Thyroid UK

NDT fillers/binders?

If cellulose binds thyroid hormone, and sugar on the other hand makes absorption easier, why would Forest replace sugar with cellulose? I read somewhere that they wanted to make Armour more diabetic-friendly, but wasn't there any other filler they could have chosen, instead of cellulose?

Although, I have to admit that every drug I have at home (be it prescription only or OTC) contains cellulose as a filler/ it seems pretty common. Maybe it's not usually a problem, only if combined with thyroid hormone...?

8 Replies

Anna69, when the cellulose replaced the sugar Armour will have had to prove to the FDA that absorption and uptake of the active hormone complied to pharmacological standards for it to continue to be listed in the US national formulary.


OK, thank you. Has the manufacturer been able to prove that, given all the complaints about impaired absorption and return of symptoms?


Anna69, they will have proved compliance with FDA pharmaceutical requirements.

That doesn't mean the change of formula agrees with all patients, of course.


Hi Anna,

Cellulose is a sugar. The last 3 letters in the name are 'ose' which is the chemical spelling for sucrose (sugar). I wish they could make it more diabetic friendly cos I'm now taking Armour but my blood sugars have shot up since starting on it and I'm diabetic.

TT xx.

1 like

Really? Interesting...I had no idea, even though I should have figured out what the -ose means:-)

On the other hand, the new Armour does not taste sweet at all, at least not to me...I find the pills chalky and rather tasteless, like chewing on a piece of paper, whereas the ones containing sucrose (like Erfa) are more crunchy...



My Armour tablets go a bit chalky and crumbly if I don't swallow them straight away with some water. They also taste a bit like liver which, when you consider they are a gland and part of the endocrine system of which the liver is too, makes sense. I've never tried Erfa because my endo only prescribes Armour or the synthetics, what's it like? Were you better on Erfa?

TT x


See my reply (right now at the bottom of this message):

I did fine on Erfa until about a year ago, when I started feeling less well on it without knowing why...until I found posts from other thyroid patients reporting the same problem. It seems Erfa moved production from Belgium to Spain last year, and it has caused a lot of problems...and there are too many thyroid patients knowing exactly what the "old" Erfa used to be like, and who are able to compare the two versions, so just dismissing them won't be enough in the long run...even if it seems that is what Erfa has tried to do so far.

I agree with you, it's not strange at all if the pills taste like liver...after all, we are talking about an organ here. I guess I would not mind the taste, if I knew the pills worked (sorry, I cannot remember, does Armour work for you...?). Worst case scenario, I could crush the pills up and mix with a teaspoon of honey...

Can I ask if you are a type I or a type II diabetic?




I've been much better on the Armour since my endo prescribed it last November. I was on Levothyroxine for a year with the dose being increased every 2 to 3 months. Then my endo started me on a Levothyroxine and Liothyronine (T4 & T3) combination but I still felt ill. Then my endo decided to start me on Armour thyroid because I was over medicated on the T4 & T3 and he was afraid I might develop atrial fibrillation and hypocalcemia. My dose has slowly increased because the benefits have been short lived. I was finally on 1.75 grains and feeling great but my endo wrote to me 4 weeks ago and asked me to reduce my dose to 1.5 grains and I've been feeling crap since. I tend to be okay in the morning but it takes a while to get up because I'm so tired and, then after lunch I feel exhausted and need to go back to bed. The other old hypo symptoms are back with constipation, dry, itchy skin, my hair falling out in clumps and brain fog. My daughter is finding it frustrating because she has got her 'zombie' mum back!!!

As regards the diabetes I was diagnosed type 2 in 2008 and then diagnosed two and half years with thyroid cancer. My surgeon said I had the thyroid cancer symptoms at the time the diabetes was diagnosed and so it probably caused the diabetes. He suspected that I'd had an underactive thyroid for many years which went undiagnosed because my GP wouldn't check my bloods. My GP even didn't do full blood tests when my diabetes was diagnosed, something they're supposed to do and to keep an eye on thyroid function, and so my cancer was undiagnosed and ignored by my GP. I even went to my GP complaining of a hard lump in my neck and was told it was just swollen glands and laryngitis, how wrong they were!!!

It's getting late and I'm off to bed because I'm looking after my toddler grandson tomorrow and I need as much energy as I can to cope.

Night, night and God bless.

TT xx.


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