If anyone has experience: Syndroid vs. generic

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't even know if there is any experience with this here, but I thought I'd ask. I have been told that Synthroad is much better, but our insurance doesn't cover it. Any thoughts on if Synthroid is really better? If so, I need to look into the price.

    Thanks, if anyone responds.
  2. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I have used both Synthroid and Levothyroxin and, for me, the Levo works much better and is much cheaper. When I was unemployed and didn't have insurance, I used to get a 3 month supply at Target for $10. My mother took Synthroid only but she had actually had thyroid cancer at age 31 so that might have been the difference. My aunt took Synthroid but I switched her to Levo, which she took till her death, with no problems.

    Good luck.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Synthroid works better for some people than levo. However, I would definitely give the levo a good try due to the cost difference and potential insurance company issues of prior auth, etc. I'd talk to your doctor and pharmacist about your concerns. Levothyroxine works just fine for the majority of people.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot. I will. Appreciate you answering.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've used both and can never tell the difference (don't even know which right now). I swear I am the only one with hypo that could never identify symptoms with it. I think it's because I already had two glands that had failed when they found the hypo-thyroid with a routine blood test. Over the years they have adjusted my dosage due to blood test results.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Fred was quality control for a major pharmaceutical company. There is little difference between generic medications and name brand medications, if any at all as most generic versions are made by the same company that makes the name brand. Even if I didn't know that, the FDA holds both to the same standards.

    Save yourself money and go with the generic.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Lisa. That makes me feel a lot better.

    Wiped out, I have no real symptoms either except sensitivity to the cold.
  8. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    I'm the most medications sensitive person I know and couldn't tell a difference between Levothyroxine (normally take) and the brand name synthroid they gave me while in the hospital. I didn't want to take it when brought it to me (it didn't look right LOL) but was the exact same medication.

  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Many doctors feel that there IS a reason to stay brand specific wtih thyroid medications. Overall, ANY generic is the same as the brand name because fed law says they MUST be. BUT the rules say they must be within x amt more or less of the brand name drug. With a few medications, the difference can be enough to cause major problems. Specifically, thyroid and seizure medications are the ones I know of. If one medication is st the plus end of the acceptable spectrum and another is at the lowest end of the spectrum, you end up with more than the accepted difference.

    To illustrate, the brand name is 10 units. Laws say generic must be plus or minus 1.5 units of the brand name. Generic A is at the low end, at 8.5. Generic B is at the high end, at 11.5. If your pharmacy gets different brands of generics (say Kroger brand instead of Great Value brand), you could go from Generic A's 8.5 to Generic B's 11.5 without knowing. That is a change of 3 units, not 1.5 and is still totally legal.

    For most things this difference will NOT EVER be noticeable to you. Seizure medications can be noticeable and so can thyroid medications, or so the docs believe. Personally, what no one talks about is that from one batch to the next, ANY brand can vary a bit, and that is legal and also unavoidable.

    How do you deal wtih this with-o spending a fortune on brand names that are not covered by insurance? Ask the pharmacy if they use the same generic supplier for their thyroid medications each time or if they get a different one each time. In my area, CVS uses the same generic brand for thyroid medications and has for four years now. Because of this, many people here go to them for thyroid medications.

    To be honest, I have taken thyroid medications for years now. Past docs have not cared whether I use generic or not, or if the generic brand changes. For the most part, the gooddocs have judged whether I needed the medications adjusted by how I feel, not just what the tests say. I usually notice small changes, but I have yet to notice a difference from changes from one generic thyroid medication to another.

    It is my understanding that if you are very sensitive to the thyroid medications, or you don't respond well to them, you may want/need to try a brand called Armour thyroid. It is supposed to be more natural, and some patients see a major difference between the synthetic thyroid medication and this natural one. It si the same medication, but the Armour brand is not synthetic, or comes from a more natural set of ingredients. Or that is what I have been told. I don't know for sure because I haven't needed to figure it out.

    I hope this helps. In general, I would go with generic/store brand on EVERY medication whether it is OTC or brand name. The cost difference is often HUGE and the differences are too minor to be noticed by most people. If you do notice a difference that is a problem, explore the brand name but ONLY if you have problems. Why spend the $$ on brand name if you don't have to ?
  10. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Just an FYI Susie, Armour thyroid is not the same as Synthroid. Synthroid is T4 only and Armour contains natural T4 and T3 made from pig thyroid. I've been on thyroid medications for years too. I take the brand name Synthroid, but my endo recommends not switching between generic and brand name. Either is fine. And another little fyi, you can take Cytomel which is T3 in addition to your Synthroid (T4). Your body converts T4 into T3. So if your body doesn't convert well, you can get a little "boost" from the cytomel. It's been very helpful to me.