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Thyroid UK
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desperation found me writing a blogg ---the pharmercist cannot supply my eltroxin over the last year i have been having supply problems of goldshield (pink packet) ELTROXIN- is it a money problem? i was told they were actually cheaper per tab than the generic LEVOTHYROXIN WHICH CAUSE ME SOME REAL PROBLEMS have i uncovered a scam in the NHS- what are the rules about suply of drugs i am so tired all the time has someone had the same problem

22 Replies

Eltroxin is a brand name for the levothyroxine manufactured by MercuryPharma. The exact same tablets are also packaged in generic MercuryPharma packaging.

There has been a shortage of the Eltroxin packaged tablets for a while now, but the MercuryPharma packaged tablets are still available so your pharmacist could try to obtain these for you instead of the Eltroxin packaged tablets.

See this news item from early March on the main Thyroid UK website


Details of thyroid medications are also here




Thank you, the link to the list of meds, was really helpful, as my pharmacy has had trouble getting Eltroxin for about a year now so it was nice know that the Mercury Pharma is the same as Eltrixin.


thankyou for your comment -do you know why there is a shortage because i am beggining to think it goes deeper into the realms of big business its dark side


No, I can't claim to 'know' what's going on. But I suspect it's all to do with the mergers of various pharma companies over the last year or two. They have probably held off on getting the new packaging designed, printed and into the production line until they've finally made up their minds what to call themselves :D

As long as they keep up the supply of the exact same actual tablets, we don't really need to worry about whether the name on the box says Eltroxin, MercuryPharma or Amdipharm-Mercury!

It's the ingredients in the tablets that matter to us, not the name on the box. Just wish they would keep the pharmacies clearly informed in a timely manner so that we patients don't have to do all the work to figure it all out for ourselves :)


Hi gobananas! Just to say I've got the same problem, only mine is the opposite to yours. I usually have Mercury Pharma levo, couldn't get it from my pharmacist this week and had to settle for Eltroxin! Hope this sorts itself soon.

Jen x


Have recently started using a new pharmacy. I decided I wanted one of the Mercury products so asked. First prescription, only a few weeks ago, in the middle of lots of posts here saying people could not get any, I got Eltroxin. Next prescription, I was expecting the same because the pharmacist had ordered extra so there were Eltroxin packs on the shelf, but no, got Mercury Pharma!

As they are the same, no problem, but very difficult to predict which we will get.



There is no scam eltroxin 25 and 50 are out of stock due to a manufacturing problem. It has nothing to do with price there is only a small difference in price between the two and eltroxin is the braned item


If you read my comments above, you will see that there is no manufacturing problem with the actual tablets. They are still available in the MercuryPharma packaging.


hi helen thanks for your comment yes i was given the same reason over many months ans my pharmacist hunted all over(he prob stole some fronm your pharmacist lol sry) but it is an old explanation over a year you would think these big business would solve it more quickly perhaps not enough money in it and that is scam


I have just spoke to the pharmacy about my script, i have to have 125mg eltroxin, they have in 100 but not 25, so she said to get 25mg mercury pharma i have to go back to the gp for another scrips with levothyroxine 25 on it, its getting a right game x


I think the pharmacist might actually be being over-cautious there. As I read it, the extract from MHRA page re The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 posted below implies change from Eltroxin to Mercury Pharma Levothyroxine should be allowed without referring to the prescriber:

the Regulations consolidate provisions enabling a pharmacist, if in the exercise of their professional skill and judgement they believe it is appropriate to do so, to make changes to a prescription relating to the name of the product or its common name; directions for use of the product; and precautions relating to the use of the product - the Regulations remove the requirement for the pharmacist to attempt to contact the prescriber before making such change; This aims to enable pharmacists to use their expertise and professional judgement to make such changes in a more timely way


Further, the failure to use their professional judgement appropriately has confounded the intention identified by the MHRA that this should ensure such changes are more timely.

Of course, they might not realise that Eltroxin is identical to Mercury Pharma Levothyroxine, but that suggests they are not on top of their game and might need some additional reading/studying/training.

However, I am not a pharmacist, doctor nor a lawyer, so that is based on my commonsensical reading!



Thanks for that Rod i did explain to them that they were the same but they have made me get another script of the 25mg mercury what a waste of time really x


If my interpretation is right, it is even worse than that, it is incompetent.

I'd love to know their reaction if you quoted the above at them!!

It's only 2013, maybe they have not read the Regulations yet? :-)


lol shame i have not got a printer i could have given them a copy when i get my script x


Write down the MHRA link and let them look it up!

Am sure you can explain why easily enough.


rod thanks for that sounds like a cross between jobsworth pass the buck and pc to me -so if i am reading it right someone is going to make an educated opinion and i am be the -guinipig- (cant look up spelling) to see if they are right and a year down the road ?- i trusted the pharmacist who was given wrong info in the first place-i have 10 stable years on eltoxin i count myself lucky till now sorry if this sounds like rambling but i have not had my tabs lol


disregard with my appologies for not reading it correctly had a bad day lol


I have experienced exactly the same as you. This month I have got 100 Eltroxin and 25 Levothyroxin but on reading RedApple's link I feel better.


Big thank you to you, RED APPLE for replying to my blog. I had moved and former, kind and understanding GP gave me extra stocks to help out so only recently had tgo sign up with new GP and then the fun and games began as I realised maybe Goldshield had either gone to wall or sold up. Such a relief that their generic levothyroxine is still available - a rose by any other name etc.!! The thought of having to resort to taking the usual Thyroxine that is dished out by most GPs filled me with abject horror. Spending one's life "on the floor", unable to function or think straight is a hell I did not want to return to. But something I do not understand.......I rang Goldshield/Merfcury-Pharm today and when I asked their medical team if there was another similar generic brand to Goldshield they could suggest, ,I was told that there was no other that they knew of.........very puzzling!


hey give me the number u called i cant get any fun either doc put me on liquid eltroxin and nevousely told me it cost 350 quid a shot whereas tabs were pennies and generic is 6 pound fifty--it taste like 88888 by the way and the delivery by syringe measure hit and miss i feel an overdose comming on lol dont wworry i got an overdose of mad right now so ...have a nice day


The telephone number for Mercury Pharma is 08700 703 033

I have just spoken to them (someone called Saika Ali) and she assured me that:

a) your doctor can write a prescription specifying Mercury Pharma thyroxine

b) if your pharmacist has a problem, get them to ring this number.

Amdipharm Mercury Company Limited

No. 1 Croydon, 12 - 16 Addiscombe Road, Croydon, Surrey, CR0 0XT, UK

Telephone: +44 (0)208 588 9100

Fax: +44 (0)208 686 0807

WWW: amcolimited.com

Medical Information Direct Line: 08700 70 30 33

Medical Information e-mail: medicalinformation@amcolimited.com

Customer Care direct line: +44 (0)208 588 9273

Medical Information Fax: +44 (0)208 686 0807


it’s very interesting to read about these supply problems...... and curious that in addition to supply issues with Eltroxin / Mercury Pharma thyroxine, that there are now also supply issues with Liothyronine, also manufactured by Mercury Pharma (formerly known as Goldshield).

In addition to supply problems, has anyone else experienced any problems or changes in quality to the Eltroxin, or Mercury Pharma thyroxine in the last year?

I have been taking Eltroxin for 15 years and until last year it’s always been fine, and very consistent. However, last year in January 2012, when I got a new batch of Eltroxin 25mcg it was as though it was a completely different product; causing me debilitating dizziness, fatigue and brain fog/poor memory, as well as blood pressure problems. All classic ‘hypo’ symptoms for me. I felt so ill that initially I thought I had a virus, but I noticed that I felt worse after taking the medication, so I went back to the original ‘good' batch of Eltroxin 25mcg and everything was fine. It’s very odd to be able to take one batch one day, and feel fine, and then switch to another batch the next and feel dizzy and ill, within ½ and hour of taking the tablet. Two friends had similar issues with the same batch of Eltroxin.

I had the same problems with three subsequent batches of Eltroxin 25mcg. So

in March 2012, I switched from the Eltroxin 25mcg (taking a tablet twice a day) to the 50mcg strength, ((taking 1/2 a tablet twice a day) and it was absolutely fine again, although it took me a few months to recover from being so hypo.….. then in February 2013 (to my horror!) the same thing has happened again…. I am now struggling again with debilitating dizziness, fatigue and brain fog/poor memory ….. and feeling increasingly worse the longer I take it.... with no better alternative in sight.

Unfortunately I’m allergic to Natural Thyroid, and all the fillers in the other generics, as well. I have tried liquid Eltroxin, but it’s horrible and seems much less potent. So I really don’t know what to do…. nor does my doctor. In March to add injury to insult, because of the extreme dizziness I slipped and fell, breaking my wrist really badly.

Talking to a friend who is a pharmacist (and lecturer on pharmaceuticals) at St Thomas’s hospital, she suspects that they may have changed the supply of one of the ingredients, (or the active ingredient itself) which could affect the dissolution rate, and therefore the bioavailability, of the thyroxine. Apparently lactose has become very expensive in recent years, so perhaps that has changed to a cheaper alternative?

It also seems an odd co-incidence that the all the ’problematic’ batches I have experienced (both25 and 50 mcg strengths) are in boxes that are a slightly different colour (slightly darker) than the previous ‘good’ batches. What is going on???

Interestingly I have just looked on the medicines.org.uk website which states that both Liothyronine and Eltroxin are now manufactured by Amdipharm Mercury Company Limited – so no longer Mercury Pharma? See:




Previously Goldshield, (who were who bought out Mercury Pharma in 2011) were the license holder for both Eltroxin AND sodium Liothyronine for many years.

Both Eltroxin (and the Mercury Pharma generic thyroxine) AND sodium Liothyronine have actually been manufactured for Goldshield / Mercury Pharma by Custom Pharmaceuticals in Hove, East Sussex, for many years – does anyone know if this has changed also? It will say on the patient information leaflet

The Product License Numbers are:

Eltroxin / Mercury Pharma Thyroxine 25 mcg – 12762/0016

Eltroxin / Mercury Pharma Thyroxine 50 mcg – 10972/0031

Eltroxin / Mercury Pharma Thyroxine 100 mcg – 10972/0032

Sorry for such a long post .....


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