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Thyroid UK
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Replacement for thyroxine

Hi I have just found this site. Having been on thyroxine most of I'm my life, I was shocked when I listened to a programme on BBC4 yesterday saying the government are replacing thyroxine with something cheaper as the price has suddenly gone skyward.

I can't actually find any information on the replacement drug and what it is/ how it works.

Does anyone have any links?

I can't see any point panicking until I find out the details and then I guess I will have to consider asking the GP for a private prescription and then buy it online where it's still cheap.

Honestly this government is determined to destroy the NHS and people's lives but that's another rant.

Thanks 🌼

12 Replies


There is no plan to replace Levothyroxine. The radio interview reported that NHS England plan to withdraw prescriptions for Liothyronine (T3) which is expensive and switch patients to Levothyroxine which is cheaper.




Not phew... as someone who takes T3 I can tell you it's going to do a lot of people bad.


I'm so sorry dang. I didn't mean any offence or lack of care for all those on T3. I thought most people on here who take it knew of the situation regarding T3.

It appeared that the poster had misunderstood a TV programme and thought Levothyroxine was being taken off as well which I doubted but hadn't heard anything. When I did my reply Clutters wasn't showing and I simply posted 'Hope not'.

After posting I saw Clutter's reply and commented Phew! Meaning that Levothyroxine is not being taken off as well. I wasn't making any comment about T3. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

XMary 🐥


It's ok! Yes the people who take T3 are well aware (I would hope). I didn't take your comment as insensitive, I realize that you didn't mean it that way.

I was probably just being a little sour over the whole T3 situation, I don't live in UK so I'm lucky to not be affected, but my heart goes out to those who are.


Hope not!


Hi I have found this link which explains the difference between the two thyroid drugs which the B4 programme really failed to put across for anyone concerned .... journalists!


1 like

Not 'drugs', 'hormones'. :)


Dang. I know nothing about liothyronine apart from what I read on the link I posted above and am curious.

In the link it says that thyroxine works better under tests - I'm wondering why some people are prescribed thyroxine and some liothyronine?

Is there end result any different?



I am intolerant to thyroxine and I take 60 micro grams of liothyronine daily. the end result is I can get out of bed, hold down a full time job and look after my family.




Hi Strawberry9 Liothyroine is commonly known as T3, Levothyronine is commonly known as T4. T4 is what GP's automatically prescribe for Hypothyroidism, telling us it is all we will ever need to sort out this potentially fatal condition we have. And aren't we 'lucky' that because it is a potentially fatal condition we can get our prescriptions free. (And we are suppose to be eternally grateful)

I wonder what tests this link refers to?

I cannot see how GP's/Endo's/NHS can say thyroxine (T4) works better, when they, steadfastly, shove their heads in the sand and refuse to accept all the other, debilitating, conditions that develop, are highly likely linked to the hypothyroidism. Let alone that the 'precious' T4 could be causing some of them!

Instead, they prefer to test for everything but.... And refuse to administer anything but T4. Even denying that there is anything but T4. (Now the move to remove T3 altogether will mean that at least they won't have to lie!)

(Inactive) T4 converts to T3 in the body. T3 is the active component. It is the part our systems need.

People who have been prescribed T3 have usually been through hell, trying to make T4 work for them, in my case for over 20 years - getting increasingly ill in doing so, whilst being fobbed off with every excuse going, made to feel like manic depressive, hypochondriacs! ( even after seeing psychologists who agree with us that it is not just 'in our heads' )

But GP's still choose to 'write us off' and ignore our condition. Despite the fact that they do know that our working thyroids affect every cell in our bodies, so why they refuse to accept that problems with thyroid, then, can also do the same??

Many of us have had to forfeit opportunities in life (who can hold down any sort of career, yawning and tired all the time, half the time unable to focus and function) Many of us have ended up having to give up jobs/careers. Many of us have lived half lives at best.

Contrary to the party line that GP's will refer to an Endocrinologist when a patient is struggling whilst on T4, that is not always the case. probably due to cost. Patients are more likely to have to ask and fight to be referred.

Some people do fine on T4. But some do not. Some need T3, only. Some do fine on a mix of T4/3. Some do not, and need some other form of replacement.

Gp's are generally not interested in if patients are receiving 'optimal' replacement. We are just to be grateful for anything prescribed. Hence the numbers on here, looking for help.

The false propaganda being fed to the 'public' is that T3 is a low value and low benefit drug, available over the counter, for which there are cheaper alternative, it is largely if not completely, only available via a specialist, and there is not an alternative to T3. T4 is the cheaper 'alternatives' they refer too. It is not an alternative/option for many of us.

Sorry, another of my rants. A sore subject. This is my views, fighting with HypoT for c40yrs.

This site is invaluable in providing lots of information regarding the various options available or not to us. I'm sure you can soon learn much more, about the difference by searching on here. If you are taking Thyroid hormones, and are fairly new to it, it probably well worth trying to get up to speed to know what your options might be should you find your current medications are not optimising your health.

All the best.


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