Compare Armour Thyroid vs. Cytomel

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Replaces thyroid hormones.

Armour Thyroid (thyroid desiccated) can be used to treat low thyroid hormone for some people, but it's not the first-choice treatment for this condition.

Replaces thyroid hormones.

Cytomel (liothyronine) is good add-on treatment of underactive thyroid if your symptoms have not been controlled on other therapies.

Upsides
  • Armour Thyroid (thyroid desiccated) is derived from an animal source (pigs), so it's considered natural.
  • Available in cheaper generic form.
  • Even though Armour Thyroid (thyroid desiccated) isn't a first choice recommendation, some people feel better on this medicine compared to other thyroid hormone medications.
  • Acts faster than other thyroid hormone replacement therapies.
  • Safe to use during pregnancy.
Downsides
  • Armour Thyroid (thyroid desiccated) is not recommended by doctors and the American Thyroid Association because of the inconsistent amounts of thyroid hormone in each tablet and the lack of research studies.
  • FDA does not approve Armour Thyroid (thyroid desiccated); they have not found this medicine to be safe and effective.
  • Not recommended for elderly people.
  • More expensive than other thyroid hormone replacement therapies.
  • Requires frequent dose adjustments when you first start taking Cytomel (liothyronine). Periodic blood tests are needed to make sure you're getting the right dose.
  • Causes more harm to your heart than other thyroid replacement therapies.
  • Safe to use if you're allergic to other thyroid hormones made from animal products.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
The Armour Thyroid (thyroid desiccated) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Cytomel (liothyronine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Overdose of thyroid hormone
    • Taking other drugs for weight loss
  • Changes in blood sugar
    • Diabetes
  • Changes in blood clotting
    • Taking blood thinners
  • Risk of contamination
  • Increased risk of heart problems
    • Angina
    • Elderly
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Weight loss
  • Underactive adrenal glands
  • Heart problems
    • Current heart disease
    • Age 60 or older
    • Taking Cytomel (liothyronine) with certain types of stimulant medicines
  • Changes in blood sugar
    • Diabetes
  • Drug interactions
    • Taking blood thinners, insulin, birth control, antidepressants, cholestyramine
See more detailed risks and warnings