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Thyroid UK
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Cytomel alternative in UK and medical exemption card

I have a NHS GP prescription for cytomel. It is currently out of stock with overseas suppliers . GP is very unhelpful. Is all T3 medication unlicensed in the UK or just cytomel? What is an alternative that can be prescribed and readily available in the UK. I have been on 12.5mcg per day taken in conjunction with 100mcg levothyroxine.(t4). Also I have a medical exemption card as pharmacy advised that thyroid medication qualifies for exemption (I am a Brit who has just returned from living/working overseas from many years). I have seen that many of you are paying for your meds. Why hasn't everyone on this forum got exemption cards?

11 Replies


If your prescription states Cytomel that is the only brand pharmacists can dispense. If it says 25mcg Liothyronine ask the pharmacist for Sanofi Cynomel from France. Alternatively, ask GP to write a scrip for 25mcg Sanofi Cynomel which is a fraction of the cost of 20mcg UK Liothyronine or a scrip for 20mcg Liothyronine. There are 3 20mcg generic brands of Liothyronine in the UK, Mercury Pharma, Morningside Healthcare and Teva.

Everyone will have a medical exemption card for their prescribed thyroid meds but not everyone can get Liothyronine prescribed so they buy their own online and self medicate.


Thank you very much. Prescription states cytomel so will print this out and take to GP tomorrow



Medical exemption cards only apply in England out of the four home countries. :-)



Yes, I know, because only England pays for prescriptions.

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UK Liothyronine is £250 for 28 tablets.

French is £25 for 100 tablets.

German is £30 for 100 tablets.

Prof Toft - article just published now saying T3 is likely essential for many


Note his comment towards the end that UK price is unacceptable


The French one is 13.92 euros for 100 tablets I purchase it every four weeks.

I thought that as the UK has been in the EU for years the French one should be readily available?


Do you live in France? If not can you pm me details as I live near kent coast. I delivered all the info to the GP this morning and have to call after 3 for a decision. I am assuming that if they do prescribe the French version that it will have to be special ordered. This is already day 3 without cytomel and I am going downhill.


Thanks everyone for all your help and advice. I now have a months worth of liothyronine so should be on form for the festivities. Unfortunately they have prescribed me the UK brand . Sorry tax payer!


OMG! Thank you a very helpful post and article

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I am on Cytomel prescribed by my Gp and I get mine through a specialist import company. I use a small local pharmacist who was prepared to use one of the specialist import companies listed on the ThyroidUk site and the T3 medication comes into this country via Canada. It can take up to 3 weeks to arrive but sometimes it is there next day. Just a note here, this medication is about a quarter of the price of British T3 at about £2 a tablet. Why the NHS does not use this is beyond all sense!

Most of the larger pharmacies like Boots, supermarkets etc will refuse to get Cytomel as they only use their own import companies who do not stock Cytomel or charge a rediculous amount of money, so look for a small independant pharmacy and give him the list of import companies to work with.

Good luck



Unfortunately my GP does not prescribe T3 because he and the Endo do not believe that it is effective. Without a prescription it is not possible to obtain T3 or NDT unless one can afford to travel to a country where T3 or NDT is available over the counter.

Clinicians are not listening to patients when they remain symptomatic. It can't be all due to money because the medication can be purchased from other countries at the fraction of the cost asked for in the UK.

The questions are: Why does the NHS allow itself to be ripped off? Why are clinicians not listening to their patients?

Why is there such tremendous opposition to T3 and NDT? Why do clinicians think replacing 5 essential hormones with one that needs to be converted is enough? Why is T4 promoted as the 'all singing and dancing' only option for treating hypothyroidism/Hashimoto's disease?

Why are clinicians denounced as 'quacks' by their orthodox colleagues when they differ in their opinion from mainstream medial practitioners?

Why are patients, who report feeling a lot better on T3 or NDT, dismissed as 'delusional' and experiencing a mere 'placebo effect?

What the blazes is going on? Nobody seems to have the answers and,even more frightening, nobody seems to care.


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