Feeling poorly. : Feel so unwell, I have finally... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
103,891 members120,418 posts

Feeling poorly.

Angel48
Angel48
66 Replies

Feel so unwell, I have finally found a pharmacy that stocks North Star levothyroxine, as Teva, Actavis simply don't suit me. When I spoke to the pharmacist at Boots she produced a brand called Almus or something along those lines. All good until she checked the information leaflet and we were both shocked that this brand was also part of The Teva pharmaceutical company..... She also said that she had other customers who had experienced issues with the Teva levothyroxine.

I'm a little concerned incase all pharmacies decide to stock only Teva pharmaceutical levothyroxine. I have had a bad experience with both Teva and Actavis.

I asked for a blood test to check but I was told it wasn't necessary and was given a new prescription.?

I just want to feel well again.

66 Replies
oldestnewest
MissGrace

I think Almus and North Star are actually Actavis rebranded for different pharmacies. I have Almus, but the leaflet inside says Actavis. 🤸🏿‍♀️

4 likes
Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to MissGrace

Oh know I do hope that North Star have no connection to Teva pharmaceuticals. I am at my lowest right now. I have had North Star before with no problems. But that was a while ago. Well I'm beat, need to get to bed. Thank you for your reply. Take care.

1 like
Reply
Izziedwards

Almus was the brand name before Actavis in 2007. I have been taking it for 12 years now without any problems. Infact, Actavis is the only brand i can tolerate.

Reply
SeasideSusie
SeasideSusieAdministrator

Angel48

Actavis is rebranded as Northstar (Lloyd's pharmacy) and Almus (Boots) and they are all the same. If you look at the foil back on the blister pack, it says Actavis on all of them. They are nothing to do with the company that produces Teva.

3 likes
Reply
Angel48

My pharmacist said Actavis is part of teva pharmaceuticals and when I researched it I found a link between all of the brands.

Feel really unwell and now confused I just want to feel well again. I have had a medical and everything else is fine. So after 6 weeks on Actavis levothyroxine I feel like I did when I was on the new formulation levothyroxine produced by Teva.

Going to my bed have work tomorrow.

Reply
SeasideSusie
SeasideSusieAdministrator
in reply to Angel48

ThyroidUK's latest list of thyroid treatments (updated July 2018) shows them as different companies. It lists all available thyroid replacement hormones and their ingredients

thyroiduk.org/tuk/treatment...

Reply
Angel48

I'll take a look but I found a link between the two companies and I just don't know what is going on. There have been other people in my area that have had issues with Teva.

Reply
SeasideSusie
SeasideSusieAdministrator
in reply to Angel48

Many members here have had problems with Teva levothyroxine, we encourage them to send in a Yellow Card Report to MHRA.

I've had a problem with a different medication made by Teva (nothing to do with thyroid meds), my surgery changed me to it because it was cheaper and I wasn't the only one to be affected. A few of us have been changed back to our original brand.

Reply
Angel48

Thanks for all the support and advice. Really appreciate it.

Reply
helvella
helvellaAdministrator
in reply to Angel48

Your pharmacist thinks he/she knows more than they do!

Actavis UK were temporarily owned by Teva. But part of the deal that allowed them to purchase Actavis required them to sell off Actavis UK.

Actavis UK have now ended up as Accord Healthcare. But NOT part of Teva. They are part of the Indian Intas

And even if there is a link, the Actavis levothyroxine product is a different formulation to Teva levothyroxine.

[Apologies - I first posted saying "Actavis Generics" when I meant "Actavis UK" which is a generics maker! Now corrected.]

5 likes
Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to helvella

Whatever the connection all I know is I feel really poorly. And I've had my condition for 48 years since I was born. My condition has been under control. I've only had issues since my pharmacy changed brands.

The pharmacist was only trying to help. She briefly checked the information leaflet and saw it mentioned actavis.

To be Frank I am just fed up and want to feel well again.

Whatever is going on.

Reply
MaisieGray
MaisieGray
in reply to helvella

I don't know how, in the Pharma world, they compare, but looking at their history, they seem aggressively acquisitive. You wonder how they have time to actually make any drugs, between take overs and getting the new letterheads printed. But interestingly, their corporate history graphic mentions in August 2016, acquiring Allergan plc’s worldwide generic pharmaceuticals business, Actavis Generics, "significantly expanding Teva’s generics product portfolio, R&D capabilities, product pipeline and global operational network. The acquisition strongly reinforces Teva’s strategy, accelerates the creation of its new business model and opens a new set of possibilities for the company in generics." But there's no mention then, of subsequently selling it on - which isn't to say they didn't, just that perhaps disinvesting doesn't fit the corporate image so it's glossed over.

3 likes
Reply
Izziedwards
Izziedwards
in reply to Angel48

Teva is different to Actavis.

Reply
AnneEvo

After Googling Teva Pharmaceuticals and looking at Teva USA it says Actavis is a subsidiary company. google.co.uk/search?ei=Jmk3...

Reply
helvella
helvellaAdministrator
in reply to AnneEvo

The trouble is the confusion of names,

The COMPANY Actavis that you are referring to is owned by Teva.

The UK BRAND Actavis, under which the levothyroxine is sold, is owned and operated by Accord Healthcare which is owned by the Indian Intas company.

2 likes
Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to helvella

I can't get hold of Mercury levothyroxine I got Northstar from Lloyds only to open the box and it's actavis. So stuck with feeling really poorly as every pharmacy I have tried only stocks actavis.

Reply
AnneEvo
AnneEvo
in reply to helvella

Thanks for clearing that up. I did assume that Teva Pharmaceuticals was the same company here in the UK and so it meant that Actavis was under the same umbrella.

1 like
Reply
shaws
shawsAdministrator

You poor thing. Most on this forum will know exactly how you are feeling.

Some of us feel very unwell, are given levothyroxine and are astonished that we feel worse than before we're diagnosed. No doctor seems to believe us and we struggle on and on, hoping that the next increase will magically remove these awful symptoms and let some life come back into our body.

Before we are given an increase in levo, we are supposed to have a blood test first! Otherwise how would the doctor know the whereabouts of your TSH - as that's all they seem to test. The aim is a TSH of 1 or lower but many doctors make the mistake that a TSH 'in range' is fine when it isn't.

The method is that we're given a prescription, and after six weeks a blood test is taken to see if we're improving and bloods are improving too.

What dose are you taking of levothyroxine? There has been many complaints about Teva but I think there are other levothyroxine's available for you to try.

Some pharmaceutcal companies do different makes of certain medications and there could be some differences in the fillers/binders and it could be that Almus might suit you.

I think I'd consider a change of doctor.

(I am not medically qualified).

1 like
Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to shaws

I've had my condition since birth I'm now 48. I am on hrt but when I was on Mercury I was fine.

Now I am suffering severe cramp, headache, feeling the cold and I'm really really low. I'm normally a happy person but the last week I've been feeling gradually worse.

Thank you for your support.

I tried to explain to the doctor and pharmacy but as you said they think I'm being a pain. But I know my own body. And until taking Teva and now Actavis I was fine.

Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to Angel48

Sorry I'm on 100micrograms and have been for about 12 years with no issues. So something is going on. I'm just concerned that if all pharmacy's begin to stock only levothyroxine made by Teva pharmaceuticals I'm going to be feeling like this permanently. And that is just not acceptable. X

Reply
shaws
shawsAdministrator
in reply to Angel48

No it is not acceptable at all. I am sure if you tell your pharmacist what make you want, he'll try his best to do so. For another prescription (not to do with thyroid) I always look at the packet to make sure he's sourced the one I need for another problem. Sometimes - if he's not there another might put in a different make so I always double-check before leaving chemist.

Ask him what he stocks other than Teva. I know there's been lots of complaints recently about Teva. You are also entitled to file a complaint and do so with the Yellow Card Scheme:-

gov.uk/report-problem-medic...

Reply
SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator
in reply to Angel48

So if you were on Mercury Pharma insist on still getting Mercury Pharma

Many of us can not change brands

I also only tolerate Mercury Pharma brand and have it written on my prescription

Large chains like Lloyds or Boots still don't honour it and supply whatever they have in stock.

I find I have much better service at small independent pharmacies

4 likes
Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to SlowDragon

Thank you. I can only get actavis brand of levothyroxine if I want Mercury then my local lloyds has Mercury but only in 25 microgram tablets. I now have to see if I can have that put on my prescription.

In boots it's marketed under the name Almus levothyroxine and then Northstar in Lloyd's pharmacy very strange.

Reply
MissGrace

Maybe need your doctor to write Mercury Pharma on your prescription and try differently pharmacies until you get one that stocks it if this is the brand you do best on. 🤸🏿‍♀️

1 like
Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to MissGrace

Finding it hard to get mercury thyroxine. Tried 3 separate pharmacy's who only stock Teva, actavis or almus. The pharmacist looked in the box and on the information it said made by actavis?? All very confusing.

Reply
SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator
in reply to Angel48

What they mean is they won't order Mercury Pharma in for you.

It's available, but they don't stock it

Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to SlowDragon

Yes that would be the general feeling.

Reply
cein
cein
in reply to Angel48

I get my Levothyroxin from my local Boots .. my prescriptions state Wokhardt and I know Boots are not happy to order it for me and they make me wait .

I have to order 3 weeks in advance of needing another repeat prescription but I don't care.

Reply
MissGrace

Some Boots pharmacies stock Mercury Pharma 25mcg as Almus (Actavis) don’t make a 25mcg tablet. It would mean 4 tablets to get to 100mcg a day - but maybe it is worth getting your doctor to write a more specific prescription to get this? I can only have Actavis, but am on 75mcg some days and 100 on others as I have been gradually adjusting and fine tuning my dose. My doctor prescribes me the right number of tablets in 50mcg packs (no hundred packs as they would difficult to quarter for a 75mcg dose) so I can have the versatility to use the tablets in different amounts. Just a suggestion. 🤸🏿‍♀️

Reply
Akellyg

How did the Teva affect you ?

Reply
Skylane2

Can your pharmacy get Mylan? That is the manufacturer my doctor recommends. Thyroid meds are very touchy sometimes the amount varies even though the lab claims it’s 0.05 it may not be but Mylan is consistently accurate

Reply
helvella
helvellaAdministrator
in reply to Skylane2

Mylan levothyroxine would not usually be available in the UK. It would have to be a special import and would cost a lot.

Reply
MissMc6

Really feel for you, Probably not politically correct but are Drs getting a financial advantage ? I know for a fact Drug companies do all sort to promote. No help to you though, what to Do? Go back to Dr and insist! Easy said. It’s just not acceptable for people to have these issues over drugs. I have cancelled last three appointments now with the Dr! Have purchased some Thyroxine, also trying the natural route regarding my osteoporosis because the medication is having very bad effects on me.

Feeling ill like you. B12 probs Osteoporosis along with Osteoarthritis under active thyroid medication reduced, doing very little as depressed tired along with pain, it’s not living is it not really. I do hope you get some help.

Reply
Angel_of_the_North

Doctors get a financial advantage for prescribing anti-depressants, but not for any brand of levothyroxine - generally the pharmacy decides what brand to supply. Remember GPs are basically paid by the government.

Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to MissMc6

I hope you feel better soon I still feel like crap but hey I will not be beaten.

Reply
Cody6711
Cody6711
in reply to Angel48

Do you have pains and aches I am currently on 50 eltroxin since last week feel really painful shoulders and neck and back worse since I started on 25 8 weeks ago

Reply
giselajames

Dear Angel48, have you considered going onto NDT (natural desiccated thyroid extract). I can’t tolerate Teva or any other synthetic Levothyroxine and if you message me privately, I can tell you where to buy it and how much to take.

Gisela

2 likes
Reply
patzie
patzie
in reply to giselajames

like you I cant tolerate synthetic levo and would be open to trying NDT so could you please let me know where to buy it etc. thank you.

Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to giselajames

I will message you when I finish work. Thanks 😁

Reply
Lulu2red

Clearly you have been well until brand was changed. Go back to your GP and insist he writes the brand you need;No exceptions! I believe it's a cost thing.

In the meantime get him to sign you off work until the situation is sorted. You should not be going to work in this state it won't help you will get worse and other symptoms will develop. Basically you are now Hypothyroid whichever way you look at it. Blood test will not prove anything because it will only show that you are taking T4 at that dose albeit you cannot tolerate it. If he cannot guarantee you the right product because it's not available ask for a trial of T3. Good luck with that though. Interestingly I am on T3 and recently was switched from Sigma pharma to Morningside and having to cut tablets in half to achieve the correct dose. Not accurate or ideal to the layman or a doctor so kind of under lines it's a cost issue with T3. However T4 is cheap as chips so getting you the right brand should not be an issue. If they have to special order it. So be it. This is your quality of life they are gambling with. Take it from me as someone who was given no alternative to T4 and remained hypothyroid for 20 years. I dragged myself into work and really struggled because Endocrinologists and doctors said no alternative. All lies. Don't put up with it. Take your partner or a friend to the GP to back you up. Hypothyroidism effecs your brain function and emotional well being. It's nice to hear you have been well all these years but don't let them stamp all over your future. It's unfair and unnecessary. Remember doctors oath ' first do no harm's. Applies to you. Hope you feel better soon.

1 like
Reply
MaisieGray
MaisieGray
in reply to Lulu2red

"If they have to special order, so be it" - that's not exactly how it is though. Pharmacists/pharmacy business owners are independent professionals, rather than employees of the NHS, and are in effect, medical retailers, albeit in a very specialised field. They buy in drugs and treatments from their wholesalers and dispense on to patients; and are then reimbursed by the NHS according to what must be one of the most detailed payment frameworks that's ever existed. Standard Levo is a tariff drug, so they are reimbursed at a set amount, what ever they have paid for it. I believe it is also subject to the standard discount on the reimbursement rate, irrespective of whether they themselves, have negotiated a discount from their wholesaler. They therefore need to buy in at the most cost effect rate as it directly affects whether they are in a profit or loss situation as a result of dispensing the prescription. In addition, some larger multiples will have set up closed purchasing arrangements with their particular wholesale supplier, and won't source stock outside this. Hence why we may be told they can't source a particular brand of drug - it's a commercial expediency. So as a direct function of tariff rates, we can't unequivocally always expect them to source a special order if the exigencies of their business leans them towards not doing so.

1 like
Reply
Lulu2red
Lulu2red
in reply to MaisieGray

Thanks for the detailed explanation but it doesn't change the fact that patients should be given exactly what the GP prescribes. My pharmacy complain to me about the cost of my T3 quite loadly so anyone can hear. Even heard them say, hope it's only a trial we cannot afford hundreds of pounds a month all the time! Until I told the GP they are making me feel uncomfortable about it, he rang the owner and had a private word. If they dispense and make a loss it's up to them to negotiate terms. The onus is on the NHS not the patient. They don't give me hassle anymore, but refuse to stock it and I have to make sure I put my repeat in early all the time. T3 is a cheap drug in Europe so MRHA need to get their act together. We pay their wages after all. I even had an assistant say she is on T4 perhaps she could have this expense T3!!! Quite unprofessional. I have the faulty DI02 gene so cannot convert T4. After being left hypothyroid for 20 year's I take great exception to their attitude.

4 likes
Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to Lulu2red

Thank you I really appreciate your help. It's disgusting I've never had problems until now. And it's all down to money. I didn't ask to be born with this condition. People don't realise just how it affects people.

My pharmacy can get mercury but in 25 microgram tablets so I'm going to have to get the doctor to put that on my prescription.

Still stuck with tablets that don't seem to be working and no where seems to have 100microgram Mercury only actavis or North star(but when you open the box it clearly states actavis?? Or in Boots it is under the brand name Almus?) all very strange.

Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to Lulu2red

Thank you. I've had my condition since birth and have been fine until the change in pharmaceutical company. Now I just feel really ill.

And its so unfair that its down to money. I'll keep you posted on the progress. Thank you so much for your help.

Reply
DoeStewart

Sorry your feeling so poorly after taking the Teva Levo, I was exactly the same around this time last year when it was given to me. I'm sad to say that it took me about 3 months to recover - awful time, was so poorly . I told pharmacist ( independent) that I couldn't take them and not to dispense them again to me. I also filled in the yellow card on line. I wish you a speedy recovery, rest as much as you can, be kind to yourself.

Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to DoeStewart

Thank you that was a lovely reply. I'm still trying to get anything other than actavis in Blackpool. It's a total nightmare.

I hope you are feeling better.

I can only keep trying. But I'm getting really low and it simply isn't like me. Take of you 😁

Reply
DoeStewart
DoeStewart
in reply to Angel48

I am feeling quite well at the moment thank you. I had private blood tests in July 2018 to cover thyroid and vitamins. I posted the results on here and was given some excellent advice regarding low vitamin levels ( in range but low). After having sourced the vitamins advised by this forum I have now been taking them for 6 months and am due another private blood test to see how my levels are. I take 100mg Levo daily - Mercury Pharma brand and don't have any awful side effects. Get a new script, take the Teva to a pharmacy for them to get rid of in their burns bin. I can't stress enough how resting when I needed to helped me back from that awful lethargy, aches and pains, stomach upsets, and headaches that Teva gave me. You will get better but like everything else to do with the thyroid, it will take time. God bless.

Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to DoeStewart

I sent you a message. I'm glad you are feeling well. I've been experiencing headaches and cramp. It just the feeling tired and very low that upsets me. I will not be beaten. Mercury suits me but can't seem to get hold of it in Blackpool. I will find a way to get the medication I need. It has never been like this before. It's not a easy condition. I've had mine since birth which has been OK until now. Take care so pleased you are well. Take care x

Reply
DoeStewart
DoeStewart
in reply to Angel48

Thank you for your message. I had thyroidectomy 35 years ago, had 7/8ths removed but the 1/8th I was left with doesn't do anything at all. Unfortunately the Drs treat by TSH which is a nonsense and they don't understand that different brands of Levo effect some of us badly. I have no idea why you are having such problems getting your Mercury Pharma Levo only that the brands the pharmacy are stocking are the cheapest and they end up with more profit as they get fixed price back from NHS? No used to you though - I really hope you get sorted out.

Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to DoeStewart

I think it's cheaper but I'm sure I will find a way. I have a small pharmacy I can try.

If my mum hadn't spotted I wasn't developing as I should have been. My situation could have been so much worse. It used to be called cretins desease. Charming name.

Luckily it was caught in time or I could have had severe learning difficulties and I would not have grown. The way cretin is summed up is. A mentally retarded dwarf.

That was in 1970. Things have moved on now thankfully.

Now the condition is recognised maybe that is part of the problem.

Now thyroxine is mass produced. And goes under the name of levothyroxine.

I never had any issues with my medication when I was growing up.

I'm no expert and I'm not big on conspiracy theories either.

I just know that I feel unwell and this has only occurred since I took, first Teva and now Actavis.

If its down to cost I will pay I just want to feel well.

Take care

Reply
DoeStewart
DoeStewart
in reply to Angel48

Try your other pharmacy and fingers crossed they can dispense it for you. Yes I agree cretins disease is an awful name isn't it. Synthetic thyroxine in my opinion can never replace your bodys natural thyroxine but we are stuck with it I'm afraid. Good luck.

Reply
FancyPants54

I too couldn’t tolerate Teva Levothyroxine. I filled in a yellow card. I felt dreadful.

I am fine with the Almus brand. My pharmacist has made notes against my name and they always dispense the Almus for me now.

Reply
Foxy23

I am on activist but feeling unwell as I did with teva. The bluster pack says activist but the box it comes on says northstar. Can you confirm your blister pack says northstar please.

Reply
helvella
helvellaAdministrator
in reply to Foxy23

If you look on the cardboard outer pack, that too says Licence Holder Actavis. There is nothing actually hidden it is just a matter of reading the packet and the Patient Information Leaflet and the blister pack. It might take a few minutes to make it all hang together but it does make sense.

In the Actavis factory in Barnstaple they put some blister packs into Actavis card outers, some into Almus card outers and some into NorthStar card outers.

1 like
Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to helvella

Either way I feel bloody awful and very very down. Getting nowhere fast and just getting upset. Never had this issue before and based on the fact I can't bloody think straight at the moment. Appreciate your input but I'm at a dead end as it seems actavis or teva are all Blackpool pharmacies are stocking. Which leaves me in a bit of a mess.

Reply
Angel48

My box says Northstar but when I took the tablets out it says actavis. I'm glad it's not just me.

I've tried a number of pharmacy's but they all stock the same ones. I'm getting worried. I can't stand feeling like this.

Reply
Angel48

Didn't say it was hidden I just want my medication to work effectively for me. Like it used to.

Reply
Foxy23

I keep getting a lot of chest pain too since being on these for just over 2 wks and pain down left arm. (Same symptoms as teva), phoned doctors, would not see me told me I had to go to a&e. Told them i think ots my thyroid but still insisted i go to A&E. Went today got checked out not my heart, putting on weight too. Said I think it's my thyroid. But no one listening.

Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to Foxy23

We know our own bodies but hey they don't seem to want to listen. I really hope you get sorted. I've just spent a hour trying to get through to my gp with no joy. Never had any issues until the change in supplier changed. I've had this condition since birth so I know my body. I feel really bad. And I can't seem to get any joy.

Reply
Rita-D

I have problems with both Teva (gives me IBS symptoms - I don’t have IBS) and Wockhardt (which makes me really itch). Got anti-histamines in the summer for some horsefly bites which made them worse and made me itch all over! Checked the brand and you’ve guessed it - Wockhardt! I’ve yellow carded all of them. I insist on picking me prescription up from the surgery as if they send it to the pharmacist they just dispense whatever they have in despite me telling them that i’m allergic to Teva and Wockhardt. I then ring around pharmacies until I find one with Mercury Pharma which is the one I can tolerate. Boots and Lloyd’s pharmacies are least helpful I find. Hope you manage to get sorted out.

Reply
Angel48
Angel48
in reply to Rita-D

Found a small independent pharmacy that will stock it for me. I never had these problems before. But at least I can see light at the end of 6 tunnel. Have a great weekend. Stay well. X

Reply
Rita-D

Brilliant! Glad you’re sorted. Hope you’re feeling better soon. I will have a great weekend as i’m on holiday in Mexico!

Reply
Angel48

I'm in a very blustery Blackpool and jealous of you being in the sun lucky you.

Having a nightmare as I made a mistake I took my second prescription to Lloyd's pharmacy the box said Northstar but its actavis inside.

I did this before finding a pharmacy that was able to get mercury brand.

So I still feel sick, still feeling unwell and my head is still foggy.

Not sure if I can get another prescription I just can't stand feeling unwell.

Hope you are enjoying your holiday. Xx

Reply
jacamands

I have been stable on 175 for 15 years. (1 x 100 and 3 x 25) Last June Boots changed the 25 tablets to the Teva brand. The first thing that I noticed was the size of the tablet, it was bigger than the 25. Anyway after a week I began to have hyperthyroid symptoms,

agitation, fast heart rate and ache in throat. I stopped taking the Teva and used up my reserves of another brand for the remaining three weeks. The adverse symptoms stopped. I did not complain to Boots because they reverted to my familiar brand. However I have just opened my prescription bag collected yesterday and it is Teva again. I will now take them back to Boots and file a complaint. Reassuring to know that so many other people are not tolerating this brand. We must raise awareness of this issue to Pharmacists/Doctors.

Reply
Hidden
Hidden

So similar story here, docs changed my usual Actavis brand to Teva last month. Been in real pain the last few weeks with achy muscles, tendons etc in shoulders, arms, hands and fingers. Stopped taking my meds as I can't deal with this but no change yet after 36 hours.

Contacted my GP who says he will try and ensure future Levo is the correct brand but won't guarantee it.

I hope the pain goes soon, its driving me mad.

Reply
fostercraig

Hi Angela48

I too had a reaction to Teva. Woozy pumped head and worse than normal fatigue.

Can you clarify, in your note you say NorthStar was your preference and Teva, Actavis gave you problems. But NorthStar says Actavis on box on side. So am confused as to what you mean.

So are you OK on Acatvis Northstar

Reply

You may also like...