It’s been ages since my last post. While I’ve been a totally bad blogger, to my credit I’ve collected lots of good info to share. The big news: I’ve been experimenting with desiccated thyroid medicine! After the Armour reformulation fiasco two years ago, and then the Naturthroid reformulation about six months ago I’ve gone renegade and decided I needed to find stable medicine.
I took the advice of many of the great ladies on the Stop the Thyroid Madness and the Yahoo Thyroid Group and decided to try having my medicine made by a compound pharmacy. Why go with a compound? Well, it’s all in the filler. When Armour and Naturthroid reformulated, people claim the new cellulose filler was the root of all evil. I don’t really understand why but I definitely found my thyroid symptoms got worse after both reformulations. Whatever the drug companies did, it was Bad (and not in a Michael Jackson way). The lesson learned: no more cellulose for me.
A Journey into Compound Pharmacies
Thyroid medicine is my life line, it has to work, and I have to know it’s reliable. So that’s when I decided to venture out on my own into the mysterious world of compound pharmacies. For those of you who don’t know, compound pharmacies are super cool. Basically, they will custom make your medicine using the filler you want. Kind of like “Build-a-Bear” of the medicine world.
A visitor here on the site, Kama (Hi Kama!), recommended a great compound pharmacy called Colliers Drug in Arkansas. I got on the phone with Rodney at Colliers and he was fantastic (and has a super cute southernish accent!). See contact info below. I explained that I wanted a thyroid medicine that could dissolve under my tongue (rather than capsule form which has to be swallowed). Rodney offered to make my medicine in a form called a “Troche” (or lozenge). They even sweetened it to cover the awful desiccated thyroid smell. Also I explained I wanted Vitamin C or Acidophilus as a filler (suggested by STTM) instead of cellulose, which Rodney was totally happy to accommodate. It’s a great little pill. I’m very proud.
Anyway, back to the important details. It’s been a month on the compound thyroid medicine and, so far, my hypothyroid symptoms seem to be improving. Most importantly to all us ladies, I am finally losing the 6-7 lbs I freakishly gained for no reason after the Naturthroid reformulation. Yay! Now you would think that I would feel better right away on the compound but it took about three weeks before my body decided to like the new medicine. So a big thumbs up for the effectiveness of Colliers thyroid compound!
That’s all the good stuff. Now, the downside… the compound is waaaaaay more expensive than the Naturthroid prescription. It costs $50 for a one month supply with partial insurance coverage, zoinks! I know *sigh*. It’s a lot of money.
It’s unlikely I can afford to stay on the compound, but at least I know where to get reliable medicine. Instead I’ve decided to try another medicine called Erfa, out of Canada, which was highly recommended by the Yahoo Thyroid group. The ladies say Erfa is “like the old Armour” and it costs about $50 for a three month supply. Now, its worth noting that switching medicine too quickly can really upset my body. My plan is to stay on the compound for another month just to make sure it works well. And then try Erfa by adding it into the daily medicine mix slowly.
Once I have more info on Erfa I will share what I’ve learned. Meanwhile, if you want to try my compound give Colliers a call and ask for Rodney.
Rodney at Colliers is SO awesome. He gave us his direct phone extension for ordering the compound (479) 935-4336. Ask for the “Miss Lizzy Compound” and he will hook you up. (A doctor’s prescription is of course needed.)
hh - December 4, 2010
Hi Lizzy,Thank you so much for this post. I was diagnosed hypothyroid this June after 3 years of trying to convince a whole range of doctors something wasn't right. I am however still struggling with it. I've been on Naturethroid which has helped somewhat, but not enough (still have all of the classic symptoms like you.) Your post helps me make sense out of it. Thank you!!
Lizzy - December 7, 2010
Hi HH,I totally hear you! If you feel like something is not right with your body, you are so right to follow your instinct! It's not always something I can put my finger on, but I have this general sense when things just aren't quite right and that's my tip to keep exploring treatment.Like with the Naturthroid reformulation, mysteriously I gained 6-8 lbs and just couldn't lose the weight this summer (doing all the same stuff as before!). On the compound the weight came off in a month. Love that! And I generally feel happier and more stable emotionally.Keep up the great work and you will get there!xxooLizzy
Sue Taylor - December 28, 2010
Hi Lizzy, i just sent a lengthy post to another section of your website and then I found this!!Could this be my problem? I'm calling your boy today! No more screwing around! Thanks for using your great brain function to help us out! Sue
Sue Taylor - December 28, 2010
NOOOOOOO! Don't try ERFA! It sucks! Many women I have found that tried it were so sorry! For me it just stopped working! I have been very ill and ended up gluten intolerant to boot! YIPPEE! I have read that it seems ok for men but for some reason noit women and several women I've talked to refer to it as being ERFA'd !I'm sorry to rain on your parade, you could try it. But as soon as you feel "off" STOP! don't stick with it for a year like I did! you will pay a dear price. Dr. Lowe and I discussed this and he said he found the same thing. He feels I ended up gluten intolerant from low thyroid function for so long…from ERFA. Just a warning. Best, Sue
Lizzy - January 3, 2011
Hi Sue,Just seeing your post now. WOW about ERFA! I am so glad you told me! Luckily, I decided to stay on the compound for a while so I didn't try ERFA yet. Okay, so there you have it. Watch out for Erfa! I hope my compound from Colliers works for others.xxooLizzy
ladybug - April 4, 2011
Hi Lizzy-Wanted to check in and see if you are still improving with the compound. I am almost out of my Naturthroid and am going to ask my doctor next time about Colliers. Are you still a fan!??!
Lizzy - April 5, 2011
Hi Ladybug,,I was just thinking I need to do an update! I have been happy with the compound from Collier's and continue to do well. But in the past month I have gained about 4 pounds and am not sure why. It could be that I have been eating a little more sugar but I ate lots of sugar at Christmas didn't gain weight. So I am not sure what the story is, except maybe its seasonal. I am watching the weight to see what happens. But all around yes the compound has been great for me!xxooLizzy
Kristi - May 18, 2011
Hi, I literally stumbled upon your blog and am so glad I did!! I am on Armour thyroid and having a horrible time. I actually just moved and had to switch doctors. For the compound did you have to have a perscription for the compound or can you just have a perscription for Armour or something and then have him compound you something? Thank you.Kristi
Lizzy - August 29, 2012
Yes! Try desiccated thyroid medicine like Armor, Naturthroid, or the Compound I have specially made at Collier's Drug in Arkansas. If you search my site you will find info on the compound. xoxo! Lizzy
Cat - May 22, 2013
Hi! I finally convinced my doctor to let me try natural desiccated thyroid, I live in Canada so I assume its EFRA…. now I just read here that "it sucks". I've only been taking it for a week but now I'm not sure what to do….. according to my doctor this is the only natural one avaliable in Canada! Any advice??Also, what is the best way to transition between meds?
Christy - May 23, 2013
Does your pharmacists ship? I am hopefully seeing a renowned specialist but it could take 2 months to get an appt. I'm holding onto hope that someone or something can help.
Lizzy - June 29, 2013
Hi Christy, I'm so sorry for the slow reply. I tend to get my messages faster on the Facebook group page so please feel free to write me there too. Collier's Drug does ship their compound. So definitely yes. But also, recently I decided to try an experiment with a new NDT called "NP Thyroid" by the Pharmaceutical company "Acella". I am still experimenting before posting formal results. But so far I am liking it a lot. It's available by prescription at most pharmacies. Except at this moment they are backordered for a week or two. So that might be an option worth trying. NP Thyroid is like the old Armour, and its very affordable ($11/prescription without needing insurance). I hope that helps! xoxoxo! Lizzy
Sarah - October 21, 2013
Just found your blog today. I wanted to ask how you are doing on NP Thyroid? I'm on Nature-Throid and certainly noticed improvement but there's still a lot of symptoms that need resolved.