What is Armour Thyroid?
Armour Thyroid is the brand name for selling the natural desiccated (dried) thyroid. The doctors prescribe this medication to treat hypothyroidism. Desiccated (dried) thyroid contains a combination of hormones that your thyroid gland produces typically to maintain the body’s energy and metabolism. You can use the desiccated thyroid when the thyroid does not make enough of this hormone on its own.
Desiccated thyroid treats hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone). This medicine can treat or prevent goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), and doctors often give this drug for medical tests for thyroid disorders.
Dried animal thyroid glands, usually of a pig, is used to make natural desiccated thyroid.
Avoid using this medication to treat obesity or weight problems. You may use desiccated thyroid for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Avoid using Armour Thyroid if you have a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis or an adrenal gland problem that cannot be controlled by treatment.
Consult your doctor if you have signs of thyroid toxicity, such as chest pain, feeling hot or nervous, fast or pounding heartbeats, or sweating more than usual.
What to know before taking Armour Thyroid?
Almost anyone can take desiccated thyroid since thyroid hormone occurs naturally in the body. However, avoid using this medication if you have a thyroid disorder called thyrotoxicosis or an adrenal gland problem that cannot be controlled by treatment.
For ensuring desiccated thyroid is safe for you, let your doctor know if you have:
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart disease
- Congestive heart failure
- Angina (chest pain)
- Problems with your adrenal gland
- Any diabetes
Desiccated thyroid is not harmful to an unborn baby, but you may need to differ your dosage during pregnancy. Consult your doctor if you become pregnant while taking this medicine.
Small amounts of desiccated thyroid can pass into breast milk, but this does not harm a nursing baby. Try consulting a doctor about potential risks that can occur if you are breast-feeding a baby while using this medicine.
How to take Armour Thyroid?
Follow all directions on the prescription label before consuming this medicine. Your doctor might occasionally change the recommended dose to ensure you get the best result. However, don’t try to modify the dosage without consulting your doctor. Avoid consuming for longer than recommended.
You may need frequent blood tests while using desiccated thyroid.
Try to keep using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. Your doctor may recommend you to take thyroid medication for the rest of your life.
Call your doctor if you notice any thyroid toxicity signs, such as chest pain, feeling hot or nervous, fast or pounding heartbeats, or sweating more than usual.
Tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using desiccated thyroid if you need surgery. Your doctor may advise stopping using the medicine for a short time.
Store the medication at average room temperature away from heat and moisture.
Armour Thyroid dosage
You should take Armour Thyroid orally once daily. The dosage requirements may differ individually based on patient needs. Dosage is usually kept low at the beginning of treatment so that your body can accustom itself to it.
In case you accidentally missed a dosage, avoid taking two pills at once. Just continue with your medication normally.
In severe emergency conditions, doctors may inject levothyroxine sodium (T4) in veins when oral administration is not feasible or desirable. Similar is the case in the treatment of myxedema coma or during total parenteral nutrition. Intramuscular administration is not advisable because of reported low absorption.
- The usual starting dose is 30 mg.
- Doctors may increment the dosage to 15 mg every 2 to 3 weeks.
- A lower starting dosage of 15 mg/day in patients with long-standing myxedema.
- The maintenance dosage is between 60 to 120 mg/day.
- The usual starting dose is 400 mcg (100 mcg/mL).
- Follow this initial dose with daily supplements of 100 to 200 mcg.
Thyroid Suppression Therapy
- The usual suppressive dose is 1.56 mcg/kg of body weight per day for 7 to 10 days.
- For age 0 to 6 months, the dose per day is 15-30 mg, and the daily dose per kg of body weight is 4.8-6 mg.
- For age 6 to 12 months, the dose per day is 30-45 mg, and the daily dose per kg of body weight is 3.6-4.8 mg.
- For ages 1 to 5 years, the dose per day is 45-60 mg, and the daily dose per kg of body weight is 3-3.6 mg.
- For ages 6 to 12 years, the dose per day is 60-90 mg, and the daily dose per kg of body weight is 2.4-3 mg.
- For ages over 12 years, the dose per day is over 90 mg, and the daily dose per kg of body weight is 1.2-1.8 mg.
In case of an overdose, seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What to avoid while using Armour Thyroid?
You should avoid taking these medications within 4 hours before or after you take Armour Thyroid:
- Cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran)
- Colestipol (Colestid)
Try avoiding taking an antacid within 4 hours before or after you take Armour Thyroid. Some antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb Armour Thyroid.
Armour Thyroid side effects
Along with its needed effects, Armour Thyroid may cause some undesired effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do appear, then get emergency medical attention.
Immediately seek emergency help if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking Armour thyroid:
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Hand tremors
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in menstrual periods
- Chest pain
- Leg cramps
- Sensitivity to heat
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight loss
What drugs can interact with Armour Thyroid?
Make sure to aware your doctor about all medicines you are using before you start taking this drug, and also those drugs that you start or stop using during your treatment with Armour Thyroid, specifically:
- Insulin or diabetes medication that you take orally
- A blood thinner such as Coumadin, Warfarin, Jantoven
- Birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
- Medicines that contain iodine (such as I-131)
- Steroids such as prednisone and others
- Salicylates such as aspirin, Nuprin Backache Caplet, Kaopectate, KneeRelief, Pamprin Cramp Formula, Pepto-Bismol, Tricosal, Trilisate
The above list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with Armour Thyroid, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. All possible interactions have not been in this medication guide.