Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Cytomel Alternatives

(Liothyronine)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available
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Compare Cytomel (Liothyronine) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Cytomel (Liothyronine) or used for similar purposes.

Cytomel
(Liothyronine)

Synthroid
(Levothyroxine)

Armour Thyroid
(Thyroid Hormone)

Replaces thyroid hormones. Cytomel (Liothyronine) is good for treating low thyroid, but you may need frequent blood tests and you should take it exactly as told by your doctor and pharmacist.Replaces thyroid hormones. Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is an important replacement hormone when your body can't make enough thyroid hormone. It's easily affected by food, other medicines or supplements, and health conditions, so you should try to take it exactly as instructed.Replaces thyroid hormones. Armour Thyroid (Thyroid Hormone) can be used to treat low thyroid hormone, but it's not recommended by most doctors and isn't available in generic.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Cytomel (Liothyronine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Synthroid (Levothyroxine)
75%
+4% vs. Cytomel (Liothyronine)
62%
9% vs. Cytomel (Liothyronine)
10%
+4% vs. Cytomel (Liothyronine)
1090 reviews
Have you used Synthroid (Levothyroxine)?
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Have you used Armour Thyroid (Thyroid Hormone)?
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Side effects
CytomelSynthroidArmour Thyroid

We haven’t found good data for Cytomel side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Cytomel »

The Synthroid FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Synthroid side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Armour Thyroid side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Armour Thyroid »
How it works
CytomelSynthroidArmour Thyroid
Cytomel (Liothyronine) is a synthetic form of thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland makes hormones that are important for body metabolism, growth, and development.Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is a synthetic version of a hormone made by your thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones affect many important bodily functions, like controlling metabolism and telling your body how to use energy sources.Armour Thyroid (Thyroid Hormone) is a hormone replacement medicine for people with hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormone regulates metabolism, which is everything your body does to turn food into energy. It affects almost every cell in your body.
Type of medication
CytomelSynthroidArmour Thyroid
Thyroid supplementPrescription only
Thyroid supplementPrescription only
Thyroid supplementPrescription only
Available as
CytomelSynthroidArmour Thyroid
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
CytomelSynthroidArmour Thyroid
Risk factors for serious side effects
CytomelSynthroidArmour Thyroid
  • Current heart disease
  • Age 60 or older
  • Taking Cytomel (Liothyronine) with certain types of stimulant medicines
  • Diabetes
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • Current heart disease
  • Age 60 or older
  • Taking Synthroid (Levothyroxine) with certain types of stimulant medicines
  • Duration of treatment
  • Postmenopausal women
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • Taking Armour Thyroid (Thyroid Hormone) for weight loss
  • Diabetes
  • Taking blood thinners
Detailed risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people haven’t found any risk to unborn babies in the first trimester. There’s no evidence of risk later in pregnancy, either.

Research studies with real people haven’t found any risk to unborn babies in the first trimester. There’s no evidence of risk later in pregnancy, either.

Research studies with real people haven’t found any risk to unborn babies in the first trimester. There’s no evidence of risk later in pregnancy, either.

Interactions
CytomelSynthroidArmour Thyroid
  • Cytomel (Liothyronine) has many food and drug interactions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you make any changes or start a new medicine.
  • Many medicines interact with Cytomel (Liothyronine). You may need your dose adjusted, especially if they are "narrow" therapy medicines like warfarin. Let your doctor and pharmacist know if you are taking any new prescriptions or over-the-counter medicines.
  • Lots of drug interactions, so check with your pharmacist before taking anything new.
  • Many medicines interact with Synthroid (Levothyroxine). You may need your dose adjusted, especially if they are "narrow" therapy medicines like warfarin. Let your doctor and pharmacist know if you are taking any new prescriptions or over-the-counter medicines.
No interactions related info.
Food
CytomelSynthroidArmour Thyroid
  • Cytomel (Liothyronine) has many food and drug interactions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you make any changes or start a new medicine.
  • Food prevents Levothyroxine absorption. Take it on an empty stomach with a full glass of water at least 30 minutes before breakfast and other medicines. If this is too much of a hassle for you and you end up skipping your medicine, it's better to just take it whenever you want, and your doctor can increase the dose if needed.
No food related info.
Weight
CytomelSynthroidArmour Thyroid
  • Don't take Cytomel (Liothyronine) for weight loss or obesity. It’s not recommended, safe or effective for this use, especially if you don't have problems with your thyroid. Taking high doses of Cytomel (Liothyronine) can cause serious effects, especially if used with other medications for weight loss. Talk to your doctor about other medicines you can take to treat your condition.
  • don't take Synthroid (Levothyroxine) for weight loss or obesity. It’s not recommended, safe or effective for this use, especially if you don't have any issues with your thyroid. Taking high doses of Synthroid (Levothyroxine) can cause serious or fatal effects especially if used with other medications for weight loss. Talk to your doctor before about other medicines you can take to treat your condition.
  • It is not recommended to take Armour Thyroid (Thyroid Hormone) for weight loss if your thyroid is working normally. You can get an overdose of thyroid hormone, which can be toxic or even deadly, especially if you are on other medications for losing weight. Talk to your doctor for suggestions to lose weight safely. Symptoms of increased thyroid hormone include irregular heartbeat, tremors, insomnia, vomiting or restlessness.
Upsides and benefits
CytomelSynthroidArmour Thyroid
  • Cytomel (Liothyronine) supplies an important hormone that your body needs to grow and develop.
  • Safe during pregnancy.
  • Available in generic.
  • Supplies an essential hormone that your body needs to function. Works well to improve symptoms of an underactive thyroid.
  • Safe to use for any age range and pregnant women.
  • Cheap.
  • Made from animal sources (pigs), so it's considered natural.
Downsides and risks
CytomelSynthroidArmour Thyroid
  • You may need frequent dose adjustments when you first start taking Cytomel (Liothyronine) or if your health changes.
  • Periodic blood tests are needed to make sure you're getting the right dose.
  • Cytomel (Liothyronine) supplies one type of thyroid hormone, which may not be right for everyone.
  • Cytomel (Liothyronine) has many food and drug interactions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you make any changes or start a new medicine.
  • Absorption is easily affected by food and other medicines.
  • Not one-dose-fits-all: Dose adjustments are usually needed when starting the medicine and when your health changes.
  • Routine blood tests are needed at least yearly and more during dose adjustments, but it takes a long time to see full effect (6 to 8 weeks).
  • Different brands of Levothyroxine may not work the same. Ask your pharmacist if your refill looks different than your old pills. Synthroid is one of the few drugs where the brand really does work better than the generic for many people.
  • Lots of drug interactions, so check with your pharmacist before taking anything new.
  • Not recommended by doctors because of the inconsistency of thyroid hormone in each tablets, and the fact that it hasn't been studied as much as similar medications.
  • Not available in generic.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CytomelSynthroidArmour Thyroid
  • Full effects may take a few weeks. Continue taking Cytomel (Liothyronine) even if you don't feel better right away. Talk to your doctor before making any changes.
  • You'll need blood tests to see if you're on the right dose of Cytomel (Liothyronine). Your doctor may adjust your dose every 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Taking calcium with Cytomel (Liothyronine) may lower your thyroid hormones. If you take calcium, separate taking it and Cytomel (Liothyronine) by at least 4 hours.
  • Try to take Cytomel (Liothyronine) at the same time each day.
  • This is one of the few drugs where the brand really does work better than the generic for some people.
  • Food prevents Levothyroxine absorption. Take it on an empty stomach with a full glass of water at least 30 minutes before breakfast and other medicines. If this is too much of a hassle for you and you end up skipping your medicine, it's better to just take it whenever you want, and your doctor can increase the dose if needed.
  • Separate by at least 4 hours from any antacids, calcium or iron supplements, and multivitamins.
  • Starts working in 1 to 2 weeks. Full effects in 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Can cause irregular heart rate, anxiety, sweating, or trouble sleeping until your body gets used to the medicine. Side effects might not go away if the dose is too high for you.
  • Requires regular blood tests.
  • Not all generics and brands are the same. Double-check with your pharmacist that you have the right medicine for you.
  • Take on an empty stomach.
  • Take at the same time every day.
  • Space out colestipol or cholestyramine by at least 4 hours.
Learn more
More about CytomelSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cytomel (Liothyronine)?
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More about SynthroidSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Synthroid (Levothyroxine)?
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More about Armour ThyroidSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Armour Thyroid (Thyroid Hormone)?
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