Thyroid UK
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Armour or Erfa?

I have been on Armour and Erfa alternatively for the past year. I was first put on Armour, as my doctor said she did not know of anyone having problems with the reformulated Armour. I was prescribed 15, 30, 60, 90 and 120 mg pills and gradually worked my way up to 300 mg daily. I felt great at that dosage.

During the first two months on Armour, I lost 8 kilograms of fluid (I don't know how many times a day I had to run to the bathroom during those weeks...).

Then I was prescribed 300 mg of Armour, and found it much less effective all of a sudden. I read somewhere that apparently the lower strength pills were reformulated a second time (decrease in cellulose and increase in dextrose) some time in the Autumn of 2010, so apparently that was what I first got (all had date of expiry 11/12 or 12/12 so they should have been manufactured in late 2010). When I switched to the larger pills, I felt worse. I don't know if there is any truth to the rumour that only some Armour pills were re-reformulated in late 2010, but my own experience seems to corroborate that statement.

However, I don't find Erfa to be nearly as effective. On 300 mg of Erfa, I feel more dead than alive; I have problems getting up in the morning, problems concentrating, I feel a distinct decrease in overall energy levels. So I am thinking about going back to Armour next time I see my doctor, but this time ask for lower strength pills and combine them, rather than taking one big pill a day.

Has anyone else experienced this; that is, feeling better on Armour than on Erfa, although Erfa is described by many as the new panacea? Also, has anyone else had more luck with the lower strength pills than the bigger ones?

Where I live, only Erfa and Armour are available in pharmacies, so unfortunately NP Thyroid is not an option. Nature-Throid and Westhroid are also said to have been reformulated and hence less effective. There is always Thyroid-S from Thailand, which is supposedly very good, but a colleague of mine recently had a shipment of Thyroid-S confiscated by customs, so I'd prefer not to go down that road. This disease is debilitating enough without having to worry about drugs being confiscated and problems with customs...I'd simply hate to worry every time I place an order that the shipment won't arrive.

7 Replies

I also had trouble when armour was reformulated, having done well for about 10 years on it. I went downhill and put it down to having had surgery around that time. I didn't find out that it had been reformulated until i joined this site and then the penny dropped.I then tried erfa which did not suit me at all-it actually felt too strong.So I returned to armour about a year ago and believe it is more like it used to be, if rather crumbly. I am back on my original dose which had suited me so well.I have had a bad virus and chest infections recently and have been pretty unwell.I'm not sure if I am now undertreated and will be interested to see my blood test results.

This blip with the armour reformulation did not go down with my endocrinologist and my argument pro-armour. He gave me T3, but i didn't get on with that.The illness is as you say bad enough without all this messing around-which is why i haven't gone down the Thyroid-s road.I wish you luck with this!

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Also on Armour for years functioned fine. Tried Naturethroid head didn't feel clear. Then NP Thyroid not as good as Armour Erfa also been reformulated Just tried Thiroyd from Thailand and started out great then got real weak took my Armour and energy started coming back right away. Rest of the day okay but reason keep trying other NDT s is because I was having focus problems and getting some depression which I never had on Armour before. Today head is clear maybe taking both Thiroyd and Armour will do the trick. I m at wits end. Had TT in 2000 for pap Any suggestions One woman doctor who also suffers from this alternates her NDT meds between Armour Naturethroid and Erfa to control the antibodies. She wrote that to me. Getting so weak this morning scared me. Thank goodness the Armour worked. Anyone else have this happen. Just want to be able to function. Maybe if I start to feel bad feelings after taking Armour I can take the Thiroyd and see if that helps. Armour used to make my head feel good and if it didn't I would just take a little zinc and head would clear. Any ideas?


I forgot to say that i used to buy 2 grain pills and cut them but now i buy one grain would be worth you trying ones.


Thanks for your reply! Interesting that you say you notice a difference between Armour directly after the reformulation and today. It seems many have found them working more effectively lately, although Forest has not confirmed any secon reformulation. But there has been a lot of speculation about this in the STTM forum, and it seems quite many now do better on Armour than back in 2009, so it may be worth sticking to Armour but to the smaller pills.


One additional question in this context: recent labs showed midrange FT3 and FT4 plus a completely suppressed TSH on 5 grains of Armour. Does that mean that Armour is working for me, but that I need to raise it, and may even be one of those persons who do best on 6-8 grains of Armour? I mean, if Armour was not working at all, wouldn't my TSH be higher and my FTs lower?


I think the best way if meds are working for you is 'how do you feel'. If you feel good with symptoms going then that is the best one for you. If you still have symptoms a small increase may make a difference. If you take too much thyroid hormone you will soon recognise and reduce/leave out your dose the following day.

Most of us are undertreated due to the fact that they base our prescriptions on the TSH alone. The treat symptoms as something other than due to the thyroid problems.


I am interested in comments about "Erfa being much stronger than other brands of NDT", including brands without cellulose, such as NP and WP Thyroid. Is there any objective reason why Erfa would be stronger; after all, it contains slightly less T3 and T4 per grain than WP and NP? Is there anything in Erfa that could make it absorb better than other brands; I mean, something other than cellulose...?


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