Thyroid Hormone Replacement Drugs

The Medications, How to Take Them, T4/T3 Drugs, and Armour Thyroid

Hypothyroidism describes the condition where your thyroid is underactive due to autoimmune Hashimoto's disease, surgical removal of your thyroid gland, a thyroid that has been disabled by radioactive iodine, or other factors such as thyroid-slowing medications. In most cases, hypothyroidism means that you need thyroid hormone replacement treatment, a prescription medication to replace the missing thyroid hormone that your body is unable to produce on its own.

Thyroid hormone replacement drugs used to treat hypothyroidism include synthetic versions of the thyroid hormone levothyroxine (known as T4.). Levothyroxine drugs include brand names such as Synthroid, Levoxyl, and Tirosint. There is also a synthetic form of triiodothyronine, the T3 hormone, called liothyronine. The brand name is Cytomel. Finally, there is natural desiccated thyroid, sometimes called NDT. These prescription drugs are prepared from the desiccated (dried) thyroid glands of pigs, and are sometimes called porcine thyroid. Brand names for these thyroid drugs include Nature-throid and Armour Thyroid.

Learn more about thyroid hormone replacement the medications, how to take them, troubleshooting problems with your thyroid drugs, the T4/T3 drug controversy, and the controversy over natural desiccated thyroid drugs. 

Hypothyroidism Medications/Treatments

If you are hypothyroid, it's important to know that there are a number of different thyroid hormone replacement drug options. You can learn about them in this overview, which discusses levothyroxine (synthetic T4) drugs like Synthroid, Levoxyl, and Tirosint, natural desiccated thyroid like Nature-throid and Armour), and synthetic triiodothyronine (T4) drugs like Cytomel, as well as other drugs used to treat an underactive thyroid. 

How To Take Your Thyroid Hormone Replacement Medication

pills medication in hand
pills medication in hand. istockphoto

Whether you take a levothyroxine drug like Synthroid, or a natural thyroid medication like Nature-throid or Armour Thyroid, it is important that you know how to take your thyroid medication properly. Helpful information including the timing of your medication, interactions with foods, drugs and supplements are discussed in this article, along with creative ways to remember to take your thyroid medication.

Troubleshooting Your Thyroid Hormone Replacement

pill bottle medications drug
pill bottle medications. istockphoto

When thyroid hormone replacement doesn't seem to be working as well as it should, there are some factors to consider, including the possibility of overmedication, undertreatment, problems with generics drugs, or potency problems due to heat. Here are some issues to troubleshoot in your thyroid hormone replacement regimen.

The T4/T3 Thyroid Drug Controversy

woman confused pills drugs thyroid medications
woman confused pills drugs thyroid medications.

The use of T4 and T3 together as part of thyroid hormone replacement treatment for hypothyroidism  is controversial, given that the standard treatment is levothyroxine alone. The addition of T3 to the levothyroxine/T4-only treatment is, however, a topic of ongoing research and discussion. Learn more about the ongoing controversy over use of T4/T3 treatments, including research both pro and con, and expert opinions from practitioners.

The Natural Desiccated Thyroid Controversy

white pills medication drugs prescription bottle
white pills medication drugs prescription bottle. istockphoto

Natural desiccated thyroid drugs have been in use for more than 100 years, and remain popular with holistic, alternative and integrative physicians as a thyroid treatment and for thyroid hormone replacement in hypothyroid patients. These drugs are controversial, however; it can be a challenge to find doctors who will prescribe them. Meanwhile, the drugs regularly come under (often undeserved) attack. Learn more about natural thyroid, the criticisms against, it, and whether it could be right for you. 

Thyroid Patients: Problems With Synthroid? It Could Be Hay Fever or Lactose

drug companies, drugs, thyroid drugs
Malcolm Park, Stockbyte

We don't always think about the possibility that the medications we take may actually make us feel worse, but it's actually quite common for people who have allergies. For thyroid patients who are taking Synthroid, two ingredients in the pills are common allergy triggers that may be making your symptoms worse. Find out whether the acacia and lactose in your Synthroid are causing symptoms.

13 Mistakes You May Be Making with Your Thyroid Medication

A look at generic versus brand name levothyroxine

It's unfortunately too easy to make mistakes when taking your thyroid hormone replacement drugs. Here are 13 common mistakes that patients frequently make when taking their thyroid medications to treat an underactive thyroid. .

Should You Take Generic Levothyroxine?

prescription medications in bottle drug bottle
prescription medications in bottle drug bottle. istockphoto

Is generic levothyroxine as safe and effective as brand name thyroid drugs? Find out why some doctors have concerns about generic levothyroxine, and how you can get the best possible care.

How Thyroid Patients Can Save Money on Prescription Drugs

money and medicine, saving on prescription drugs
money and medicine, saving on prescription drugs.

Learn how thyroid patients can save money on prescription drugs with prescription assistance programs, discount drug cards and other ideas.

Natural Desiccated Thyroid for Hypothyroidism


A look at natural desiccated thyroid drugs for thyroid hormone replacement, including Armour Thyroid and Nature-throid, used to treat an underactive thyroid.

What Is The Best Thyroid Medication?

drugs. istockphoto

What is the best thyroid drug? A look at levothyroxine, T3, natural desiccated thyroid, and other options for hypothyroidism treatment.

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