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Old 12-27-2011, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Islip,NY
11,198 posts, read 7,780,655 times
Reputation: 8916
Default Synthroid VS Levothyroxine

There is the generic Levothyroxine and the brand Synthroid. My question is does anyone find that being on the generic thyroid medication it does not work as well as the brand name??? My husband was on the generic a few years ago with no improvement in his thyroid levels.He swtiched to Synthroid and it was alot better. We renew our meds through medco and get a 3 month supply.The last refill before this I did not realize it was the generic. he had been on the synthroid for 3 years at .175 mcg. His recent blood work showed his thyroid level was up hence the plateau in his weight loss. We are back on the synthroid at .200mcg so we will see in 3 months. Since being home for 3 weeks with Phlebitis he put on 7 lbs.I have to call his Doctor and tell him about the mix up so it does not happen again. He had no more refills before this one so we had to ask his Dr to renew. My guess is the girls who work there messed it up and told medco to gove him the levothyroxine. My other question is is it unusual for a man under age 40 to have a probelm with his thyroid??
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Wallis and Futuna
11,294 posts, read 15,973,486 times
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Thyroid problems that cause weight gain is -not- common. It's not rare, but it's not nearly as common as you hear about on internet forums. It's more often than not, a handy excuse for obesity, and not a cause. Your husband was home for 3 weeks with phlebitis. Of *course* he gained weight. He had phlebitis; he wasn't getting enough exercise.

Synthroid is not a diet aid. It is intended to support a thyroid gland that isn't functioning properly, or replace a thyroid gland that was surgically removed. It is the replacement for the hormone that the thyroid is supposed to produce naturally, but for whatever reason, is not.

ONE OF the side effects (a side effect - not a function) of taking synthroid can be (isn't always) weight loss. However, it is never supposed to be used by itself as a diet aid. Weight gain is caused by eating more than you burn off. The thyroid plays a part in the burnoff, but it is not the only contributing factor. It isn't part of the digestive system. Your husband needs to better control his diet, and he needs to exercise more. He -also- needs to be properly dosed if he has a problem with his thyroid. If he doesn't actually have a problem with his thyroid, he needs to get off it.

Having said that....to answer your specific question regarding Synthroid and Levo - there are various companies that manufacture the generic and unfortunately when it comes to the drug levothyroxine, all brands are not equal. One generic might be exactly perfect, while another might fall short. I don't know what these manufacturers do to their drugs to make them less effective; 175 mics is 175 mics. Maybe they're using inferior raw materials, maybe their lab isn't as sterile as someone else's lab. Honestly I don't know why. But I do know that there is definitely a difference. The levo I take now, doesn't seem to be any different from the Synthroid I used to take years ago. But I know other people have not had the same experience and doctors are aware of it.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Islip,NY
11,198 posts, read 7,780,655 times
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He has controlled his diet, last year he was diagnosed with diverticulitis and changed his eating habits completely, He actually got to 100 lb weight loss mark back in september but has been at a plateau. I know not to use the synthroid as a "diet aid". he is being properly dosed. I tend to think I know a little about this stuff than most people we hang around with but I am not an expert. He was depressed being home so he ate a little more than he had been eating. My question was about the difference in the medications.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
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Levothyroxine comes in a dozen dose sizes, because the body responds to very small changes in the levels of thyroid hormones.

The FDA allows generic drugs to vary by as much as ten percent over or under the amount specified for the dose. In other words, if the dose is supposed to be 100 micrograms, the FDA allows it to be as little as 90 or as much as 110 micrograms.

For most drugs, the dose needed falls within a rather wide range, so the difference between a brand and any of its generics is not significant, as far as its therapeutic effect is concerned.

With levothyroxine, however, that plus or minus ten percent can be significant. For example, Synthroid comes in 88, 100, and 112 microgram strengths. A generic 100 microgram product could theoretically be closer to the 88 or the 112 microgram Synthroid dose than it is to Synthroid's 100 microgram dose.

So it is possible to respond differently to a generic than to the brand name levothyroxine product.

But if a generic is a bit different from the Synthroid brand, the difference tends to be reproducible from batch to batch. That means that your pharmacy should choose a particular generic and stick with it. In essence, the generic you are taking should be treated as the "brand" that you are going to use. Then your doctor can test your TSH level and determine the dose you need for that particular generic. If for some reason the source of the generic needs to be changed, the dose might have to be redetermined with blood testing.

So make a note of which company makes your generic levothyroxine and make dure the druggist gives you the same company's product for each refill.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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Wish I could rep you again, SuzyQ. Excellent post!
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
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Thank you!

Suzy Q
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:16 PM
 
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There is a lot of speculation about hypothyroid patients believing that they are overweight merely because they have zero self control with food and/or motivation for exercise. I can tell you that is absolutely not the case with all of us, in fact, a lot of us work harder than our non-thyroid counterparts. I can tell you my thyroid levels have taken to the brink of anorexia, to a total turn around where I was overweight by 15-20lbs. I am constantly changing thyroid meds and doses, it is not an easy journey to say the least, and I have been dealing with this for about 15 years.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:32 PM
 
706 posts, read 601,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post

But if a generic is a bit different from the Synthroid brand, the difference tends to be reproducible from batch to batch. That means that your pharmacy should choose a particular generic and stick with it. In essence, the generic you are taking should be treated as the "brand" that you are going to use. Then your doctor can test your TSH level and determine the dose you need for that particular generic. If for some reason the source of the generic needs to be changed, the dose might have to be redetermined with blood testing.

So make a note of which company makes your generic levothyroxine and make dure the druggist gives you the same company's product for each refill.
Most pharmacies will automatically give people the generic of any medication unless the doctor specifies that the brand is necessary (each time). I second Suzy's points above. Generic is fine as long as you are consistently taking the generic from one particular manufacturer, you just may need a different dose. Thyroid meds have this problem more than other medications.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
779 posts, read 586,222 times
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I take synthroid due to hypothyroidism from Hashimotos. I have found that for me personally there is a difference between the synthoid and levothyroxine. I take the synthroid because I notice a return of some symptoms on the levothyroxine.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Minneeeesoootah
3,489 posts, read 4,371,235 times
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I took a generic for years and never felt as good as I do now being on Levoxyl, I've been on this for 5 years and will never take a generic thyroid med again. My pharmacist also recommends against the generic.
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