Eltroxin variations.

I was originally prescribed the 'old' Eltroxin when it was manufactured by Smith Kline I believe. Years ago my GP switched me on to levothyroxine which didn't really suit me. I asked to go back on Eltroxin but was told that it was the same under a different name and more expensive. I stayed on these tablets for years until visiting NZ to see my son who is also on replacement thyroxine. He was prescribed Eltroxin and I obtained a prescription. The NZ Eltroxin tablets came in a bottle, not bubble wrapped and are fatter than my UK tablets. They suited me much better, just as they had years ago. I came back to the UK and asked my GP to prescribe Eltroxin and acquired Goldshield Eltroxin 100 microgram bubble wrapped tablets which appear identical to the Levothyxine tablets produced by Mercury Pharma (and indeed appear to be manufactured on the same premises). Question : What has happened to the different Eltroxin tablets currently available in NZ and formerly available in UK (fatter tablets sold in bottles, rather than bubble packs). They were clearly much better for me than what is currently being offered by Goldshield/Mercury Pharma. Where can I get them in the UK ?

20 Replies

oldestnewest
  • The levothyroxine tablets you refer to are not obtainable in the UK. Levothyroxine currently available in the UK is detailed on our main website page here:

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/treatm...

    That said, levothyroxine in the Eltroxin branded packaging is currently in short supply. See the news item about this here:

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/news.h...

    .

  • Thanks RedApple, I have some 'Eltroxin' recently acquired in UK produced by Goldshield. These tablets are not the same as the Eltroxin tablets I acquired in NZ in March 2013 which were fatter, sold in a bottle and very similar to the original UK Eltroxin tablets I was prescribed 20 years ago. The fatter original NZ Eltroxin seemed to suit me far better than what is currently being offered in the UK. Definitely a different tablet with a much better effect. Where can I get them ? (other than trying to purchase them from NZ)

  • when I first started on thyroxine 10 years ago my tablets were always dispensed loose in a bottle. At some point they appeared in blister packs, and I was told this was an EU regulation i.e. tablets could no longer be dispensed loose.

  • Levothroxine is still available in large tubs but there's been a general move to using blister packs of 28.

  • I do not know the details of the Smith Kline era or quite how things ended up as they are.

    The formulation of Eltroxin varies between that produced for Amdipharm Mercury (formerly Goldshield) in the UK, that produced by GSK, Aspen and various other products around the world where “Eltroxin” is not a protected name. The differences are considerable.

    (I think that a few years ago Aspen picked up rest-of-the-world-wide rights to former GSK Eltroxin while GSK retained north America.)

    A few years ago there was a major problem with Eltroxin in New Zealand. This seemed to occur after production was transferred from north America to Germany. (For a while both GSK and Goldshield Eltroxin were both available in New Zealand.)

    (Similar types of problem have also occurred in Denmark and Israel.)

    The UK’s MHRA produced a report on the issue:

    medsafe.govt.nz/hot/MHRA%20...

    When it comes to UK versions of levothyroxine, you are quite right that our Eltroxin is identical to Mercury Pharma Levothyoxine.

    thyroiduk.healthunlocked.co...

    So, in answer to your question, GSK Eltroxin is available in north America, Aspen Eltroxin is available in a number of other countries around the world, and other variations of Eltroxin are also available. Your chances of getting any of them prescribed in the UK at all are not good, and on the NHS probably close to zero. It is possible that a specials company like IDIS could get them for a pharmacy on your behalf, once a prescription has been obtained! So you end up with internet purchase options as possibly being the easiest. Be careful.

    Rod

  • >Your chances of getting any of them prescribed in the UK at all are not good, and on the NHS probably close to zero.

    I agree. The doctor would not simply be able to prescribe Eltroxin. There is no possibility that a pharmacy could import from NZ in this case. It would not be legal and the pharmacy would not be able to claim back the substantial costs which would be incurred in obtaining the product.

    The doctor would need to hand write a prescription to the effect of 'Eltroxin tablets (manufactured by GSK) to be imported from New Zealand as an unlicensed medicine on a named-patient basis' and then all the usual details like strength, dose and quantity.

    >It is possible that a specials company like IDIS could get them for a pharmacy on your behalf, once a prescription has been obtained!

    It's possible, but they might not have had such as request before. I suspect that it would take some time to obtain.

    Most GPs would not agree to this.

  • Just to make it even more confusing, the version now sold in New Zealand seems to be from Aspen (not GSK).

    eltroxin.co.nz/

    Obviously that looks like it conforms to the GSK world-wide-except-north-America sell off.

    Rod

  • I must admin I didn't check. In that case they'd need to write Aspen!

    GSK have sold quite a few of their old products to Aspen.

  • I looked on the GSK web site and it said they now only manufacture and sell for Canadian market :-(

  • Sorry might have got that wrong it could be North America.

  • Thank you Jan, Its very confusing and I have learned a lot from the NZ Medsafe site. It seems that Glaxo Smith Kline changed their formulation in 2007 and introduced it in NZ with some mixed results. That is the tablet I recently used in NZ and found it to be very good but it doesn't appear to be available here in UK.

  • Many thanks Rod, Doctors I have spoken to in both UK and NZ have confirmed concerns about the variation in performance of the the various thyroxine tablets. I note your word of caution, thanks. Terry

  • If you use the blue "Reply to this" below someone's response, then they get an alert email when you respond, and your response gets indented to make things clearer.

    Don't worry everyone seems to make this mistake at first. :-)

  • Many thanks

  • :-)

    It works.

  • If you find out where you can get them can you PLEASE let me know ...... 13 yrs I have been looking for the same info as you ..... I was taking the Glaxo brand Eltroxin in S Africa and my health has been on a downward spiral since coming back to UK.

    Apparently the Gold Shield Eltroxin brand has now been sold and is being manufactured by Mercury Pharma.

  • GSK Eltroxin can be found on the internet.

    Aspen Eltroxin (which might or might not be the same or work the same for you) can be found on the internet.

    However, it is obviously difficult to be sure what you are getting as there are so many scams as well. One version, for example, is made in India. That does necessarily mean anything is wrong with it - might be exactly what you want. But very difficult to know. It says it is GSK Eltroxin to the old formula!

    Goldshield renamed themselves to Mercury Pharma. Then the company which came to own them merged them with another company create the Amdipharm Mercury we now have! Was not so much a selling of brand name as whole company!

  • Thanks Rod ... Ohhh I don't know ... after watching a programme on TV last week where it showed drugs being made in India for the black market I think I will pass :-) haha Think I will ask Endo if I can try something else instead of Eltroxin.

  • On the other hand, some of our standard medicines are made there!

    I think Dr Reddy branded products are often made in India.

    Rod

  • Oh ok I didnt know that ..

    I haven't heard of Dr Reddy as I have never taken any other drugs other than Eltroxin and Premarin which are taken every day and .. Fexofenadine in summer as I am allergic to all English and S African mixed grass including black,blue and green Burmuda, rape seed and wheat flower / flour ?

    Get over SAD in winter and into allergies in summer .. I can't win.

    I did think after I had written the comment that maybe I'm being a bit unfair and its me and not the Eltroxin .. whichever way I haven't been right since I had to change brands , coincidence I dont know ....

    I don't care what they give me or what I take as long as I get my energy back and the pain goes away ... as long as it makes me feel human again ;-) :-)

    Lynn

You may also like...