Micro rant :/ eltroxin

I have read over and over that Eltroxin and generic mecury pharma levothyroxine are the exact same tablets.

I beg to differ.

I havent been on this site for some time, ive been too busy living my life well finally after years of being sick. I initially got well on goldshield generics and remember when my pharmacist got me eltroxin that i didnt think it was quite as strong as the generic but I had remained well, though my tsh went up slightly. Over the 16months ive been on goldshield, the last 9 months on Eltoxin I have got to being myself again. I slowly managed to lose 50lbs and could finally manage my life and was finally able to socialise again.

3 weeks since being given mercury pharma generic, I am unwell again, I have palpitations, im exhausted, I want to sleep on every soft surface I see, im weak, have no appetite and feel a little nauseous. I am pretty sure im over medicated since the change, ive cut my meds but yet to see improvement and booked a blood test for next week.

I just wanted to see if anyone else has experienced a change in health because of a change in brand. Surely there should be better regulation of what is in these tablets, when my heart has been pounding in my chest and I feel like im going to die, its not really very comforting to read, 'they are exactly the same' They are not.

22 Replies

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  • If you believe this to be the case, and I have no reason to doubt your experiences, I implore you to write/email both Amdipharm Mercury and the MHRA and repeat what you are saying.

    If they are not the same, then Mercury have misled us and the MHRA.

    As both have identical debossing on the tablets, there would be no obvious way for anyone to know whether an individual tablet had been sold as Eltroxin or as Mercury Pharma levothyroxine. This would be a real problem in trying to identify the source of the problem if they are actually different. Further, the 25mcg tablets have the exact same product licence - PL 12762/0016 (though that is not true for the 50 and 100 tablets).

    On the other hand, it could be that whilst they are supposed to be identical, there is an issue with the ones you actually have. That would undoubtedly fall into the Yellow Card reporting scheme.

    Rod

  • I took Goldshield for several years without any problem, changed to Merc Pharma Levo and felt really unwell. I now stick with Activis.

    There have been many people who have had problems with Merc Pharma so something in the mix is different.

  • On the basis that the only declared change between Goldshield and Mercury Pharma is the packaging, if you feel this is the case, PLEASE put in a Yellow Card report:

    yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/

    [This applies to the change of branding in early 2012.]

    Rod

  • Please will you report this to Mercury Pharma.

    When I reported the problems I had, with Mercury Pharma, they told they had had no other complaints! And then they don't take it seriously!

  • Hi Camille,, i too share your concern despite being constantly informed they're identical,, whilst i don't doubt the information and expertise on here,, i will say I've found the mercury pharma to feel weaker and others in our group have echoed this. We have filled in yellow cards but my issue is that We don't have issue with mercury pharma per say but the fact it's not identical to eltroxin as being said. So the option is to stay on this and put up or go onto Actavis which isn't without it's critics either..

  • As you know Ian, I never got on with Actavis, but I have been wondering since I changed to Mercury if that could be the cause of my rash which I never had before. I never had Eltroxin (as far as I am aware) so I have nothing to compare it with.

    I have blamed everything except the Levo. I have stopped taking COQ10 because it is a known side effect, no change. I've just stopped my B12 spray, no change.

    So it is gradually coming down to only one thing... but I can't stop taking that. It must be one of the fillers, but I am loath to go back to Actavis because I felt they were not as potent.

    I may have to eat humble pie and speak to the pharmacist again. He gets annoyed because he says there is absolutely no reason to be fussy as they are all the same! Left to his own devices he would give me whatever is cheapest this week. One time he gave me one pack of Mercury 50s, one pack of Actavis 50s and a pack of Wockhart 25s.

  • We need an advocate to go to the companies and represent the patients,, an organisation with clout and respect..

  • i would gladly second that - as more people on this site have ACTUAL experience of this problem [ not myself or my lady or myself ] ==== I had a different problem with another med ===== this appears to me to be a commercial decision with regard to the 'fillers' that are used [ some being cheaper than others ] ....... I believe that in licenced drugs it is the ACTIVE ingredients that are licenced and NOT the filler ingreadients ----- and I truly feel that some of these fillers can have detrimental effects not only on the meds but more importantly on the patients taking them-- an example of this is 'corn starch ' which is used as a filler in many medications but for someone that has an intolerance of this would create a health reaction to the filler [ corn starch ] and would therefor suggest to the doctor that another course of medication is needed because the fillers in the ACTUAL meds taken were NEVER TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT ......this is just a thought that I have been musing over for some time..

  • Camille, I have noticed for years that I am very much up and down and gradually became aware that not all Levothyroxine is equal. I spoke to my pharmacist about it and he actually laughed in my face. I have never, ever, been given one brand consistently so I was never really able to know why I might be suffering a return of symptoms.

    Even now, although I asked if I could be given just one brand, he still gives me a mix of Mercury and Wockhart. It makes it doubly difficult for me to pinpoint where the problem might lie.

    I agree with Rod that the only recourse is the yellow card. It may not not feel very satisfactory, but if people persist, MHRA do investigate, as they are with the T3. It just takes time, which is hard when your life is being affected. We should be able to rely on our medication.

    Marie XX

  • I agree with you Marram, I have had so many different brands since TEVA was withdrawn I wouldn't have a clue if any one of them was to blame for my continuing symptoms. My endo did recommend Goldshield but I haven't asked for it yet. Until all other possibilities for my symptoms are crossed off the list, i.e. vitamin/minerals, coelic, B vits etc etc I think I will have to just carry on with what I am given.

  • Goldshield is now Mercury Pharma. AAARGH why can't anything stay the same for more than five minutes?

  • Doesn't make it easy!

    There are, however, at this time only TWO formulations at each of the three dosages - 25, 50 and 100.

    Wockhardt - 25 only

    Actavis - 50 & 100

    Mercury - 25, 50 and 100

    However, they may be packaged in various guises such as Lloyds or Almus.

    Rod

  • Yes and there are now problems with Liothyronine (T3), as well as Eltroxin since they have taken over Goldshield!

    The problems with Liothyronine seem to come to light more quickly and seem to be taken more seriously as it's the ONLY from of T3 available in the UK.

  • Info for you pharmacist:

    The MHRA are aware of problems and published this earlier in the year:

    mhra.gov.uk/Safetyinformati...

    The Teva thyroxine was withdrawn (and license revoked) because of problems of unreliability - see:

    mhra.gov.uk/NewsCentre/Pres...

    mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/com...

  • I am taking the unbranded pharma group levo and i feel slightly better than when i was on activis - i feel exhausted with low energy levels and still i keep having hot and cold spells and fevers. but at least the palpitations and headaches have gone which i experienced with acitivis.

  • Just to throw another spanner in the works, I have just re-read the PIL with my Mercury Pharma 25mcg Levothyroxine and at the bottom of the PIL it states - Manufacturer: Custom Pharmaceuticals Ltd. What have they got to do with it? Mercury Pharmaceuticals Ltd., are noted as the Marketing Authorisation Holder. No wonder we cannot get to the bottom of anything! Janet.

  • Eltroxin has always been manufactured by Custom Pharmaceuticals, for Goldshield (now Mercury Pharma).

  • Thank you everyone for your comments, I have contacted mercury pharma and though they reiterated that the eltroxin and mercury pharma are Identical they have sent me a load of forms to complete as they said I have had an adverse reaction, because of the palpitations.

    I am more sure today I am over medicated. I have missed two days and started a reduced dose today. Although only a little, I am better able to function today for short periods,, hoping for continued improvements. I will complete the yellow card as suggested.

    I cannot take actavis as I get a rash, occular rosesea and I wasnt well until I took only goldshield/forely or eltroxin. I am hoping this is just a bit stronger than the eltroxin so I can get back to being me on a slightly lower dose.

  • Hi I feel the same was doing really well on gold shield but within 2 weeks was starting to slip! Hair had stopped falling out but has started again! Wish they could just leave things alone :(

  • And just to add for those who are given whatever brands the pharmacy has, I always present my perscription but say I dont want it filled until I know which brands they have, and unless they have 100mcg and 25mcg in goldshield/foreley/eltroxin/mecury I take my perscription elsewhere. After i walked away, script in hand a few times, my local pharmacy started ordering eltroxin just for me every time. Until they couldnt get it anymore, then they ordered me the mecury pharma which was the only one on my list they could get. I think it really is worth getting what works for you and though as I found this time it doesnt eliminate the risk of a change in health each time you get your meds, it does increase the chance of getting your dosage right. I would try all the local pharmacists until I got what I wanted but did find that the large all night Boots dispensers keep a wide range of brands and would order just for me. Hope this helps.

  • ...apologies everyone... so i need to get Eltroxin manufactured by Goldshield?

    My daughte is taking Eltroxin because i thought the fillers were more non wheat based, but she has been suffereing from headaches/chest pains and getting major spots on her back and other parts of her body. She has an appt at her Endo tomorrow and i am seriously thinking about NDT my GP said if the endo agrees she will OK the prescriptions.

  • Camille you are not alone.

    I have been experiencing problem with Eltroxin over the last 18 months, so dread to think what the generic tablets are like, especially if the Product License isn’t the same.

    Initially I noticed that the Eltroxin 25mcg tablets went ‘odd’ in January 2012. Within days of starting a new batch, I started to feel really unwell – very hypothyroid: including very dizzy, tired, and unable to function mentally – I just had to lie down. To start with I thought I had a virus. I had half a packet left of the previous batch, and when I switched back to those I immediately felt fine again. But then they ran out so had no choice but to switch back to the newer ‘horrible batch. After taking these for a few weeks I became really ill. Friends also reported similar problems. They resolved their problem by switching to other generic brands. However I have always struggled with the other generic brands, which is why I have been on Eltroxin since 1998 – with no problems until the last 18 months.

    In March 2012, I switched to the 50 mcg strength and this was fine, (like normal Eltroxin) and I started to regain my good health. Then in February 2013, I got a new batch of the 50 mcg strength, and that had changed too. The same as the horrible 25mcg tablets. I found that the batch of Eltroxin 100mcg tablets that my local pharmacy had in stock at the time, were marginally better, but not much, and quickly the same adverse symptoms returned.

    I have reported the problems to Mercury Pharma, but of course they say that nothing is wrong, but something is. One thing that Mercury Pharma are unable (or unwilling!) to explain is why the horrible Eltroxin has such a salty taste, whereas the ‘good’ Eltroxin didn’t really taste of anything. It’s as though they are using thyroxine from a different source and it’s not as potent.

    This has completely ruined my life. I am now so ill with the return of hypothyroid symptoms that some days I can barely walk. As a result of the extreme dizziness I fell over in March and broke my wrist really badly, which was devastating. I am only now starting to be able to drive again. If I clean a room it takes me three days to recover. I used to be very active and a keen gardener, but now I struggle to even walk around the garden, let alone actually do any gardening.

    I have been taking Eltroxin since 1998 with no problem until the last 18 months.

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