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Old 03-11-2014, 03:39 PM   #1
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Generic synthroid....yay or nay?

Since my thyroid blew up around five years ago, my doctor has prescribed brand name Synthroid for me (50 mcg). At first I was annoyed because of the major difference in price....$15.99 vs. $105 for 90 days. Then I went online and got an education about how important it is to get a constant level of hormone so generics are not recommended in this instance. So, now that I've retired and my husband is planning his retirement, we won't have as much income and will need to cut back in general. So, my question is....should I stay away from generic Synthroid?

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Old 03-11-2014, 03:55 PM   #2
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My mom has been on generic synthroid for a long time without any issues.
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:38 PM   #3
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I suspect that this is an individual issue. My experience may be instructive:

I began T4 with Levoxyl, which is a generic form of Synthroid--and I thrived on it for many years. Then a pharmacist talked me into allowing him to substitute Levothyroxine, which is supposedly the same as Levoxyl (he made more profit with the Levothyroxine!), and I was miserable. At the time, my endo assured me that there are no 'identical' meds, and he told me to get back on Levoxyl, which I did. But last year Levoxyl was withdrawn temporarily from the market, and I was really worried because of the previous experience. My endo suggested Synthroid, and I've done just as well with that--I hate having to spend more, but my health is far too important to me to play around with my thyroid hormones.

However, I also take T3 (Cytomel), and when I began, only the brand was available. When the generics arrived, my insurance company insisted that I try the generic, and that didn't work for me AT ALL. Even though the brand is incredibly more expensive for me ($80 vs $10), I use the brand (after my endo applied for approval). I am retired and on a fixed income, but feeling my best means taking the right thyroid Rx, and that's what I try to do, despite the cost.

In general, when taking hormones, the brand is recommended, but sometimes the generic will work for a person, as Levoxyl has for me. Since you have experience of Synthroid, you can try a generic and see how you feel. If it's not a good match for you, you'll notice the difference, but keep in mind that T4 can take 4-6 weeks before you feel the full effect.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:57 AM   #4
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I'm on generics (years ago was on Synthroid) and they work fine for me. Generic T3 also (Mylan only, NOT Paddock).
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:25 AM   #5
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Yes, I see that it is an individual issue. My insurance company has never contacted me about switching to a generic for my Synthroid. I always thought that was because they understood the need to be on a constant level dosage. I'll talk to my doctor on my next appointment. Thank you all for your replies.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:55 AM   #6
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I started out on levothyroxine and did "okay" with it. My levels came into range and I felt better than I had, but not exactly well. My endo recommended trying Synthroid and seeing if it worked any better. I did notice a difference, enough so that I don't mind paying the difference. I think the levothyroxine was around $10 and the Synthroid is around $35 (with my insurance).
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:01 PM   #7
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I have friends on Levothyroxine who do just fine on it. I did NOT!

So moved to Synthroid , paying more for it and tolerated it just fine. And felt a little better than before I had been d'xed, but not a great deal. After about a year, my doc took a good look at my numbers and said, "hmm, this isn't doing the trick, let's try something else." (The problem was, that I was not converting.) So, based on what I had read here, I asked him what he thought about Armour. He thought we should try it so now I am on a grain of Armour a day and doing fine.

I agree with the others that generic drugs can sometimes vary from person to person in their results, and in my case, it was true with the Levothyroxine.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DABG View Post
I have friends on Levothyroxine who do just fine on it. I did NOT!

So moved to Synthroid , paying more for it and tolerated it just fine. And felt a little better than before I had been d'xed, but not a great deal. After about a year, my doc took a good look at my numbers and said, "hmm, this isn't doing the trick, let's try something else." (The problem was, that I was not converting.) So, based on what I had read here, I asked him what he thought about Armour. He thought we should try it so now I am on a grain of Armour a day and doing fine.

I agree with the others that generic drugs can sometimes vary from person to person in their results, and in my case, it was true with the Levothyroxine.
Can you tell me what your numbers were that prompted your doctor to make a change? Were they out of range, or just pushing the limits of normal?
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:32 AM   #9
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Just my experience but I did not do well on generic Synthroid ( levo).
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:24 AM   #10
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Like Leo said, I think it depends on the individual. I've been on Levothyroxine ever since I had a total thyroidectomy last November and my levels have been fine and I feel fine on it.

I had actually been switched from Nature-Throid because I had to change from seeing a nurse practitioner (who prescribed the NT) to an Endocrinologist. The Endo admitted to not knowing much at all about NT and wanted me to try Synthroid. I agreed to try it (but generic) and I don't feel any different than when I was on NT.

I'm fine with staying on it unless I find that it doesn't work anymore.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:01 PM   #11
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I'm actually afraid to try the generic for fear of rocking the boat. Synthroid has worked well for me and the idea of maybe having my levels disturbed scares me a little. My biggest concern is the fact that pharmacies often change manufacturers, and that can have an effect on your levels even though it's the same generic drug.
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:37 PM   #12
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I am new to all of this, as you know. I have read so much over the weekend I was practically about to go cross eyed. I have read so many different case stories. Some do fine with it others don't. I guess maybe try it and see. I can understand not wanting to rock the boat but there is only one way to find out.
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