I would like some input from those of you on Armour Thyroid:
Three and a half years ago, I was put on Armour Thyroid. I was on 200 mcg of thyroxine daily back then, and started on 45 mg of Armour, while decreasing thyroxine by 25 mcg, and then I continued to add 30 mg of Armour every other week while continuing to decrease thyroxine by 25 mcg at a time, until I had weaned off thyroxine completely and ended up on 300 mg (5 grains) of Armour daily. I felt GREAT. Already when I reached 60 mg of Armour daily (along with 150 mcg of thyroxine), I started peeing like crazy, and lost a lot of water weight....for the next six months, I felt truly great (from December 2011-July 2012). I had 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120 mg pills, and combined them (90x3+30, 120x2+60, etc). These were my labs in July 2012:
FT4 1.1 (ref 0.7-1.5)
FT3 4.2 (ref 1.8-3.8)
TSH <0.001 (my doctor does not care about the TSH at all)
In July 2012, my doctor prescribed 240 and 300 mg pills along with the smaller pills (15 and 30 mg) to keep the cost down. I immediately started going downhill. These were my labs six months later, on 240 and 300 mg pills combined with 15 or 30 mg pills:
FT4 1.1 (the same)
FT3 2.9 (big change)
TSH <0.001 (no change)
The only thing that changed were my FT3 levels, by many declared to be the most important ones when on NDT.
I always go to the lab 24 h after taking NDT, and I don't know what optimal levels of FTs look like when optimally treated. I know you should go by symptoms more than labs, but I cannot help but wonder why my labs looked so different within a six months' period...on the same drug, but different strengths.
Has anyone else noticed a difference in efficacy (and/or lab results) between the smaller and larger Armour pills; I read somewhere that the larger pills contain more cellulose, which is logical as they are bigger and therefore need more fillers to hold them together, but I read an intervention by a compounding pharmacist who pointed out that cellulose is an extremely common filler in all sorts of drugs, and nobody ever questioned the efficacy of those drugs...so why would thyroid hormones be any different?! I know the STTM claims Armour can no longer be taken sublingually, but I have never taken thyroid meds like that (nor are they supposed to be taken like that), so that would not be a problem to me...as long as they worked once swallowed (and possibly chewed up before that).
I understand many have problems with Erfa as well, and find it rather inconsistent? There have been rumours about a recent reformulation, but Erfa denies it...
It has been suggested to me that I was given the original (pre-reformulation) Armour the first time around (September 2011), but that would have been more than two years after the reformulation. The first pills I got expired in late 2012, so I wonder if they could really have been manufactured as early as late 2008/early 2009? I chewed the pills up, following the advice of many patients on NDT, and I did not find them sweet at all (unlike Erfa...), so I wonder if I could really have been given the original Armour the first time around?!