When you are officially diagnosed as hypothyroid by the NHS, here in the UK, you are prescribed levothyroxine. Levothyroxine is considered to be a ‘life sustaining’ medication. In other words, without it we would die (eventually!). In the UK, hypothyroidism is one of a small number of medical conditions that currently entitles you to receive your ‘life sustaining’ medication completely free of charge.
In order to keep the cost of supplying this medication to the absolute minimum, it is usual for the prescribing doctor to simply write ‘levothyroxine’, with the relevant dosage, on the prescription. No 'brand' name is specified. This is known as prescribing ‘generic’ medication. It means that your pharmacy must give you levothyroxine pills of the specified dosage, but they can be supplied by any manufacturer.
The theory is that whilst levothyroxine pills are made by a number of different manufacturers at various factories, the end products are all the same. So a 50 mcg pill from one manufacturer will do the same job as a 50 mcg pill from any of the other manufacturers. It goes without saying then, that two 25 mcg pills from any given manufacturer, do the same job as one 50 mcg pill from another manufacturer.
Or do they?
What is your experience?
Are you one of the fortunate people who just take their levothyroxine every morning, regardless of the name on the packet, and get on with life in glorious thyroid health?
Or is that an ‘idealistic myth’?
Have you ever had adverse reactions to levothyroxine from particular suppliers?
Have you ever asked your GP or Endo to prescribe a specific 'brand' of levothyroxine? If so, what was the response?
Do you always get your levothyroxine supplied through the same pharmacy?
Have you ever asked a pharmacist to supply you with the same levothyroxine product each time they fulfil your prescription? If so, what was the outcome?
Maybe you automatically always receive pills with the same apparent 'brand' name on the packet, even though you've never requested this?
If you have a tale to tell about your experiences in obtaining your levothyroxine, please share it here.
[Thanks to 'amraphster' for providing me with the inspiration for this blog!]