Armour Thyroid general information
What is Armour Thyroid used for?
Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets are used to treat hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone needed to regulate your body’s growth and metabolism. Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets are a natural replacement hormone, derived from pig thyroid gland, containing both forms of thyroid hormone (T3 and T4), which help to relieve the symptoms of hypothyroidism, including, tiredness, muscle weakness, cramps, feeling the cold, a slow heart rate, dry and flaky skin, hair loss, a deep husky voice and weight gain. Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets can also be used to help treat hypothyroidism caused by surgical removal of, or damage to the thyroid gland, as well as treating thyroid goitre (enlarged thyroid glands) and thyroid cancer. Another used for Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets is for a suppression test, to test for thyroid activity.
How does Armour Thyroid work?
Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets consist of an extract produced from pig thyroid glands which contains both forms of thyroid hormone; thyroxine (levothyroxine or T4) and liothyronine (L-triiodothyronine or T3). Thyroxine (T4) is converted to the more active form of thyroid hormone (T3) in the liver, kidney and other tissues of the body and T3 interacts with a specific receptor inside cells to stimulate proteins needed to manage and control a variety of processes, including how the body regulates temperature, metabolises nutrients and controls growth and development. Thyroid hormones regulate the production by the pituitary gland of another hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which in turn controls how much thyroid hormone is produced. Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets regulate TSH production in the same way and this is how it works when used for treating thyroid goitre or thyroid cancer by suppressing TSH production.
What does Armour Thyroid contain?
Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets contain a dessicated (dried) extract of pig thyroid glands, which contains both forms of thyroid hormone; thyroxine (levothyroxine or T4) and liothyronine (L-triiodothyronine or T3) in the ratio 4.22:1 of T4 to T3, as T3 is approximately four times as potent as T4 on a microgram for microgram basis. Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets also contain dextrose, anhydrous microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, calcium stearate, opadry wehite (titanium dioxide used as a whitening agent)
What doses of Armour Thyroid are available?
Armour Thyroid tablets provide 38 mcg levothyroxine (T4) and 9 mcg liothyronine (T3) per grain of thyroid and are available in 8 strengths:
- 15mg (¼ grain) Tablets in Bottles of 100 Tablets
- 30mg (½ grain) Tablets in Bottles of 100 Tablets
- 60mg (1 grain) Tablets in Bottles of 100 Tablets
- 90mg (1½ grain) Tablets in Bottles of 100 Tablets
- 120mg (2 grain) Tablets in Bottles of 100 Tablets
- 180mg (3 grain) Tablets in Bottles of 100 Tablets
Treating underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) with Armour Thyroid
Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets consist of an extract produced from pig thyroid glands which contains both forms of thyroid hormone; thyroxine (levothyroxine or T4) and liothyronine (L-triiodothyronine or T3) and substitutes for the lack of thyroid hormone in hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) needed to regulate normal growth and metabolism. Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets are used to treat the symptoms of hypothyroidism, including, tiredness, muscle weakness, cramps, feeling the cold, a slow heart rate, dry and flaky skin, hair loss, a deep husky voice and weight gain.
What is the difference between natural and synthetic thyroid hormones?
Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets contain an extract o produced from pig thyroid glands which contains both forms of thyroid hormone; thyroxine (levothyroxine or T4) and liothyronine (L-triiodothyronine or T3). These hormones are therefore natural hormones compared to synthesised hormones found in some other preparations of thyroid medication. Both natural and synthetic hormones work in the same way to treat thyroid disease.
What are the side effects of Armour Thyroid?
Most of the side effects experienced with taking Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets indicate that your dose is too high and may need adjusting. These include: headache, sleep problems (insomnia), feeling nervous or irritable sweating, flushing, appetite changes, weight loss, muscle weakness/cramps, tremors.
When should Armour Thyroid not be used?
You should not use Armour Thyroid if you:
- are allergic to thyroid hormones or any of the ingredients in Armour Thyroid tablets
- are looking for a treatment for obesity or to help you lose weight; this is not a weight loss product
- have thyrotoxicosis (untreated high thyroid hormone levels) or adrenal gland problems
- are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast-feeding
- have a history of chest pain, heart attack, heart blood vessel problems, or other heart problems
- are a diabetic taking antidiabetics or insulin, without discussion with your doctor, as Armour Thyroid may affect your glucose tolerance
- are taking other medications that may interact with Armour Thyroid, such as anticonvulsants like phenytoin and carbamazepin, cardiac glycosides like digoxin, cholesterol-lowing drugs containing cholestyramine, antidepressants, anticoagulants
What medications interact with Armour Thyroid?
Several medications interact with Armour Thyroid and should either not be taken while you are taking Armour Thyroid or only after discussion and instruction from your doctor:
- Drugs that decrease effectiveness of Armour Thyroid: antacids that contains aluminum or calcium or sucralfate (should be taken at least 4 hours apart from thyroid hormones); cholesterol-lowing drugs containing cholestyramine colestipol (should be taken at least 4 hours apart from thyroid hormones); iron supplement and vitamins with iron (should be taken at least 4 hours apart from thyroid hormones) oestrogen replacement product or birth control pills
- Drugs that are affected by Armour Thyroid: anticoagulants, like warfarin because the risk of bleeding may be increased; insulin or an oral diabetes medication such as acarbose glipizide glyburide metformin
How should Armour Thyroid be taken?
Armour Thyroid should be taken with water on an empty stomach, preferably 30 minutes before a meal. The dose of Armour Thyroid that you take should be as recommended by your doctor. The usual starting dose is 30 mg Armour Thyroid, with increments of 15 mg every 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the levels of T3 and T4 measured in the blood during treatment, so blood monitoring is important while you are taking Armour Thyroid. It usually takes several weeks to see normal levels of blood thyroid hormone levels after starting treatment and you may need to take Armour Thyroid for the rest of your life.
How long should you take Armour Thyroid ?
Since Armour Thyroid tablets are used to replace a thyroid hormone deficiency this is a long-term treatment and may be for the rest of your life.
Missed dose of Armour Thyroid
If you miss a dose of Armour Thyroid take it as soon as you remember, unless it is time to take the next dose, then skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.
How should Armour Thyroid be stored?
Keep your Armour Thyroid 15mg tablets in the bottle until it is time to take one. Store in a cool dry place away from light where the temperature stays below 25°C.