T3 not available in France!

Took my prescription to the pharmacy to be told (with a mixture of disapproval and glee) that T3 isn't available in France :-( So I am going to buy some online.

I intend to take the T3 with levothyroxine, but without the arsenal of drugs I have been given for the symptoms, for a couple of months because I want to see what effect it has.

Am I right in thinking that I should start small and increase the amounts very gradually. My prescription was for 20 mcg tablets.

I really do not know what I would have done without this forum.

13 Replies

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  • Yes, 20mcg is a good starting dose. When it was prescribed, were you told to get blood test and get it reviewed after a certain number of weeks? E.g.8 weeks.

  • ....I personally think 20mcg is too big a starting dose. You don't say how much T4 you are on. If it is quite high then you need to reduce it to a 80/20 ratio - as a guideline. Some people feel better taking the small amounts of T3 throughout the day. Maybe take a look at

    rwt3.com

    You may find the site and the information helpful.

    No T3 in France - yikes - it will be Greece next - had better go shopping !

  • Hi,

    I should have said that according to my chemist T3 is not approved in France, so not available on prescription.

    My Doctor only gave the prescription for T3 after a long battle that reduced me to tears (that was the point where I was diagnosed as depressed/anxious etc), she was adamant that as my TSH and T4 are well within normal range (she kept the results but I know my TSH was just above 1) that there was no need for anything else.

    I am getting depressed because I am shambling through life with no energy and I am fed up of being lectured and patronised, so I feel as if I have to go it alone really. You can change doctors easily, but I have run out of option, I would never go back to the one who ignored me for years, I will never forget when I told him that my temperature was always well below normal and he said "don't be ridiculous, if that was true we would know that there was something genuinely wrong with you"!, another really lovely Dr moved out of the area, the next one retired and rural France struggles to find replacements.

    So,

    My sister has ordered me some Cytomel, I have bought the 'Hope for hashimotos' book and I am going to keep to a very healthy diet that is as close to gluten free as possible. I take a vitamin D supplement daily and am going to add selenium. I'm going to take it slowly, one thing at a time so that I can see what effect the changes are making. I will start the T3 as a very small dose and increase it by taking more at intervals in the day, so will start at 5 mcg and work up to 20 mcg.

    I am on 75 mcg of Levothyroxin, which isn't high, but I had a battle to get it increased to that. I think that the TSH level is being suppressed by other factors, from what I have read in the book HRT and stress (there has been lots of that over many years) could do that.

    My dream is to bin the statins & anti depressants, work slowly on my own to improve my health and when my results are good and I am losing weight and have more energy I will confess that I never took the pills.

  • What range do they use in France for TSH? So they use the more enlightened lower level limit like Germany, US etc?

  • I was on antids and found they made matters worse I dumped them a while ago and started t3 I bought on online and do feel better apart from men things arent too bad lol! I too started 5mcg and worked up. When I was on too low a dose of t4 my sugar and cholesterol went up including my tsh. Giid luck gi slow and listen to your body. X

  • I really appreciate all the comments and information, I was feeling quite low when I returned from seeing my Doctor yesterday.

    I have done more research this morning, I knew that Hypothyroid raided cholesterol levels but it also seems as if it could be responsible for the high blood pressure as well. Apparently T3 relaxes muscles/blood vessels (there was a long complex explanation on a 'body building' site, so no wonder that BP rises without it.

    I was given a fierce lecture yesterday about how it was of the utmost importance to lower my cholesterol/BP & weight and stop blaming everything on my thyroid. I have read enough on this forum & elsewhere to know that if I took the pills, especially the statins, I could be in for a bad time. I was so frustrated at one point I burst into tears and then of course got handed a prescription for anti-depressants.

    I can't wait for my T3 to arrive now.

    Normal range TSH in France is 0.27 to 4.2, so they were happy when my TSH was at 3.4 and I felt terrible. In the end I increased my dose of levo from 50 to 75 and then presented my DR with a 'fait accompli' and my dose was officially increased, albeit reluctantly.

    The really odd thing here is that they hand opiates out like smarties, if I took all the pills I had ever been prescribed here I would be a zombie (maybe that is the idea?).

  • Oh god, that horrible medical syndrome of handing out Anti-Depressants..!. It's like they can't bear people to have normal emotions or reactions. First sign of tears (I've had this), they leap on it.... It's shabby medicine, imho.

    I'm surprised France has so high a TSH limit. Really thought they'd be on a par with the other countries like Germany, Sweden etc.

    Glad you're feeling a bit better tho'.

  • That's strange because the T3 I am prescribed by my GP is imported from France! It is cynomel and is made by sanofi aventis - I'd check with another pharmacy if I were you.

  • Barbara you are right! I just looked it up ! I will be printing the information off and showing it to my pharmacy before taking my prescriptions elsewhere in future!

    I was feeling really fragile yesterday after seeing the Doctor and the chemist was very dismissive.

    It does occur to me that before internet forums patients like us just suffered in silence, assuming that they were somehow failing because everyone 'knew' that everyone else was doing well on Levothyrox.

    Normally I am quite confident and able to stand up for myself but when I feel low & exhausted I lose that confidence and become easier to bully.

  • There is at least one T4+T3 combo product in France - for which there is a stock issue currently!

    ansm.sante.fr/S-informer/In...

    My point being simply that if there is a combo product, it would be surprising if there were not at least the possibility of a pure T3 product. (My French language searching is dreadful. :-( )

    Rod

  • How infuriating. I can't believe the stupidity of the medical profession. Yes I can. I hate to admit it, but I knew from the 90s that I had a thyroid problem but doctors denied it. It became clear to me in 2011. My doc paid no attention and prescribed inderal for my palpitations.

    Enough! I decided to treat myself. I refuse to be victimized and am capable of monitoring my symptoms. Now, on 135 T3, I feel much better.

    I hate to see the terrorism doctors can practice. It's really emotional and physical abuse IMO. What happened to do no harm? But they can feel powerful at our expense.

    Rant over. Hope you find your solution

  • Barbara. I import T3 from UK but UKers cannot but from my pharmacy.

  • Got it with no problem from another pharmacy! Bit of a drive but worth it. I wouldn't have even thought to try again after the way I was treated at the first pharmacy if it hadn't been for this forum!

    It does feel like terrorism doesn't it? I imagine the Doctors hate patients who turn up armed with information, and I'm sure there are a few people with minor problems who have convinced themselves that they have a brain tumour, but I wasn't combative when I went to my Dr, I was asking if she would support me, do the tests and monitor what I wanted to do (not on a whim, but supported by lots of research) and it was rejected before I had finished the sentence, meanwhile that cuff was on my arm and the finger was wagging.

    If it hadn't been for the support of this forum I would have been completely crushed by what happened, I was to ashamed to admit it but I was also given a letter to see a psychiatrist as my insistence that it was my thyroid was seen as agression masking deep depression, apparently when my symptoms flare up it is my deep dark depressed 'other self' surfacing, and I know if I'd made that appointment I would have been doomed, whatever you say can be twisted.

    So I'm taking my first cynomel today, I already take vitamin D & selenium and I also bought some vitamin B12 yesterday. I'll report back!

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