Is it possible to buy very low doses of t3?

Hi folks,I want to try Kenneth Blanachard's approach and see if it helps after my GP slashed my t4 and stole my t3 and with my m.e - don't shout at me those who disagree with his reasoning, I want to try it, okay??? ;-) - does anyone know how to source very low doses of t3? I'm thinking 2.5 mcg Wd be an okay start but even 5mcgs I could better half than trying to divide 20mcg tablets. Any advice private messages gratefully received. Thanks guys

38 Replies

  • Both Pfizer/King Cytomel, Mylan and Paddock produce 5 microgram tablets.

    As they are USA products they are expensive and not available in the UK except to special order and with a prescription. (Can possibly be bought without prescription over the internet - but still tends to be expensive.)

    I do not know of any low dose tablets available at reasonable prices, anywhere.


  • Thanks rod, I guess I'll have to get skilled as a razor blade cutter lol!

  • True what Rod writes. 5 mcg tablets here are almost the same price as the 25 mcg tablets! Maybe $10 more for 100 25 mcg tablets.

    I cut mine into quarters with a very sharp thin bladed short knife on a glass surface. That way the bits can slide a bit as the force used to break them dissipates. On a wood surface or anything that prevents sliding, the force stays in the tablet and the pieces tend to shatter.

    I slide any powder and tiny crumbs onto the blade of the knife and wrap in a small piece of aluminum foil. Usually there's around 1 dose worth of powder after cutting 20 tablets. So not too bad.

    It's all in the technique. A couple of tablets end up having 'big quarters' and 'small quarters'. No big deal.

  • Thanks for the tips on cutting techniques, really useful. I guess in theory one could crush the 20mcg pills I have and divide it up with a razor blade, like a drug addict lol!

  • Ps what ratio are you on and is it working for you? I'd love to hear more. Thanks

  • Right now I'm taking 100 mcg T4 and 6.25 mcg T3 in the morning at 6 a.m. and another 6.25 mcg T3 at 9:30 p.m. I had blood taken yesterday +9.5 hours from dose so depending on, I'm thinking of going to 112 mcg T4 in the morning and 6.25 mcg T3 at 9:30 p.m.

    I don't experience energy fluctuations BUT I still get some tinnitus, not every day. This is definitely caused by the T3. I swam non stop today for 50 minutes. No problem. Heart rate 108. Medium+ pace. No adverse sensations or fatigue. Still not enthusiastic about house work. Who is? However, it's a lot easier to manoeuvre the vacuum cleaner these days. I feel stronger in my body when I walk. More of a piece as opposed to falling apart. Was out and about yesterday and in the past this would have fatigued me for the whole week-end. Has not happened. T3 isn't magic. I notice it most on cognitive functioning: memory, verbal ability. After years of suboptimal dosage levels, I'm assuming it will take a bit of time to rehabilitate.

    The endo claims I have some conversion problems. I just think the T4 dose was too low. She's TSH obsessed. She was fooling around with T4/T3 ratios and I got fed up with the game playing. It's my life. I started on the new regimen 25 days ago. I know I need a higher fT4 than what would have happened if I'd followed her current prescription. In all likelihood I do fine with an fT3 around 5.0 - 5.2. (range 4.0 to ....) The tinnitus has to go!

  • It's good to hear you are making such positive progress, I dream of being released from my glass cage. It will be interesting to see whether raising your t3 helps in the long run or if you find you have to keep increasing to get the same effect? Kenneth Blanchard would say that if you had the ratio at roughly 98.5 to1.5 you would maintain well being longer with seasonal adjustments. So I'd be interested to know how it pans out for you. He starts people on minuscule doses and moves up, but since I used to be on 20mcg of t3 I figure 5 mcg s is probably okay but I will try cutting it down to 2.50mcg with my razor blade and glass!

  • So far, I've had to decrease it. I started on 15 mcg T3 in early June (because I had enough 5 mcg tablets left to take the dose prescribed for a week or so). Then because these pills would be ridiculously expensive (100 days worth at 3 pills per day would have cost me $450!) I got another doctor to rewrite the script for the 25 mcg tablets. So was taking 18.75 mcg per day for 7 weeks along with the 88 mcg T4........... not good. Just did not feel well. Hard to define exactly why but just was not. And I had tinnitus within a very short time of increasing to 15 mcg.

    So increased the T4 to 100 and reduced the T3 to 12.5. This is better now but like I wrote, the tinnitus is still present, off and on, and food is too attractive. I get hungry. A bit too hungry. Here I was thinking that when the T3 level would be elevated I'd be losing weight. Not at all. It's ironic because initially after the T3 dose was increased I lost a lot of fluid. I was getting myxedematous again during the first half of this year. (This is why I am not going along with the endo and her ideas: She majorly screwed up the dosage for the first 6 months of this year. That was enough for me.)

    That's why I want to reduce T3 and increase T4.

    But I just read what you used to take and if I tried that, I'd probably die. So maybe you don't absorb this stuff well? The usual absorption from the gut is 70 to 80% of the dose but some people absorb much less. Maybe you are one of them and your current problems have nothing to do with rT3. You'll see when you get your blood test results next week.

  • Blanchard covers his patients feeling hungry. I sugar crash a lot with me m.e so I know that knawing inside feeling. He has found his patients taking t4 with evening meal both addresses hunger and insomnia in 85% of them or something like that. He contradicts the idea of t4 being taken on an empty stomach as he says t4 Wd never come into contact with stomach lining naturally.

  • I would have thought that food reduces absorption.

    But if a person takes the pill with a glass of water then wouldn't it flush the pill right through the stomach (not like a toilet but quickly).

  • He says the contact with the stomach lining could potentially affect lepton or lepton or something, but anyway think about it most supplements are taken with food precisely because the body will digest them better and get them into the blood stream. I think with all,these things the best thing is to try it and see if it helps with the hunger, if not stop, if it does look out for any other effects that show malabsorption?

  • Leptin?

  • That will be it, brain totally wiped after reading so much online , must stop now. :-)

  • I found lots of B12 helped tinnitus.

  • I'm waiting on the blood test result. But I did take 5,000 mcg yesterday sublingual.

  • Ps what ratio are you on and is it working for you? I'd love to hear more. Thanks

  • I started T3 in April and I began on 1/2 of a 20 mcg pill twice a day for two weeks. I bought a pill cutter from Boots and it cut the pill into two pills easily. I was told to take this dose for 2 weeks. If I had any heart palpitations I was to immediately stop. After two weeks I increased the dose to two 20mcg pills and as I have felt the medication wearing off I have increased to 3 sometimes 4 pills a day. My endo told me this was fine. If I felt good on it and no heart palpitations then carry on. She did say not to take any pills after 5pm as patients who did have found that they cannot sleep.

    I would have thought 2.5mcg or 5mcg is very low and I don't know if you would feel the affects. I immediately felt the affects of the medication on 10 mcg. I felt energised, alert and I was not so forgetful but I did feel it wearing off. I felt tired and symptoms returning. I have taken 4 pills a day but I have found that 2 pills a day is sufficient for me currently. I needed more in the beginning but I seem to need less now. My endo also told me that within a few weeks if you have not seen a change in symptoms then you don't need it and should stop.

  • Thanks, I was on 20mcg of t3 for over ten years then a new GP took it all away. Kenneth blanchards theory is specific and particular and his clinical experience is that the ratio of t4 to t3 should be about 98.5 to 1.5 and that this has made best impact on his patients whereas taking larger doses lead to return of symptoms and ramping up of need for more and more meds. It's a controversial point of view on both sides of the camp, but one I'm interested in trying as I also have m.e and optimising my meds will optimise my chances of recovery.

  • I too think it is interesting (have his book by my bed but afraid I don't find his writing style exactly conducive to reading before sleep).

    Many people will be unaware that many of the standards to which levothyroxine tablets are prepared allow up to 1% T3 as an impurity. That doesn't mean that any specific make or individual tablet actually will have that much T3, or indeed any detectable T3 content whatsoever. It does, however, lead me to speculate that presence of the higher end of that range could have a noticeable effect and, even more speculation, might help to explain why some tablets are preferred to others - at least by some people.


  • Rod, that is interesting about the impurities. Yet another wrench in the works.

  • Yes I'm very much of the opinion of suck it and see. I have little to lose having lost so much of it already! I hoped his book would enlighten me further, but he's a bit wooly and sometime I suspect I can't understand what he's written because it doesn't actually make scientific reason sense! But I understand what he's observed and I'm going to give it a go. :-)

  • Re sararbrown's suggestion. If you borrow Tears Behind Closed Doors from by Diana Holmes. I think you will be amazed by a personal story.

  • Thanks shawl I will look into that.

  • hi have you thought of seeing dr peatfield at one of his clinics he seems very clued up on t3 from what iv researched im off to see him tommorow since the nhs just want to keep me ill.

    i know its a cost to go see him but he might be able to help overall and help with info on were to source and work with you


  • Just found some info saying he can't prescribe anymore, so can't see how he can help. If I want alternative natural remedys like liquorice I'd have gone to a Chinese herbalist - oh yeah I did. Another thing I tried for m.e that didn't help, in fact it made me Iller! So I hope you get what you want out of the consultation. Good luck

  • Firstly, having spent my two grands worth of savings on one m.e help, supplement, blood test after another I am now depleted of all funds, plus I suspect I couldn't actually travel there. I find it challenging enough to be driven two hours to Bristol and when I get there at least I can immediately go to bed. So the idea of travelling further afield, talking to another human being and then having to travel back to west wales is too overwhelming, plus it has a knock on effect, I get Iller. Where is he based?

  • sulamaye i understand how frustrating it all is and the cost of all these things i got my friend to take me to see him it was near keighley so took a hour and half . no he cant perscribe but he would know what you need to do and where to source it from and how to do what to do with it and try his best to get you better. Iv now had my appointment was not sure what to expect but To be honest sulamaye he was fantastic im so glad i went as i had all the peices of my puzzle to try get better and he has put them together for me he is a clever man. il pm the details for you


  • Thanks sararbrown I'd be so interested to hear what your puzzle was and how he fitted it together :-)

  • Dr Peatfield holds clinics in Sussex, but he does also do clinics in Stockport and Yorkshire. I did manage to get a phone appointment with him though as I live in West Cornwall and also have ME, but he prefers to see people.

  • Did it help any aggas? I've kind of had my fill of paying for health care, the solutions gotta be sustainable financially. I'm gonna try what I don't have to pay for first, using the knowledge I have gleaned.

  • If you read the book I suggested above, you will get a surprise I believe.

    You are quite right about paying out money and not getting any satisfaction. I think thousands of us must have done that. The problem too is that our metabolism is so affected and that it does take time and energy (which some of us don't have) so that's why sometimes recommendations (it doesn't always work for some) are best to consider. Also sometimes what is suggested we do/take may not work either. It is trial and error unfortunately.

  • I know at the time I was trying to sort out my adrenal issues (had a saliva test that indicated it wasn't all good), and he was v keen on using Nutri Adrenal products on me (and others I gather).

    Unfortunately due to my gastritis they just did not agree with me at all and gave me horrendous pain. At that point I did not pursue it further, but went off on a tangent and got put onto T3 via and endo, and my GP, and then tried Paul Robinson's adrenal protocol re CT3M.

    He does have a lot of knowledge re the thyroid too, and it's worth reading his book on the subject which is easily available.

  • You do realize that Dr. Blanchard was using compounded sustained release T3 and then started using NDT instead compounded as sustained release? PR

  • Yes but I'm assuming that's just not available in the uk? So gotta work with what you can get. I'm not sure he was using NDT itself he was using t3 extracted from NDT I think as he believes NDT has too high a ratio of t3 to t4

  • I don't know about compounding pharms in the UK although they are called Chemists, aren't they? He was using thyroid extract which has to be the USP powder which is what compounding pharms use. The powder is standardized to 39 mcg T4 and 9 mcg T3 per grain. All he had to do was adjust the separate T4 dose by what the NDT would have added. Extracting T3 would be cost prohibitive I believe. You may end up needing a little more T3 split throughout the day. Good luck, PR

  • Sadly many ppl call them pharmacies now as our language is being recolonised by u lot ;-) just like they think words that were once nouns have suddenly become verbs. I don't think that can be right as he says he starts ppl on as little as 0.05 mcg???

  • The way compounding pharms work is there is so much T4 and T3 per a specific weight so you should be able to figure out 0.05 mcg by weight and produce a capsule with that in it. I do agree that is a very small quantity and we can not see mcg with the naked eye, mgs are akin to grains of salt. I have had this conversation with my compounding pharm although I have never asked about T4 and T3 powder which now I am curious about. Do the makers of Synthroid and Cytomel wholesale their powder? Is there enough demand to make that a market? I guess it will be another phone call to see if I can find the answers. Dr. Blanchard says he uses thyroid extract and that is USP desiccated thyroid powder. PR

  • T3 is the active hormone..t4 has to be converted. A larger amount of t3 is what helps pain. Dr. Lowe had great success with it.

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