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My hubby has been gradually losing his energy, his ability to power thru on his bike rides, over the last 6 months or so. It is just getting worse and worse. He is tired, has headaches, is not his usual self at all. It is very worrisome. We have appointments with all his doctors, done stress tests, ekgs, etc,etc. (Hubby has no thyroid. They removed it a few years ago due to cancer.)

All of a sudden yesterday for the first time he informed me that he switched from Synthroid to a generic last May. Of course my eyes and ears lit up, being someone who takes the brand of every SINGLE medication, including ambien and valium.

My very logical left brain hubby argued with me that there could be no difference since Synthroid is a hormone. When my medical practitioner cousin agreed with me hubby was forced to do some investigation last night. Turns out the fillers are different and it is possible to have a bad reaction to the generic fillers.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I have been on the phone today with the endocrinologist urging them to call in a script for brand only. He is almost out of his current supply so hopefully they won't put up a fight.

But I am curious. Anyone know anything about this? Is anyone here taking synthroid who found a difference with the generic? Or am I just clutching at straws.

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I agree that there could be a real difference. Some people are just very sensitive to generics. I'm not one of them. My mother, however, switched from synthroid to armor and noticed a huge difference, in energy, etc. Some people just seem to do better on different things.....

Anna

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I haven't found any difference. But, I don't even bother tracking what generic manufacturer they give me. It seems to work out in the long term.

With no thyroid, he doesn't have any buffer for hormone production. It very well may be worth paying the extra money for quality name brand product.

Has your husband had a recent bloodwork?

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Thank you everyone for responding. We finally got the synthroid last week. However, it turns out that all these years he has been taking the generic. Even though his endocrinologist SAID he was on the brand, the effing doctor never actually put him on it and hubby never noticed. He thought he was on the brand because the co-pays changed, but that was just because the insurance co. raised them for everything. My pharmacist printed out all the meds for the last three years and they were all levothyroxine, much to my embarrassment.

I swear someone should write a sitcom about our small town pharmacy. This place is hysterical. Everyone knows everyone else and what meds they are taking, people are coming in and out with the wildest stories, and the steady stream of bent over old ladies and grouchy men add background signage. There are often two dogs rough housing together, the funniest woman I have ever met running the cash register and some very strange ladies who bring in cookies and baked goods for the pharmacist. I could just sit there for hours in the background laughing.

Has your husband had a recent bloodwork?

After seeing our mdoc last week, hubby got scripts for every possible blood test. But I am not sure if she put in a test for Lymes. I hope to god it's not Lymes.

Today was awful. He went out for his bike ride and came back barely able to talk. This is a man who usually goes for 60 mile rides. Today he could barely do 18 miles. Now I couldn't do 18 at all, but he has been doing this for years and years and years.

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Levothyroxine actually has a long history of recalls for quality control regarding inadequate medication levels in their products from either the very beginning (most common reason) or an issue of levels degrading over time.

Last recall seems to be on medication set to expire 5/11, with the recall only coming out a month before-hand. So that was pretty much all sold/used by that time.

Here's the FDA page of recalls, but it's seemingly non-searchable. The search feature at the top brings up reports from '09????

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/EnforcementReports/default.htm

However, if you go to this page and scroll down to the Recall section, you can see what FDA reports contain the relevant info and won't have to use the "find" feature within every single individual report to find the relevant ones.

http://www.worstpills.org/results.cfm?drug_id=356

You can't access the reports from that second link - it's just for short-cut purposes.

I don't *think* this is simply limited to the generics.. some of these listings look like brands referencing the active ingredient. But don't quote me on that.

Before I switched to Armour, I noticed all of this.. but it mainly showed up in the form of active recalls that cut off the supply chain and made it hard for me to fill my scripts. That was a few years ago.

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Thank you so much Cetkat for all the information.

Hubby's thyroid levels are normal. I almost wished they were not. But I suppose it could still be the med which is throwing him off course.

Vamos a ver

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I was told when I had my thyroid out that if I was having trouble maintaining energy etc. on the levothyroxin (which is what my insurance covers without prior auth), that I should ask to be switched to the Synthroid because it makes a difference for some people, and more often in people who have no thyroid as opposed to some functioning thyroid.

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I was told when I had my thyroid out that if I was having trouble maintaining energy etc. on the levothyroxin (which is what my insurance covers without prior auth), that I should ask to be switched to the Synthroid because it makes a difference for some people, and more often in people who have no thyroid as opposed to some functioning thyroid.

This is so interesting. Even thought my hubby's thyroid counts are in the right range, since we started him on the synthroid last week he seems to be feeling better. The true test will be when he goes on a bike ride.

He did say that the endocrinologist did not test him for one of the hormones. It was either T3 or T4. I get so confused about the different thyroid tests. Either way, his mdoc is testing him for this particular one. We'll find out soon.

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I'm glad he's feeling better. It was probably T3 - they tend to check that the least.. which I find kind of backwards.. but oh well.

Basically it breaks down to TSH, T4, and T3.

T4 and T3 are what your Thyroid makes that fall short with hypothyroidism. TSH is the signal from your brain to your Thyroid telling it when it needs to run production. It's supposed to always be there at some level.

So, if your Thyroid isn't making enough... your brain will see that and send extra TSH to the Thyroid to tell it it needs to work harder. If your Thyroid responds and corrects the error, the signal will drop back down to normal levels. By testing the strength of this signal, you can usually deduce if your Thyroid is having problems - with higher levels indicating more of a problem.

T4 and T3 are the actual hormones that are doing things. Technically, it's T4 that is produced by the Thyroid and that is converted to T3 via a process. It's the T3 that your body actually uses with T4 kinda being held in reserve. Some people believe this process can get messed up, others don't. But you can test for both. Since this is an actual count, higher numbers here mean higher hormone levels. Whereas higher TSH means less.

If your Thyroid isn't producing enough, Thyroid medication will add actual T4, T3, or both.. depending on what you take. Synthroid/Levo is T4. So, it won't do anything to your Thyroid.. but your brain will see the higher level and lower the TSH.

Test for the TSH.. get it to fall in line.. and figure out how much medication is needed to do that.

Sometimes your Thyroid can get worse or better in it's production. That TSH is still there telling it what to do. That's why you do repeated Thyroid tests and adjust the amount of medication accordingly as time goes on.

I hope that's a bit clearer? It was really confusing to me too when I first started.

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I hope that's a bit clearer? It was really confusing to me too when I first started.

oh god, I feel so dense. I think my mind has some kind of block against this T stuff. Hubby says it is because these counts have to do with both the thyroid and the pituitary gland.

anyway, thank you!! it does seem a little bit clearer. Since he has NO thyroid, one of those counts (he just told me which one and of course I forgot immediately) we want in a certain range, otherwise it would mean the cancer is back.

However, he is feeling better. yay!!! it is now over one week on the synthroid but I still won't feel like I was right until he goes on a bike ride. Unfortunately it has been raining here since 2010. (at least it seems that long.)

And yes, you are right, it is the T3 that was not tested and will be tested now.

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oh god, I feel so dense. I think my mind has some kind of block against this T stuff. Hubby says it is because these counts have to do with both the thyroid and the pituitary gland.

anyway, thank you!! it does seem a little bit clearer. Since he has NO thyroid, one of those counts (he just told me which one and of course I forgot immediately) we want in a certain range, otherwise it would mean the cancer is back.

However, he is feeling better. yay!!! it is now over one week on the synthroid but I still won't feel like I was right until he goes on a bike ride. Unfortunately it has been raining here since 2010. (at least it seems that long.)

And yes, you are right, it is the T3 that was not tested and will be tested now.

Yep. TSH comes out of the pituitary. :)

I'm not very well versed in the cancer aspect.. but I hope the result comes back ok. I think it's a good sign that he's feeling better though.

And, you're quite welcome.

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I am a bit shocked that my seemingly simple suggestion to start using the real deal synthroid may have taken care of this increasing upsetting situation.

Hubby said he started the ride yesterday very shaky, I think he was also nervous that his legs would still give out, and when he got to the point in the ride where it was cut your losses and head home or go for another 10 or so miles, he went for it!! No fuzzy feeling in his head, and his legs had power. It was the first time in months and months he sat recuperating in his chair outside the garage, glancing casually around at the birds and neighbors instead of slumping in defeat.

He is also feeling much much better at work. He doesn't come home after work and collapse. It is unbelievable. Awesome.

But I am still hesitant to really celebrate. His total across the board blood work-up comes in soon and I am so glad we were able to get an appt. with the endocrinologist before 2012. I would like to shoot that man. Why the hell didn't start hubby out on Synthroid all those years ago? Hubby THOUGHT he was taking the brand because the doctor said he would be but the doc messed up. Never ever called in the right script and hubby is pretty thoughtless about this stuff.

Whatever, that's all under the bridge now. Woo hoo!!! Synthroid to the rescue!!

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