Vegetarian with Graves': Hello all, I'll write... - Thyroid UK

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Vegetarian with Graves'

Hannahfisher92
Hannahfisher92
15 Replies

Hello all, I'll write here again in more detail soon but in the meantime...

I'm 25 and recently diagnosed with Graves' Disease. I've been prescribed 40mg carbimazole a day and 6 weekly blood tests but when I got the pills home, the ingredients include gelatine. I am a strict vegetarian and am pretty distraught at the fact my doctor says there isn't a veggie alternative & extremely angry that in the 21st century, people are having to choose between their morals, religion or health choices and a drug that will make them better. That and the fact gelatine is only used as a gelling agent and has many alternatives that don't involve animal products.

Have any of you had any luck with a veggie alternative or a gelatine-free form of carbimazole?

15 Replies
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madge1979

I think I'd make an exception just this once ..... to enable me to get well ..

M

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tdcco
tdcco
in reply to madge1979

I was breast feeding when I was diagnosed with Graves and was offered Propylthiouracil as an alternative to Carbimazole so I could continue to feed. Doesnt appear to have gelatin in ingredients. I'm sorry you find yourself in this position and hope this can help.

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Hannahfisher92

Thank you tdcco. I will have a look into it. I guess there's a reason people are prescribed carbimazole but I'll definitely ask my doctor about any post able alternatives.

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tdcco

It was 20 years ago that I used these drugs and at the time was told it was cost. Reading drug info now this drug is used specifically to treat Graves while Carbimazole seems to be wider ranging hypothyroidism. Good luck and let me know how you get on.

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Hannahfisher92

Thank you, I will. It seems the one you were prescribed has a few more side effects and that is why it's not a first go-to drug. I'll ask my doc and let you know!

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tdcco

If it's any help I was on it for 18 months with no side effects but everyone is different.

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Hannahfisher92

Hello madge1979. I do appreciate your reply, but I think you've missed my point. I am absolutely distraught at the thought that I HAVE to consume a tablet with an animal product (where the animal has been killed) in order to make me better, when surely this is a big percentage of people with this problem. 'Just this once' wouldn't be taking one tablet- it's probably years of it and i feel that really undermines my choice not to eat meat and I find it really upsetting.

It'd be different if the active ingredient was the gelatine and that's the thing that would make me better. That would be a whole other thing, but not when it's only used because it's the cheapest form of gelling agent.

A massive percentage of the population are vegan/vegetarian and for all of them to say 'just this once' is really really unfair.

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Gambit62

not connected to your question - but just picking up on the vegetarian - want to check that you are getting enough B12 in your diet as it is only available in animal products - meat/fish/dairy/egg. Lack of B12 can cause serious problems but a dietary deficiency takes a long time to build up. Hoping that you are aware of this anyway and already supplementing - you don't kneed mega doses unless you have an absorption problem (and best to be tested for that anyway) - and there are plenty of B12 supplements (you just need a few mcg a day) that are vegetarian.

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Hannahfisher92

Hell Gambit62. Yes, I eat dairy, eggs and the occasional fish that I catch at home (I live on an island) and i take B12 everyday. I've taken them every day for the past year and I became hyper before I became veggie. I also take iron as my levels were apparently low (not that my doctor told me) and I definitely feel less tired than I did.

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PeteRad

Aren't fish animals too?

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Hannahfisher92

They are, yes!

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helvella
helvellaAdministrator

What make of carbimazole have you received?

I just checked the two listed on EMC and neither contains gelatine. (Or I can't see it on the page!)

The active substance in your tablet is carbimazole. Each tablet contains 5mg or 20mg of carbimazole. Other ingredients are lactose monohydrate, maize starch, citric acid monohydrate and magnesium stearate.

medicines.org.uk/emc/medici...

6.1 List of excipients

Anhydrous lactose

Croscarmellose sodium

Iron oxide (red) (E172)

Magnesium stearate

(Above taken from the SPC rather than the PIL for technical reasons.)

medicines.org.uk/emc/PIL.27...

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helvella
helvellaAdministrator
in reply to helvella

If, as seems possible, your doctor dispenses, or you have limited pharmacy access, then you could use an internet pharmacy. For England there is a list I know of, but couldn't readily find the Scottish equivalent (if it exists).

nhs.uk/Service-Search/pharm...

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Suzyjul

Be glad they are trying to do something besides radioactive iodine which is what I got 30 years ago. This was when I stupidly believed that doctors do what is best for you. It has been a 30 year battle for me. You would think after 30 years I would be used to being tired all the time. Good luck to you.

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