Different makes of Levothyroxine

Hi there. My levo does was reduced about 4 months ago. I had previously been on Almus 100mcg and was prescribed 75mcg and was given 50 by Actavis and 25 by Wockhardt.

I havent felt well since and my running to the loo problems have been horrific. For the past few days I have done what was suggested in my earlier post and now take a 50 Actavis then cut a 50 Activis in half to get my correct dose. well fingers crossed it seems to be working!! Whatever is in the 25mcg Wockhardt ones and will my doctor tell me there is nothing wrong with them!!

So which brands are the generic ones or are they all!

14 Replies

  • Mrs. Aitchbee, I'm glad the hack worked. Hopefully your GP will agree to prescribe 1.5 Actavis daily. The list of ingredients in Actavis, Mercury Pharma and Wockhardt is in this link thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/treatm...

  • We don't have any "brand" levothyroxine available in the UK. (The old Eltroxin product was recognised as a branded product by some.)

    At the same time, all levothyroxine licensed in the UK is packaged and distributed with manufacturer, product licence, etc., exactly as are branded medicines. None of them are anonymous white pills.

  • You can ask your GP to name the brand you prefer in brackets on your prescription. (In my case Mercury Pharma suits me.)

    Changing between different brands definitely causes upset in some people.

  • Trouble with getting prescribed with a specific make is that you are then stuck if something goes wrong with supply, or even if you go to a different pharmacy (in some cases).

    For example, if doctor prescribes Actavis. Your pharmacy cannot get it for some reason. What do you do? Another pharmacy (a branch of Boots) might have Almus but won't dispense because that is not what it says on your prescription. Despite the fact that Almus is exactly the same as Actavis but packaged for Boots. The only way round might be to get your GP to issue a new prescription.

    In my view, it is usually better to discuss with a helpful pharmacy and get them to agree to dispense consistently.

  • In general, generics (and even, name brand drugs) are sort of a crap shoot. Yes, they contain the proper medication BUT they also contain "inactive ingredients" that can cause problems.

    For example, your 50 mcg Actavis tablets contain the following inactive ingredients: lactose, magnesium stearate, maize starch, stearic acid and pregelatinised maize starch.

    while your 25 mcg Wockhardt tablets contain the following inactive ingredients: lactose, sucrose (fine powder), maize starch, magnesium stearate.

    Perhaps it is the sucrose that is causing your issues with it?

    I'm in the U.S. and fortunate enough to have an endo who is very knowledgeable with regards to the brands of levothryroxine. He started me off on a brand called Tirosint which worked well for me because it contained only gelatin, glycerin and water as the inactive ingredients. However, it was VERY expensive!

    He recently had me try Unithroid since his patients had reported no issues with it, and again, the inactive ingredients list is quite inocuous. I've been on it now for over a month and notice no difference. AND, it is MUCH less expensive!

  • You would have to re-check in case things have changed, but Lannett "generic" levothyroxine was Unithroid. And less expensive still.

    Ingredients: Colloidal silicon dioxide, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, corn starch, acacia and sodium starch glycolate. (Plus colouring agents.)

  • So far so good for me with taking Unithroid. My tabs are the white 50mcg so no coloring agents. 30 day script is only $3.86 (U.S.).

    I'm in the U.S. and from what I read, the good thing about Unithroid here is the consistency of product (not sure that is true outside U.S.).

    If I do ever have issues, I could always return to the the very clean (but oh-so-expensive) Tirosint brand.

  • My response was referring to the USA market and products.

  • Hmmm, in looking at the Unithroid website, they show the pics of their pills and mine look just like that. Under their "consistency page" they instruct doctors to write DAW (dispense as written) on the script in order to ensure patients get the same product and my endo did that so I should be all set. He is very smart. :-)

    I do appreciate the "heads up"! It made me double check! :-)

  • Hiya,

    Just a note to say I think Almus area generic generic. That is, they are either the Mercury Pharma or the Activis in a special/different package. If you read the packet insert it will say which these pills are.

    From the sounds of it though, you discovered that something in the Wockhardt doesn't agree with you.

    When something similar happened to me I went to the pharmacy with the offending pills and the pharmacist kindly swapped them for me to the brand which is better for me. He also made a note in my pharmacy record as to which I prefer. I still check each time that I've been given the correct ones just in case (Yes there was a mixup first time round and I didn't know to check).

    I always order a refill about 2 weeks in advance in case the pharmacy has to order in.

    One other thing I learned: try to take all the same pills even if you have to split them. The fillers might be different between different strengths even of the same brand. I prefer to keep complications to a minimum where I can so taking all my levo in the same brand & tablet strength minimises one small potential confusion.

    Hope this helps a little.

  • To the best of my knowledge, Almus levothyroxine are always Actavis product.

    You can look at the Almus website and see pictures - which would be inaccurate if the product were to be randomly from two manufacturers.

    It is always possible that Almus could switch their contract to another company, but I don't think there is any chance of that happening without some people here noticing and reporting the change.

  • Helvella: good to know! It means that Almus is an additional option for those of us who do better on Actavis than MP. As long as we're vigilant and check the insert before leaving the pharmacy, to make 100% sure. ;*)

  • Absolutely agree that vigilance is essential. :-)

  • Hi there...Been to see GP today and she confirmed that people do sometimes not get on with different makes of thyroxine.!! I was surprised..I will be taking a 50 and cutting in half a 50 of the same make. If I do not get on with that the doctor said she would prescribe the lactose free ones!! Result..

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