How is hypothyroidism treated?
Currently there are two treatments:
- Levothyroxine (T4) is the major hormone that is produced by the thyroid gland and it is available in a synthetic pill form by such names as LevoxylTM, SynthroidTM, LevothroidTM as well as generic forms of the hormone.
- Desiccated thyroid extract is a thyroid hormone pill made from the thyroid glands of animals (usually porcine or bovine). It is available as Armour ThyroidTM.
- Both types are able to manage hypothyroidism and abnormal thyroid blood tests.
How do the two types of treatments compare?
The synthetic form of levothyroxine (LevoxylTM, SynthroidTM and LevothroidTM) is the most used thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
Recently there has been an interest in desiccated thyroid extract (Armour ThyroidTM) because it is a more natural way of receiving the hormone.
Some patients continue to have issues with hypothyroidism when taking the synthetic form of levothyroxine and have had improvements when switching to the desiccated thyroid extract. Additionally, some patients found greater success with weight loss with the desiccated thyroid extract.