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Switching from Synthroid to generic: experiences?
Old 11-03-2019, 11:30 AM   #1
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Switching from Synthroid to generic: experiences?

My doctors have had me use Synthroid for more than 30 years, and all were emphatic that it needed to be brand because the generics were inconsistent.

Well, insurance has continued to make that more and more expensive as an option. Next year it will run at least $45/month, and from what I can tell, when I switch over to Medicare Part D, it won't be covered or count toward my deductible.

So, I'm thinking of asking my doctor if I can switch to the generic, try it out for a month or so, get new bloodwork done, and -- assuming all looks ok -- go back to the pharmacy and pay for a year's worth of the same maker's generic. (It looks like $4/month for the generic.) Does that make sense?
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:47 AM   #2
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Like you, my wife has been on Synthroid(112mg) for 20 years. She is currently paying $25 a month for a 30 day (Brand name) supply.



My wife tried the generic as well about 1-1.5 years ago, but she thought it was making her cold all the time. She went back to the brand name.


I also found a discount for her from Abbvie here :

https://www.synthroid.com/support/before-breakfast-club


Edited - looks like its now $30 a month.
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:51 AM   #3
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I always thought generics had to be made of the same active ingredient, so why wouldn't they work ?
Maybe the inactive parts are different.

I'd give the generic a try, as one can always go back to the regular.

Now since nearly all prescriptions are made in other countries (read cheapest place) the quality of all medicine is largely equally good (bad).

Just look at the recent, ongoing, expanding recall of blood pressure medicines due to the common ingredient from China being tainted with cancer causing chemicals.
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:17 PM   #4
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I've taken levothyroxine for over 25 years. $5 for 90 day supply through private insurance.
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:19 PM   #5
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I started on Synthroid about 15 years ago but switched to generic for the same reason you're considering it and have had no problems. Last year, CVS wasn't able to get my dosage from their normal supplier for about 6 months so they switched to a different supplier and it still worked fine for me.

But I do know people who are very sensitive to a change in manufacturer for this drug (levothyroxine) so I would definitely do a 30-60 day trial (it takes awhile for blood levels to change, which I know because my doctor always schedules follow up lab tests for a month or two after a dosage adjustment).
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Switching from Synthroid to generic: experiences?
Old 11-03-2019, 02:01 PM   #6
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Switching from Synthroid to generic: experiences?

I’m pretty sure I started on the generic and it worked fine. Then (years later )one day I noticed I was on Synthroid. I suspect the change happened when I changed doctors...but I never noticed until I went to reorder online and the “copay” for the new year was going to be like $80+- for a three month supply. I called the mail order pharmacy and was told not to worry....that I would only be charged the generic price because my doctor had written the prescription in such a way that my insurer would allow me to pay generic. No clue what that meant, but I’ve since been on Synthroid and paying a generic price. I did ask my doctor why she put me on Synthroid and she gave me the same explanation (too much variability in the generic).

If the price ever goes up....I’ll go back to the generic. I never noticed feeling better or worse between the two, although some days I swear the Synthroid is useless

Anyway, you could talk to the pharmacy and see if there’s a special way for you to get the Synthroid at generic cost via your doctors order. Otherwise, try the generic, but definitely get a re-test in a couple of months and regardless of your numbers...see how you feel.
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:17 PM   #7
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From what I understood my doctor to say, generic drugs have to only be 80-120% the same as brands. Some people need to have a more specific dose in the range of 95%-105%.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:49 AM   #8
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I made the change to generic for the same reasons. I use 90 day mail orders. Even though my prescription is for generic, the pills delivered were actually synthroid. Name is on the pill. This does not happen every time but thought it was interesting. I have not been sensitive to the change.
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by target2019 View Post
I've taken levothyroxine for over 25 years. $5 for 90 day supply through private insurance.
Same here with no problems. You can tell by the end of the day if I forgot to take it...my tolerance level goes way down for petty annoyances, and I become rather dickish.
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Old 11-04-2019, 09:53 AM   #10
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From what I understood my doctor to say, generic drugs have to only be 80-120% the same as brands. Some people need to have a more specific dose in the range of 95%-105%.
I could not understand this article, to be frank.
https://www.pharmacytimes.com/contri...uivalence-rule

Will need to read that several times more to understand the 90% CI for generics.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:01 AM   #11
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Same here with no problems. You can tell by the end of the day if I forgot to take it...my tolerance level goes way down for petty annoyances, and I become rather dickish.
Ive trained myself almost 100% to take this early in the morning on an empty stomach.

Someone else mentioned cold hands cause by a generic. Actually, I'd think the cold hands are symptomatic of the drug's ineffectiveness. Maybe the generic was poor substitute, or it was not taken according to schedule.
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:38 PM   #12
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Levothyroxine is considered by FDA to be a “narrow therapeutic window” drug. This means a drug has a narrow window between their effective doses and those at which they product adverse toxic effects ( or if the dose is sub-therapeutic then this could lead to under treatment of the condition).

I am not giving medical advice so this is a good discussion to have with both your pharmacist and physician.

I worked for a drug distributor and one of my projects was finding a reputable levothyroxine manufacturer as this particular drug has had its share of supply issues and manufacturing problems.
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:51 PM   #13
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I went on Synthroid (brand) 30 years ago for a year, then switched to generic to save money, and the generic made me feel tired. My doctor didn't believe me but put me back on Synthroid anyway and I felt normal again. Then.... two years ago I tried going back on generic since the price of Synthroid brand was going up. It's working now! I don't feel tired this time around. I even had my blood work done a few months after the switch, and the blood work was normal for thyroid (TSH test).
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Old 11-04-2019, 05:50 PM   #14
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I have been on brand for 40 years. The pharmacist told me to stay on it . . . Have not discussed with doc in years; figured as long as I could pay for it without trouble I would. Not like I have a lot of meds so not much trouble.
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Old 11-04-2019, 05:54 PM   #15
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I worked for a drug distributor and one of my projects was finding a reputable levothyroxine manufacturer as this particular drug has had its share of supply issues and manufacturing problems.

What i hate most about generics is they switch you to whatever manufacturer is cheapest each time so you never taking anything consistent. . . . who knows if it matters but I am sort of in between doses anyway its hard to get it right.
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