Armour Update

For those who are interested I have done some research with the help of my functional medicine doctor, Rob Bruley in to the formula changes of Armour Thyroid. As there is quite the buzz about this at the site I think it is good for all of us who take Armour Thyroid to be informed.
Forest Pharmaceutical did willingly talk to Rob Bruley, M.D. and told him there was a formula change within the last year. They did not change any of the active or inactive ingredients. What they did change was the amounts of two inactive ingredients. They decreased the amount of anhydrous dextrose and increased the amount of cellulose. Rob said that the increased amount of cellulose may have the effect of increasing the thyroid effect from a given dosage as I have had to really decrease my dosage of Armour Thyroid.
I had asked Rob about taking it sublingually as recommended at STTM, so he posed the question to them. They responded that they are asked this question frequently but they have no data to prove or disprove relative absorption of the product sublingually vs. swallowing. Therefore, they cannot endorse this route of administration. They say it was never intended to be taken sublingually. Rob also asked about gluten and they said it is gluten free (hurrah!). They also said they use no dyes because they use titanium dioxide as a lightener.
Now I conclude from all of this that one can still take it sublingually if desired, and I do most of the time. However, I also think that it is entirely possible that they tweaked the amount of anhydrous dextrose just enough to make the taste less pallatible when taken sublingually because they know people are doing it and they don’t want to be sued for misuse of the product. We are, after all, a very litigious society and they do have to cover their butts (pardon the expression).
If anything the increased cellulose should cause it to be better absorbed as the tablet will get to the stomach more intact and I know from using cellulose caplets that the cellulose disappears after just a few seconds in water, so it clearly will not last long in stomach acid.
Another issue a person could have with sublingual adminstration is a burst of T3 when you take it and a sudden drop in energy a short time later. As there are days when I don’t want to bother with taking it several times I find swallowing it and getting a slower release easier.
I hope this information is helpful and fairly presented. Please leave any questions or statements by clicking on “comments” and I would love to share what you have to say with other readers.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by kookaburra on 18:07 at Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    Thanks for bringing attention to these thyroid medication concerns, it’s much appreciated.


  2. Posted by Cindi on 10:40 at Thursday, May 28, 2009

    I’m one who has swallowed my Armour for 5 years. The new formulation did not work for me. I had a severe return of hypo symptoms. Mental and physical. I had tried upping my dose and lowering my dose, before i learned of the new formulation – and realized that was the problem. I switched to Nature-throid and could tell the difference in mood the very first day, so obviously the T3 in the new Armour formulation was not reaching my brain. After several weeks on Nature-throid, the multitude of hypo symptoms that returned with the new Armour formulation are all going away.

    I am really angry that Forest Pham made this change without testing it on any real people. This has been costly for me…and detrimental to my health…and didn’t have to happen. It is wonderful being on the Nature-throid and feeling like a real person again!


    • Posted by krisinsight on 11:36 at Thursday, May 28, 2009

      I am really puzzled as to why the new formulation bothered some and not others. I personally would not want them to change from the current formula as I feel great, my weight is finally starting to come off naturally, my heart palpitations that bothered me for a year and a half have all but gone away. I was on a T3, T4 combo from the compounding pharmacy prior to this and could not get my Free T3 where it belonged which means you can’t make T4 properly all the while being tortured by irregular heart beats. I started on Armour about three months ago and at first got very hyper on 3 grains (the equivalent of my compounded formula) so I cut it in half and still had a free T3 of 5.3 but a good free T4 level and a TSH of .3. I haven’t been tested for a month now but I can tell things are good for me and I am taking the newly formulated Armour Thyroid. I wonder if it could have anything to do with digestive issues or imbalanced hormones as both of those issues are non-issues for me and they used to be big problems. Anybody have any ideas?


      • Posted by Cindi on 11:52 at Thursday, May 28, 2009

        You raise a question that I’ve pondered – whether digestive issues or imbalanced hormones could be an issue. I actually just got off the phone with Forest Pharm and mentioned to them that I had had severe intestinal problems when untreated (which was for a long time); and that I wondered if perhaps that particular system is still somewhat compromised/damaged – thus my body couldn’t break down the new formulation. I am also very cautious about any food additives/chemicals…as I do react to a lot of things.

        Also, I’m post-menopausal and I’m sure sex hormones could be an issue – and I am also hypo-adrenal (don’t know if that could be another factor).

        I’m glad the new formula is working for you. But I’m just befuddled at how something that has worked so well for over 5 years for me went so horribly wrong. The people at Forest Pharm were very nice btw…but didn’t really reveal any interesting information as to what is happening with some folks.

      • Posted by krisinsight on 18:01 at Thursday, May 28, 2009

        That is fascinating Cindi. I have been trying to put the pieces together ever since Janie Bowthorpe started mentioning the problems with the new Armour formulation. My functional medicine doctor recently put me on Testosterone and Progesterone and it not only solved most of my problems with sleepless nights but seems to have helped with a number of other issues. Also I regularly make kefir out of fresh raw milk from a dairy in Wisconsin and drink it in a smoothie most mornings. Kefir is rich in probiotics and helps with digestive issues tremendously. Now I am wondering if the new formulation works perfectly with bodies that are in balance and leaves bodies that aren’t in balance out in the cold. If I were you I would try some bio-identical hormones and probiotics and see if anything that simple helps with your adrenal issue as well. After all if most of the systems in your body aren’t working properly that drains your adrenals. Thanks for adding your comment to my blog you may have helped me tremendously.

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