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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Thyroid meds

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Author Topic: Thyroid meds
farraday
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In my long list of medical issues, the removal of my thyroid was perhaps not a good idea. For years I was given Synthroid. Guess what. It does not have both T3 and T4.

My symptoms improved once I switched to natural Armour Thyroid from pigs.The government, in its infinite lack of wisdom, will only pay for Synthroid. So since Medicare won't cover it, I pay $100/month that I cannot afford.What an I supposed to do?

Another bad thing happened as a result of the surgery. My parathyroid quit working. It took fainting spells and an insistent PT to send me to the hospital. There was a sharp doctor they called to see me. He ran tests, discovered that I had no parathyroid function.

Now I MUST get a subcu shot of Forteo daily for the rest of my life. $85/shot that is fortunately being covered.

Being a musician, a devastating result of the surgery is the affect on my vocal chords...I can't sing and I am frequently hoarse. I often wonder if my swallowing difficulties are also related.

If you are contemplating thyroid removal, be careful to get a second and third opinion. Even my surgeon didn't want to do it. The endocrinologist got his way.

Good news is that my neurologist is coming to the opinion that Neuro issues and autoimmune diseases are usually, if not always, a result of bacterial infection....like Lyme and Babesia.

When I first saw him he studied my test results carefully and remarked that he knew nothing about Lyme and Babesia. This year he presented his findings at the big Lyme conference in Philadelphia! :-)

Maybe I inspired him to learn! I hope so! He thinks I have Parkinson's. My LLMD says it's a syndrome that will disappear when I'm well again.
You can certainly PM me if you have questions. I'm not a doctor...Just an old Lymie with years of experience.

(breaking up the post for easier reading for many here)

[ 10-25-2017, 09:21 PM: Message edited by: Robin123 ]

--------------------
DOCTOR: "I don't think you are sick."
PATIENT: "We are all entitled to our opinions. I don't think you are a doctor."

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gz
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Parathyroid... Are you getting enough boron? When parathyroid isn't up to par it can cause issues with blood calcium levels. Parathyroid needs sufficient boron to function.

Just a small anecdote, my mom had high blood calcium. Her PCP told her to quit drinking milk to fix it ( [bonk] ). Just 3 mg of boron daily was enough to correct item and keep it regulated, more than that gave her nausea.

Will your insurance cover generic NDT (if of course it is tolerable to you.) My PCP rx'ed me NP thyroid, generic for Armour. I still actually prefer the "Thiroyd" NDT from Thailand.

[ 10-14-2017, 11:51 PM: Message edited by: gz ]

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Keebler
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you say that you are paying $100/month for Armour thyroid. That really seems like something is very wrong with the pricing. Someone is making a huge profit on this.


NatureThroid is similar to Armour in that it has both T3 & T4 from porcine sources

(though I like NatureThroid's source animals better - or at least the last time I checked, they used to be a bit better than the typcial stockyard pigs used for Armour).

My ND cuts off a few dollars for me but I get 100 pills - 100 days' worth of 1 grain for about $30. Yes, about thirty dollars for one hundred days' Rx. At most, I think she charges $40. for this.

It may vary depending upon the dose, though.

Any doctor can order this for you and have it delivered to their office for you to pick up - or maybe have it sent to you.
-

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Keebler
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-
http://rlclabs.com/

RLC Labs


http://getrealthyroid.com/why-get-real/nature-throid/

Nature-Throid


http://www.pdr.net/full-prescribing-information/nature-throid?druglabelid=496

PDR - Full Prescribing Information

Nature-Throid (thyroid) - RLC Labs
-

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Keebler
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Since you are paying out of pocket, there should be no reason the pharmacy has to divide up into 30 days's supply. There is no insurance to dictate you only get a month's supply.

You could by a year's worth if the cost savings was worth it. Although you may need a dose adjustment before that time.

The NatureThroid is sold in bottles of 100 pills. So much easier. Also easier in that no pharmacy is involved.

Even if you stick with Armour (and go through a pharmacy which will be much higher than going right through your MD or ND (naturopathic doctor) . . . if you can get 100 pills at at time, the cost should go way down).
-

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koo
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As your pharmacy to give you a free prescription discount card. Armor thyroid ends up being about $25/month. The website is www.completecarerxcard.com. It's absolutely ridiculous that insurance does not cover Armour.
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Abxnomore
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Most pharmacies have these prescriptions cards on hand. Yes, do ask them about it. My pharmacy tried several prescription discount cards for me to get the best price and the discount is significant and they keep that card on file.

Does anyone have the scoop on Armour and why insurance will not pay for it. I heard that even Medicare has made it a restricted medication that can't be covered.

Has anyone confirmed this and does it apply to the other desiccated thyroid medications, such as Westhyroid, Naturethroid, etc.?

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koo
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Abxnomore, great question. A pharmacist told me Medicare stopped covering it almost 10 years ago. The other insurers seem to have caught up as well.

I also would like to know if insurers will cover Naturethroid. I also would like to know if it stays "stable" compared to Armour.

An endocrinologist once told me he didn't like to prescribe Armour because the first tablet in the bottle isn't the same as the last tablet in the bottle. Don't know if that's true or not. Is Naturethroid the same in this regard?

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Keebler
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koo:

As NatureThroid - with 100 pills to the bottle - costs me less than $10 a month, I've never even tried to ask about insurance coverage. My ND gives me a discount but, still, it's very reasonable.

Yes, it's a "stable" product - by all standards. Every pill sure looks the same to me -- and their standards are professional, by all measure.

I think it is better than Armour, in my experience, for my own body.

It's gluten free, too - and that is very important. I don't know if Armour is. Last time I checked, I preferred the source of their porcine hormone, too, and the treatment of the pigs.

Still, any differences that might matter to you can be discussed with them:


http://rlclabs.com/

RLC Labs


http://getrealthyroid.com/why-get-real/nature-throid/

Nature-Throid


http://www.pdr.net/full-prescribing-information/nature-throid?druglabelid=496

PDR - Full Prescribing Information

Nature-Throid (thyroid) - RLC Labs
-

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Abxnomore
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Koo, It is true that insurance companies have been denying coverage of Armourfor a while now. The insurance company I used for years gave me special permission based on my doctor's request and did pay for it. Then I switched providers and was told I could file to have it covered as I had done with the previous company.

What they did not tell me is that according to their literature Armour does not now fall into the category of drugs that one can apply for special permission to have per a doctor's request.

They claim it is exempted and cannot be requested by special permission. So one cannot ask for it be approved, so I am paying out of pocket now. From what I understand, little by little the synthroid lobby has made it impossible for people to get reimbursed for Armour.

What your Endo told you is not true. That is the old scare story they used to use that Armour wasn't consistent in it's dosages from pill to pill and synthroid was better and it's been proven that it's the other way around.

I'm planning on calling my insurance company and others to see if any of them cover the other desiccated thyroid medications. Some how I feel they probably don't.

Here is a list of of thyroid meds and their ingredients. Armour does not contain Gluten but it contains other fillers I'd rather not have in my medication. One can even have it compounded so it does not have the fillers.

https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/armour-vs-other-brands/

NP's are regulated on a state by state basis. In many states they cannot prescribe medications. In my state NatureThroid is a prescription medication that requires a doctor's prescription and it's unlikely that it's much cheaper than Armour though I'll looking into it soon.

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Keebler
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Any doctor licensed in your state to prescribe medications can prescribe NatureThroid, though, it does not have to a ND / naturopathic doctor. Your MD, or even DO or DC, could prescribe it.

You can talk with the people at RLC Labs for more detail. There may be ways to have this sent directly to your home with any of your doctors making such arrangements.

There also may be other ways to get Armour at reasonable prices. You might try talking directly to their customer service staff. In some cases, the manufacturer may not know how much your pharmacy is hiking up the price.
-

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Abxnomore
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Yes, I know any doctor can prescribe it, but it would never be as reasonably priced as you are getting it for. Certainly not where I live.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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Keebler
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If you live in the U.S., the price is the same regardless of the state. All one needs is a doctor to order it from RLC Labs and then to have it there in their office for you when you next come in - or to have it sent to you if that is an option.

RLC Labs can answer questions about how else that might work. But the prices do not change from state to state.
-

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Abxnomore
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I thought I would post this information from RLC labs, in case it is useful to others:


Good morning,

Unfortunately, since we are the manufacturer, the medication cannot be ordered directly from us.
We understand how difficult this situation is and sincerely apologize for the strain the delay has caused.
We are making every possible effort to work through this as quickly as possible while still adhering to our strict quality standards.
Please see the attached statement and should you have any questions please let us know.

If you are needing to fill a current prescription, depending on what strength you are taking, it should shortly be much easier to find.
I unfortunately do not have a list of local pharmacies and their inventory as we would normally ship out to a distributor and they would then ship out to their pharmacies.

But I do have some information that may help you.
We have recently spoken to a few pharmacies that told us they had product on the shelves and they can ship to multiple states.

Stewart’s Pharmacy 850-216-1021
Hopewell Pharmacy 800-792-6670
Women’s International 800-279-5708
DCA Pharmacy 615-832-7232

We also have a few more listed on our webpage at https://getrealthyroid.com/get-real-now.html.

If you are looking to try locally, I’m sorry to say you’ll have to call around.
I would recommend trying the grocery store pharmacies or compounding pharmacies first as they tend to still have stock on the shelves since most people don’t think to go there.
The Nature Throid 1 grain (65 mg) is currently in production now and once that is done, the other strengths and WP will be done next.

The pharmacy can combine dosages for you to add up to your mg amount for a little while until that strength you are looking for is available.
If you can find a 30-60 day supply now, by the time you would need to go to get the prescription refilled, it should be much easier to find. [Smile]


Rhiann Viggiano
Customer Service Representative


_______________
Second reply:

The doctor is welcome to open an account with us if they’d like to, there are specific state requirements that they might have to comply with.
So it’s up to the physicians if they want to go that route. It also depends on the type of physician and state that they are in, as everyone has different laws.

I can tell you at this juncture, it will be faster to get it from the pharmacy, only because they already have orders in our system.
If the doctor places an order now, he’d be at the bottom of the list, while the wholesalers who ship to the pharmacies would already have orders in.

I would recommend contacting Hopewell Pharmacy and Women’s international first on that other list I gave you, as they had the most product on hand.

Have a healthy day!

Rhiann Viggiano
Customer Service Representative

[ 10-24-2017, 04:49 PM: Message edited by: Abxnomore ]

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koo
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I was at Walgreen's today and asked about Nature Throid. The pharmacist said there are production issues and they were given a date of Nov 22 for the product to be back on the shelf.

Didn't something similar happen to Armour thyroid years ago?

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Robin123
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I'm po'ed about the Armour thyroid situation too. I get sick on Synthroid and Naturethroid. Usually that's enough to ask for a substitute to be covered, but not in this case. I think the discount version is supposed to be a little bit cheaper. I don't get mine by 100s, just whatever amount I want to pay for.
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Mashieniblick
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My pharmacy said they are showing back order until the end of December. ugggghhh. Oh well, I just started it and didn't notice much improvement for my low body temp or low blood pressure yet anyway.
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Abxnomore
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There is information in the posts I placed above, about which pharmacies still have Nature-throid in stock.

Also, desiccated thyroid (all brands) is Medicare ineligible. Medicare will not cover it and no Medicare Part D plan can cover it.

[ 10-29-2017, 10:36 AM: Message edited by: Abxnomore ]

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