Any studies showing adverse effects of T3?

I was just wondering if anyone has heard of any studies showing the adverse effects (dangers) of T3, since that is what the doctors say the reason for not prescribing it is? I know it is advertised on the internet as a weight loss aid, and I do have a problem with that, but for us thyroid patients? I have been self-medicating with a small amount since November and have just had thyroid bloods taken, due back next week. I also take Prednisolone (steroid) and I have read that it blocks the T3 from getting into cells, even though the blood results are adequate. Incidentally, I was struggling to get lower than 15 mgs of Pred after an exacerbation, and the minute I began the T3 I went Pred hyper (I know the difference between that and Thyroid hyper) and had to reduce very quickly to 7.5 mgs.

I am convinced that the true reason T3 (and NDT) are withheld is a financial one. Big Pharma doesn't want us well as it can make a lot more money treating individual symptoms with lots of other meds. But I would really like a come-back when they say it is "dangerous". My doctor refuses to prescribe so I have a friend bring Tiromel back from Turkey for pennies.

28 Replies

  • Of course too much T3 is a bad thing. Just ask any Graves' patient! If the T3 level is allowed to stay high, the patient will suffer from hair loss, muscle wasting, osteoporosis, hyperthyroid dementia, etc. HOWEVER, lack of T3 will also cause hair loss, muscle fatigue, osteoporosis, brain fog etc. Pick your poison. I believe the reason doctors won't prescribe it is pure, outright ignorance. Even endos don't understand thyroid physiology!

  • I agree, HIFL, it is important to get the correct dose. I reduced my Levo from 100 to 75 and took a quarter of a 125mg Tiromel. After a week or so I thought I would take half a Tiromel to see what would happen, and my blood pressure went way up, so I went back to a quarter. I have read Paul Robinson's book highlighting the importance of monitoring. I believe the really good endos say to listen to our own bodies.

  • Daisy, any studies I've seen have been based on the dangers of endogenous (natural) hyperthyroidism with suppressed TSH and high FT3 and the results have been extrapolated to hypothyroid patients with suppressed TSH and high FT3 taking T4+T3 or T3 only. Any research I've seen on T4+T3 or T3 monotherapy suggests there is insufficient research and more is needed.

    More and more GPs are instructed by their CCGs not to prescribe T3 without recommendation from an endo.

  • Thanks Clutter. My GP would not prescribe T3, nor would she send me to an Endo as I was "in range". TSH 0.06 (0.35 - 5.5), T4 17 (9.0 - 23), T3 4.8 (3.5 - 6.5. A locum tested all the other things, FBC, ferritin etc. and they were all ok with the exception of potassium which was a bit low. She never has asked about symptoms, however.

  • Daisy, as you are self medicating T3 I suggest you get a private FT3 test via Blue Horizon or Genova via

  • I had bloods taken last week at my doctors after being on t3_for a couple of months. I should get results later this week. If they won't do t3 I will get it done privately. Thanks.

  • I forgot to mention that I am on a maintenance dose of Pred of 7.5 mg. I understand it inhibits T3 from getting into the cells, even though there is enough floating around in the blood.

  • When the body builders use it they have to use a catalyst with it to make fat burn. I looked it up as I was interested from what they post on the forums. On its own it is not a weight loss aid. My experience of it is that I think if the body needs it then it uses it for energy. Most of these guys online describe in their forums what they need to do to make it work for them. I have been taking it and have a supressed TSH and feel fine. But that is just me. It has not lost me any weight.

    Whilst you need to be careful not to take too much there is little evidence to support the stories that the Doctors will tell you will happen with a supressed TSH.

    I believe it is ignorance on behalf of the medical establishment who toe the party line on T4 treatment only. Whilst you would think that Doctors would like patients to take an interest in their health and get well it does seem that it illicits a negative response from them if you gain too much knowledge.

    The price of NHS t3 is ridiculous. £108.00 for 28 tablets. You can buy 100 Tiromel for £16. Whilst it is not us paying but the NHS I think it is something we all have in our minds and wonder why they don't get another supplier or a better deal.

    Off the box now!


  • The MHRA only have one licenced T3 in the UK. It would be excellent if some other suppliers applied for a licence. That would give us an option.

  • I wish Unipharm would apply for a licence here! My brother managed to get me a supply of their 25mcg tablets (in blister packs, not just loose in a tub!) in Greece for under 2 Euros! Perhaps if the price wasn't such an issue, more of us might get the chance of feeling so much better!

  • I wonder why Unipharm don't apply for a licence here? Might have to ask them!

  • It does make you wonder, doesn't it? I get my Tiromel from Turkey for next to nothing.

  • Big Pharma in the USA in particular have persuaded the ATA that levothyroxine was the 'best' for patients and provided monetary inducements for it's use. I think that's bribery but as levo is the top prescribed medication you realise that's why they don't want us to use NDT or T3. They lose profits. Take for instance Vaccines which they insist are safe and I do know they have prevented lots of serious illnesses but not if you develop something after getting a vaccination.

  • I wonder if that is true here? It's all about the money in the heck with the patient.

  • The BTA are inflexible in their guidelines and make false statements about Natural Dessicated Thyroid Hormones which have been successfully used since around 1892. Then there were no blood tests: we were medicated and diagnosed according to clinical symptoms till we were well. NDT contains all of the hormones our healthy gland would have produced. They are also out of date re liothyronine.

  • You are correct in your surmise - that it is because of price. Considering that we cannot live without T3 no matter how we get it if we are deficient. Tall tales are told as a way of avoiding giving us a prescription.

  • So why have Mercury priced themselves out of the market? If no doctor is allowed to prescribe then drug sales must be down. Thanks for the link...I LOVED the one from the fibromyalgia patient whose rheumy went ballistic when she asked for T3, saying it was dangerous (with no known harmful effects), yet he prescribed amitriptyline with a list of harmful effects as long as your arm. Now I wonder how much amitriptyline costs???

  • MP haven't priced themselves out of the market as I believe it used to be about £28. It is raking in the money over the relief to some patients who don't get well on levo. I don't think they care and the last lot I had (and some other members) there was something wrong as I had problems recurring. It was examined but as the T3 was o.k. it was declared fine, but they don't take into account fillers/finders causing problems. The MHRA also say that, no matter what the medication costs, if we need it we should have it but the BTA guidelines say that levothyroxine alone is to be prescribed so, it's round and round in a circle we go.

  • There are a couple of non-licenced T3's available which we can get from the chemist at a much less cost than MP's but doctor's wont presribe on a 'named patient' basis as they then have to take the consequences if the patient may have a reaction. I think they have no knowledge either about T3.

  • This is a report re success with T3 use of fibromyalgia patients.

  • Shaws, if you have fibro - you can get T3. If you have depression which does not respond to anti depressants, you can get T3. And I understand that some cases of 'dementia' have responded to T3.

    But, for goodness' sake, don't expect to get T3 if you are hypothyroid! It's far too dangerous!

  • It is not true that the nhs will give u t3 if fibro, I had t3 prescribed for my hypo by intelligent gp for ten years. 3 years after bein bed ridden with m.e/ CFS a new gp practice took it away plus half my t4. They were deaf to my pleading about how Ill it Wd make me and unapologetic when it did. They still Wdnt give it back despite tsh rise! I now self medicate.

  • It's only classified as 'dangerous' because it runs the coffers down and doctors who prescribe are in danger if they want to prescribe T3/NDT because:-

    "However T3 given as a liothyronine (or tertroxin) tablet does not reflect a physiologically relevant replacement.Firstly, its half life is 24

    hours and administration results in undesirable,non-physiological peaks of serum T3."


    I don't believe that for a minute. Neither do those who get well on NDT or T3. BTA also have never responded to Dr L's Rebuttal. As the saying goes 'ignorance is bliss'.

  • Hello Shaws

    I have been self medicating with 75mg Levo & 10mg T3 instead of 125mg Levo - (T3 as left over from endo prescription- now discharged from him) but it's running out - my dr knows this & has asked for bloods to check level (however I'm not sure she will prescribe T3.- she advised 'she's not supposed to?).

    Can you advise where I can buy it from please? I have found it really helps the fatigue & I feel more 'with it' - I also have fibromyalgia but so far still suffer from. constant pain all over.

    Many thanks

  • Join TPAUK thyroid patient advocacy UK, they have a list.

  • Hi Mandy

    If you put another post requesting any information to be sent to you by Private Message someone will probably respond. My GP prescribes for me.

    This is a link re fibromyalgia and there are other topics at the top of the page. The second link was published in France.

    If you email and ask for a copy of Pulse Online and highlight question 6 which tells us how low our TSH can go and maybe the addition of some T3. Maybe your GP will prescribe some. The article is by Dr Toft who was President of the BTA.

  • I DO BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE CORRECT when you say Big Pharma doesn't want us well as it can make a lot more money treating individual symptoms with lots of other meds!!! I am in the same boat as you, although I am in the U.S. I too am trying to get higher doses of T3, and 3 doctors have refused. (I have Hashimoto's). There is a good book by a guy in England: "Recovering with T3," by Paul Robinson. He addresses all concerns about T3 therapy and how it can be safely and effectively used. The difference in the U.S. is that doctors LOVE porcine-derived thyroid medication and think it is the Holy Grail. It is very effective for many - unfortunately, I have an immune system reaction to porcine thyroid meds. So after a year of research and trial and error, I have determined that T3 therapy would work for me. I CAN try another doctor, but unfortunately, in the U.S. each doctor requires admission testing which usually amounts to $2,000 - $5,000, no matter if you have had $10,000+ in testing in the past year proving that you have no other conditions than Hashimoto's. (I do have insurance, but it covers very little of my specialized Hashimoto's care, and Obama-care will not cover speciality care from medical personnel with specialized thyroid expertise.) I live in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area and just want a doctor who will accept all of my testing and prescribe high doses of T3. I tried Mexican Cynomel and it did not work for me.

  • i bought paul Robinson's book and found it very useful in determining my levels. I get my t3 from Turkey and a friend brings it for me when she goes. It costs about £1 there where as on the nhs it costs over £120 a month. I suspect that is why they will not prescribe it. I feel so much better on the t3 t4 combination. Why don't you do a separate post and put your thyroid results on there and someone will advise. There are fabulous people on here, very knowledgeable.

    It's all about the money with these healthcare providers. i have actually heard a doctor say that he was not interested in wellness programs as there was no money in it...that was in the USA where i lived for over 20 years.


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