It is "levothyroxine" - not "Synthroid"

And it is liothyronine not Cytomel!

Drug names

In the research literature drugs are not referred to by brand names. In the context of rigorous attention to scientific data, as opposed to the world of sales and marketing, using trade names would suggest influence by commercial pressures, which would call into question the investigator's independence and objectivity. Shouldn't independence from commercial pressures be just as important in the clinical world? But, surprisingly, in day-to-day practice nobody seems to be at all concerned about this. Everyone — physicians, pharmacists, patients, insurance companies — seems to use brand names to refer to medications. I see this as directly related to the pervasiveness of pharmaceutical company marketing and I believe it is a serious problem. Part of the problem is that no one recognizes it as a problem.

Rest of article at link:

21 Replies

  • I agree with the article but would find this a bit scary if I was an American patient "...I'll endure the puzzled pause of a pharmacist when I phone in a refill for escitalopram — though, sadly, to be certain that they get the prescription right I usually have to add, "You know... Lexapro."

    My endo advised GP I was to be prescribed triiodothyronine. No brands for me :-D

  • Clutter, isn't that liothyronine? because it's synthetic?

    People use trade names because that's what people are used to. The chemical names can be awkward. Sure Synthroid is the most commonly prescribed T4, but a lot of people are taking Eltroxen.

    Synthroid is manufactured in a range of doses which Eltroxen is not. They make 50, 100, 150 etc. While synthroid has doses such as 62, 75, 88, 112, 125, 137...... if an inbetween dose strength is what's needed, then they don't have to chop up pills. I'd rather take Eltroxen because it's cheaper by a few dollars. But it's not available in 125 mcg.

  • But then again, we don't have Synthroid or Eltroxin brands here in England, so they are not the most commonly prescribed brand names in our experience ;)

    I think the point is that when posting on an international forum such as this is, we would do well to bear in mind that what is common in one country is not necessarily so in another.

    Learn to use the generic names and people will be better able to understand what you are talking about.

  • Red, most people, me included, just write T4 and T3 along with dose being taken. It's easier than typing levothyroxine and liothyronine. Then there's NDT. People don't type Natural Dessicated Thyroid.

  • And I wish they would drop the "Natural".

    Some of the reactions of doctors to the term "Natural Desiccated Thyroid" suggests that they interpret it as covering all the non-prescription products which have (at best) unknown or uncertain amounts of thyroid hormone. Maybe deliberate misinterpretation, maybe ignorance, maybe genuine concern the even patients don't understand.

    My preference (currently) is for "prescription desiccated thyroid".

  • Here it's Thyroid USP.

  • Until around 1980, we had Thyroid BP, but no longer.

    Apparently we also had "a mixture of l-thyroxine and l-triiodothyronine (Diotroxin - Glaxo)".

  • Where available, the appropriate name is the International Nonproprietary Name - often abbreviated to INN - (except for adrenaline/epinephrin in some countries) coordinated by the World Health Organization. We also have the British Approved Name (BAN) which except as above is the same as INN.

    They shouldn't be using the "chemical" names if an INN is available! Some of those are absolutely horrendous. Indeed, for some substances, we do not even now have a definitive chemical name.

    One of the biggest brand name problems we see is Benadryl. Different active ingredients by precise product and market.

  • Gabkad, it's manufacturered as generic Liothyronine by Mercury Pharma. In the UK we have 3 generic makes of Levothyroxine. Mercury Pharma and Actavis are usually available in 50mcg and 100mcg and Wockhardt is only available in 25mcg. I believe Mercury Pharma also make 25mcg but I'm not sure it's as widely available as Wockhardt.

    Although we refer to T4 and T3 I don't think it is helpful to new members, particularly in the UK, who are only prescribed Lelvothyroxine and won't understand what T4 and T3 are until it is explained to them.

  • I have no problem with writing levothyroxine and liothyronine. However, if we are going to get all particular and accurate, then people who use annoying texting short forms like 'U' "UR" should be verboten too. Arghhh. I really dislike reading postings from people who are 'into' using texting shortforms.

  • I have several times posted exactly that.

  • Good pella talktalk pijin. :)

  • Gabkad, it's all about clarity and understanding. I hate txt spk outside of SMS messages.

  • I hate it inside SMS messages. :-) My phone has spectacularly good predictive text which also learns as I use it. Now I have little excuse for abbreviations.

  • Clutter, I have been getting 25mcg levo from Mercury Pharma at intervals for the past 3 - 4 years. It is the only make I have ever had from my chemist.

    Barb :-)

  • Barb, I know it is available but a lot of pharmacies seem to dispense Wockhardt 25mcg instead of MP25mcg. It doesn't bother me because I prefer Actavis to MP and haven't had problems with Wockhardt.

  • Clutter, I get the Actavis 100's and 50's and have no real problems apart from the fact I do not convert T4 well.

    Barb :-)

  • Very good link. Thanks.

  • I quite agree. Thanks for posting

  • Thanks, Helvella. There are so many posts about synthroid and cytomel that I just pass them by as I don't know what they are talking about. I am in the UK and am prescribed levothyroxine for hypothyroid (even if it is autoimmune and could be described as Hashimotos disease).

  • It's a nifty bit of socio/cultural engineering in an anything goes economy.

    Nice 1 m8

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