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Thyroid UK
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How many grains now?

Having over-medicated on 3 grains Armour (and having read that T3 has a half life of 8 days) I have not taken any for 4 days so far. Should I start again on 2 grains?

Also, since last time I over-medicated on 4 grains - and this time on 3, could that point to my thyroid working a bit better? Expecting to have blood test soon with new GP, and will probably have to use BH for the full picture!

6 Replies

Topaz, You haven't posted results so I assume you stopped 3 grains because you felt overmedicated. T4 has a half life of 7-8 days and FT3 3-3.5 days. The T3 will be out of your system now and the T4 reduced so you can resume NDT at 2 or 2.5 grains.


Thanks Clutter, I think I'll play safe and resume on 2 grains for 4 weeks and then go up!


I thought the half life of T3 was about 1 day although different websites give different times.


Clutter said - T4 has a half life of 7-8 days and FT3 3-3.5 days.


I found this on a website about Armour:

"T3 has a half life of 6-8 hours, unlike levothyroxine which containing T4 has a half life or around 8 days!! T3 peaks about 2 hours after you have taken it so by multidosing you avoid the afternoon crash when you usually start to feel tired again.(3 or 4pm usually) Think how your own thyroid would work if it could!! It would provide hormone when you need it so by multidosing you are replicating what your own thyroid would normally do."


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I don't agree with that comment. I take T3 only once daily and when we take a full dose of T3 it does go into our bloodstream quickly but enters our receptor cells and then its work begins and the effect of one single dose lasts for between 1 and 3 days. I've never suffered a 'slump'. An excerpt:

As a result, a single dose of T3 will be long gone from the patient's system before he or she experiences most of the benefits of that dose—a molecular and metabolic yield that may smoothly spread out over one to three days. The "rocky road" ( August 7, 2001).


Dr. Lowe: First, let me clarify an important point: Our treatment protocol does not consist solely of patients using T3. Only two groups of our patients use T3. One group is patients who appear to have thyroid hormone resistance. The other group is hypothyroid patients who fail to benefit from desiccated thyroid. Our other patients use desiccated thyroid as part of their metabolic rehabilitation regimen. (We don’t, of course, waste time any more trying T4 alone; it’s too seldom of any use.)

Now, to address your rheumatologist’s assertion that T3 is dangerous, and his implication that amitriptyline is not. I think the best way to reply to him is to quote publications that are available to him. In the USA, when patients get their prescriptions filled for T3 (usually the brand Cytomel), the pharmacist usually gives them a leaflet on the product. The leaflet contains the following statement:

"NO COMMON SIDE EFFECTS HAVE BEEN REPORTED with the proper use of this medicine." (Medi-Span, Inc.: Database Version 97.2. Data © 1997.)

This statement makes a fact perfectly clear: When used sensibly, T3 is extraordinarily safe among prescribed drugs. When I say extraordinarily safe, I’m comparing T3 with drugs such as the amitriptyline which your rheumatologist prescribes for you. Below is a list of potential harmful effects of amitriptyline. This list comes from the Physician’s Desk Reference, 53rd edition, Medical Economics Company, Inc., Montvale, 1999, page 3418.


Dr Lowe was also a scientist:-


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