I never thought that I’d be writing this, but evidence underscores that all prescription Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT) in the US and Canada have gone south/changed from what they used to be.
Where’s the evidence? It’s from many patients who were doing well on each one for years, then saw their symptoms go south, including seeing changes in the tablet at the same time.
- ARMOUR by Allergan--which for years (before Allergan bought out Forest) was always a consistent and excellent NDT, was the first that patients noticed had made a change in 2009. Patients reported a miserable return of their hypo. 2015 also saw a problem. See the September, 2015 Stop the Thyroid Madness (STTM) blog post.
- ERFA Canada’s NDT in Canada, which many in the US moved over to after Armour went south, went south in 2014--there were vast reports of a return of hypo symptoms after it had been a great product before. And of course, Erfa stated they changed nothing. Here’s my blog post.
- NATURETHROID by RLC Labs, which gave excellent results for years, seemed to royally change in 2018 when it came back out after a hiatus. Patients reported a miserable return of their hypothyroid symptoms in the worst way when they got back on. See that blog post here. WP Thyroid seems to have gone downhill as well, reported by “some” patients. We need more feedback to see if for others, it can work again. Remember it’s about being optimal, not just “how you feel”.
- NP THYROID, the last remaining consistent and excellent NDT by Acella Pharmaceuticals, seemed to change horribly in the summer of 2019. Patients started to report a miserable return of hypo symptoms. But it didn’t end there. Patients also reported a slew of other terrible symptoms, ranging from nausea, burning in stomach, allergic reactions, flu-like symptoms and more depending on who was reporting. Also reported is a highly repulsive taste and rank smell (many patients comparing it to cat pee or kitty litter). My blog post about this here.
And the pharmaceuticals don’t seem to give a damn, exclaim patients!
Sadly, when hypothyroid patients reported contacting each pharmaceutical about the return of their hypo symptoms as well as other strange symptoms, the pharm replies were similar: “We didn’t change anything”. That line was especially true for Erfa, RLC Labs and now Acella, say patients. Some patients have cried “Foul!” and compared it to gaslighting and dismissal.
Or, after patients reported to Acella about a strong return of hypothyroid symptoms on top of the clearly changed tablets, the first seemingly official Acella-reply never even mentioned the horrible symptoms, and simply underscored that “it is normal for tablet colors to be different between batches and have a slight smell’. No, say the majority of patients, the new smell was far worse than any NDT all these years, besides being repulsive, as is the taste. Many patients have compared the smell to kitty litter or cat pee. See patient comments as to what was happening to them on this blog post.
At the time of this writing, not ONE pharmaceutical has done a thing to return these NDT’s to their former, consistent and smooth excellence which once changed our lives, or even considered or admitted that their product was no more what it used to be…or cared. Said one patient in a group “They remind me of the three monkeys.”
It’s all about the money, not about you.
- Bloomberg article from 2018
- And hundreds of thousands more articles….
“But I feel good on the changed prescription NDT’s”…
Here are four things we’ve noticed when someone says that….
1) They are still on the former good NP Thyroid (at the time of this writing)
2) They do “feel better” on certain NDT brands which are proven to have gone south. But there’s a failure to understand that “feeling better” may be the result of an increase in adrenaline due to still being hypothyroid because of the changes to these brands. We have seen this a lot lately. And their labs (free T3 and free T4) reveal the truth i.e. if the free T3 is midrange (non-optimal) or lower, or the FT4 is low, yet one feels good, it’s usually the adrenaline release.
3) They are combining a low dose of NP Thyroid with higher doses of T3. They may not notice what’s been going on with others since their NP dose is so low, and their T3 is helping.
4) Or an unknown, since so many are not doing well. We need to continue figuring this out….
So what are our options now?
If like so many, you are having problems or never seeing a resolution of your hypothyroid state (like we used to on NDT), we have no choice but to change our meds….AGAIN. And remember, you still have to be optimal. Here are your options if you want to change:
- Synthetic T3 with synthetic T4. Yes, they can work for many, but you still have to get optimal. So it’s not about a token small dose of T3 (like 5 mcg) that too many doctors will put you on, and leave you on. Doing the FT3 and FT4 is still very important. Note that one grain of NDT has approx. 38 mcg of T4 and 9 mcg of T3 (this was inadvertently backwards in those who get an email notification. Forgive me). So a switch to the two synthetics can be made based on that, and in a few weeks, retesting the free T3 and free T4. Also take the time in groups to ask others what T3 has been working for them, whether they are swallowing or chewing it up, etc. (For example, the Mayne version has been awful for many patients. So you have to decide if you want it for you. There are other brands.)
- Natural thyroid “supplements” like Thyrogold, Thyrovanz and others like them. And remember that even on these, you will have to be optimal, not just “on them”. If there is a problem getting optimal on the over-the-counter supplements (you are still too low) some report adding T3 to the natural thyroid supplements. Two comments: 1) We lean towards NOT purchasing those over-the-counter natural thyroid supplements that also contain spleen, adrenals, liver, etc. 2) There are occasional incidences, with labs to prove it, of the free’s going quite high on doses of Thyrovanz that aren’t high doses. So WATCH your frees, just in case.
- Thai versions of NDT like Thyroid-S Yes, there are an awful lot of fillers, so check them out and decide. Thyroid-S is listed in blue about 1/5th of the way down.
- Being on T3-only Yes it works well, but most need to multi-dose it at least three times a day, 3-4 hours a part, to counter the lack of T4 converting to T3 behind the scenes. And some add a small dose at bedtime.
- Compounded Thyroid There do appear to a few compounding pharmacies who are using a perhaps good source of NDT. If you know of one and you are optimal on it, comment below.
Please use this information in working with your doctor if you can. Or find a better one to work with.
I, Janie Bowthorpe, am disgusted by this.
Disgusted that the last consistently excellent NDT by Acella also went down the drain as experienced and reported by a wide variety of patients.
Disgusted by the dismissals by pharmaceuticals when patients report all their returned symptoms and even new and awful symptoms.
Disgusted that they will simply say “we changed nothing” when clearly each NDT did change as reported by patients seeing a return of symptoms with changed tablets.
Disgusted that not even one pharm acknowledges something went wrong, and thus, no changes to the NDT.
Disgusted that we now have this problem on top of doctors who can’t see past their noses about the right use of the former NDT or T3 in the first place.
Disgusted that some facilities are even refusing to test the free T3 and free T4, which are VERY important in finding our right dose of whatever we are on. Or refusing to the test the reverse T3, which is also VERY important.
Disgusted that one pharmaceutical representative may have said that this is all just social media hysteria. Unbelievable.
Disgusted that those in Europe and elsewhere are under a medical system which makes it nearly impossible to get T3, or thinks a TSH up to 10 is fine and dandy.
Disgusted that too many of the over-60 wonderful patients can’t get US medicare to pay for NDT, to pay for T3, both which CHANGE LIVES.
Disgusted by the implication that our wonderful over-60 thyroid patients should be on only T4, or off needed thyroid meds.
I am totally and thoroughly disgusted.
But let’s not be silent about this!