different brands of levo every month 100 mcg - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

127,381 members149,598 posts

different brands of levo every month 100 mcg

Essexlil profile image
82 Replies

Hi everyone,

Is there a problem with the supply of levothyroxine at the moment? I’d settled on Mercury Pharma and for the last two months I’ve been told that it can’t be sourced. Last month I was given Aristo and this month I’m being given Accord.

I haven’t been great on Aristo and I don’t seem to have a choice but to try Accord. All the pharmacy say is they don’t know why they can’t get Mercury Pharma and Accord is the only one they have this month.

Now it’s accepted that people with Hashimotos should be kept on the brand which suits them why are we being put through this unacceptable situation of any brand will have to do. Is this problem widespread? Is it because of Brexit? Nobody so far has told me why I’m being put through this. Maybe someone on our forum can help so at least I know the reason why so any answers would be greatly appreciated.

82 Replies
SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator

Once you find a brand that suits you, best to make sure to only get that one at each prescription.

Request GP name brand you want on all future prescriptions

It has to be in the headline of prescription

You may need to take prescription to several different pharmacies to get brand you need

New guidelines for GP if you find it difficult/impossible to change brands

gov.uk/drug-safety-update/l...

If a patient reports persistent symptoms when switching between different levothyroxine tablet formulations, consider consistently prescribing a specific product known to be well tolerated by the patient.

academic.oup.com/jcem/artic...

Physicians should: 1) alert patients that preparations may be switched at the pharmacy; 2) encourage patients to ask to remain on the same preparation at every pharmacy refill; and 3) make sure patients understand the need to have their TSH retested and the potential for dosing readjusted every time their LT4 preparation is switched (18).

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to SlowDragon

Thank you for replying, however, the pharmacy tell me even if GP puts it on my prescription they are unable to get Mercury Pharma at the moment so I don’t know where to turn, I’ve phoned a few local pharmacies and they haven’t got it either.

SeasideSusie profile image
SeasideSusieAdministrator in reply to Essexlil

Mercury Pharma and Eltroxin brand are made by Advanz. Ask your pharmacy if they can source Advanz. If it is named on your prescription I believe they have to give you the brand that is named, if not you can have your prescription back and try elsewhere.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to SeasideSusie

Hi thanks for your reply, I’ve had a reply from Advanz, giving me a list of where Mercury Pharma is available. I’ve forwarded this to my local Day Lewis pharmacy as one of the companies with availability is Day Lewis Wholesale Ltd. I’ve just phoned to tell them, but the person I speak to is quite argumentative but she has emailed their head office to see if she can get it, saying if we can’t it’s not our fault and we can only give you what we’ve got. It’s so unfair that we have to go through this stress and she’s not at all sympathetic. I don’t even talk to her in a nasty way, I’m just explaining what I go through on different brands - obviously it’s all a pain in the neck for her

Longinthetooth profile image
Longinthetooth in reply to Essexlil

hi

Sorry to hear you're in this position. So unfair. All we want is to be well. I'm of no help to you really but do sympathise. I'm on Eltroxin which suits me. I've decreased my dosage myself as I began to realise that I was overmedicated & after 10 days the awfulness is subsiding. My current GP hadn't heard of Eltroxin, looked at the cost on his computer, asked me why I was on it, to which I replied that it suited me. He would have liked me to take the Levothyroxine that they dish out. Fortunately for me it's only slightly more expensive as he told me. As SeasideSusie says, they should give you your brand or try another pharmacy. Sounds like you've tried almost every avenue but battle it out to be well.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Longinthetooth

hi, yes I’ll keep going - my GP is my next step

Ktuck0 profile image
Ktuck0

not that I know of but mine are frequently changed supplies each month.

Girlslovescifi profile image
Girlslovescifi

This worries me because I only seem to tolerate Mercury Pharma. The pharmacy told me they can’t get 25mcg but nothing about the other strengths. They didn’t seem to know why they couldn’t get it. I’ve tried Teva and Accord but they didn’t suit me.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Girlslovescifi

hi, I wonder if they get sent what’s cheapest each month and can’t be bothered getting a particular brand - so unfair

cec57 profile image
cec57

Hi Essexlil I’m having the same problem. My pharmacy said it’s to do with the fact that most drugs are imported from Europe, due to price and there’s a lot sitting waiting to clear customs.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to cec57

hi I did wonder if it was to do with Brexit! It’s so unfair when we are made tonsuffer

Jude54 profile image
Jude54

Hi have you tried Boots Chemist im on the same brand didn't know that there is a shortage of that brand never had a problem as yet... Hope you get it sorted but do try boots chemist...

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Jude54

hi, if they deliver a different brand this month I’ll phone Boots - thanks for your help

zendogmaz22 profile image
zendogmaz22

I’m having this problem with Mercury too. It’s such a pain. I heard it’s cause it’s more expensive so the pharmacies don’t make as much profit. So they prefer to source more profitable. ??

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to zendogmaz22

hi, I did wonder if it’s the price - very bad when it’s so important to us

Sibipha profile image
Sibipha

Not that I know of but mine are frequently changed supplies each month.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Sibipha

I think from what everyone says it’s either price or brexit or both

Frankie27 profile image
Frankie27 in reply to Essexlil

I think there is a reall issue with the 25 mcg. I have luckily been stable alternating 150 and 175 every other day. 2 solid years on Mercury. 100 mcg and 50 mcg fine. Last few months struggling with 25 mcg.

It's also concerning hearing about difficulties getting the same brand. I may be imagining it but I thought there was NICE guidance that you should be retested if brand changed. Has anyone else heard this ???

When I started treatment different brands gave different tsh results !!! Madness !!

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Frankie27

hi, yes there are now official guidelines that you should be given the same brand each month and if it changes you need blood tests in case you need a different strength. Day Lewis just say it’s not their fault if they can’t get it so they’re ignoring this completely. I wonder if they just get sent the cheapest every month which shouldn’t be allowed. I’m wondering how to take this further and complain to someone who can enforce what has been proven and acknowledged.

KIMBO1964 profile image
KIMBO1964

Hi, Ive not had a problem getting the Mercury Pharma brand as its noted on my prescription. Im finally up to 100mcg now so much easier as its just one tablet, but Ive told the pharmacy who delivers mine that its Mercury Pharma brand first choice and if they cant get it then its the Wockhardt brand next as I dont seem to have any issues with that.

Have you tried Lloyds pharmacy or a local pharmacy that delivers prescriptions? I get mine delivered and as the pharmacy knows I need a particular brand due to Hashimotos, they always make sure they have 3 months supply in stock for me. Would be so much easier if we could have 90 days supply instead of 28 days at a time.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to KIMBO1964

hi, yes my local pharmacy is Day Lewis and they deliver. They keep insisting they can’t get it for me but I’m not convinced. I’m going to ask my GP if I get a different brand this month.

Girlslovescifi profile image
Girlslovescifi in reply to Essexlil

Mine is also Day Lewis.

Cazzy20 profile image
Cazzy20

Mine are Mercury at the moment. 2 months supply collected a month ago. Mine change constantly but don’t seem to have a problem with this.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Cazzy20

so there’s obviously not a problem with the supply of Mercury Pharma - thanks for reply

Cazzy20 profile image
Cazzy20 in reply to Essexlil

Seems not, but maybe depends on mg - mine are 50

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Cazzy20

oh mine are 100 but I could take two x 50

Frankie27 profile image
Frankie27

Hi. I too stick with Mercury and my small local pharmacist is great at providing that normally. For the last few months he has struggled to get 25 mcg. The others have been fine but I take an extra 25 every other day. He has helpfully provided some extra 50 mcgs to cut in half. Anyway my point is there is a problem sorcing the 25 mcg at the moment. Good luck !

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Frankie27

hi, I take 100 but my pharmacy aren’t very helpful or understanding

Girlslovescifi profile image
Girlslovescifi in reply to Frankie27

so far, I can get Mercury 50mcg but my Day Lewis pharmacy can no longer get 25mcg.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Girlslovescifi

hi, I need 100 mcg but they say they can’t get it (Day Lewis too)

Thyroid2020 profile image
Thyroid2020

hi there , I’ve not heard of any shortages of brands of levothyroxine (cheshire) I am told by pharmacies near me that they depending on if a chain eg Boots or Morrisons supermarkets, lloyds pharmacies and indpenedent ones that they buy from different wholesalers. It may be that another pharmacy in your area can get the brand that suits you . I’d ring round them and ask .

I take (Adizem XL- as had atrial fibrillation episode 3 years ago) and know that none of the pharmacies can get that medication in a particular strength so I have to take the equivalent in another strength combined to make the unavailable size).

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Thyroid2020

hi, yes I’m quite upset as I’ve just received my levo and it’s a different one again, despite them knowing I need Mercury.

Francis1957 profile image
Francis1957

Hi, I'm on Mercury Pharma have been for years but this last year I have had problems with some depending on what dose you're on, I still am taking Mercury Pharma for my 50s and Almus for my 25s and Mercury for my Liothyronine the Almus is fine (as I have Coeliac) Teva is the no no for me, my pharmacy is boots and they know I can't take anything made by Teva (upsets my gut) must have fillers in, also when I asked my Drs to name the brand they said they could not do it.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Francis1957

thanks Francis, yes the receptionist at my GP said it won’t make a difference if they can’t get it even if the GP requests it

KrazyKatMT70 profile image
KrazyKatMT70

As far as I know Synthroid the non-generic is the only thyroid pill that has Acacia in it. But I also found out the ingredients in “The Zone” snack bars also have acacia in it. Guess it’s an additive that lengthens shelf life. This is disturbing. Now I have to read all food labels for the rest of my life !

KrazyKatMT70 profile image
KrazyKatMT70

I also have Hashimoto’s since 1990 !

theminiaturist profile image
theminiaturist

Could you tell me please what symptoms you have when taking a brand of thyroxine that does not suit you. I have never been given the same brand all the time,in fact I am taking two different brands at present for different dosages. I have never been able to lose weight,I have stayed the same for 11 years now,classed as clinically obese with a BMI of 42, so is this due to taking thyroxine to which I am not suited?

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to theminiaturist

hi, my problems seem to be low mood and anxiety and I feel much more relaxed and happy when I take Mercury Pharma. I have so far put on a stone since taking Levothyroxine. Despite Hashimotos I didn’t put weight on before I took levo, mainly on my abdomen.

theminiaturist profile image
theminiaturist in reply to Essexlil

Thank you for your reply. I sometimes feel anxious but have never put it down to a different brand of thyroxine. So perhaps that explains it.

UB40Pug profile image
UB40Pug

I had been on Aristo 100mg for a few years and last hear I started being told it wasnt available. I wrote to Aristo, who were very helpfull and explained that they did not have a Generic version of Levothyroxine and because it is branded this is why its not being dispensed, as its a loss for the pharmacey. Aristo are bringing a generic out this year although this isnt your prefered brand you may benefit from emailing the manufacturer. Aristo got intouch with my Pharmacey and assured me their was no issue in sourcing the medivation. Aristo is named on my Prescription and its made no difference.

Below is respons from ARISTO

Thank you for your email.

The issue you are unfortunately facing relates to the fact that this product is not a brand and is classed as a generic which means a pharmacy can buy and dispense any generic version of this medicine that they choose. However, generic versions of medicines can vary to a limited degree in this particular case our manufactured version does not contain the ‘non-active’ ingredients that you refer to and is hence seemingly preferable/tolerable to a certain patient group.

Our version of this generic medicine is always available and can be obtained by pharmacies should they choose to via Alcura (wholesale supplier of specials) using the following unique PIP code 803 0561 (required by pharmacist).

Most pharmacies should have an account with Alcura in order to obtain our manufactured version of Levothyroxine but, please do not hesitate to contact me direct if you have any issues securing your supply or, if I can be of any further help.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to UB40Pug

hi, I did email the manufacturer and received a reply saying that Day Lewis Medical had supplies. I forwarded this to my pharmacy, Day Lewis and they still insist that they can’t get it - I’m really fed up now as I’ve just received this months and changed to Accord, last month I had Aristo.

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to UB40Pug

That is interesting about another Aristo product. `We can hope that, if and when they do, we get the full 25/50/100 (even 200!) range of dosages they offer in some countries.

Some countries they supply Eferox from Aristo which are available in even more dosages: 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150,. 175 and 200.

If you hear any more, please let me know.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to helvella

yes I will, forwarding their email saying that Day Lewis have supplies did nothing. I haven’t had the courtesy of a reply from my Pharmacy and they delivered Accord today with no apology or reason

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to UB40Pug

hi thank you for your reply - it seems if they can be bothered there is a way to get hold of brands

Crissy53 profile image
Crissy53

here in the states they change pharma companies all the time. I don’t like it but we have no choice. I take levo too. Haven’t had a problem with changing pharma company’s but with my bp meds they changed me. I threw a tantrum but ha ..it never worked. I had no choice of the matter. Lots of meds come from China . I am not a happy camper but what choice do I have? You as well, no choice unless you find a pharmacy that carry’s your brand …lots of luck finding…I’ve had none😞

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Crissy53

I know Crissy, even though in the UK there are now official guidelines which have proved different brands can change your blood levels and if you suffer you should be given one brand which suits you - what a farce!

Tiggywink profile image
Tiggywink

I can only take Mercury Pharma too, the doctor writes it on the prescription. I take 25mcg and 50 mcg and my husband has struggled many a time to get the right brand. At the present time he is now using a small Boots (all the other pharmacies say they can’t supply Mercury Pharma) that is just a pharmacy serving the local GP practices. The 25s they can order from their lists, but the 50s have to be ordered especially, which most of the staff do knowing the situation, but one member of staff always huffs and puffs about it.

I do hope you are able to sort this out. I know only too well how ill I get on the other brands, mainly with joint pains and tiredness. You have my sympathy for the frustration of knowing there is a medicine that can make life more tolerable, getting it prescribed, but then struggling to get it supplied.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Tiggywink

hi, it’s only someone else who suffers the same who can understand. It’s so upsetting, especially as you say when you get an unsympathetic member of the pharmacy who is on the defensive and argues with you

Cali29 profile image
Cali29

Hi , I’ve had a similar problem with the brand I take with a number of pharmacies. It wasn’t a problem with the brand , it was the pharmacies we’re not being provided with my brand at a particular period of time , they get what they are given . I ended up changing my pharmacy to one that gets my brand with little problem, Boots seem to be good . Also get your Drs to state on your prescription the brand that is your preference, that’s what I did . I still check before I leave the chemist when I pick up , sometimes they do put other brands in my bag ! They are good as long as I don’t check it when I’m home , they don’t have a problem changing it . I do have to wait a couple of days though until they source it . Put prescription in early so you have enough .

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Cali29

hi, yes I may change to Boots but I’ll need it delivered. In the meantime I’ve now emailed Nice and sent them a copy of my email from Advanz, stating that Day Lewis have supplies of Mercury Pharma. I’m so upset that I’m trying to get to the bottom of why I’m being fobbed off, or maybe Advanz have got it wrong and Day Lewis haven’t got supplies

Mitzimoomin profile image
Mitzimoomin

I have the same issue if they give me anything other than Mercury Pharma..it's named on my prescription,as Slow Dragon said..if need be ring round your local pharmacies until you track it down..hope you get it sorted..there's no shortage in South West London.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Mitzimoomin

hi thank you for your reply - I think I’m being fobbed off because people don’t seem to be having trouble getting it

Mitzimoomin profile image
Mitzimoomin

The pharmacies don't seem to take on board that every person has different tolerance levels to certain brands of drugs,it's not exclusive to levo unfortunately..if your lucky enough to get past the counter hand and speak directly to the pharmacist they are the ones that order from the pharmaceutical companies as I found out from my pharmacist who I've know for 30 years..I also found if I ask for a repeat prescription 2 weeks before my current Levo runs out I could ensure my pharmacist placed the order for MP..they have no excuse then for not having stock.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Mitzimoomin

hi, thank you for that information - the pharmacist is very nice so this may be the answer for me

lucindajethol profile image
lucindajethol

you will probably find it is very much down to cost. The surgery has a budget it has to keep to.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to lucindajethol

hi, so it’s my GP practice keeping costs down and not the pharmacy - is that why a GP approval works?

malena65 profile image
malena65

Hello! I am in Canada and take Tirosint (name used in US). I had my thyroidectomy in Italy and it goes by the name, Tiche. It is by Ibsa, a Swiss firm. You can contact it to find out whether it is available in the UK. It is a very good med. All the best.

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to malena65

It is effectively not available in the UK. (It can, I think, be obtained on a private prescription and at very high price.)

The usual name here is Tirosint but it has several different names across Europe.

malena65 profile image
malena65 in reply to helvella

If it is eventually approved by the Health department after a short while it will be on market. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to malena65

Unfortunately, I think that is not the case.

If I have understood things correctly, it was approved under the European Medicines Agency while we were still members of the EU. At that time, I think it could have been sold in the UK under that licence.

However, IBSA likely saw little chance of it being purchased by the UK's NHS organisations so did not market it here. Probably almost entirely due to price issues.

malena65 profile image
malena65 in reply to helvella

Unfortunate… can understand IBSA being a small pharmaceutical company…

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to malena65

Small by pharmaceutical giant standards, very much yes. But a 700,000,000 Swiss Franc company (one Swiss Franc to 0.89 GB Pound). So not that incredibly tiny! :-)

malena65 profile image
malena65 in reply to helvella

Mind blowing for us poor normal human beings…😂😂😂

Frankie05 profile image
Frankie05

hi, do you know Ive been taking Levothyroxine for 16yrs and didnt know that there were differences ie Aristo, Accord etc. I have had a cough about the same length of time Ive been on this medication. Maybe I should look into the different brands......this site is informative thank you. Sorry I couldnt help with your query Essexlil x

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Frankie05

maybe we should all insist (we’ll be lucky) in keeping to a brand we feel well on because the pharmacies need pressure put on them now. From what I’ve read we should all if possible stick to the same manufacturer if we are feeling better on a certain brand.

jacjlc profile image
jacjlc

It was available months ago when I got it filled in the US, however, my husband wouldn't take it so I have had no need to try and refill it. Sorry I couldn't help you.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to jacjlc

hi, thank you for replying, I now think it’s not because of supply problems but the pharmacies saving themselves pennies and it’s tough luck on us patients. I’m on my third different brand in three months now, even though I tell the pharmacy my problem every month

Ricketts40 profile image
Ricketts40

Hi Essexlil, I only wish I could help you regarding Levothyroxine but I rarely get the same brand anyway. At the moment I have Wockhardt brand and Teva UK brands. I have never noticed if one brand feels different to any other, but I have read other sufferers complain about shortages in their particular medicine, especially American sufferers. I hope you get things sorted. Good luck.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Ricketts40

hi, thank you. I don’t think everyone seems to suffer from brand changes. I’m going to see how I am on the latest brand, you never know, I may find one which suits me even better but it’s no fun trying!

Petgirl2 profile image
Petgirl2

hi Essexlil

I live in Portugal, i haven't had trouble yet, ill try to remember to look at tge brand when i get home.

I'm actually wanting to find the vegan alternative , I have come off thyroxine for months at a time , so seeking alternatives.

But, no shortages here as far as I know

helvella profile image
helvellaAdministrator in reply to Petgirl2

It appears there are about six makes of levothyroxine available in Portugal.

helvella - Thyroid Hormone Medicines

I have created, and try to maintain, a document containing details of all thyroid hormone medicines in the UK and, in less detail, many others around the world.

From Dropbox:

dropbox.com/s/wfhrlmb5983co...

From Google Drive:

drive.google.com/file/d/11z...

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Petgirl2

hi thank you for your reply - I’m not sure we have shortages but maybe because of the chaos of brexit, but we’re not called ‘rip off Britain’ for no reason, everything’s about money here and the cheapest will do for the masses

Francis1957 profile image
Francis1957

May I ask if you were diagnosed by a Doctor or Endocrinologist (specialist) as all the drugs I take were prescribed by specialists as if they put a particular brand on the info they have to prescribe it my Liothyronine on script it says in keeping with JAPC guidelines ?

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Francis1957

hi, I was only diagnosed by blood tests by my GP - never seen an endocrinologist. They seem to think it’s simple to diagnose and control but it certainly isn’t!

kittycat01 profile image
kittycat01

Hi Essexlil, I have not had any problem with levothyroxine. I get my prescription at CVS pharm in the U.S.

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to kittycat01

hi I don’t think we’ve got a problem here, just the greed of pharmacies doling out the cheapest they can get each month

Simplyred57 profile image
Simplyred57

I’ve been on Mercury pharma 100mcg for a few years now , ( named on my prescription) last month my local pharmacy rang to say they were having problems, they did manage to get some, but not this month they have rang their supplier and were told Mercury Pharma available in the south but not the north east and they wouldn’t transfer to the depot here, I’m so annoyed 😡 I have tried several chemists and nobody has it, I’ve reluctantly accepted Accord, they have agreed to keep trying for me 😞

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Simplyred57

hi, I live in Essex and still can’t get Mercury Pharma. Like you,I’ve reluctantly accepted Accord again this month as at least I’m better on that than the other brands I’ve been given. Nobody can tell me why they can’t get Mercury Pharma - why the big mystery? Is it Brexit?

Simplyred57 profile image
Simplyred57 in reply to Essexlil

I’m really nervous of taking it , did you do a straight swap ? Not sure if I should split my Mercury pharma & accord 50/50 I have a weeks worth left of Mercury or just go for it 🤷🏼‍♀️

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Simplyred57

I don’t know if accord has similar ingredients but I’ve been ok on it - bit of diarrhoea now and again but I seem to get that sometimes in any case. I emailed Advanz and they said Day Lewis Medical had supplies, but my Day Lewis Pharmacy insist they can’t get it. I’ll email Advanz again Inthink.

Simplyred57 profile image
Simplyred57 in reply to Essexlil

I rang Advanz and they said no supply issues they gave me the supplier and it’s the same one my pharmacy use so I really don’t know ?

Essexlil profile image
Essexlil in reply to Simplyred57

I can’t figure it out, unless it’s the suppliers going for the cheapest and that’s why nobody can tell us what the problem is?

You may also like...