Reaction to various drugs

A year ago now I started to have an adverse reaction to Levothyroxin. I was also aware that I couldn't take Morphine in tablet form only in liquid form. Since then I have become reactive to various drugs that I have been taking for some time for arthritis, Celebrex Anti inflammatory. Tramadol. I still haven't been able to resolve the problem with my thyroid, I have tried NDT, which is a lot better but as it's in tablet form I can only use half the amount I should be on and when I increase it, again I have a reaction. It's also expensive as I need a Private Doctor for a prescription and I'm retired and not well off. Has anyone had reactions such as mine, I think to both the drugs they use to reduce the medication to tablet form and colourants that are used. The Endo tried me on T3 which wasn't too bad, the the second prescription had changed the form from a brown capsule to a white one which makes me ill. I need to know if anyone in in the same situation as myself and if they were referred anywhere for help to sort this out?

11 Replies

  • Rosierebel,

    Several members are unable to tolerate Levothyroxine tablets, possibly due to a reaction to one or more of the fillers in the tablet. Ask your GP to prescribe liquid Levothyroxine which has no fillers.

  • I am going to see the GP on Tuesday. A year ago when all this started I said I thought I was reacting to something in the tablets and asked to go onto liquid Levothyroxin. My Surgery had gone over into a group Surgery and I was told this was too expensive!!! However a new Doctor has joined the practice now who is much better so I will see what he says on Tuesday.

  • If you are in the UK, I believe there is more than one levothyroxine. Some members are sensitive to the fillers/binders so we have to try a few before they find one that suits them.

    However, some members don't feel well on levothyroxine but find relief when some T3 is added. Again, I think the medical profession have now been told not to prescribe T3 whatsoever. The cost has gone sky-high for a month's supply in the UK and many are having their prescriptions stopped.

    The associations, however, have never negotiated with the company that provide this essential hormone (who have. with every changeover of company's ownership, increased the T3 to beyond a reasonable figure).

    They just couldn't give a hoot how patients feel and I think they believe we are somewhat 'high-minded' if we request a trial of T3 added to T4 or T3 only. Also rumours are spread by the Associations about NDT as well as T3 - to frighten patients into submission and appear not to care about their patients' symptoms being relieved.

    Two NDTs are hypoallergenic 'Nature Throid' and WP Thyroid' both made by the same company. They can be prescribed on a named-patient basis' but doctors are frightened as the onus for the patients health falls on them alone and they wont take the chance. Even considering that the above NDTs have never been recalled whilst levo has been umpteen times NDTs also contain all of the hormones a healthy gland would have produced.

    Because we are all so different in our bodies needs it can take some time to arrive at the hormone replacement which gives us back a life, without a myriad of 'additional' medications (probably adding up to more than a decent hormone) to try to alleviate the symptoms.

    I think one of the most important facts is that we have a TSH around 1 or lower, with an FT4 and FT3 towards the upper range. The latter two are rarely tested for some unknown reason to me as the 'associations' are convinced that the TSH alone is the most satisfactory test.

    I used to believe in fairy tales but don't any longer but to insist the TSH is the only criteria is a fairy tale when the patient is suffering. Many doctors also think a TSH at the top of the range is fine with disregard to the patients' symptoms. It is symptoms which take us to the doctors in the first place but are unknown to the medical profession. Once upon a time symptoms alone were treated successfully since 1892 up to the late 1950's.

    When we find a hormone which suits us we have to stay on that one and make sure the chemist keeps a stock for you.

    There is also a liquid levothyroxine which might work for you as I believe it has less fillers etc.

  • Unfortunately in the UK we only have Levothyroxine, I have tried three different brands and had side effects with all three ranging from moderate to severe, that's only on 25mg. I agree with you about the TSH and blood tests, it's ridiculous to rely on this when thyroid symptoms vary so much between patients. Thank you for the info on NDT, I will keep that in mind.

  • I was more unwell and had more symptoms on levo. I have also tried NDT (several) which was definitely an improvement but am now well on T3 only. Again, some cannot tolerate NDT but, in general can find improvement on T3. Doctors can prescribe (and I'll give you a link) on a named-patient basis other than levo but many aren't willing to take responsibility if the patient has a reaction although I doubt that thyroid hormones can cause problems unless we take too much.

  • Problem is there isn't a brand of Levo that does suit me, I have tried several now and had side effects with all of them ranging from moderate to severe. Even NDT I have tried so far has had some side effects which has meant that I can only take half the dose or I react to it. Yes I do react to several drugs now and am in the process of trying to work out what exactly I am reacting to, I think one may be colourants, but some of the drugs just say 'colourants' on the contents and don't break it down to which colourant so that's not helpful. I am hoping the new GP I have will be able to help me sort this out. I have had to come off an anti inflammatory drug and a pain killer I take for arthritis so far, plus I know in the past when I have had operations that I can only have morphine in liquid or by injection as tablets with that made me ill. It is a nightmare.

  • I have the same problem. I have tried all sorts and types of thyroid medications. The smallest of all doses of both synthetic and natural thyroid medications make me ill. I have tried all sorts of dosage combinations with no luck at all. I feel well off the drug and very sick when I take any of those thyroid medications. I have been trying for seven years and my body is not cooperating. I have a negative reaction to other types of drugs, too. Folks who can tolerate meds are so lucky.

  • How do you manage with the thyroid? I can take a low dose of an NDT I have but that is only half of what I should be on, if I put it up to the right level I get side effects, but it is better. One reply I have on this post you will see suggests two NDT's that are free of these problems so I may have to try them. Also I have been told Thyrogold is good for this problem as well, although it is rather expensive. At the moment I am waiting to see what the GP comes up with, but doubt that will work somehow.

  • I tried Thyrogold and got sick on that one too. It's a strong medication. Fortunately, I don't feel sick at all with my thyroid condition. The tiniest of any of these drugs makes me very ill.

    There is a drug called LDN that I have heard has been successful in treating thyroid issues. I am going to inquire about the use of this drug at my next medical appointment.

  • It's the drugs that make me sick not the thyroid problem. I have looked into LDN but as it's synthetic I doubt I'll be able to take it.

  • Same for me, I feel fine although I am hypothyroid. As soon as I take the thyroid meds, I get very ill. I gave up trying to take any of the thyroid meds. The thyroid medications make me very sick. I trade being hypothyroid for a hyperthyroid condition. I have not tried LDN because I have not been able to convince the doctors to prescribe it for me.

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