Where to get Mercury Pharma alternatives?

I've been reading the recent posts re MP with interest as I have taken it since my diagnosis last year. I have never been what I would call great but recently (apart from depression, mood swings, inability to lose weight etc etc) I have developed joint pain and am wondering if the dodgy MP may be the cause? I decided to stick to one brand so always go to Asda pharmacy but am wondering a) if another brand is considered "better" and b) who stocks it?

I couldn't sleep last night for the pain so have to do something :-(

23 Replies

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  • Have you tried using 25mcg tablets instead, they're not the same, they're better, you just have to take more of them. I believe that 100mcg are same as 25mcg (just more in them of course), so you could cut 100s in half for 50mcg. :)

    Also you should have bloods done in case you're under treated.

  • I'm not sure I understand you correctly Aurealis (brain fog!) Are you saying 25s and 100s are OK but the rest are dodgy? I m actually on 100mcg. I believe I am undermedicated but last time she took my bloods the GP pronounced me as "fine" and to come back in 6 months!

  • Maybe it just doesn't suit you then, or your results are in range but not right for you. You can get other generic Levo from other supermarkets and pharmacies. Which one they have at anyone time varies, so you could telephone ahead to save the leg work!

  • Sometimes it is the fillers/binders used in the product and a lesser tablet may make a difference.

  • The trouble, as usual, is having to work out what is wrong myself rather than the GP doing it for me! I am due another prescription so do you think it is worth asking for 25s or 50s?

  • Maybe ask the pharmacist if he can give you 25s instead of 50s, some might do that.

    This is a list of alternative meds. Maybe compounded levo or lactose free and I've no idea what the cost is for these.

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

  • Are any brands considered "better" than Mercury? I think I've read before that some are said to be exactly the same as MP but people dispute this?

  • There are only three!

    Pretty much - do you get on better with Mercury Pharma or Actavis? (Wockhardt only comes in 25 mcg tablets and it might be difficult to persuade a GP to prescribe such small tablets for larger doses.)

    There has been a long-running question as to whether Mercury Pharma Levothyroxine is, or is not, absolutely 100% identical to Mercury Pharma Eltroxin. See this post:

    healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

    If you want anything else, you need to look abroad.

    Rod

  • Thanks for that...the plot thickens even further! Am I right in thinking Eltroxin isn't made any more?

  • From early last year Mercury Pharma Eltroxin has not been available on the UK market. MP have always insisted that it will return at some point but have, so far, not made any announcement as to when (so far as I know). The reason has been given as production difficulties of some undefined sort.

    Hoping to provide clarity, Eltroxin in most other countries is a different formulation made by different companies.

  • Oh well I guess it will just have to be Mercury Pharma for me then...I'll just have to keep on feeling like cr@p!

  • You do have the option to buy your own from elsewhere than the UK.

    Not given away, but not restricted to millionaires! :-)

    Rod

  • Sorry for being thick Rod (damn this brain fog!!) but buy my own what?? I would buy anything that would sort me out but I really don't know how I find out. All I've ever had is Mercury so I can't compare it to anything else.

  • Your own levothyroxine, for a start.

    If you are not well on Mercury Pharma levothyroxine, I suggest that you try another make. Within the UK, you could reasonably take your next prescription to a pharmacy which will dispense Actavis. (Though Actavis make 50 and 100 only.)

    Outside the UK you could try, for example, Aliud from Germany. (That is what I am now taking.) I send a copy of my ordinary NHS prescription to the pharmacy in Germany and they send the tablets (and take some money out of my bank account!)

    If levothyroxine is not the full answer for you, then desiccated thyroid is one possibility. Another is some Liothyronine (T3) - probably with levothyroxine.

    Continuing to feel bad is something you can try to overcome by playing the changes.

    Rod

  • You should never accept "fine" for blood results. Without the actual results (TSH, FT4, FT3), you have no visibility of what is actually happening and you should not assume that your GP is sufficiently knowledgeable of Thyroid problems to understand the results (most GPs simply rely on the lab indicating if the results are in range or not).

    If your FT3 is not being tested, then you can be hypothyroid, but have "fine" TSH and FT4, so it is very important to ensure that your FT3 is tested.

    If you want to try a different brand, you could try taking your prescription to Boots, but it sounds like you are under, or incorrectly medicated and may benefit from taking T3.

  • The results were actually given to me over the phone when I was out so I couldn't really collect my thoughts properly. My TSH was 0.33 Free T4 17.8 Free T3 3.7. I have asked before about T3 but the GP is very vague and keeps saying she must check if she's allowed to prescribe it!

    I intend to miss a dose next time so I might get a more accurate reading.

    I definitely have felt worse lately but find it hard to decide what to do about it :-(

  • Hi

    Sorry to jump in but just to clarify, are you saying the MP 25mcg are O.K.

    and are they O.K. to take with Activis.

    I have been given 100mcg activis and 25mcg MP this month

  • I can't mix different brands because I can feel the difference if I swap, but I think this is not the case for everyone. If you have no problems, continue as you are. The 50mcg MP are currently different to 25mcg and I understand 100mcg, so if you have any problems with 50s, change to either another brand, or another size and split them / take more to get to the dose you need. Sounds bonkers I know!

  • Many thanks

  • I find it very interesting reading what people say about MP and the different brands. When diagnosed 2.5 years ago, I was given Actavis or Almus. It made me really ill, very bad joint, tendon, and muscle pains all over my body. Neither my GP or Consultant would help me telling me that it was impossible to have side effects or an allergy to the medication because it was just replacing what my body was missing! I went private, and through this site noticed that lots of people thought Eltroxin was best if you suffered problems. I switched and found a big difference. Of course last summer it was not possible to get further supplies. I tried various brands, all of which made me feel really ill, totally disabling me. I got in touch with MP and they advised that their generic Levo was "identical" to Eltroxin, so switched to this in the autumn. Although I tolerated it better than Actavis, it wasn't without problems. I am back in touch with MP both in this country and in India again, because the batch I had been using has now run out, and my pharmacist ordered more. I couldn't tolerate these, so I got another prescription and got a different batch of MP from another pharmacy. I couldn't tolerate these either, so I got another prescription and am on a different batch, still with many problems again. MP tell me they have not changed the formulation in years, and still insist that MP Levo is "identical/exactly the same" as Eltroxin, but as I appear to be so sensitive even to slight batch changes, I somehow doubt this. Every time you change brands, if one doesn't suit you, I find it takes weeks/months before the old side effects go. I actually felt more well being severely hypo and prior to treatment than I have done since being diagnosed. I find Levo so disabling. Regarding the point made about taking 25 mcg Levo, I tried this as I only take 50 mcg of Levo and 5 mcg of T3, and found that the MP Levo gave me really bad stomach cramps which made me feel sick, so I was virtually unable to eat. It was a problem I have not come across before. For me taking 2 x 25 mcg was not a good move. I wish you well in your quest to find a suitable alternative.

  • It's such a nightmare isn't it? I am the same as you-I felt much better before being diagnosed. There has got to be something wrong when the "cure" makes you feel worse than the disease itself! Im going to put the problem back in my GPs hands when I go back...let her puzzle it out for a change.

  • Found your post really interesting. It would seem that we both have very individual reactions to MP but very different to each other. This is so difficult to make sense of. I feel that Eltroxin has a 'magic factor' and I have this when on 25x2 MP, but not with 50. I assumed some others would feel the same.

  • Well that's almost like me describing me ! I couldn't say that I was 100% on Eltroxin but it was acceptable. I have never been able to tolerate any other brands at all. I contacted MP directly and they advised there was no difference in formulas...they are liars !!! It triggered an auto immune response and I now have all sorts of problems I never had before.....including stomach problems.

    Things seem to be settling down slowly and so far I seem to be tolerating NDT...but then I always thought I would!

    Something worth considering?

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