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Synthroid Alternatives

(Levothyroxine)

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Compare Synthroid (Levothyroxine) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Synthroid (Levothyroxine) or used for similar purposes.

Synthroid
(Levothyroxine)

Armour Thyroid
(Thyroid Hormone)

Cytomel
(Liothyronine)

Thyrolar
(Liothyronine / Levothyroxine)

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.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.Coming soon.
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Reviews & ratings
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5.60036832412523Synthroid
Reviews for Synthroid (Levothyroxine)
74%
of people say Synthroid (Levothyroxine) is worth it
62%
say it works well
10%
say it's a big hassle

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Side effects
SynthroidArmour thyroidCytomelThyrolar

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 »

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

FDA side effect reports for Cytomel »

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

FDA side effect reports for Thyrolar »
How it works
SynthroidArmour thyroidCytomelThyrolar
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.Cytomel (Liothyronine) is a synthetic form of thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland makes hormones that are important for body metabolism, growth, and development.Coming soon.
Type of medication
SynthroidArmour thyroidCytomelThyrolar
Thyroid supplementPrescription only
Thyroid supplementPrescription only
Thyroid supplementPrescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
SynthroidArmour thyroidCytomelThyrolar
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Used for (click to learn more)
SynthroidArmour thyroidCytomelThyrolar
    Risk factors for serious side effects
    SynthroidArmour thyroidCytomelThyrolar
    • Current heart disease
    • Age 60 or older
    • Taking Synthroid (Levothyroxine) with certain types of stimulant medicines
        • Duration of treatment
        • Postmenopausal women
          Detailed Synthroid (Levothyroxine) risks & warnings »
          Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.
          Pregnancy category
          SynthroidArmour thyroidCytomelThyrolar
          AFDA pregnancy category (Safe)

          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.

          See the FDA package insert
          AFDA pregnancy category (Safe)

          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.

          See the FDA package insert
          AFDA pregnancy category (Safe)

          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.

          See the FDA package insert
          AFDA pregnancy category (Safe)

          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.

          See the FDA package insert
          Alcohol
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          Food
          • Absorption is easily affected by food and other medicines.
          • 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 specific food-related info.
          • Cytomel (Liothyronine) has many food and drug interactions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you make any changes or start a new medicine.
          No specific food-related info.
          Kidneys and liver
          No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
          Sex
          No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
          Sleep
          • 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.
          No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
          Weight
          • 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.
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          SynthroidArmour thyroidCytomelThyrolar
          • 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.
          • Cytomel (Liothyronine) supplies an important hormone that your body needs to grow and develop.
          • Safe during pregnancy.
          • Available in generic.
          Coming soon.
          Downsides and risks
          SynthroidArmour thyroidCytomelThyrolar
          • 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.
          • 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.
          Coming soon.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          SynthroidArmour thyroidCytomelThyrolar
          • 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.
          • 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.
          Coming soon.
          Learn more
          More about SynthroidSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about Armour thyroidSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
          More about CytomelSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
          More about ThyrolarSide effectsFDA package insert