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Thyroid UK
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Mercury pharma levothyroxine feedback wanted

I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism 6 years ago. Sometimes I felt well on levothyroxine and sometimes so bad I wanted to die. Only recently I realized that I have been given different brands which obviously have an affect on me. A few months ago my pharmasist apologized that she was struggling to get 100mg and 75 mg strengths, so gave me 25mg of Mercury Pharma. I had to take 4x 25mgs on some nights and 3x 25mgs on others. Within a couple of weeks I never felt so well and 98% of my symptoms had gone.. Wow! Problem is, despite 'Mercury pharma levothyroxine' being written on my prescription, I am being given any old brand by my chemist!! Anyone have any luck with a particular pharmacy in getting MP levothyroxine brand? I'm at my wits end! Currently taking Teva and Actavis and really suffering with tiredness, joint pain etc etc

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Hi,

I have the opposite. I can't take Mercury pharma and this is the one most prescribed by my pharmacist.

However when i discovered that Mercury pharma was a problem for me i spoke to the pharmacist and told them I was reacting badly to this brand. I asked to try another brand which I did and I felt great. Anyway, the pharmacist now has this on my notes, not to prescribe Mercury pharma. But, as soon as I receive my meds, before walking out, I open the bag and check, because Often they haven't checked the notes. I flag it up with them there and then, and tell them I can't tolerate Mercury pharma and that this is written on my notes. It always gets sorted.

Anyway, my advice would be to speak to your pharmacist. If they don't listen (because some say, "they are all the same drug" even though the fillers/colouring could be the problem), change pharmacist.

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Thanks for the reply Lbstyle. I took my script stating 'Mercury Pharma levothyroxine' but was handed a bag containing a mix of Teva and Actavis with no explanation. I advised them that I didn't want this brand and was met with a shrug and 'we can't get the' Mercury Pharma levothyroxine'. It's so frustrating as I feel so well on MP. I managed to find another pharmacy who said they try to order MP levothyroxine in as another lady has exactly the same request. Fingers crossed my next month's meds will be right. Just frustrating that I am only able to get 1 month scripts. Wonder if I can request longer scripts?

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Yes, I would definitely try to change pharmacy to one who is more understanding. How do you order your scripts? I do mine on my docto surgerys website. I can order them early which is good because I always have a couple of months x

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Boon79,

Refuse. Complain. And go elsewhere.

Be aware that Mercury Pharma Eltroxin is exactly the same product as Mercury Pharma Levothyroxine.

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Boon79,

Ask your GP.

If you can, print section 6 (page 20 or 21) of this MHRA document:

Levothyroxine should be prescribed and dispensed in quantities covering three months supply, where appropriate, in order to address issues of continuity of supply and also to improve convenience to patients.

gov.uk/government/uploads/s...

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This is really useful

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that doesnt always make a difference.when I moved from cambridge where i had always been given 3 months supply to yorkshire I was only given 28 days ( not even a whole month!) supply and when I pointed out the MHRA advice I was simply told that the practice policy was for a months supply of any repeat medication....

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alchemilla12,

It would be so good to get that in writing and then complain that they think themselves superior to the experts of the MHRA.

Of course, it probably wouldn't get anywhere, but it is so intensely annoying.

As I see it, short period prescribing benefits pharmacies more than anyone else.

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Lbstyle,

as soon as I receive my meds, before walking out, I open the bag and check

Excellent advice. Even if you do not care what make. It is appropriate to take responsibility for your own medicine. Checking what you have received is the first step.

The person subject to a dispensing error in the story linked below could have saved themselves an unpleasant experience by checking.

bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-n...

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You have to tell the pharmacist that you want only that brand and he should source it for you.

Some pharmacists will give you any levo that they have in stock. So you must insist and always look at your levo before you leave the chemist.

Sometimes its the fillers/binders that can affect us.

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It has to be the fillers right? MP and Eltroxin have Acacia in them. I know this can help with digestive issues taken alone.

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Apparently synthetic thyroid hormones shouldn't affect us but the fillers/binders can.

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I recently had to change brand from mercury pharma because I wasn't able to find it in 50mcg, others were also having trouble. 25mcg seem to be available, I tried lots of different outlets always the same story, I even contacted concordia, still waiting for a reply.

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Greybeard63,

I suggest ringing Concordia.

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I'm happy on actavis now, seems to suit me better.

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Greybeard63,

I too prefer Actavis. :-)

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I am currently on 100mg of Actavis but then 50mg of Teva and 25mg of either one the next day, so cannot tell which brand doesn't suit.

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Hi Boon79. I also discovered that eltroxin by MP suits me better than Actavis and asked the pharmacy to put in their notes. A small pharmacy could not source )you can read my post history) so I moved to boots who can get it for me. I still check the bag and on one occasion was dispensed actavis as they did not check their notes but refused to accept it and they got it for me. Now they order more to have for the next time my prescription comes in. I also tried taking 4x25mcg of MP and only got prescription for 1 month as the gp is restricted on how much he can prescribe of one dose i.e. 25mcg is multiplied as opposed to 100mcg tablets for example (I posted about this before too).

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Did eltroxin work for you? I found it different to the MP levothyroxine?

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Eltroxin has worked well after I had unpleasant side effects from actavis 100mcg. I had MP Levo last year but this was when I was titrating my dose and have no way of comparing it to actavis or eltroxin. I need a higher dose of eltroxin (150mcg) compared to actavis (100mcg) to get ft4 to high in range and my ft3 was significantly higher when in actavis (although the reason may not be the brand). I've now added 6.25mcg of t3 to top up my ft3 and after 9 days today has been a good day ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thanks for all your comments. Interesting about Eltroxin being the same as MP levothyroxine as I tried Eltroxin for a month recently and it was not the same as MP levothyroxine in my opinion?! I had awful digestive issues whereas I didn't on MP levothyroxine. How can I check that they contain the same binders etc? It will be a shock if they're identical (and I'll feel stupid ๐Ÿ˜ถ.

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Boon79,

Whatever might have been the case in the past, they now share the self-same Patient Information leaflet, Product Licence, etc. And all were updated fairly recently, 2016 or 2017, when the markings on the tablets changed - both changing at exactly the same time. (They now say LT 15, LT 50 or LT 100 rather than a code with only historic meaning.)

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Hi Helvella. Thanks for your reply. I just Googled the binders in both Eltroxin and MP levothyroxine and there are some differences, so I'm not going mad! Hopefully I'll have some luck with the new pharmacy. There's another fuss pot like me who can also only tolerate MP levothyroxine using the same pharmacy. Such a shame that we have to struggle to get the right meds for us personally, so that we can get as close to our former selves as possible ๐Ÿ˜”

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Boon79,

I obviously don't know where you googled, but I think you might have fallen into a trap.

The brand name Eltroxin is used by different companies not just Concordia (Mercury Pharma) - Aspen being the main example. Possibly you'll also see reference to GSK's version. And there could be others. Each of them will have a different formulation.

For the UK products, go here:

medicines.org.uk/emc/search...[2507]&offset=1&limit=50&orderBy=product&refreshFilters=true

Afraid the link above gets broken by HU's software - repeated below as a Tiny URL:

preview.tinyurl.com/y7wlq4zb

You can then select Eltroxin and Levothyroxine from Concordia (Mercury Pharma). Then click to go to the Patient Information Leaflets for each product. I cannot see any difference whatsoever. For the 100 microgram dosage, they both say:

8. Marketing authorisation number(s)

PL 10972/0032

If you think there is a difference, please let us know. We need to know. Tell us where you found the information.

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Just to be 100% clear - this is the ONLY UK Eltroxin.

Further, Concordia (Mercury Pharma) themselves redirect you to the eMC site if you use their site to locate a Patient Information Leaflet.

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Hi there. After reading your post I looked at the EMC website for the ingredients in Eltroxin and low and behold, the ingredients in MP levothyroxine are exactly the same like you said! It must be all in my head? I think I need to eat humble pie and ask my new pharmacy for either Eltroxin by MP or MP levothyroxine. I am getting tempted to try thyrogold though to see if T3 will make a difference?

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Boon79,

No - humble pie not necessary.

There will indeed be old documents, foreign documents, plain-and-simple-wrong documents out there. Perhaps you landed on one of them?

I have no experience of thyrogold.

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Think I'm just clutching at straws. I'm not doing well on Actavis combined with Teva so I know that for sure. I should try Eltroxin again if it's available. It all started over Christmas when I missed my usual pharmacy and had to take Teva for five days before getting my usual MP prescription (which was Eltroxin). Started bloating and pumping the weight on around my middle. Wonder if this could be the problem?

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Boon79,

UK Teva levothyroxine has been very much appreciated by some, but detested by others. I will not take it again.

There again, I seem OK on Actavis - and prefer it to Mercury Pharma products. :-)

We are all different.

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i was offered teva on my last prescription, this time for my 100mcg ( i had already refused it previously for the 25 mcg) i ussally have actavis and wokhardt, i asked mt chemist to get me actavis but he said they can only ask for levothyroxine and get sent whatever brand gets sent. he did have a delivery coming the next day so i waited for that to come in, it brought mercury pharma which i took as have had them before . i think im doing ok on them at the minute but its hard to tell with all these winter coughs and colds etc. I'm due a retest as had a dose change so we will see. I believe you can ask your gp to name the brand on your script? if they are working well for you then thats important!

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I dont really think what the pharmacist is saying is correct. I asked my pharmacist to get me wockhardt after she kept swapping between that and MP and that has been no problem. she always checks in the bag before giving it to me to make sure it is Wockhardt.

the problem with getting the gp to name it on the script is that you will not be able to get anything else if the pharmacy is out of stock and so may have to wait a while or else search around for a chemist that has it .

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I can only tolerate Actavis/Almus which is available at Boots and have not had any problems. In the past I was on TEVA and became very ill so wouldn't go anywhere near their new formulation!

I was also given Mercury Pharma when my dose was increased from 100mcg daily to 125 mcg as Actavis only do 100 and 50 mcg tabs. The MP really played havoc with my guts within days. So I insisted on Actavis only. My scrip is for 100mcg Actavis plus every 3 months I get 50 mcg Actavis which I cut in half and take the 25mcg alternate days to give dose 112.5mcg average per day. However docs now in a flap re TSH of 0.07 and so therefore supposedly over treated even though T4 and T3 are both low in range.

I am now trying some T3. managed to get some Uni Pharma last year 25mcg tabs and taking quarter tab per day plus my 100mcg levo Actavis. So far no difference after 3 weeks!

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crimple,

In case it helps to make life easier for you, this product is also sold under the Northstar branding - still says Actavis on the bottom of the box. Northstar is owned by the same company as owns Lloyds pharmacies so is likely to be commonly available from them.

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Thanks for that bit of info helvella. I will make a note in my thyroid file along with other useful snippets I have garnered during my time on here.

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I was on Mercury pharma liothronine for more than 15yrs with no problems I have recently been past from pillar to post with different brands of liothronine because Mercury pharma are โ€œno longer making โ€œ liothronine although I suspect itโ€™s more to do with cost than supply anyhow long story short I am now on Teva I started taking them in January and since then have had a sciatica pain in my left thigh and various other aches and pains my feet feel cold although not to the touch and my body temp is dropping to 33-35.5 after reading the posts here Iโ€™m beginning to believe my suspicions that the Teva meds are the cause

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I've been hypothyroid for 27 years and in that time taken all kinds of brands (even synthroid for a while whilst living in USA!). In my long years of taking thyroxine I have never experienced anything so poisonous as Teva. Within a week sciatica, nausea and weight gain! NEVER again. I did try to complete the yellow complaints form at pharmacist but it was far too complicated.

NHS should be informed... TEVA in my opion is dreadful and one to be avoided!!

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Guess who's back on Teva??!! My dosage changed slightly so had a new script. Took it to the pharmacy and ended up with the 50mg dosage as blooming Teva ๐Ÿ˜. Goodness only knows what the 100's and 25's are but at least they're not Teva. Been super tired, not sleepingwell and pumping on the lbs in the last few weeks.....great! We switch pharmacy next time!

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