not doing as great as expected on Erfa

I have been on Erfa Thyroid for about a month now, and I have to say I am not that impressed. I can feel extremely agitated and almost feverish one minute, pointing to hyper, but then feel cold and tired the next. It seems I never feel stable, but keep switching between feeling hypo and hyper. I don't think I have felt normal one single day since switching to Erfa.

Before going on Erfa, I was on Armour for a while, but gave into pressure to switch to Erfa because "everyone" is supposed to avoid Armour since the reformulation. But I have to say that I felt better on Armour, and especially more stable throughout the day. Unfortunately, I don't think that I stayed on it long enough to have time to work my way up to the optimal dose for me.

I was on 5 grains of Armour, and decided to switch to 6 grains of Erfa since it is slightly weaker and does not seem as potent.

The main problem with Armour is that I have to chew the pills up for optimal effect, and I don't really like the taste (I think the last batch I got was worse in that respect), but I guess you get used to it.

I have read so many glowing reports on Erfa, but I seem unable to make it work. I don't know why; after all, it only contains a few inactive ingredients, none of them known to interfere with thyroid hormone absorption, so I really cannot explain it...but I cannot deny it either.

Unfortunately, NP Thyroid does not seem available in Europe at this time, so I'm stuck with either Armour or Erfa (unless I go back to synthetics).

I have tried to swallow, chew and take Erfa sublingually, and I see no difference in symptoms.

I'd appreciate any input on this.

Is anyone else here on Armour and even preferring it to Erfa?

Anna

23 Replies

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  • I am on Armour but haven't tried Erfa (but would be quite interested to). I have to say I'm doing pretty well, although only a dose of 2.75 grains, but this seems pretty good for me :)

    It did take me over a year to build up slowly to this dose due to horrible side effects when I increased, but definitely worth the persistence. I chew the tablets up too, as recommended here and on STTM.

    I have heard of people doing well on different NDTs - it seems that we are all so individual, and what suits one, doesn't necessarily suit another.

    If I were you then I think I would be tempted to return to Armour :) xx

  • I would suggest considering Armour again. It may be that you just need to fine-tune your dose.

    Have you had all the usual suspects checked? Low iron, ferritin, B12, folate or abnormal cortisol levels could be the missing link and why you are unable to feel totally well on Armour.

    It's just a thought. I'm sure others will have other ideas to suggest as well. Whatever the solution is, I hope you find it soon :)

    Carolyn x

  • Please DO NOT TAKE THESE SERIOUSLY!!! But when you have been watching the thyroid world for long enough, you get to to realise that that there are more rumours/chinese whispers about Armour than everything else put together! (Yes! Even more than Eltroxin. If that is possible. :-) )

    "Armour is the best thing in the universe."

    "Armour is unavailable."

    "Armour has reformulated. Nothing like old Armour."

    "You can't cut the new Armour."

    "You couldn't cut the old Armour."

    "The formulation of Armour has gone back to how it was, sort of."

    "Anyone taking Armour doesn't know what they are doing."

    "Try the stuff from Thailand."

    "Stuff from Thailand is nothing like Armour."

    "Erfa is just like Armour used to be many years ago."

    "Armour has disappeared from the market. Don't know if it will ever come back."

    "FDA is going to ban Armour."

    "Armour is the best thing in the universe."

    Rod

  • *Like* :)

  • Too true!

  • You haven't mentioned Nature-Throid, which seems to suit some of us.

  • Thanks to you all! Very helpful suggestions and ideas indeed. Would you mind commenting on my lab results, and tell me how to interpret them (do they give me a hint which drug is best for me?):

    Sept '12 on 300 mg (5 grains) of Armour:

    TSH <0.01 (ref 0.4-4.0)

    FT4 1.1 (ref 0.7-1.5)

    FT3 2.9 (ref 1.7-3.7)

    March '13 on 300 mg (5 grains) of Erfa:

    TSH <0.01 (0.4-4.0)

    FT4 0.9 (0.7-1.5)

    FT3 3.3 (1.7-3.7)

    I know you are supposed to watch your FT3 levels when on NDT, but I have also read that your FT4 levels matter, as some organs and tissues in the body prefer T4 to T3. So it seems important to optimise booth. On 5 grains of Erfa, my FT4 levels were quite low, but on 5 grains of Armour, they were midrange; on the other hand, my FT3 levels were higher on Erfa than on Armour (both times, I went to the lab 24 hours after latest dose).

    Any thoughts on how to interpret these labs? Which FT levels should I am for?

  • I was on Erfa for 8 months and i can't say it did much for me either. I'm now on 3 grains of Armour and much the same really. Still ill, still struggling!

    6 grains is a lot though! jesus! lol I'm pretty sure i could increase as i'm in no way hyper....

    Simon

  • Why don't you increase Armour, and see if you notice any improvement?

    Can I ask you if you felt more or less the same way on both Erfa and Armour, and got no additional benefits from taking Erfa compared to Armour? That is sooo interesting, as most thyroid forums seem to hate Armour and love Erfa, and you get the impression it's all black and white.

    Anna

  • PS. I read about someone the other day (in a forum called Real Thyroid Help) who is on 11 grains of Erfa daily, and my doctor has some patients on 8-10 grains daily, so there is no pre-determined dose that all do well on. It's just so complicated with all the rumours about Armour's reformulation(s) and decreased efficacy, and Erfa being touted as the one and only thyroid drug...especially in Europe where there are no other options. In the US, there are both NP Thyroid and the new Westhroid-P (P for pure), and I wonder when or even if they will be available in Europe?

  • hi

  • yes i think i will be increasing fairly soon. its about time. i've been on 3 grains now for about 8 weeks. I'm waiting till i see my private doc on monday, just to confirm.

    i would say i am more stable on the armour....but then that could be cause i increased to 3 grains shortly after i went on it.

    so to answer your question......no real difference in Erga or Armour. :0)

  • That is really interesting, because my doctor said that most of her patients have asked to go back to Armour, and that about 80% of them are now on Armour...so maybe I should give Armour another chance, I have just read so many negative things about its reformulation in American forums that I thought that I'd do better switching to Erfa...which is not perfect either. Glad to hear you notice no difference between the two, as my doctor insists Armour is actually good, but it's so hard to find someone to agree with that statement...

  • Well as I said above, I am doing well on Armour :)

  • how much does your GP give you then...? my Gp gives me 500 grains at a time! i couldn't see him being very happy if i asked to change back after him giving me all those in one go ! lol

  • Do you mean 500 pills, or enough pills to combine them to 500 grains? My doctor prescribed three bottles à 500 pills the last time (in total 1500 pills) - 500 30 mg pills, 500 60 mg pills, and 500 125 mg pills (Erfa).

  • What country are you in?

  • Belgium.

  • Hi Anna - I am from Belgium but have been living in London for the past 17 years. Are you seeing an allopathic or homeopathic/naturopathic GP or both and which is prescribing Erfa to you, please? It would be interesting to know! If you want to mention a particular doctor, you can PM me. Txs and good luck!

  • Belwom, I sent you a PM.

  • I just read a post on Mary Shomon's blog where it was stated that after any change of NDT drug, it will take the body about a month to recognise and adapt to the new fillers, and during that time you can expect to feel somewhat hypo. I've been on Erfa for almost exactly a month now, and I have decided to stay on it for a little longer, to see if my body was just having some adaptational problems...

  • >Before going on Erfa, I was on Armour for a while, but gave into pressure to switch to Erfa because "everyone" is supposed to avoid Armour since the reformulation. But I have to say that I felt better on Armour, and especially more stable throughout the day. Unfortunately, I don't think that I stayed on it long enough to have time to work my way up to the optimal dose for me.

    You should take the medication that you feel better on, not what 'everyone' takes.

  • I think I have to review my previous statement. I have now been for Erfa for six weeks, have worked my way up to 6 grains (360 mg) daily, and feel GREAT. It was like my body needed some time to get used to new fillers and binders, but now I feel better than ever.

    The last batch of Armour I tried was really nasty tasting (240 mg pills). They did not melt when I chewed them up, but turned into a ball in my mouth, and stayed there for almost an hour until managed to wash it down with water...absolutely disgusting. I am never going back to Armour again, even if some claim success with the lower strength pills (up to 120 mg).

    Unfortunately, it seems that Forest Pharma has not intention of ever going back to the original formula, which worked great according to all the glowing reviews I've read...

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