Synthroid or Levothyroxine

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/31/2009 6:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I am a 60 year old female in pretty good health. I had a lobectomy in Feb 09 and have ended up hypo.
My doc started me on .75 Synthroid two weeks ago.  Samples from the office.
I seem to be doing ok on Synthroid, but I feel a little itchy at times. 
When I filled the scrip for Synthroid they gave me Levothyroxine. I have been taking synthroid samples from the doc, but now I have this Levo.
Since it has only been two weeks  should I go ahead and switch now? Or finish the month supply of Synthroid first? what would be the point of staying with the synthroid  if my scrip is going to be Levothyroxine every month?
I know that Synthroid is Levothryoxine, but a lot  people are freaking out about generics and how it changes from batch to batch. Frankly, my husband takes generics for bp, cholesterol, etc and he is fine.
I need some advice from anyone who takes L-thyroxine or who made this switch. 
Thanks so much.
I would really like to take the generic since it is so much less in cost.

Green Eyes
diagnosed with Lyme in 1994.

Post Edited (Greeneyes2) : 8/31/2009 7:21:41 AM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 8/31/2009 8:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Generic drugs by law must contain the identical active ingredient as the name brand. What can vary is the inactive ingredients - binding agents, colors, etc. A very small number of people may be sensitive to certain of these, but most people can't tell the difference between name and generic.

It's your money, but I'd finish the Synthroid and then start on the Levo. Even though it isn't very expensive, why throw money away?
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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/31/2009 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Judy. I decided to call my pharmacy and just tell them the situation and see what she said.
She said  take it in the morning, no food, full glass of water and wait an hour to eat or drink coffee. I thought it was 45 mins.  But the rest I knew. I can have cream if I wait the full hour. Good grief. Waiting an hour for my coffee.
She also said that ____pharmacy tests generics like this to make sure they are indentical to name brands since this is life altering. And won't sell any generic thyroid med that is not identical to the name brand. But why isn't that a given?
 that is what I don't get.
 She said I could switch now ori could use up the syn, it won't matter since I only have one month's supply from the doc.  
She said most insurance companies won't pay for the name brand anymore UNLESS there is a problem or the doc insists on Syn.
 I don't get why all these people are going on and on about there being such a difference. It is the same med but as you said the fillers are different.

Green Eyes
diagnosed with Lyme in 1994.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 8/31/2009 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm on L-thyroxin and I feel fine. My sister-in-law won't take her synthoid because of itching. She rather put up with her symtoms than take her meds. I heard the itching will subside after a few weeks.


New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/20/2009 9:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I was just at an Endrocronologist and he explained the whole thing to me. Generic Drugs are the same - however, when you get the Generic Drug filled, you may be getting the drug from a different company each month (depending what was the cheapest for the pharmacy.) How you can tell is in the left had corner of the label it says MFG. My bottle of Levothroxine says MFG Lannett. THAT is what changes ... and because of THAT, there may be a slight difference month to month. I'm going to go back on Synthroid so to stay regulated. You can just ask the Pharmacist for the non-generic version. Though, you may want to ask on the cost first. It's not that expensive though for the Synthroid as I recall.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2313
   Posted 9/21/2009 8:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Green Eyes,
I am on Synthroid & it really helps me. But I had a hard time choosing the name brand b/c so many people I know swear that they got more of a benefit from the generic at Walgreen's. I usually take the generic & rarely notice any difference between generics & the name brand. If for some reason a generic at one pharmacy doesn't work for you, you might see if another pharmacy carries a different brand of generic. But really, the slim margin of difference that is allowed under the law usually means there is very little difference. And more often than not, the generic is exactly identical to the name brand.

I did find an article that might be of interest to you by a citizens watchdog group that regularly reports to Congress talking about the myth about name brand Synthroid being better than the generics. If you're interested, the link is:

best wishes,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 10/20/2009 6:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I take levoxyl which is not generic, but is the same as the levothyroxine. My endo insists that i take the brand name each month. I took synthroid just a few times when he was regulating my dose and he gave me a week's worth of synthroid samples. As for levoxyl vs synthroid, some seems to be doctor's preference but also may depend on the specific reason for your thyroid problem. He started me on levoxyl specifically for Hashimoto's, as that seems to be the drug of choice for that disease.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 2/1/2012 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hmmm checked my bottle of Levothyroxine and it doesn't have MFG information on it. Should I contact my pharmacy and ask? I'm considering going back on Synthroid because I still have so many symptoms of Hypo. I started out on Synthroid but my pharmacy switched me to Levothyroxine. Wondering if it would be worth a phone call. I feel like I felt better on Synthroid than I do on Levothyroxine.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 2/2/2012 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
yes you can ask!
pharmacies want to fill generic for synthroid and not brand name as price of both is almost same.

you can only insist on synthroid if doc asked brand name only.

the potency of synthroid is favoured by lots of endocrinologists than levothyroxine.

getiing tested every6 months will give you answer which 1 is working incase you wanna check

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/4/2012 9:02 AM (GMT -7)   
I too had problems with synthroid and levothyroxine, My endo put me on a newer one that is working great, called (Tirosint). They finally cameup with a way to put thyroid med in a gel capsule, It is very pure. The dosages would be half of synthroid. I also itched on synthroid and had problems. Tried alot of them. This med is basically has no fillers. My endo gave me a months supply and a free refill the company offers. The side effects for me have been none and the cost is about the same as synthroid. :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 120
   Posted 2/4/2012 11:03 AM (GMT -7)   
This is all good food for thought. I was only really trying to get a comparison. Get some thoughts together to see if I would benefit from switching back to Synthroid. I know everyone is different with different meds and in the end it really is a personal decision. It could hurt to have a talk with my doctor when I see him in a month. Plus since i have a hard time absorbing my calcium it kind of got me thinking about my thyroid medicine.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/13/2012 9:58 PM (GMT -7) sound like me or i sound like you. its the body heat that starts in the early am. it wakes me up. this has been going on for 5 yrs. same problem with the rx too. female too. i have many other problems as well asthma, copd. (never smoked )acid reflux. i am trying to put the pieces together! for sure the drs. cant figure things out, you need to go to a different doc for each problem( its all one darn body)thats why i am here to research for myself. you need to be your own stay well

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 3/14/2012 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I too, had problems with itching really bad!  My endo placed me on Tirosint and the problem with itching was relieved.  Clear gel capsule no dyes no itching.  I also find that if I take steroids it disturbs my thyroid meds.  Hope you get relief soon!

New Member

Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/24/2014 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
l have taken thyroid medicine since I was 27 and now I am 50. There is a huge difference in these two meds for me. I began to feel lethargic on the Levo about ten years ago and couldn't figure out why. I was also losing hair. My father in law who was also taking meds asked me what i was on and figured I was taking Levo instead of Synthroid. He said Levo was not as effective as Synthroid. In fact it was true...I asked my pharmacist. They said there is something in each that disntinguishes them. In fact, just this week my doctor gave me a sample of a new natural Levothyroxine, without dyes and fillers. Who knew that pharmaceuticals would try that? Am I trying it? Why try something when there is nothing wrong with what you are taking now? I am on Synthroid now and I also am taking supplements from my chiropractor who is a also a holistic doctor. What more do I need? Women in my office are complaining about menopause...I don't have those symptoms. Take good care of yourself and research what works for you and you will be fine.
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