Levothyroxine or synthroid

Which is better? I have been on levothyroxine many years. After being on the increased dosage .75mcg for 5 weeks I noticed increased energy (which was a big problem) but also a negative of hair loss. Now I've been on Synthroid .50mcg 3 weeks & upped dosage of .75mcg for 1 week. I know it's too soon to compare but I do have the hair loss still & still tired & I'm really irritable. Poor husband! I'm wondering if I should have stayed on the Levothryoxine a bit longer. The Synthroid is a lot more expensive too.

53 Replies

  • I've been on levo since March now and been on increased dose of 100mcg for a few weeks and experiencing terribly dry hair along with hair loss 😔 It's awful! Along with poor energy, muscle spasms in feet and hands, insomnia (more adrenals I believe) the hair loss is really getting me down though, it's also like straw so never looks nice now. I think that's the downside to t4 only from what I've read from other patient experience. I want to add t3 at some point but taking my time and finding my optimum first. Hope you find your answers too

  • Have you tried taking zinc and omega 3 capsules as i have been on thyroxine for almost 14 years and found my hair dry and proun to fall out so i started taking zinc and its help massively my hair is in the best condition now even my hairdresser comments on how good it looks

  • Yes I take a very good quality fish oil and 15mg of zinc at night but not regularly anymore. My dr won't test my zinc levels so tricky to know if I'm deficient but maybe I'll start taking it again as my hair is the saddest part of my Hashi's at the mo 😞 How much do you take?

  • My reaction to Levo has been the same recently, although I was OK for the first year. I was woken 4 times last night with severe cramp and am now thinking that this is because the brand has changed. My chemist told me it was my old brand - renamed to Actavis but I'm sure there must be a different ingredient in it. She also told me that brands of Levo manufactured abroad can contain mercury. Worrying. Am still investigating.

  • Do you take magnesium supplement? Cramps can be sign of magnesium deficiency!

  • The best one is the one that suits you best. That's all one can say. :)

  • That is exactly what I was going to say! I was reading all of the replies to make sure no-one else had spelled it out, dead right again gg.

  • :D

  • Levothyroxine is simply the generic name for Synthyroid

    they are one and the same ...........they are both synthetic thyroid hormone T4

    The only difference is between what fillers different pharmecutical companies use in them which some people are allergic too ........ie Acacia Powder which is no good if you suffer from hay fever

    Whats important is unless levels of




    Vit D3

    are not all at least hallway in their ranges the body is unable to utilise the synthetic T4 /synthyroid/levothyroxine and convert it into the T3 that every single cell in your body needs in order to function

    Hence why many people do much better on NDT = Natural Dessicated Thyroid

  • Levothyroxine and synthroid are the same, Levo is the generic

  • Umm... no, actually. It's even more important to have optimal nutrients when you take NDT than it is when you take synthetic. Especially the iron, I've heard.

  • Strangely Greygoose my lot found that NDT seems to correct the bodies poor absorption of nutrurnts/vitamins which occurs in the process of becoming hypothyroid

    I honestly believe that synthetic levo and even t3 simply is not a real solution for many many thyroid patients

  • Synthetic T3 is the only solution for me.

    Well, I suppose that eventually, taking thyroid hormone replacement increases secretion of stomach acid, so that would correct absorption problems. But that wouldn't just happen on NDT. That would happen on the thyroid hormone replacement that suits you best.

    But, the point is, you need you nutrients to be pretty good before you start NDT, or it will not work for you.

  • They won't give T3 at docs in UK only t4...

  • Dorcas we know that its the NHS who refuse to sort out the price gouging on t3 by mercury pharma so have banned it instead and to hell with patients who need it

    However mdmbers on here know ways to get it but i suggest you try NDT

  • Some years ago I had anemia whilst on thyroxine. My doctor tried me with every type of iron but all went straight through me making me very much worse. Now I take my thyroxine at night and find that a multivitamin with iron taken during the day keeps my iron levels fine. I can only assume that iron is more easily absorbed when taken with other vitamins.

    I have friends who take all types of thyroxine and believe me when I say that we are all weird. I think we have to realise that these drugs are keeping us as good as possible but not necessarily as good as before.

    I look forward to the day that a new drug will solve all the annoying problems that we have to endure. I think a 10 microgram pill would solve a lot of my problems as my body doesn't tolerate alternate doses. A consistent dose is much better for me.

  • I agree about consistent doses. And about the desirability of smaller dose tablets. I obviously could alternate day dose but when I did, I didn't feel quite as good.

    I managed to get some Uni-Pharma 12 microgram tablets and take one of those with a 100 microgram Actavis tablet.

    When it comes to iron, have you tried Haem (heme) or Ferritin supplements?

  • helvella

    Thanks for advising Uni Pharma 12micg. I will find some!

  • Hello SewingBee, you're points are really interesting, hope you don't mind me commenting as l have also suffered chronic iron deficiency with no end of different supplements not working. I felt dreadful and was so desperate to bring my iron levels up and it wasn't happening but then a naturopath told me that the tea l was drinking contains tannins that block iron absorption. Iron needs vitamin C for proper absorption (prob why you now have success). I never drink tea with food now and if l have an Iron rich meal l'll have a glass of orange with for the vit c. Juicing is a fantastic way to improve vit/mineral levels as you can add small amounts of spiralina or wheatgrass which give massive natural doses of iron and calcium in a form the body can easily use. Hope some of the info helps purpljuice with her original question. I saw a naturopath in desperation and now take Nutri advanced supplemts...Thyro Complex, Nutri Thyroid and also T-Convert and provided l take them regularly l feel good at the moment and have good vit/mineral levels, much to the irritation of my gp who can barely conceal his annoyance that a naturopath is giving me advice that is actually working! Good luck to purpljuice hope you find an answers for you.

  • Holly333

    Thanks for such a comprehensive reply. I will be looking into all these ideas. Thanks!

  • And don't forget that most tea is very high in Fluoride which competes with iodine for binding in the body. Tea needs soil high in Fluoride to grow and a lot of the Fluoride is absorbed into the leaves. Not too sure how the herbal teas fare on the Fluoride content.

  • I think adequate D levels are necessary to absorb iron .. and zinc and prob other metals.

  • Aspmama

    It's one thing to find out what helps various things to be absorbed into the body but then so many things will cause problems with levothyroxine absorption. Maybe I should sit in the sun and eat prunes. Thanks for that!

  • I know. It's a nightmare trying to space this stuff out from the levo. D, iron and the Bs esp B12 and folate do seem critical tho, and if u r low in those they can at least be taken together.

  • SewingBee, if your multivit contains calcium, zinc or magnesium, you won't be getting any iron out of it. They all cancel each other out.

  • Thanks I've had a look and it has calcium carbonate but no zinc or magnesium which incidentally I was told to take for my AMD (macular degenerative disease) my eyes. You just can't win can you! ha ha

  • You can if you give up multivits and take all the vitamins and minerals you need individually.

  • greygoose

    The trouble is that I'd tried to take the iron separately and in liquid for but none of the medications worked. The blood tests have shown that I now have enough iron so it is actually working with the multivitamin.

  • Oh, well, if it works... But just remember, you probably aren't getting anything else out of that multivit. Does it contain iodine? Because you don't want that.

  • greygoose

    No Iodine!

  • Good! :)

  • Normally, hair falls out when new hairs start growing. Maybe your hair have just started growing normally again?

  • Birgitteg

    Not when it comes out in handfuls it isnt normal!

  • Of course not. Couldn'the see that from what you wrote.

    Hope things will get better for you.

  • Jefner, I came to think about vit Bs - do you get them all 8?

  • Sorry dont understand

  • Do you take any of the vitamin Bs? You have to take a supplement with all 8 of them (they work together), or you will get a deficiency regarding to some of them. That can cause loss of hair - and other things.

  • BirgitteG

    No I don't supplement as I get all my b's from my smoothies

  • If you can be sure about that.....

  • That would be really nice. I hope it's the case. But it did start on an increased dose.

  • I take 150mg of Levo a day, and have done for years. I have the cramps and muscle weakness, but I have also had problems with my hair and was losing a lot. I use Nisim shampoo and I also took Lambetts Florasene, which is mainly iron. It solved my problem for a long time. Now I've noticed that I'm losing a bit more hair than usual, so I'm going back on the Nisim. It's not cheap, £40 for a large bottle, that last ages, but it's worth every penny. I hope this may help.

  • Low Ferritin can cause hairloss and if your are using the ferritin to try to convert the levo or synthroid then you will probably get more hairless as the ferritin depletes. Take VitC with it. Better still, chuck the levo in the bin and try NDT. :)

  • You need vitamin C to bind the iron, that is how it is better absorbed in your sytem. I have been anemic all my life (34yrs). I am on levothyroxine as well and I take it with a cup of apple cider vinegar, mixed with water and lemon juice, and this works well. I had been taking it just with water and notice that, I feel more energetic when I take it with the apple cider vinegar mix. I also do a mix of ACV, Water, Cinnamon, lemon juice, and Cayenne Pepper. That works wonders for metabolism, digestive system, and an early morning boost.

    Hope this helps.

  • check your blood report first.

  • Hi Daisy,

    if I were you I would try NDT (Natural Desiccated Thyroid) because it contains ALL thyroid hormones we need (T1, T2, T3, T4, and calcitonin). I had the same problems you had with Levothyroxine, because it's a T4-only med. There are several very good NDT-meds on the market, like e.g. WP Thyroid, etc. Hillary Clinton, e.g., takes Armour (also a NDT med). Get yourself a copy of the book by Janie Bowthorpe "Stop the Thyroid Madness" to read more about it. You also need to check whether you have other "construction sites" like e.g. vitamin and mineral deficiency (and pyrroluria), iron deficiciency, etc. and check the adrenals (concerning adrenal fatigue), sexual hormones, etc. Especially since you have been on T4-only meds for such a long time, it is even more possible that you've developed such problems, so no wonder you're having such problems.

    All the best, Suzanne

  • Everyone is so different. My ferritin and folate were both over so had to reduce suppliments but my b12 is rather low within the normal range. I take NDT. But had to introduce t3 as was just ill on ndt alone.

  • I started taking Nature throid several months ago. It cost me $35 for 3 months! I have been on Levothyroxine and Synthroid, and never felt like it was really working, plus I had face pain. Finally I am taking a natural product and feel much better. I was having problems loosing weight. But it's finally starting to happen too, I couldn't be more thrilled.

  • Please tell me what it Nature Throid?

  • It's like Armour. It's a prescription with T1,2,3 and 4. I think it's made by a pharmaceutical, but at this juncture my insurance does not cover it, but it cost only $35 in the US for a 3 month supply.

  • Information about many thyroid medicines, including Nature-Throid, is available here:


  • I'm taking 100mg levothyroxine

  • check your ferritin levels and you should be around 80-90 for hair to stay on head, check b12, and remember high normal is what you are looking for not normal which is at the bottomish, and check d3 levels, take fish oil daily...i have had the same problems and have tried everything so i went to the dr and she said it is a sign of hormone inbalance of hormones or thyroid hormones and most likely low normalfree t3 which means you are not converting well or have terrible absorption problem or converting problems...i have had them all and changed to ndt for now to see how tht goes...i have noticed on ndt, my hair gets softer and loses that fried dry look......she i also checking my iodine level and zinc

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