This is a medication that is used for treating hypothyroidism. This is a natural source of thyroid hormone that uses the thyroid glands of animals, generally pigs, to create the hormone made by the thyroid. The thyroid gland usually makes this essential hormone, and when it doesn’t make enough, medication is often necessary. Sometimes, the thyroid gland is damaged or injured by certain medications or radiation treatments. Sometimes the gland has been surgically removed. Thyroid hormones are important to the activity of your body as well as your mind.

It uses hormones that are made by the thyroid gland of a pig to replace the missing hormone in your body. Whether your thyroid isn’t making enough of it or none at all, this medication can be effective at making up the difference. Generally, patients have to be on this medication for life to ensure that they have healthy hormone levels. This mediation adds the hormones liothyronine and levothyroxine to provide relief for hypothyroidism.

This medication is in a class of medications that are called DTEs, or desiccated thyroid extracts. They have been found to be highly effective for thyroid problems when studied in patients. There are also certain risks to taking this medication, and the doctor will have to weigh those risks with the benefits of getting more thyroid hormone.

Armour Thyroid is also used for a number of other thyroid conditions. It can be used to treat thyroid cancer as well as to treat goiters, treat thyroiditis, and to test the function of the thyroid. It can be used in children with low thyroid hormone. When a child has an underactive thyroid, it can lead to problems with their physical and mental development.

Is there a Generic for Armour Thyroid?

There is no generic for Armour Thyroid. After a few years, there may be generics made that provide natural thyroid hormones to compete with Armour Thyroid. Until then, however, the brand name of this medication is the only choice.

Precautions and Warnings

Getting hormones from a pig’s thyroid can be very complicated. This can cause a lot of difficulty with extracting the hormones. This can lead to inconsistent dosages in the medication. This has caused problems in some patients. You may also have a problem if you’re allergic to pork, since this is derived from a pig. There are often inactive ingredients in medications, and you may be allergic to any of them. IF you have shown any signs of being allergic to this medication, stop taking it and call your doctor.

Your doctor needs to know your medical history before you get this medication prescribed. If you have an increase in thyroid hormones in your past, you may not be able to take Armour Thyroid. This may also be true if you have certain types of heart disease, lowered function of your adrenal gland, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Your doctor also needs to know all of the medications that you take as well as any herbs or over-the-counter drugs or supplements. Older people are often more sensitive to this medication’s side effects. They may get heart problems from using it.

Because it’s a natural hormone that the body makes, it can be taken during pregnancy. It’s known that it does appear in breast milk, but it isn’t likely to cause a baby any harm. If you are pregnant, though, tell the doctor right away. You may need to have your dosage changed.

A common warning is that this medication isn’t supposed to be used to help a patient lose weight. A normal dose of Armour Thyroid isn’t helpful for losing weight. If it’s taken in large doses to try to lose weight, it can have very serious side effects, and it may even be fatal. Never take diet pills along with this medication, as that can have similar effects.

This medication has an unusual status. It wasn’t FDA-approved for the use of treating thyroid problems. It had already been on the market before there was an FDA requirement that medication manufacturers had to prove that the medication was both effective and safe to take. However, since it had already been on the market for a while, it stayed on the market by being grandfathered in. However, a number of people do take this medication and get good results from it.  While the FDA can’t tell whether it’s effective or not, there have been studies that showed it to be helpful for those with certain thyroid problems.

Side Effects

There are a lot of possible side effects that can come with taking Armour Thyroid. Not everyone will get side effects, and some side effects are worse than others. It’s possible to start out this medication and get side effects and have those side effects go away as you continue to use it. It’s possible for a patient to get thyroid hormone toxicity when taking this medication. If you get this condition, the effects you’ll notice are anxiety, a rapid pulse, heart palpitations, chest pain, higher sensitivity to heat, and severe sweating.

If you take too much of this medication, you can end up with dehydration, fever, heart problems, and low blood sugar. Tell your doctor if you experience these effects, as your dosage may need to be changed.

Common side effects of taking Armour Thyroid include hair loss, which generally goes away a few months into taking this medication. This is one of the most common side effects. Patients may take Propecia to mitigate the effects of hair loss.

There are also less common, more serious side effects possible. If you sweat a lot, feel sensitive to heat, have mood changes or other mental issues, diarrhea, fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, or tremors, your doctor needs to know right away. These effects can mean that you have a high level of thyroid hormone. Even worse side effects of this condition can include changes in your heartbeat, chest pains, and having swelling in your feet, ankles, or hands.

If you’re allergic to this medication, you may have any of a number of serious reactions. It’s very rare to have a serious allergy to this medication, but it can happen. If you get swelling, itching, or a rash on your throat, face, or tongue, this may mean an allergy. You may also have difficulty breathing or get severely dizzy if you’re allergic to it.

The dosage of this medication is measured in both milligrams and grains. The packaging may have either of these measurements or both of them. Sixty milligrams are equal to about one grain. The amounts of the hormones in the various dosages of this medication aren’t the same amounts of the hormones it supplies. This can make it difficult to know exactly how much of this medication to prescribe to patients.

Drug Interactions

There are a number of different medications that can cause a bad interaction with Armour Thyroid. If you’re taking any of these medications, your doctor needs to know about it. You may get a bad interaction if you are taking any type of blood thinners, colestipol, estrogen, cholestyramine, insulin, certain types of birth control (such as Yaz), and oral hypoglycemics. It can also interact with prescribed testosterone and increase your risk of having a heart attack.

Strengths and Dosages

This medication is available in tablets that are made with various dosages. The dosages start at 15 mg (1/4 grain) and go all the way up to 300 mg, or 5 grain. The mg dosages in between include 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240. It may take time for the doctor to find the best dosage for you to treat your specific thyroid problem. You may be started out on a small dose and be gradually changed to higher doses. You may also need to change your dosage because of pregnancy or side effects.

What Is the Cost of Armour Thyroid in America?

The cost of Armour Thyroid in the U.S. will depend on a lot of factors. If you have insurance, you may have to pay the whole retail price, or you may have a much smaller co-pay. The price of the medication also depends on the number of tablets in the prescription and what their strength is. The price for 100 tablets that are 120 mg is about $206. However, there are many coupons and other assistance that you can get with the price. GoodRx offers patients a price of about $35 for 30 tablets. If you have Medicaid or Medicare, all or most of the cost may be taken care of by the program.

Are There Alternatives?

For patients who have hypothyroidism, or low levels of thyroid hormone, the standard of care is usually to replace the missing hormone levels with a thyroid replacement medication. Armour Thyroid is a helpful medication because it is a natural source of the hormones. However, there are also medications on the market that provide patients with synthetic hormones.

Many patients are prescribed a levothyroxine medication when they have this condition. These include Tirosint, Levoxyl, and Synthroid. These tend to be very different from Armour Thyroid, as it’s a much older medication. Many doctors consider the levothyroxine medications to be the first choice and use Armour Thyroid as a second choice if a patient isn’t able to take those medications. Your doctor will decide which type of thyroid medication is right for you and your specific needs.

When you need a medication to compensate for too little thyroid hormone, or you have thyroid cancer and need a treatment or have another thyroid issue, Armour Thyroid is often prescribed as hormone therapy. The medication can come with some risks, and many people aren’t happy about the hair loss that can happen in the beginning. However, it’s been shown to be highly effective at replacing the hormones that are lacking in many patients. It’s been on the market for years, and many doctors are highly comfortable prescribing it to their patients. If you have thyroid problems, this may be prescribed to help you get the hormones you need.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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