Generic Armour Thyroid
All generic versions of Armour Thyroid (thyroid USP) have been discontinued. While other drugs may contain the same active ingredients as Armour Thyroid, they may not actually be equivalent to it. Since the FDA decides which medications are equivalent, and Armour Thyroid and other thyroid USP medications have never been approved by the FDA, it is impossible to know if these products are equivalent.
Armour® Thyroid (thyroid USP) is a prescription thyroid medication. It is approved for the treatment of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), as well as a few other thyroid problems.
Armour Thyroid is manufactured by Forest Laboratories, Inc. Although generic versions were once available, they have all been discontinued.
Armour Thyroid ShortageMany people have been frustrated to find that Armour Thyroid (as well as other similar products) has been very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain lately. Apparently, there is a shortage of raw materials used to make Armour Thyroid. Some people resorted to splitting higher-strength tablets (which were available for a longer period of time than the lower-strength tablets), although the tablets are very difficult to split accurately without crumbling.
The manufacturer does not know when this medication will again become available. Until then, discuss your other treatment options with your healthcare provider.
**October 2010 Update** After an extended shortage, all strengths of this medication are once again available.
(Although generic Armour Thyroid is no longer available, some people may find the following section informative as it describes the regulatory status of Armour Thyroid and generic versions. This information may become applicable in the future, if generic versions return to the marketplace.)
Many people are unaware that many prescription medications (usually old medications) have never been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Almost always, these medications were already around before many of the laws and regulations were established.
Armour Thyroid (as well as all other thyroid USP medications) has never been approved by the FDA, despite what you may read on the Internet. Because of this lack of approval, there is no way to know if any of these products are equivalent, since the FDA makes this decision.
Some states have laws that permit generic substitution only if the FDA determines that the generic version is equivalent to the brand-name drug. In these states, generic thyroid USP products cannot be automatically dispensed in place of Armour Thyroid, unless a new prescription is obtained. Other states leave this up to the discretion of your pharmacist. Either way, many people are more comfortable staying with brand-name Armour Thyroid, especially since it is already a fairly inexpensive medication.