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Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Possible reason for shortage of dessicated thyroid products

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I saw the post about the issues people are having getting their preferred dessicated thyroid product. (I'm one of them too) What many of us  seem to be forgetting is the millions of animals that drowned earlier this year in North Carolina, because of Hurricane Florence. An estimated 8.9 million pigs alone were lost, causing a shortage of the pig thyroid that is used in Armour, Nature-throid, WP Thyroid, NP Thyroid, etc. 

 

I don't know about other companies making dessicated thyroid products, but I know that Acella is rationing their NP Thyroid product so that they don't run into a backorder situation.

 

Per a rep that I spoke to at Acella, pharmacies & their suppliers are not being sent their full order when they place an order, they're only being sent part of it, which is another reason for the shortage. Acella says that there is no backorder on their part, which is true, but they're creating a shortage with their actions. 

 

The price for NP Thyroid has skyrocketed because of the shortage of the the thyroid USP powder that's the active ingredient. When I had my rx filled at Costco 05/11/19, the pills were $20.54 for 84 1 grain tablets.  I called a local Walmart, they quoted me $78, while Womens Compounding Pharmacy in WI quoted me $116.

 

I've been on levothyroxine, I don't like it, but may have to go back to it, along with liothyronine, if this shortage of dessicated thyroid products continues. 

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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Possible reason for shortage of dessicated thyroid products


@sgraham30 wrote:

I saw the post about the issues people are having getting their preferred dessicated thyroid product. (I'm one of them too) What many of us  seem to be forgetting is the millions of animals that drowned earlier this year in North Carolina, because of Hurricane Florence. An estimated 8.9 million pigs alone were lost, causing a shortage of the pig thyroid that is used in Armour, Nature-throid, WP Thyroid, NP Thyroid, etc. 

 

I don't know about other companies making dessicated thyroid products, but I know that Acella is rationing their NP Thyroid product so that they don't run into a backorder situation.

 

Per a rep that I spoke to at Acella, pharmacies & their suppliers are not being sent their full order when they place an order, they're only being sent part of it, which is another reason for the shortage. Acella says that there is no backorder on their part, which is true, but they're creating a shortage with their actions. 

 

The price for NP Thyroid has skyrocketed because of the shortage of the the thyroid USP powder that's the active ingredient. When I had my rx filled at Costco 05/11/19, the pills were $20.54 for 84 1 grain tablets.  I called a local Walmart, they quoted me $78, while Womens Compounding Pharmacy in WI quoted me $116.

 

I've been on levothyroxine, I don't like it, but may have to go back to it, along with liothyronine, if this shortage of dessicated thyroid products continues. 


 

@sgraham30  HI! and thank you for posting this update for me (I started the original post) I would have never thought of this.  So basically you spoke directly with Acella rep and they told  you all this information.  I knew I wasn't misunderstanding all the Pharmacists I talked to who told me that can't get any of the NP Thyroid only what they have left on the shelves presently.  Plus the one I was using is basically WAY behind in any real production coming to local pharmacies by me (Nature Throid) this is just awful.  

 

I suspect there will soon then be a shortage of Armour too....and massive price hikes to go with it.  

 

I am so nervous about starting my new script of Armour...I take a higher dosage at 240mg's so that also makes it so expensive and hard to get a hold of.  

 

If I begin to get hypo symptoms soon then I will know that awful new formulation of Armour just doesn't work for me.  Like you I will have to go back on synthetic stuff plus the T3 I was taking part of the last yr.  

 

I seriously don't think I can handle the stress of this happening every few yrs and going on for years.....Nature Throid's mess has been going on since back in 2017 due to equipment upgrade (so they say) and it's still going on.  I just wish I had known about it last yr.

 

Thanks again for posting this really important information!

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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Possible reason for shortage of dessicated thyroid products

@sgraham30   Have you ever tried Tirosint?  I wasn't able to take any of the NDT's, even from the compounding pharmacy.  They were too powerful.

 

And, after my thyroidectomy, Synthroid worked about as well as a sugar pill.

 

I switched to Tirosint and take Cytome (T3) also.  

 

Tirosint is pricey, and not covered by many insurance companies.  But, they have a coupon online and I only pay $25/mo.

 

As an aside, right now I'm dealing with a RT3 issue and not converting my T4, and we are playing around with my doses.  This whole thing is a total PITA!  

"I've been here since October 2006. Wow!"
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Re: Possible reason for shortage of dessicated thyroid products


@onlyshopsonline wrote:

@sgraham30   Have you ever tried Tirosint?  I wasn't able to take any of the NDT's, even from the compounding pharmacy.  They were too powerful.

 

And, after my thyroidectomy, Synthroid worked about as well as a sugar pill.

 

I switched to Tirosint and take Cytome (T3) also.  

 

Tirosint is pricey, and not covered by many insurance companies.  But, they have a coupon online and I only pay $25/mo.

 

As an aside, right now I'm dealing with a RT3 issue and not converting my T4, and we are playing around with my doses.  This whole thing is a total PITA!  


 

@onlyshopsonlinecould I ask you more about the RT3 issue you are having?  I have been on the T4 only before (112mcg's) and also wasn't converting to T3....so the doctor back then put me on generic T3 medication (15mcg's total but started at 5mcg's and keep increasing).  I never had any doctor check my reverse T3 so I did it myself this yr and mine is almost out of range high.  For some reason I am on (compared to other people) a high dose of thyroid hormone just to get in the very lowest end of the range.  I do have Hashi's (autoimmune) thyroid disease but I know others that do too and do not have this issue.

 

I had a long weekend considering my options going forward....based on this shortage for dessicated thyroid (again) and I am thinking I just can't take the stress of this going on again and again and again.  I have only been diagnosed for 13yrs and have gone thur this 4 times now.  That's crazy and way to often...I suspect it's going to be like this every few yrs.  Plus the cost is crazy expensive when you need higher amounts of the product.

 

So I will use up all the dessicated thyroid I have left....and then go back on the T4 and T3 generics and see if it works out for me.  After checking Googrx now it is much less expensive long term and of course their won't be these panicked shortages of medication and rationing going on to deal with every couple of yrs for the rest of my life.

 

Anyway I just wondered if your doctor had any suggestions about the reverse T3 issue?

 

Thanks for listening and sharing!

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Re: Possible reason for shortage of dessicated thyroid products

@tsavorite, you're very welcome! Yes, I got the info directly from a rep at Acella. I spoke to 2 others before I spoke to the one I got the info from. When I told them I needed to speak to someone who could direct me to a pharmacy that actually HAS the NP Thyroid in stock, I kept getting transferred between reps. 

 

I've been told by the Costco & Walmart stores that I go to that once they sell what's currently in their pharmacy, they won't be able to get any more indefinitely. (neither Costco near me has any left, I'm not sure about Walmart, I need to call them since I need to refill my rx)

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Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Re: Possible reason for shortage of dessicated thyroid products

@onlyshopsonline, yes, I've taken Tirosint before, several years ago. When I had labs done, my free T4 was always at the top of the range, while my free T3 was in the lower 25% of the range, which means that my body wasn't converting the T4 to the active T3 version.

 

I don't want to go back to taking a levothyroxine product, but I may not have a choice in the matter if it continues to be so difficult getting NP Thyroid. 

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Re: Possible reason for shortage of dessicated thyroid products


@sgraham30 wrote:

@onlyshopsonline, yes, I've taken Tirosint before, several years ago. When I had labs done, my free T4 was always at the top of the range, while my free T3 was in the lower 25% of the range, which means that my body wasn't converting the T4 to the active T3 version.

 

I don't want to go back to taking a levothyroxine product, but I may not have a choice in the matter if it continues to be so difficult getting NP Thyroid. 


I take Cytomel (T3) along with my Tirosint.

"I've been here since October 2006. Wow!"
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Re: Possible reason for shortage of dessicated thyroid products


@tsavorite wrote

 

@onlyshopsonlinecould I ask you more about the RT3 issue you are having?  I have been on the T4 only before (112mcg's) and also wasn't converting to T3....so the doctor back then put me on generic T3 medication (15mcg's total but started at 5mcg's and keep increasing).  I never had any doctor check my reverse T3 so I did it myself this yr and mine is almost out of range high.  For some reason I am on (compared to other people) a high dose of thyroid hormone just to get in the very lowest end of the range.  I do have Hashi's (autoimmune) thyroid disease but I know others that do too and do not have this issue.

 

I had a long weekend considering my options going forward....based on this shortage for dessicated thyroid (again) and I am thinking I just can't take the stress of this going on again and again and again.  I have only been diagnosed for 13yrs and have gone thur this 4 times now.  That's crazy and way to often...I suspect it's going to be like this every few yrs.  Plus the cost is crazy expensive when you need higher amounts of the product.

 

So I will use up all the dessicated thyroid I have left....and then go back on the T4 and T3 generics and see if it works out for me.  After checking Googrx now it is much less expensive long term and of course their won't be these panicked shortages of medication and rationing going on to deal with every couple of yrs for the rest of my life.

 

Anyway I just wondered if your doctor had any suggestions about the reverse T3 issue?

 

Thanks for listening and sharing!

 

@tsavorite   My doctor’s only solution is to increase my T3 and decrease my T4 to clear out the excess RT3. Other than that he is clueless. I’ve had to research everything myself. At this point, I’m grateful that he at least recognizes that RT3 is a real thing.  I’ve been to four endocrinologists over the past 15 years, and he’s the best I can find.....SMH!

 

I do find that Cytomel (brand name T3) makes me feel better than generic. But it’s crazy expensive if you are in a range that they don’t manufacture, and have to take several smaller dosage pills everyday. 

 

Since my thyroidectomy, it has gotten worse. This week, along with the changes I’ve made to my thyroid meds, I’ve added a B12 supplement. He tested my B12. It was in low normal range. 

 

Based on my reading, Ferritin levels are also important to T4 conversion. He tested that. It’s again low normal. Not in the range where I’ve read it should be for proper conversion. So I will discuss this with him when I see him next month. 

 

There are also other recommended supplements. But I’ll look into those if what I’m doing doesn’t work. Last year my RT3 was pretty good, but it’s always been a sporadic problem for me. 

 

Stress can can also cause high RT3. I’ve been having acupuncture treatments for adrenaline over-response and for my arthritis. I’m feeling much better in that regard. But am still tired and have muscle issues, related to the RT3. 

 

I could deal deal with the issues I’m having. But my fear is the effect that chronic high RT3 is going to end up having on my heart, brain function, etc. 


 

"I've been here since October 2006. Wow!"
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Posts: 2,479
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Re: Possible reason for shortage of dessicated thyroid products


@sgraham30 wrote:

@tsavorite, you're very welcome! Yes, I got the info directly from a rep at Acella. I spoke to 2 others before I spoke to the one I got the info from. When I told them I needed to speak to someone who could direct me to a pharmacy that actually HAS the NP Thyroid in stock, I kept getting transferred between reps. 

 

I've been told by the Costco & Walmart stores that I go to that once they sell what's currently in their pharmacy, they won't be able to get any more indefinitely. (neither Costco near me has any left, I'm not sure about Walmart, I need to call them since I need to refill my rx)


@sgraham30 Yep that is exaclty what each pharmicist told me as I called around....they have a tiny in stock left and they can't get anymore period.  

 

I have only been on Armour a few days now so have no idea on how I will feel in the next month....maybe it will work out fine...but still I just can't handle going thur this every few yrs.

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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Possible reason for shortage of dessicated thyroid products


@onlyshopsonline wrote:

@tsavorite wrote

 

@onlyshopsonlinecould I ask you more about the RT3 issue you are having?  I have been on the T4 only before (112mcg's) and also wasn't converting to T3....so the doctor back then put me on generic T3 medication (15mcg's total but started at 5mcg's and keep increasing).  I never had any doctor check my reverse T3 so I did it myself this yr and mine is almost out of range high.  For some reason I am on (compared to other people) a high dose of thyroid hormone just to get in the very lowest end of the range.  I do have Hashi's (autoimmune) thyroid disease but I know others that do too and do not have this issue.

 

I had a long weekend considering my options going forward....based on this shortage for dessicated thyroid (again) and I am thinking I just can't take the stress of this going on again and again and again.  I have only been diagnosed for 13yrs and have gone thur this 4 times now.  That's crazy and way to often...I suspect it's going to be like this every few yrs.  Plus the cost is crazy expensive when you need higher amounts of the product.

 

So I will use up all the dessicated thyroid I have left....and then go back on the T4 and T3 generics and see if it works out for me.  After checking Googrx now it is much less expensive long term and of course their won't be these panicked shortages of medication and rationing going on to deal with every couple of yrs for the rest of my life.

 

Anyway I just wondered if your doctor had any suggestions about the reverse T3 issue?

 

Thanks for listening and sharing!

 

@tsavorite   My doctor’s only solution is to increase my T3 and decrease my T4 to clear out the excess RT3. Other than that he is clueless. I’ve had to research everything myself. At this point, I’m grateful that he at least recognizes that RT3 is a real thing.  I’ve been to four endocrinologists over the past 15 years, and he’s the best I can find.....SMH!

 

I do find that Cytomel (brand name T3) makes me feel better than generic. But it’s crazy expensive if you are in a range that they don’t manufacture, and have to take several smaller dosage pills everyday. 

 

Since my thyroidectomy, it has gotten worse. This week, along with the changes I’ve made to my thyroid meds, I’ve added a B12 supplement. He tested my B12. It was in low normal range. 

 

Based on my reading, Ferritin levels are also important to T4 conversion. He tested that. It’s again low normal. Not in the range where I’ve read it should be for proper conversion. So I will discuss this with him when I see him next month. 

 

There are also other recommended supplements. But I’ll look into those if what I’m doing doesn’t work. Last year my RT3 was pretty good, but it’s always been a sporadic problem for me. 

 

Stress can can also cause high RT3. I’ve been having acupuncture treatments for adrenaline over-response and for my arthritis. I’m feeling much better in that regard. But am still tired and have muscle issues, related to the RT3. 

 

I could deal deal with the issues I’m having. But my fear is the effect that chronic high RT3 is going to end up having on my heart, brain function, etc. 


 


@onlyshopsonline  thanks for explaining all that!  I have read about it also over at stop the thyroid madness and some other sites.  I don't know if there truly is a way to correct it to be honest.  I have checked forums to see what other people are doing but nothing much seems to help.  Mine is just in range but high in it....don't know if that is the cause of needing higher dosage or not.  I recently heard a Doc online say you can become thyroid hormone resistant just like people who become insulin resistant!  I have no studies to back that claim up so who knows if it's true.  

 

I had hard time tolerating the T3...I had to take it spread out....5mcg's in the morning...then another 5mcg's later....and finally another 5mcg's early afternoon.  I noticed some dizziness....skin breaking out and increased hair shedding.  I worked up to the 15mcg's slowly over a 8month period.  If I have to go back on the T4 synthetic and T3 again I will do it differently.  Get the 25mcg's pill and split it in half....that would be much cheaper and nearly the 15mcg's (12.5mcgs close enough).