Thyroid Medication Names: List of T4, T3, & T4 + T3 Medications

Thyroid Medication Names: List of T4, T3, & T4 + T3 Medications

This post contains a complete list of thyroid medication names based on the thyroid hormone content of the medication. 

The list includes medications with T4 only thyroid hormone, T3 only thyroid hormone, and T4 + T3 thyroid hormone combinations.

If you want to learn more about thyroid hormones, which hormone certain medications have, and how they will affect you, then this article is for you


List of Thyroid Medications by Thyroid Hormone Content

When it comes to treating hypothyroidism you may be surprised to find out that there are actually many different types and brands to choose from. 

Most Doctors and endocrinologists jump straight to Synthroid and levothyroxine (these are the most common) but there are many other brands and types to choose from. 

Thyroid medications primarily differ in 2 major areas:

The first has to do with the thyroid hormones that they contain and the second has to do with the fillers or binders that are also found in each medication

ingredients in levothyroxine

Both of these areas can impact how well you tolerate and how well the medication works in your body which is why it's important for you to have some idea of what is available. 

Let's briefly discuss these areas and why they are important if you don't want to wait you can jump straight down to find a list of thyroid medication names below. 

The most important area has to do with the thyroid hormone content in each thyroid medication. 

There are 2 main thyroid hormones that you should be aware of. 

The first is T4 which is the most common thyroid hormone circulating in your body. 

This hormone is very stable in your blood, it's not very active by itself, and it must be converted in order to function. 

The second is T3 which is the most powerful thyroid hormone circulating in your body.

This hormone doesn't last as long as T4 does because it is so active in the bloodstream, but it is the most active and powerful thyroid hormone. 

Your thyroid gland produces a steady stream of thyroid hormones right into your bloodstream at about a ratio of 80% T4 and 20% T3 (1). 

This ratio is important because it's what your body is used to producing when it is functioning normally and it's the ratio that you should try to achieve when using thyroid hormone medication.  

With this basic knowledge, we can talk about the different types of thyroid hormone medications. 

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List of T4 Only Thyroid Medication Names

levothyroxine chemical structure

These medications are the most commonly prescribed of all thyroid medications!

In fact, Synthroid is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. 

These medications are often the first class of that Doctors go to if you need thyroid medication because they are felt to be the 'safest'. 

It's not that the other thyroid medications are unsafe but instead that these medications are just incredibly stable and long-lasting in your bloodstream. 

This means that if you miss a dose, or take too much, or make any mistake in regards to your medication, that the consequences are not very high. 

The trade-off to this is the fact that these medications are not always powerful enough to get the desired effect in some individuals. 

Up to 20% of people taking T4 only thyroid medications may still experience the symptoms of hypothyroidism (2) despite taking a 'sufficient' amount of thyroid medication. 

This group of people probably suffer from genetic changes which cause an issue in activating the T4 thyroid hormone after it's been ingested. 

If you fit into this category (meaning you still have symptoms of hypothyroidism despite taking thyroid medication) then you may need to take a look at the other medications listed below. 

List of NDT (Natural Desiccated Thyroid Hormone) Names

NDT contains both T4 and T3

There are many other names of Natural Desiccated Thyroid hormone which vary based on your country, but all of these medications share one thing in common:

They are produced from desiccated glands of animals. 

What does that mean?

It means that these medications are created by drying up and crushing the thyroid hormone glands of animals (usually pigs) and then formulated as medications. 

They are unique among all types of thyroid medications because they contain much more than just thyroid hormones. 

Because they contain the gland of animals they also contain a trace amount of other nutrients, less active thyroid hormones, proteins, and minerals. 

These medications are also dosed differently than all other thyroid medications. 

They are split up into what is referred to as 'grains' of NDT. 

Each grain of NDT contains a standardized amount of T4 and T3 (this makes it so you always get the same amount of thyroid hormone regardless of which brand or name you are using). 

Each grain of NDT contains 38 micrograms of T4 thyroid hormone and 9 mcg of T3 thyroid hormone (3). 

It's often easier to think about these medications in doses of grains because the milligram dosages of NDT can vary based on the medication type. 

For instance:

60mg of Armour thyroid = 1 grain but 65mg of Nature-Throid = 1 grain. 

So 60mg of Armour thyroid and 65mg of Nature-Throid both contain 38mcg of T4 and 9 mcg of T3 even though they vary in their mg concentration

List of T3 Only Thyroid Medication Names

chemical structure of liothyronine

T3 only thyroid medications are not frequently commonly prescribed but they are the strongest type of thyroid hormone medication available. 

These medications contain the pure and active thyroid hormone T3 or triiodothyronine

Doctors tend to shy away from using these medications because they operate under the assumption that the body can activate T4 without any issues. 

We've already established that this doesn't occur effectively in at least 20% of the population, but they still aren't comfortable using them. 

Other concerns with T3 medications include the fact that these medications can sometimes cause symptoms such as heart palpitations (4). 

Many doctors don't want to deal with these side effects which can result in patient phone calls late in the evening. 

Couple this with the unfamiliarity of using them and we have a recipe for why most doctors just opt to avoid using T3 medications completely. 

Unfortunately, this is too bad considering how much help they can be for many patients. 

Cytomel and liothyronine are both available from regular pharmacies while SR T3 is only available from compounding pharmacies. 

SR T3 is often ideal for patients who experience heart palpitations or anxiety when using the immediate release versions of SR T3. 

When using T3 only thyroid medications you often need a much smaller dose when compared to T4 medications. 

Doses range from 5mcg up to 50mcg per day which can be compared to Synthroid doses which generally start at 50mcg and go up to 150mcg per day (or more). 

Compounded T4 and T3 Thyroid Medication

This list of medications doesn't necessarily have a specific name but it's important for you to realize that your Doctor can write a prescription which contains any amount of T4 or T3 using a compounding pharmacy. 

A compounding pharmacy is a special type of pharmacy (5) which can create medication combinations that normal pharmacies can't. 

Your Doctor can have your medication create using different inactive ingredients, they can change a prescription to be applied to your skin instead of being taken by mouth, and so on. 

This is important for your thyroid for several reasons:

The first has to do with the fact that your Doctor can individually dose the amount of T4 and T3 based on what your body needs. 

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NDT (Natural Desiccated Thyroid) comes in a set amount of 38mcg of T4 to 9mcg of T3 in each 'grain'. 

But what if you can't tolerate the 9mcg of T3? What if you need more or less?

That's where compounding pharmacies come into play. 

Your Doctor can write a prescription which contains 50mcg of T4 and 5mcg of T3. 

They can write a prescription which contains 50mcg of T4 and 30mcg of T4 or any combination. 

This gives both you and your doctor flexibility to find what works best for your body while reducing the number of capsules/pills that you need to take. 

One of the major drawbacks to using this route is that compounding pharmacies are often more expensive than traditional pharmacies. 

So your monthly prescription may run upwards of $50 per month compared to the standard $4 - $10 per month that other thyroid medications cost. 

price of generic levothyroxine

Because of the cost, it's often better to try and find your ideal dose 

Natural vs Synthetic - What's the Difference?

You may have heard that some thyroid medications are felt to be better than others because they are 'natural'. 

What exactly does that mean?

What is the difference between synthetic thyroid hormones and natural thyroid hormones?

The difference comes from how they were created. 

The only natural thyroid hormone available is found in NDT or Natural Desiccated Thyroid medications. 

These medications are considered natural because they come from nature and they contain animal thyroid hormones. 

It just so happens that pig thyroid hormones look exactly like human thyroid hormones but this is not the case with all hormones or animals. 

Because these hormones come from an animal, and because they are not created in a laboratory, they are considered natural. 

It's important to note that they do still come from an animal source and not a human source. 

Synthetic thyroid hormones are medications which are created in a laboratory and which do not come from humans or animals. 

Both natural and synthetic thyroid hormones look identical from a chemical structure but they differ in how they are created and where they are obtained. 

Some people believe that natural thyroid medications are superior to synthetic medications but I have not found this to be the case

All Thyroid Medications are Bio-Identical

Another important point worth mentioning is that all thyroid medications are considered to be bio-identical. 

What exactly does that mean?

It means that the hormone found inside of the medication is an exact replica of what your body would produce normally. 

This should be differentiated from other hormones which are synthetic and NOT bio-identical (6). 

Synthetic hormones have a similar but different chemical structure. 

They often behave similar to that of what normal hormones would do in the body but they are not the same. 

The way that your body breaks them down, the by-products created during this process, and the activation of cellular messengers are not the exact same as bio-identical hormones. 

This concept gets more important when we discuss other hormones such as progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen because there are other options available. 

But when it comes to thyroid medication you generally don't have to worry about fake or synthetic medications.  

Medication Names Differ by Country

Lastly, it's important to understand that each country has a different name for these medications. 

Even though the name is different, all of the medications will still fall into the same classes above (T3 only, T4 only or T3 + T4 combinations). 

Many people from around the world read this blog (thyroid problems are common everywhere!) so this information is important if you are one of those people. 

If you aren't sure what medication you are currently using or taking all you need to do is ask your pharmacy what the ACTIVE ingredient is in your medication. 

If the active ingredient is Thyroxine then you are using a T4 medication. 

If the active ingredient is Triiodothyronine then you are using a T3 medication. 

Some countries don't have access to all types of thyroid medications or hormones but all countries should have at least some form of thyroxine or T4 only thyroid medication available. 

Some countries, like the United Kingdom, don't recommend the use of T3 thyroid medications which has made them very difficult to obtain. 

Can you get other types of thyroid medications if you live in another country?

The answer is yes, but it may require you to get it from another country and to transport it to your country. 

There are also online pharmacies which can provide you with medications but the good ones require a prescription from your Doctor. 

If you don't have a specific medication available to you, or if the price is cheaper elsewhere, you may be able to fax over a prescription from your Doctor and have that medication mailed to you directly. 


Use this list of thyroid medications to help educate yourself on what is available!

Many doctors opt to use medications such as Synthroid and levothyroxine because they have not received training on how to use other medications. 

Just realize that you have many options available to you and it may require some trial and error to find what works best for you!

In my experience, I feel that it is best to try and mimic how your thyroid functions naturally by providing a combination of both T4 and T3. 

This may require the use of individual T4 and T3 medications or a medication which contains both such as NDT. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Do you have any questions about thyroid medications?

What medication are you currently taking?

Is it working for you? Why or why not?

Leave your questions or comments below! 

References (Click to Expand)

the complete list of all thyroid medications by name

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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 70,000+ people have used them over the last 6 years. You can read more about my own personal health journey and why I am so passionate about what I do here.

P.S. Need more help? Check out my free thyroid downloads and resources.

20 thoughts on “Thyroid Medication Names: List of T4, T3, & T4 + T3 Medications”

  1. Hi Dr. Child’s!
    I️ am 47 years old and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 9 years ago because my TPO was 832. For about 8 years I’ve been on Liothyronine (Cytomel) 5mcg and Levothyroxine (Levoxyl) 75mcg. I’ve been feeling great for years but for about the last year I’ve been having a lot of joint pain, feeling really tired and having a harder time losing weight. My blood work from 2 months ago showed Reverse T3 18.7, my TSH .561, Free T4 1.4, Free T3 3.2, thyroglob <20 and TPO 29.4. Would it be worth talking to my doctor about increasing my cytomel a bit and maybe decreasing my Levoxyl to 50 mcg? Thank you!

  2. I’ve been taking Armour thyroid/np thyroid for a little over a year now. Levothyroxine caused me to have palpitations and adrenalin rushes that blew into full-blown panic attacks frequently for around v20 years before they switched me. I’ve had the problem a couple of times on this but I’m fairly certain those times were with the generic np version. Is it possible I can’t process levothyroxine properly at all or is there possibly some discrepancies in the dosage of the generic form? I have heard of recalls on some generic thyroid pills that weren’t quite homogenous.

    I would like to add that aside from dosages being too high some of those times, usually I’m still having hypothyroid symptoms such as being tired and groggy, losing hair, and brain fog while simultaneously experiencing the trembling, heart-pounding, adrenalin rushes, etc. It’s like I’m overmedicated and not actually absorbing it at the same time. I haven’t had much luck with doctors here. The last one sent me to a specialist who listened to me talk of my problems regulating and how bad it was the month before, then said it was normal at the time, come back in six months. I’m losing hope here.

    • This is just my experience…
      I was on levothyroxine (T4) 100mcg and liothyronine (T3) 50mcg and had symptoms just like yours, jittery, trembling, anxiety, fatigue, mind fog and hair loss I cut my doses of both meds in half and feel wonderful again.

  3. Hi, I was formally diagnosed with hashimotos a couple of years ago and I went on the AIP diet to reset which was super helpful until I went rogue Lol. I lost weight felt amazing and was ‘myself’ again. My Dr had put me in prem-pro also due to onset of menopause and a small dose of Lexapro due to a lot of personal issues as well at the time. I did great until I changed jobs and went thru extreme stress for over a year and now I am a hey mess. I have gained back the weight and more (30 lbs), I have insomnia and anxiety and I have been experiencing tendonitis in my shoulder forearm and wrist. I also developed Nadal polyps that have imPaired My sense of smell and taste. Dr gave me crazy strong antibiotics and steroids for 14 days which have helped my sinuses some but not My shoulder pain so I’m living on pain pills and using tea tree oil in my sinuses along with peroxide water rinses and salt ones. I am restarting the AIP diet but considering thyroid medication as my antibodies are very high and I feel like my body is attacking itself at every angle. I read your info on the medications and am intrigued by the wp thyroid meds. Is this something that would possibly work with my condition? My Dr is always open to allow me to try things I feel strongly about but he isn’t always as knowledgeable as you seem to be so I wanted to give you my info and ask so I can discuss with my Dr. I have nodules but they are not large enough to warrant surgery (I saw a thyroid Dr. At UCLA a few years ago to be sure ). I try to avoid meds if I can heal with food and lifestyle changes (gut being the body’s engine ) but I am feeling awful so if you have any advice I would be grateful. I am taking probiotics and working on my gut health. I have pernicious anemia so I take b12 shots as well. My stomach was damaged by H pylori years ago and after ridding me of it I started the shots. Also, I am 55. Thank you.

  4. Hi Doc,

    I found your website a few years ago. At the time I was being treated for hypothyroidism. My doctor was old school and just prescribed Levothyroxine and left it at that. Even though I complained about not feeling any better, then he suggested I might need psychological counseling! I then went back to my GP doctor of thirty some years and he suggested getting my T3 checked. Sure enough, my T3 was barely registering! My GP put me on T3 along with my T4 and then I felt like me again! Thank you so much for informing me about other alternatives and not to just accept what an old fart doctor may prescribe!

  5. I am 72 years old. My endo is going by numbers now. I will be getting my bloodwork of TSH 3rd generation, FT 4 and FT3.

    My previous TSH was 0.168
    FT 4 1.29 FT 3 3.3
    TPO 123
    What is the endo looking for in 3rd generation TSH. Can you guess what prescription she will give me

  6. Hi my name is Wendy. Around 1998 I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. For approximately a year they tried to get it under control and could not. They then suggested I have my thyroid nuked for which I did. I have been on Synthroid for over 20 years. With all the crazy stuff in the world right now I began to do research as I don’t trust the pharmaceutical companies and the FDA for that matter. Anyway I seen that Synthroid causes hair loss. I’m 63 and have notice my hair thinning and I don’t believe it is from old age. My daughter who is 45 also has had her thyroid nuked. Looking at different medications we find that there are Aluminum Lake and FD&C Red coloring in the pills which is also no good for the body. I would like to see what you think about the biodentical hormone replacement therapy instead of the lab manufactured drugs.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Wendy,

      Do you mean for thyroid patients or for hormones in general? All of the thyroid medications on the market are bioidentical but this isn’t true for estrogen/progesterone.

  7. Yes my Doctor caught when I became her patient. Doing blood test since I was a new patient. She called me up and told me to come over and pick up a new script for my hyperthyroidism. The reading was 55 and and she said that she hadn’t seen a reading that high. I take Levothyroxin 75 Mg an hour before I eat in the morning. I wake up at night so I take it then. I can eat when I get up. You said price was 4-10 dollars a month. That would be nice I pay a dollar a pill. Just wondered if that was real high or was that not to bad. But the Dose keeps it in line. I notice that I get aggravated easily when I don’t get to take them.

    • Hi Monte,

      The pricing I mentioned in this article is most likely outdated as prices fluctuate month to month. They’ve been especially volatile due to supply/demand from recent recalls and prices also vary by location and pharmacy. Having said that it, it’s still sometimes cheaper to just pay cash for your medication as opposed to the insurance price.

  8. This makes so much sense. I have doc appt on the 29th and had planned on talking to him about either increasing my Synthroid dosage or adding T3 to the mix. For years, I was juuuuust lower than the standard range, and my T3 was always right at the very end of the high range.

    I always felt great. Since my Grave’s Disease hit me, and I’m “in range,” I never have any energy. I used to be on the go. I’d always enjoy having people over, or going out, etc… Since then I barely do the basics.

    My logic was if I felt good withy numbers where they were at for years, isn’t that where we should shoot for me to be?

    • Hi Laurie,

      I tend to be in agreement with your logic and that’s the first place I would look to feeling better 🙂 It may not work but it’s absolutely worth a shot.

  9. This article has been very informative. I have been trying to get my Hypothyroidism correctly managed for about 3-4 years now with Levothyroxine and it is leaving my T3 levels just a bit low which I can see in the labs and feel in my weight gain and moodiness.

    Armed with the information here, I can ask my Doctor about a combination T4r/T3 medication. (TSH High, T4 Normal, T3 Low).

    6 months ago, my Doctor lowered my dose because my thyroid was too high, and now it is in this combination stat but my weight and mental attitude are clearly out of alignment still. Hoping to get it fixed soon.


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