Thyroid UK
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Lactose free Levo??....apparently it's not been approved?....HELP


I went to my gp yesterday to ask for lactose free thyroxine as I have all the symptoms of having a milk/lactose intollerance and have been told that I am allergic to milk by an alternative medicine practioner (kinsiologist I think it's spelt)....I have constant allergic reactions which have been ruining my life for literally 6 years and the only thing that has helped to relieve them is thyroxine.....why is there no such thing as approved thyroxine without lactose? and more importantly how do I get it?

9 Replies

It's true that there's no UK manufactured lactose-free levo product. That does not mean your GP cannot prescribe any. If you look on the main website, you will find details of European (actually German) lactose free tablets, and liquid thyroxine (made in the Netherlands) that any pharmacist can obtain for you.

For the tablets, the pharmacist will need an account with an appropriate importer such as IDIS. Most already have such an account. Take the medication details to your local pharmacist and ask if they will obtain this medication for you. Once they confirm that they can, you then need to go back to your GP (or another more helpful one in the surgery perhaps), and tell him/her what needs to be written on the prescription.

Alternatively, you could ask to be prescribed a liquid thyroxine, which is also lactose free and easily obtainable. Details on that same page link given above.

If your GP is helpful, he/she will let you try the tablets or the liquid to see if it helps. If your GP is less helpful, they may say they first need proof that you actually are lactose intolerant. In which case, they will need to sort out the relevant testing for you.


Yeah, I'm caught in a circle pharmacist needs a perscription written out with the exact manufacturing name...and my GP discussed it with all partners (all Gp's in the surgery) and they all agreed that all existing lactose free thyroxine alternatives were (quote) "unlicenced".....I am going to an allergy specialist in 3 weeks time so he said that if they said I was lactose intollerant then they may be able to suggest something....but until then (even though I have done a dairy free diet and showed improvements....suffer from nasal polyps (which other people I know also do and all agree that dairy products make them worse) and have asthma (also aggrivated by dairy products)) I have to wait :( ....just thought there may be someone out there who could tell me the name of a "licenced" version?...I don't even understand how the ones on tyroid uk can be unlicenced? just confused right now


The liquid (oral solutions) levothyroxines are lactose free and licensed for prescribing in the UK. They are often prescribed for children, elderly and others who can't take tablets.

They are however, expensive. So your GPs may not wish to prescribe them for that reason!


Here's a link to the PIL for the MercuryPharma oral solution.


Thanks RedApple...I can't see anywhere where it says that it is licenced in the UK


No, it won't actually state that (it doesn't state that on the tablets either). But the Marketing Authorisation Holder

is Mercury Pharma. Same company that supplies our levo tablets.

The product is listed in BNF (British National Formulary) which lists meds licensed for UK prescribing. Your GP can't argue with that!


RA is 100% right.

The words "is licenced in the UK" are not used. That is for several reasons. One of which is that the word "license" is actually colloquial and historic - the formal name is Marketing Authorisation.

The Summary of Product Characteristics for one of the Eltroxin liquid products says:

Marketing authorisation number(s)

PL: 12762/0462

You need to be able to interpret that as meaning "This product has a UK license".

Incidentally, I agree that all existing lactose-free levothyroxine tablet products are "unlicenced". That absolutely does NOT mean that they cannot prescribe it for you. Only that they will not.

Doctors can prescribe almost anything if they set their minds to it. There is a modest "black list" of things which cannot be prescribed on the NHS.



Thanks Rod....will take this info to my GP and see what he guessing I have yet another fight on my hands....if only this could all be simpler :)


Ahhh...makes sense! Thanks RedApple! :)


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