Synthroid Controversy - The Implications

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Viewer Question:
We heard on the radio that Synthroid might be recalled. We did not hear about the possible negative implications of the drug. Do you have any information on this. What might be the alternative, especially when the drug does make a difference? What about the non-generic alternative, Levoxyl.....does the recall involve this drug too?
Two Users

Doctor's Response:
My understanding of this situation is that it is simply one of rules and regulations. While Synthroid has been on the market for over 40 years, it has never been officially approved by the FDA. Other synthetic thyroid hormones such as Levoxyl have received FDA approval. Even though synthroid has been a well tolerated medication with a good safety profile, and has been used in millions of people in all age groups, the pharmaceutical companies really cannot make these claims of safety and efficacy without going through the rigorous testing demanded by the FDA. There is a move to have a patient petition presented to avoid taking Synthroid off the market.

What does this mean? If you are on Synthroid and it is taken off the market, you will be placed on another brand of thyroid replacement such as Levoxyl. The conversion to this medication is very easy. Regarding past exposure to Synthroid, it is highly doubtful that you will need to worry about anything. If you are on Synthroid and it stays on the market, nothing should change regarding your thyroid management.

I hope this helps answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for your question.

Medical Author: Ruchi Mathur, M.D.

Last Editorial Review: 3/7/2003

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