Baby has CH and there are Levothyroxine supply issues

Hi, my 6 month old son was diagnosed with CH at 10 days old. Just been advised there are supply problems with his Levothyroxine solution and none of the right strength available for the foreseeable future. I'm looking at using weaker and doubling dose, easier said than done! Anyone else having these supply issues?

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  • I assume that you have seen the news story on the main Thyroid UK site?

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

    When the supply issues became known, I emailed Teva and asked about availability. Initially they said they had plenty. I then asked if they still felt that was true with the Mercury Pharma product being off the market. They again responded, on 13/12/2013, with this:

    Hi Rod,

    It is difficult to say conclusively that we will be able to absorb the added demand for the Levothyroxine solutions as we only forecast for our own demand. I am aware that there is only ourselves and mercury who are suppliers to the market of this product and if they are currently out of stock it will have a knock on affect with our stock levels eventually.

    However, we supply to our wholesale partners who hold between 4 and 6 week’s worth of stock for us. Therefore if we do end up out of stock we should hopefully have enough stock available through wholesale channels to cover until we get our next delivery.

    I can confirm that as it currently stands we are fully in stock of all 3 of the strengths, although the 50mcg does look slightly low in comparison to our forecast due to current demand for this strength.

    If you do begin to experience availability issues, please get in touch and I will try and source stock through our wholesale channels for you.

    I hope this helps

    Thanks

    So it looks to me as if you should consider:

    Contacting both Mercury Pharma and Teva directly to see if either or both can help;

    Contacting the MHRA so that at least someone is shouting about the problem and they might allow direct import of another product;

    Consider whether you could use levothyroxine tablets dissolved/dispersed in water.

    The Actavis Patient Information Leaflet says this:

    Acquired hypothyroidism in children:

    Initially 12.5 to 50micrograms a day. The dose should be

    increased gradually every 2 to 4 weeks depending on response

    to treatment.

    If required the tablets can be dissolved in 10 to 15ml of

    drinkable water and given freshly prepared with some more

    liquid (5 to 10ml).

    medicines.org.uk/emc/medici...

    (Mercury Pharma say almost exactly the same on their PILs.)

    Please be very careful if you do decide to make any changes as it would be so very easy to make a mistake in converting dosages. Not meaning to suggest you cannot work it out, but always best to get someone else to re-check your workings out.

    Wishing you well in getting a suitable dose for your baby. And you.

    Rod

  • Thanks Rod. I hadn't seen this article but it explains a lot. Fingers crossed they'll have the right strength in soon. It's the first time we have had trouble getting it and I was worried as it's so important his dose is accurate at this stage

  • Don't wait to contact the companies - ring them tomorrow! Give them the chance to pull out the stops and supply you. Contact details for both companies are readily findable on the internet. If you leave it, they might be unable to help even if they want to. These things tend to take time to arrange.

    Teva - 01977 628675

  • Martindale's compounding pharmacy do an oral solution - email me for details - louise.warvill@thyroiduk.org

    xx

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