Armour Thyroid vs Synthroid: Conversion, Dosage & Weight Loss

Armour Thyroid vs Synthroid: Conversion, Dosage & Weight Loss

Whether you realize it or not thyroid patients have options when it comes to thyroid medications. 

If you are taking a medication and it isn't working for you then you owe it to yourself to learn about ALL of the options available to you. 

This post will take a deep dive into the difference between Armour Thyroid and Synthroid including how to determine which one you should use, which one is better for weight loss and more...


Is there a "Best" Thyroid Medication?

One question that thyroid patients often ask is is this:

Am I on the best thyroid medication or which is the best thyroid medication?

They ask because often times they aren't feeling well on their current medication and they believe that switching medications may be the answer.

They also tend to hear stories about others who have done well on other medications so naturally, they are curious.

But is there really a "best" thyroid medication?

The short answer is no.

Instead of asking that question it's better to ask this question:

Which thyroid medication is the best for my body?

This is a much better question to ask and may actually help you on your journey to feel better.

The current standard of care is to use the medication Synthroid (or levothyroxine) to treat all patients with low thyroid function.

The problem is that not all patients respond very well to this medication which creates a unique situation...

One in which some patients have switched to taking other medications and report dramatic results.

So with this in mind let's talk about some of the other options that are available to thyroid medications such as Armour Thyroid and when you should consider switching to this medication.

Armour Thyroid Explained


  • Contains both T3 & T4 thyroid hormones
  • Has a higher satisfaction rate among patients
  • Usually results in more weight loss compared to T4 only thyroid medications
  • Contains other thyroid hormones and precursors
  • Better for patients with high reverse T3


  • May exacerbate Hashimoto's due to reactivity with the immune system
  • May cause more symptoms when compared to Synthroid
  • May be more difficult to dose when compared to Synthroid
  • May not be tolerated as well as WP Thyroid and Nature-throid

First of all, what exactly is Armour Thyroid?

Armour Thyroid is a thyroid medication used to treat hypothyroidism.

It is unique among thyroid medications for two very distinct reasons:

#1. Is that it contains both the active thyroid hormone T3 and the inactive thyroid hormone T4.

and #2. Is that it is porcine-derived.

That's right!

Armour Thyroid is purified desiccated thyroid gland from pigs.

The way that it is processed allows for the inclusion of more thyroid hormones and hormone metabolites than any other thyroid hormone available (except those also within the NDT class).

Armour Thyroid contains ALL of the thyroid hormones that are naturally produced in the thyroid gland of a pig.

The gland is then desiccated (mashed up) and purified before it is put into tablet form.

Patients then ingest this medication as thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

So why do so many people swear by Armour Thyroid and state that it is superior to other forms of thyroid medication?

Part of this reason likely has to do with the fact that Armour Thyroid contains the active thyroid hormone T3.

In each grain of Armour Thyroid, there is about 38mcg of T4 and about 9mcg of T3.

This small amount of T3 is often enough to improve thyroid function in the entire body.

Remember that T3 is much more biologically active when compared to T4 and therefore it is much stronger than T4 medications like Synthroid.

But that's not all.

Armour Thyroid also contains other thyroid hormones such as T2 (1) and probably other hormone precursors that we can't measure.

These other hormones and precursors likely help control hypothyroid symptoms in many patients who use this medication.

Are there any drawbacks to using Armour Thyroid?

Well, yes, like any medication there are always side effects to consider.

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One is that not all patients respond well, or even need, T3 thyroid hormone.

The use of Armour Thyroid may lead to the symptoms of hyperthyroidism such as rapid heart rate, palpitations and so on when using this medication.

In addition, some patients with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis may actually respond with a flare-up in autoimmune symptoms when using Armour Thyroid.

This may have to do with the fact that Armour Thyroid is porcine-derived and porcine

Make no mistake though, the thyroid hormones in Armour Thyroid are bio-identical to your body.

What that means is that the hormones you are consuming when you take this medication are the exact same as the ones your body is supposed to naturally produce.

So if Armour Thyroid works so well why don't more physicians use this medication?

If you go back in time about 50 years you will find that Armour Thyroid used to be the preferred medication and the dosage used back then was much higher than currently (2).

The shift in preferred medications occurred as Synthroid and Levothyroxine were created.

These medications were thought to be equally effective when compared to Armour Thyroid and were also thought to be better tolerated with fewer side effects.

The problem is that as this shift in preferred thyroid medication was occurring there was also an ever-increasing amount of thyroid patients who were beginning to become unhappy and remain symptomatic.

This probably has to do with the fact that each thyroid patient is unique and the conversion status, amount of thyroid hormone required and preferred medication should be determined at the individual level and not through a standardized approach.

But here we are!

We now see a large proportion of thyroid patients unhappy with their current treatment and seeking alternative medications and therapies.

The bottom line?

Some patients will do much better than others on Armour Thyroid when compared to Synthroid but this doesn't mean that Armour Thyroid is a "better" medication.

Some people may still need, and do better, on Synthroid!

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Synthroid Explained


  • Allows for sustained dosing and more even thyroid serum levels
  • Well tolerated when compared to other thyroid medications
  • Easy to dose


  • May not work well for all patients
  • Does not contain active thyroid hormone (T3)
  • May contain inactive fillers and dyes
  • May not be ideal for those interested in weight loss

So let's discuss Synthroid as well...

Synthroid is considered a T4 thyroid medication because it ONLY contains T4 thyroid hormone.

The benefit of using T4 thyroid hormone is that it is considered to be more stable than T3 in the body (3).

T4 has a longer half-life when compared to T3 and because it is less biologically active, it may be better tolerated as well (4).

Another benefit to providing T4 to the body is that you allow your body to "control" the amount of thyroid conversion that it needs.

And this is a good thing, assuming normal physiologic function in the body.

The problem with using T4 only thyroid medications comes when the person taking this medication suffers from conditions such as systemic inflammation, gut dysfunction or liver dysfunction (5).

All of these conditions may reduce the effectiveness of Synthroid because they may limit your body's natural ability to convert T4 into the active thyroid hormone T3.

Does this make sense?

So some people may be able to take T4 thyroid hormone but may have difficulty in activating the hormone once it is absorbed into the body.

Another potential issue with Synthroid is that it often contains many inactive fillers and dyes.

thyroid hormone production and physiology

These fillers and dyes are not usually an issue, but for some people, they may alter the absorption of the medication in the gastrointestinal tract and they may also cause negative symptoms.

Symptoms such as rashes, abdominal pain, swelling, and headaches may be a sign that you are reacting to one of the inactive ingredients in the medication and not the hormone itself.

So while Synthroid would be considered a very stable and well-tolerated thyroid hormone medication it may not be "strong" enough for certain people.

Especially those people who have other medications conditions or those who have a lot of extra weight to lose.

Which is Better for Weight Loss?

Is one of these medications superior to the other when it comes to weight loss?

The answer is yes!

And we can look at some studies to help us understand how and why.

Take for instance this study:

This study compared patients on Desiccated thyroid extract (remember this is the same class of medications that Armour Thyroid falls into) to those taking Levothyroxine in a randomized, double-blind crossover study.

In this study, patients were given one medication for 16 weeks and then switched over to the other medication for another 16 weeks (6).

They were then questioned at the end and asked which medication they preferred.

In addition, their weight was also tested at the end of the study.

The results found that patients not only lost more weight while taking the desiccated thyroid extract but nearly half of those patients who took it expressed that they preferred the thyroid extract over Levothyroxine.

Levothyroxine vs armour thyroid crossover study

Patients who took the thyroid extract lost around 4 pounds (without changing their diet or exercise routine) and also reported a reduction in their subjective symptoms (such as higher energy levels) in a questionnaire.

This change in weight may not sound significant, but it is important because it highlights the importance of T3 as it relates to metabolic function and weight management.

Often times patients who are on the wrong thyroid medication have a very difficult time losing weight, but once they find their ideal medication they find that they are quickly and easily able to lose weight.

Despite these results (the sample size was only about 70 patients), the researchers concluded that thyroid extract should be considered in some patients.

But this isn't the only study to suggest that medications that contain T3 thyroid hormone cause more weight loss.

Other studies, such as this one, highlight the importance of both free T3 and free T4 levels as it relates to the ability of patients to lose weight (7).

Patients lose more weight with higher serum T3 levels

Those patients who have higher levels of free thyroid hormones lose more weight than those with lower levels.

This information is important because it stands against the conventional therapy of treating based solely on the TSH.

The bottom line?

Between the two medications, Armour Thyroid will likely result in more weight loss when compared to Synthroid.

Dosage for Synthroid & Armour Thyroid

So what do you do if you are interested in switching thyroid medications?

Can you just adjust your dose and be fine?

Unfortunately, it's not that easy.

The reason we can't just convert from Synthroid to Armour Thyroid has to do with the fact that Armour Thyroid contains both T4 and T3.

T3 is considered a much more potent thyroid medication when compared to T4.

In fact, from the perspective of pituitary function, T3 is about 3-4x more potent than T4 at suppressing the TSH (8).

So when you convert from T4 only thyroid medication like Synthroid to a combination thyroid medication like Armour Thyroid you have to consider this fact.

This makes conversion difficult, but not impossible.

Perhaps the best way to adjust dosing is to follow these guidelines:

Consider that each mcg of T3 is equal to about 3 mcg of T4.

So 1 grain of Armour Thyroid which contains 38mcg of T4 and 9mcg of T3 may be equal to around 65mcg of T4.

Here is the math for those interested:

38 mcg of T4 = 38 mcg of T4

9 mcg of T3 x 3 (the difference in potency between T4 & T3) = 27 mcg of T4 equivalents

38 mcg of T4 + 27 mcg of T4 equivalents = around 65mcg of T4.

So each grain of Armour Thyroid (which is 60mg) is probably equal to around 65mcg of T4.

But while this information may be useful as a starting point it shouldn't be followed 100%.

Some patients will find that they are much more sensitive to T3 when compared to T4 and this may limit the amount of Armour Thyroid that they are able to use.

So whenever you alter your thyroid medication it's best to always follow your free thyroid hormones and your TSH to determine how you are tolerating any medication.

Should you Switch Medications? 

Determining if you switch medications should occur in consultation with your current physician.

If you are not tolerating Synthroid (or Levothyroxine) and your physician is unwilling to try other medications then it may be worth trying to find a new thyroid doctor to help you out.


Your health is the most important thing that you have!

It's not worth wasting time on physicians who are not willing to take your symptoms seriously or who are unwilling to work with you.

Also, when you consider other thyroid medications just realize that there are more medications than just Armour Thyroid and Synthroid.

In the T4 only class of thyroid medications, there are other medications such as Tirosint.

In the NDT class of thyroid medications, there are other medications such as WP Thyroid and Naturethroid.

In the T3 only class of thyroid medications, there are other medications such as Cytomel, Liothyronine, and SR T3.

You have options!

Final Thoughts

Both Armour Thyroid and Synthroid should be considered safe and effective thyroid medications.

The choice to use one over the other has more to do with your body,  your symptoms than inherent differences between medications.

Some patients may do very well on Synthroid while others may do very well on Armour Thyroid.

Determining which one you need should be based on your subjective sense of symptoms, your tolerance to existing thyroid medications, your history of medical conditions and your history of other factors which may influence absorption and utilization of thyroid hormone.

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you using Synthroid? Is it working for you?

Are you trying to switch to Armour Thyroid? Is your physician giving you resistance?

Leave your comments below!

References (Click to Expand)

why armour thyroid is better than levothyroxine

Dr. Westin Childs

About Dr. Westin Childs

Hey! I'm Westin Childs D.O. (former Osteopathic Physician). I don't practice medicine anymore and instead specialize in helping people like YOU who have thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, and weight loss resistance. I love to write and share what I've learned over the years. I also happen to formulate the best supplements on the market (well, at least in my opinion!) and I'm proud to say that over 45,000+ people have used them over the last 4.5 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do here.

64 thoughts on “Armour Thyroid vs Synthroid: Conversion, Dosage & Weight Loss”

  1. You’re comparing Armour and Synthroid in this article. Do you plan to compare Armour to any of the other natural thyroid medications? I am currently on Nature-throid and did notice a difference (positive) when I made the change from Armour. I’m a bit curious to know if it was a “real” difference or not. Do you know if there are true differences between the other natural thyroid manufacturers?

    I’m Hashimoto’s positive, but had half my thyroid removed a decade ago when benign huerthle cells were found. I wish I had found this site before then! Thank you

    • Hi Kathy,

      Yes, there are certainly differences between NDT formulations both in terms of how effective they are for individuals and in how they are formulated. I will put it on my list of blog posts to address in the future.

  2. I am hypo and take armour meds. My endo thinks I don’t need t3. I experience more of hyper symptoms lately like heart palpitations. So I’m really confused as to what is best for me. I don’t want to gain weight again. I was on Synthroid and levo before but had no energy what so ever. My TSH was 8. Hope you can point me in the right direction. Thank you.

    • Hi Renate,

      If you are experiencing palpitations it would be a good idea to assess both your free T3 and total T3 levels to determine if you are getting too much T3 in your current dose.

  3. My daughter had her thyroid removed and has tried levothyroxine generic and Synthroid DAW she is on 225 mcg now and her TSH keeps going up it’s around 49, she is switching to armour thyroid. What do you think the best dose would be for her?

  4. Dxd 30 yrs ago with tsh of 65 antibodies in 1000s. Now TPO 21 and Tbg 3.First rxd 100mcg then 125mcg up to 200mcg w Ft3 4.2. Dropped to 150mcg of levothyroxine w very suppressed TSH still but Ft3 only 3. TT3 111. Ft4 160 and TT4 8. Also rxd Adderall just to function w energy. Endo rxd 2.5 T3.and dropped to 125mcg. Not much help. Think T3 should be higher. TpoAB 21 and Tbg AB 3. They are raising. Any suggestions?

  5. Thanks for this article. I’ve taken either Synthroid or levothyroxine for nearly 28 years and have really never felt like myself. I’ve struggled with weight, skin, nails, hair, and energy for years. I finally have a doctor who listened to me and I started Nature-thyroid last month and noticed a slight difference in my energy and sleep habits. I am switching now to Armour since my pharmacy can no longer get the nature-thyroid. I’m encouraged by what I’ve read and will report back. I had been taking 175 mcg levothyroxine, 113.75 mg Nature-thyroid, and am starting on 90 mg Armour tomorrow.

  6. I love your articles!! I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was 20 – I am 38 now. I started out taking Synthroid & switched to Armour about 10 yrs ago. In Oct of 2016, I developed a case of pancreatitis caused by my gallbladder & was hospitalized for 8 days until my pancreas calmed down enough to remove the gallbladder. That was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. I did lose 30 pounds but gained it all back. My Dr checked my levels after this episode & my numbers were crazy: antibodies 1400 (1st time being present), Iron was very low, Vitamin D was very low, my triglycerides were almost 800 and my TSH was off too. I don’t know the exact numbers but he changed my dose of armour from 2 pills a day to 3 & added 1 T3 pill. I also take 150 mg iron & 5000 units of vitamin D. Since my Dr is not a specialist, he wanted me to be seen by someone else when he saw the antibodies. He sent me for an ultrasound of my thyroid & to an ENT. The ENT didn’t see any reason to remove the thyroid but he didn’t like the antibodies so he sent me to an Endo. The Endo told me “your numbers will never be right b/c your thyroid doesn’t work. You should continue taking your meds”….what?? So…I take my meds every day & I have joined a gym (with no success). I’m tired all the time, my hair falls out by the handfuls & I feel like something can be done but I don’t know what. Should I ask my Dr to refer to me a different Endo??

  7. I switched doctors in late January and she switched me from my Synthroid 100mcg and Cytomel 10 mcg, to Armour 60 mg. I have been feeling extremely tired just got my TSH back and it was 87! They doubled my dose of Armour to 120. I am one week in and still feel terrible. How do I know if Armour just won’t work for me or if I am on the wrong dose?

  8. I’m taking Armour for my hypothyroidism. I’m also on inderal and heard that stops the conversion process of T4 and T3. What do I do?

    • Hi Charolotte,

      Yes, beta blockers can blunt T4 to T3 conversion (it’s what doctors use to treat hyperthyroidism, after all). The best thing to do, if possible, would be to switch to a different blood pressure medication (assuming that’s what you are using it for) or find some other alternative.

      • So you are saying that beta blockers be discontinued if you have thyroid disease? we need them to live! Do all beta blockers interfere? I take Lepressor 25 mg at night. I take lisinopril 5 mg during the morning hours not near my thyroid med.

        • Hi Michelle,

          No, I never said you should discontinue using beta blockers. I just said that they can interfere with your thyroid if you are taking them. If there is some way to transition to another medication then that may be ideal, but just because you are taking them and you have thyroid disease doesn’t mean you need to stop taking them. You just need to be aware of what they are doing in your body.

  9. I have been on synthroid and cytomel (generic) for over 15 years. Recently, my thyroid levels have been off but not out of range. My dosage was increased to 75mcg from 50mcg Synthroid and 5mcg 2x/day to 5mcg 3x/day Cytomel. It made a huge improvement when I tested 6 weeks later, all thyroid levels were optimal, blood pressure normalized, cholesterol normalized, triglycerides normalized and CRP normalized. I retested again at the 4 month mark and my levels were off again (thyroid, cholesterol, triglycerides, CRP). A new integrative doctor changed my RX to 60mg Armour (from 75mcg Synthroid 1x/day and 5mcg Cytomel 3x/day) a week ago and I don’t feel well (I’m sluggish, clenching my teeth/jaw pain, SEM neck muscles hurts, headaches again. Could the conversion from Synthroid/Cytomel to Armour be incorrect?

    • Hi Tina,

      The conversion for each person is slightly different, but it doesn’t look like (from a mathematical perspective) you have an equal amount of T3 after your change. This isn’t always the best marker, but it shouldn’t be ignored either.

  10. Westin, I would like your opinion. I have been on 45 mg Armour Thyroid for 12 years. No problem ever.Weight, cholesterol, mood etc. very good. Now Medicare does not cover it so I will be forced to accept Levothyroxine ( 88 mcg). Will my body, after such a long time, adjust to a synthetic med? I am also on Beta-blocker eye drops for my Glaucoma for past 12 yr, if not taken, go blind.

    • Ala, hi!
      Why don’t you stay with Armour but try buying it with the “Good RX” app.
      It gave me great price, specially at wal-mart or walgreens.

  11. Hi, I’m on 112mg of Synthroid and 12.5 mcg of Cytomel. I want to try Armor Thyroid. My daughter made the change and she loves the difference. How much Armor would I need to take?

    TY Donna

    • Hi Donna,

      This article discusses the basics of how to do that conversion, I would check back up in the body of the post for more info!

  12. I have been taking Armour Thyroid for 25 years. At my last annual physical my doctor informed me that I need to change to Levothyroxin due to research that says that people over 65 should not take Armour Thyroid. I started making the transition two weeks ago and I am exhausted and have no energy. My doctor says that is to be expected. I’m not impressed. I can’t believe that I am going to have to live like this. Is there anything I can do to make this work better?

    • Hi Kathy,

      There is no such research that shows people over 65 can’t be on NDT, it’s just up to physician preference and what they are more comfortable with. The fact that you feel poorly and are experiencing hypothyroid symptoms is likely an indication that your thyroid function has declined with the transition.

  13. I am now on 112 of Synthroid and 12.5 mcg of Cytomel. My doctor and I are talking of switching to Armor. What would my Armor dosage be?

    • Hi Dazz,

      There isn’t an exact conversion based on your previous dose but you can use the information in this article to help “guess” a range or target dose.

  14. Hello, I just recently switched from Synthroid to Armour Thyroid as I have NEVER felt ok on Synthroid. My BP is elevated, the cholesterol, LDL etc are all off, freezing cold, almost debilitating fatigue etc. Initially my Endo read the chart wrong and gave me 3 x the conversion dose. Well, I felt terrible obviously so did not take any medication for 4-5 days to get it out of my system. Once I got on the right conversion dose it was like a miracle. I have better memory, MUCH more energy – not sitting in a chair all day, not freezing cold 24/7, pulse is better (was running in the low 50’s) now close to 60 average but I still feel low- funny how I can always tell. Got my results yesterday and my free T4 is normal .78 but my TSH is 8.33 so I am sure he will increase the dose when I see him next week. I do take Atenolol and this information is the FIRST time EVER that I heard that can affect the T4 to T3 conversion – maybe that is why I felt terrible all these years but regardless Armour Thyroid is helping a lot more. My BP is still elevated but if my TSH is low, that could have something to do with that. I thought I had Alzheimers due to my memory getting so bad so the fact that is improving so much is like a miracle. I like taking it just once a day instead of taking Synthroid and Cytomel. It was hard to remember the lunch dose of Cytomel.

    • Hi Patti,

      Yes, it will well known that beta blockers block thyroid function because they are often the drug of choice to treat tremors and palpitations in patients with hyperthyroidism.

  15. I’m a 71 year old female and I’ve been on 60 mg of Armour Thyroid over 15 years. I’ve had excessive back pain for over 2 years; that is, a year before surgery and a year after. I didn’t realize how much weight I had been losing until I looked in the mirror and realized I looked like I had been in a death camp. I’ve lost 20+lbs and much of that muscle. I have all of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome…major weight & muscle loss, lack of focus, insomnia, hair loss, and a feeling of always being “wired”. I am concerned that my body was shutting down. 6 months ago blood test indicated I needed more thyroid is PCP raised the dosage to 90mg. Within 3 days I had palpitations. PCP told me to stop taking for 5 days and then take 30 mg daily. I just had another blood test last week but don’t know the results yet…will be interesting to see what my numbers are now. I am also on a high carb weight gainer diet which includes MCT oil and high protein shakes. I’ve also been advised by a nutritional doctor to take magnesium malate three times a day equaling a total of 425 million mg. BTW, I have had a lot of stress in my life lately, however, I have been getting a lot of exercises now that my back has healed. With this exercise, it seems like I am burning more calories than I can take in but doing my best to get in at least 2000 calories per day. Will you please you share your thoughts?

  16. Hello, I am a 44 year old female. I had total thyroidectomy due to cancer exactly 5 years ago. I was on 175mcg of tirosent and 25mcg of cytomel. After much almost a year of persistence, dose and medication changes I finally got my Dr. to agree to switch me to Armour Thyroid this week. Although I’ve been looking online and found conflicting results on exact conversions. The dr said she placed me on the highest dose 120mg which I discovered was 2 grains which I thought was enough when I originally searched. Now I’m now really sure according to this calculation. I’d hate to have to wait until my next labs to find out in 6 weeks. Anyone have any suggestions?

    • Hi Ally,

      You won’t find an exact conversion anywhere because it doesn’t really exist. You can match up the dose of T4 and the dose of T3 exactly but that doesn’t mean you will tolerate the same dose due to metabolism and absorption issues. The best way to dose is based on a combination of your labs and your symptoms.

  17. Hello! I have hashimotos and have been on armour for several months. I started .25 levothyroxine in march but after I had heart palpitations my doctor switched me. The armour is the same dose as the levo. I am still experiencing bad hair loss, swollen ankles, gained 10 lbs (I work out 7 days a week for 2-3 hours) I am extremely tired and have no memory “brain fog”. The endocrinologist doesn’t want to up my dose although I have symptoms still. Do you think I should find another doctor or is this doctor right by keeping my dose the same? Thanks!

  18. I am in desperate need on help to find the most accurate dosage of Armour. I had a total thyroidectomy due to cancer. I have been on 88 mcg of Levothyroxine 5 days a week and 100 mcg 2 days a week, but I feel lethargic and gained 35 pounds. I have been having difficulty to find endocrinologists with my insurance, waiting list is for 3-6 months. After my last test results, my PCP was willing to prescribe Armour. She is not familiar with the conversion and prescribed me only 30 mg of Armour. Shouldn’t I get 60 mg to replace the 88-100 levothyroxine I was taking? I am nit a doctor but I am almost 100% sure 30 gr of Armour is too low.
    I will be so thankful if you can give me some advice so I can help my PCP prescribe the right dose. I have been struggling for years.

  19. The FDA has a Black Box warning on Synthroid/Levothyroxine, stating there is significant evidence this medication can cause dementia/Alzheimer’s, very unsettling since I have been on this med for many years.

  20. I am on Synthroid 37mg what would be armor equivalent dose, also if properly stored what is the shelf life of armor beyond label?

    • hi Michael,

      There really isn’t a perfect equivalent dose because they aren’t the exact same. There is a chart on this blog post that you can look at for a rough guideline, however.

      In regards to medications and expiration dates, most medications last MUCH MUCH longer than their “prescribed” expiration date.

  21. My doctor finally changed me from Synthroid .175mg to Armour 1.5g. I do not have a thyroid gland due to goiter surgery. I did not feel well on Synthroid. I feel better on Armour but more tired. Is he under dosing me on the Armour?

  22. I am currently on Armour and was on Synthroid in the past. I stopped taking my synthroid after I had parathyroid tumors removed because my TSH was normal and thought I was cured. Come to find out, I was not. I have Hashimoto and that was observed during the surgery. As stated I am now on Armour for “slight’ elevation. I asked for it because I wanted to see if it worked any better. I found a bottle of Synthroid in my cabinet that is not expired yet and am wondering if when the armour runs out, can I just take the synthroid? Would making a drastic switch have an adverse effect? I hate to waste it. It was expensive and I really see no difference between the 2 at all. Thanks.

    • Hi Lynn,

      Unfortunately, I can’t really give you medical advice on how you should proceed. In most cases, transitioning from one medication to another is an okay thing to do but you should do it under physician supervision because it doesn’t always go according to plan.

  23. I need to switch to Synthroid from Armor thyroid because it’s over $250 per month for Armor. I realize that Synthroid is considered bad medicine by people who are intelligent but the prices of drugs are just too high.

      • Hi Dr. Childs,
        I was on levothyroxine. 125mg for years for Hashimoto’s. For convenience sake, I asked my regular MD to follow my thyroid. I had just lost 15lbs on a diet/exercise plan. They dropped my dose to 0.1mg and I stopped losing weight (I was still 7lbs from my goal). 6 weeks later they dropped me to .075mg. Over the next 2 months on the same diet/exercise plan, I gained almost 20lbs, was tired all the time, fought feeling irritable, and had brain fog. I was able to get back in with my endocrinologist and he switched me to NP Thyroid. I’m on my 2nd month of NP and am starting to feel better. I forgot what it felt like to feel rested in the am! I have started to lose weight ( 4lbs) and the brain fog is clearing up. I feel like I’m getting back to my normal cheerful self. My endocrinologist said NP works best if gluten-free. No problem… I normally just eat meat, veggies, and fruit anyway. However, do I need to treat gluten as if I had celiacs? Or can I not worry about things like sauces on the occasion I go out to eat?

  24. Hello,
    I am on 75mcg Levoxyl and 5mcg Liothyronine. I have a very difficult time losing weight despite workouts. I am thinking of switching to Armour but read in your article and other’s that it can exacerbate symptoms of those who have Hasimoto’s . Can you please explain? I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid in 2008 and been on medications since then, but I wasn’t diagnosed with Hasimoto’s until 2017.

  25. I have been taking 1 grain of armour for several years and have done pretty well with it however still always tired no matter what my lab results show. I am concerned as I went to get my refill for armour and was told they cannot get it anymore and gave me 60mg tab of Levothyroxine/Liothyronine. They told me it was the same as armour. The patient info. leaflet sates it is Porcine, also known as desiccated thyroid. However, I am concerned as I do know armour is natural and levothyroxine is synthetic. So I am wondering if you know if this new script is the same as armour or not at all the same? Thank you.

  26. I was started on thyroid medication when I was 18 years old for hypothyroidism diagnosed due to my irregular menstrual cycles. ALL was good for years until a new primary care doctor took me off it. Said my levels were all normal. I was in my late 20’s then. By mid 30’s I had to have my right lobe of my thyroid removed and was put back on Synthroid at 100 mcg. I then ended up with a different primary care doctor who put me on Armour Thyroid and I felt so much better and lost weight too. Things were great, but then I had to change doctors and new doctor changed me to levothyroxine. Never really felt the same and he was always adjusting my thyroid medication. He retired and then I went to a new doctor. She switched me to Synthroid and Liothyronine. Again, never really felt right and started to gain weight for first time in 15 years. She kept adjusting meds until I was taken off Liothyronine completely without tapering and cut my Synthroid to 25 mcg daily. Felt worse and gained more weight. Latest test results show TSH @ 5.17mcIU/mL, up from 0.21/mcIU/mL. My Free T3 went to 2.1 pg/mL, from 5.0 pg/mL and my Free T4 0.9 ng/dL, from my previous count of 0.6 pg/dL. Five months elapsed between the change in my medication dosages and my tests. I have felt terrible during this time. I see my doctor in a couple of weeks and would like to go back on Armour Thyroid. I am now over 65+ years of age on Medicare D drug coverage so Synthroid is not cheap and I would think Armour Thyroid would cost about the same. Your thoughts doctor, please? Do you think I am one of those patients that Armour Thyroid really is the ideal medication?

  27. Hi Dr. Childs,

    First of all, thank you for the plethora of information you continue to share with us. It is extremely helpful and provide many of us with hope.

    I began using your supplements a couple months ago and have noticed a vast improvement in many of my symptoms. I can attest to the quality and results of your products. Clearly there was a lot research and development on your part.

    My question is, can supplements alone “fix” the thyroid issues or are some people not fully “fixed” until they take thyroid medication? I understand everyone’s body is different and that this isn’t a black and white answer, however generally speaking what would you say?

    Thank you again and be well.

    • Hi Rose,

      Honestly, my response would be exactly what you said. Everyone is different and each situation is unique and I typically figure out where someone fits on that spectrum after talking to them for about an hour.

  28. Both LEVOXYL and Armor cause same severe side effects.
    30 pound weight gain
    Severe pain, tendon/muscle in sciatica/legs.
    I stopped thyroid meds once for 12 weeks. NO PAIN!
    Back on from Levoxyl to Armor.. Severe pain in ONE DAY.
    Feel like it’s going to put me in a wheelchair

  29. Hi, i was on 100 mcg of synthroid for years.. heard a lot about other types of thyroid tx .. my gp discussed with as well. I eventually switched to 90 np thyroid.. biggest thing i noticed was wt gain☹️ Should i go back to synthroid? Thanks

  30. As I am a 78 year old female. Had hip replacement 8 years ago put on Synthroid as told I had lowered thyroid readings. Put me on 25 mg of Synthroid. After 8 years I just can’t take this drug. I does something to my bones, hips and I find it difficult to even walk. Has deformed my body, bust size cup has increased 2 sizes. I exercise much and watch my diet.
    I have so much pain in my joints, hips and so I called my doctor today again and asked if he could prescribe at least 1/4 grain of Armour instead of the Synthroid. I will end up in a wheel chair if I continue on Synthroid. If he won’t help me I’ll have to find another endocrinologist. My Tsh reading on Synthroid were 2 or 3 and off of it was 6, so I’m not certain what will happen to my health by not taking this as of today 5.13.2020. Thank you Patricia

  31. I was diagnosed in 1978 with hypothyroid after suffering a miscarriage. I was put on Armour Thyroid which worked for many years. When Synthroid became popular I was put on it. For years I felt terrible. Tremendous brain fog and exhaustion. The drs only tested TSH and t4 levels. Finally I did research and realized how important t3 is. So I had my dr test my t3 levels and it was almost non existent. So he added Cytomel to my synthroid. Then followed a few years of trying to get t3 and t4 balanced with dosages constantly changing. My heart rate dropped to low 40s. So I went to another doctor and asked couldn’t we just try Armour thyroid. He put me on 60 but it ended up being too little so it was upped to 90 which was too much. I kept going back and forth but to no avail. I asked my dr if I couldn’t take the 60 along with a 15 to try to find the balance. The response was they wouldn’t be comfortable working with that wacky medicine. So I made another doctor change. The new doctor listened and agreed to prescribe both. So here I am about two years later and every time I get checked the numbers are good and I feel so much better.

  32. Hi Westin. I have Hashimoto’s and Lymes. I’ve been taking 90 mg of Armour for the last years. When I get a Lymes flare up it causes my thyroid levels to waver. I would often take a little bit of Synthroid during those times. I don’t have a doctor who’s well-versed in any of this. But my osteopath is willing to follow my lead thankfully. Today I switched to Synthroid 100mcg hoping this may help my symptoms. I have a lot of responsibilities as a caretaker in my life and I’m wondering if there is some thing I can do to support my body while this cold turkey shift? I’m scared I may become unable to function during the process.
    Thank you so much.

  33. I have finally found a PCP who is willing to switch my Synthroid to Armour. I had a complete thyroidectomy in 2000 due to Grave’s Disease followed by thyroid storm. I was put on levothyroxine and continued taking levothyroxine for 18 years until I switched to Synthroid brand. I did not notice any change other than I did not require increases in Synthroid like I did with Levothyroxine. I have continued to struggle with fatigue, mental fog, and weight gain through all of this. I am hopeful that I have some positive changes with my switch to Armour.


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