushed out loud, tears and shaking.

    I told her all about the two years of tests saying “normal” thyroid levels, and then the lump that continued to grow. Biopsy returned normal. Finally with my insistence that my symptoms seemed to match that of thyroid disease and that I did have a lump on my thyroid, ultrasound confirmed if not by a naked eye visual from 20 paces alone was enough to verify it’s existence.

    I insisted for sh*ts and giggles, that it be removed during a tonsillectomy.

    Did I mention the constant sinus and throat infections, high fevers, steroids, antibiotics, bed rest, stealing every joyous occasion of my life over the previous two years?

    Turns out as I suspected the lump was in fact Thyroid CANCER!

    My surgeon had the nerve to say I threw them a surprise!

    I had told him I wanted the lump out even if thyroid lumps were now in fashion, because of my ongoing symptoms. He said, “It’s not possible for you to have those symptoms.”

    I involuntarily gave him a raised eyebrow look, to which he retorted,

    “Unless of course you do actually have thyroid cancer, which you don’t, because we have run tests.” he concluded.

    Now, more surgery and radiation smoothie later I am an emotional train wreck. Waking with the rage of a famed postal worker (I now suspect could have simply had thyroid disease), crying uncontrollably by mid-morning in a fashion that could shame even the greatest 2 year old in an-hour-past-nap-time-sugar-high fit. Completely exhausted by noon, and yet unable to sleep a wink until 2 hours before day break and we start all over again!

    The craziest part being when I told my Dr that I did not in-fact own any weapons but I was seriously considering forging them with all my free time while lying awake at night but too exhausted to actually do so, that perhaps I should just purchase one, that I thought she could actually help me get out of this personal hell.

    And that is when the clerk looked at me and said “Oh girl I know exactly what you are going through, I have had thyroid disease for years”,she beamed a knowing smile at me.

    She looked to me like a coastguard rescue ship dropping anchor at the deserted island where I had been living alone, with out supplies and going mad.

    She told me she had been through trying to get a diagnosis, taking every other drug under the sun for a laundry list of symptoms, weight issue of drowning-in-your-own-flesh nightmarish proportions, and finally even after diagnosis and treatment the real madness had begun.

    That was until she found your site.

    A friend had guided her your way and she began the struggle of convincing her Dr to switch her to Armour, and when she did…she finally found peace and a life again.

    She wrote down the name of your site,(instinctively knowing that I could also lose my way to the bathroom in my own home with the intense short term memory loss that had been experiencing), and kind words about there being hope and answers to be found here.

    Thank you for being here, thank you for everything!

  29. lexi

    The old Armour was the best! Naturethroid is just so-so. I now take Erfa.( It works) Very expensive. So I combine Naturthroid with Erfa.

    I want my OLD Armour back!

  30. Marlo Wolfe

    I was diagnose with hypothyroid two years ago. I have complained every single appointment to my (medicaid approved) healthcare provider about multiple symptoms with the Levothyroxine. After giving me anti-depressants, sleeping pills, waterpills, etc….I got so (mad) and threw everything out and started over. Thank God!!! for the person who noticed my frustration and gave me this book. I AM OUTRAGED!!!! Thank you for your book and this website.

  31. Bryan

    Thank you for the links. Just noting that the T3/T4 ratio in the Acella product is different than that of Armour Thyroid. The Acella product has less T3 per grain than Armour Thyroid so it may take more to obtain the same results in patients.

  32. Ingegerd Hanson

    NP Thyroid has mineral oil in it, a BYPRODUCT from making GASOLINE, which can have some unpleasant side effects. What is wrong with vegetable cellulose, as long as it is not from saw dust or corn?


    What really matters – what changes your life – is the passionate pursuit of something that matters.
    (John Ydstie, NPR)

  33. Suanne

    I would prefer not to have mineral oil in there…that’s kind of disgusting…it is a petroleum product, and therefore is not something that should be consumed, IMO. As far as fillers/binders go, Erfa is still looking like the best to me.

  34. Johann Mitchell

    It was the FDA that shut down NDT production?

    I wrote to them, complaining about it, and they STRONGLY denied having anything to do with that! I’m so angry at them, because although I believed they were behind the shutdown, they outright LIED to me about it!

    Why is our government systematically letting drug companies kill thousands of people, while trying to block our access to a very helpful drug that is very low in side effects and problems?

    I’m basing the previous statement on reading recently about Avandia killing 100,000 people.

    And you can bet that those were only the unambiguous deaths that they couldn’t blame on something else, so there were probably orders of magnitude more deaths that they couldn’t QUITE pin on the drug with absolute certainty.

    But NDT drugs aren’t approved.

    I have Medicare, and I have such a low income that the local government pays about $97 per month so I can have drug coverage, and most months I get NO benefit and have to pay for my own Armor Thyroid because it’s not FDA approved! It’s under $6, but I still resent it!

  35. Fran Schewe

    My question would be, why is there mineral oil in the new generic natural thyroid. Petroleum product isn’t it? Healthy?

  36. Michelle

    I’ve been on Armour for about 5 or 6 years now and been using NatureThroid for the past year since it was getting difficult to get Armour. (I was on the NaturalThyroidHormones Yahoo group for a few years).

    In any event, the reason I’m posting is that you made a good point about Cortisol & magnesium/potassium. I also was hypoadrenia and was on HC for 18 months, been off it for about 4 1/2 years now successfully. I had a hysterectomy in November because of a HUGE fibroid that was affecting my quality of life. I took glandular adrenal support for a month or so before surgery, as well as a host of vitamins and supportive supplements, and two Vit. C/B/Magnesium/glutathione IV’s, but my biggest complaint from the moment I woke up from anesthesia was this unbearable spasm in my back on the right side, from the 12th rib to my iliac crest. I couldn’t lay down, I couldn’t sit, I could not get comfortable at all, and even the morphine they gave me at the hospital didn’t touch the pain. I finally got them to agree to Motrin and get off the Dilaudid, and the Motrin did take the edge off (anti-inflammatory).

    I suffered with that for weeks, the spasm was so bad I couldn’t lift my right leg to walk up stairs, put my socks on, etc., I had to lift my leg with my hands. I had twice a week massages which helped, but it was never gone. I went to my integrative MD, Dr. Sica here in CT for a Vit. C IV w/B’s and magnesium. I asked for extra magnesium because of the spasms, and dontcha know but since that IV (about a month ago now), I haven’t had any recurrence of the spasms! I was also able to kick the last of the anesthesia fog and exhaustion.

    So, I can vouch for that personally, stress causing the mag levels to plummet. I’m typically low-mag anyway, and I can’t tolerate oral magnesium no matter what form, it goes right through me. I even had 2 of those C/B/Mag IV’s before surgery, and I’m grateful I did or else I would have been a mess without them!

    • Violet C Saltsman

      Try magnesium spray. It relieved pain immensely. Get it at health food store or online.

  37. Carrigon

    Let’s hope it will be good. I’ve been back on the levo since my horrible experience with Tirosint. I have alot more stamina on a higher dose of levo, but I’m still getting leg cramps. And I suspect it’s the fillers. I’d love to try Acella, but I’ll wait to see what others say about it first.

  38. frances

    I’m hoping this will turn out to be good in the end and that people start reporting good news with it! would be a good way to go into 2011! happy new years


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