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Which Thyroid Medication is Best?

Do you take Thyroid Medication?

If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, it is likely that you will be offered medication.

Here’s a quick summary of top thyroid medications along with my recommendations.

I have been taking thyroid medication for a number of years and along the way I have learned that some of the “inactive” ingredients can actually be introducing toxins, corn and gluten.

These “inactive” ingredients are important when considering a medication. Another important issue is synthetic vs. natural.

This article will help you understand some of these issues.



Synthetic Thyroid Medication

Synthroid (levothyroxine sodium) is synthetic, providing only inactive thyroid hormone (T4).

It contains corn and lactose ingredients.

It also contains junk ingredients including dye, Acacia, confectioner’s sugar (contains corn starch), lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, povidone, and talc.



Along with synthetic T4, a doctor MAY add in synthetic T3 like Cytomel (Liothyronine Sodium). This is better than taking Synthroid alone and hoping that your body can produce enough active hormone from just the added T4. The inactive ingredients are troubling.

Inactive ingredients in Cytomel include calcium sulfate, gelatin, starch, stearic acid, sucrose and talc.

Cytomel has starch which is likely to contain gluten.


There are health risks to taking a T4-only synthetic medication, more info here about the cancer connection:


Natural Thyroid Medication

EmptyPillBottle-WPThyroid_v3I recommend that you ask your doctor for a natural thyroid prescription (examples include Armour, Nature-throid and WP Thyroid).

Natural thyroid medication is as close to your own thyroid hormone as possible giving you T4 and the active hormone T3. It is desiccated porcine thyroid.

WP Thyroid

After much investigation I requested that my physician change my medication to WP Thyroid for a few reasons.

  1. The added inactive ingredients are clean: inulin from chicory root and Medium Chain Triglycerides from coconut. (Trace amounts of Lactose Monohydrate*)
  2. T4 & T3 replacement hormones (desiccated porcine thyroid)
  3. Thyroid cofactors (T1, T2, calcitonin and iodine) naturally occur in trace amounts
  4. Gluten free
  5. Available in 8 strengths
  6. The clean, uncoated tablet does not contain any artificial colors or flavors, corn, peanut, rice, gluten, soy, yeast, egg or fish/shellfish.

Unfortunately there are trace amounts of lactose in this medication. For me, this is not a problem.



  • Nature-Throid is made by the same company as WP Thyroid but has more added ingredients that I do not want to consume on a daily basis.
  • Other ingredients include: Colloidal Silicon Dioxide, Dicalcium Phosphate, Lactose Monohydrate*, Magnesium Stearate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Croscarmellose Sodium, Stearic Acid, Opadry II 85F19316 Clear.
  • What is the source of these ingredients? Some may be corn-based. 
  • Opadry II 85F19316 contains polyvinyl alcohol USP, talc USP and polyethylene glycol NF.

*Lactose Monohydrate: Present in traceable amount as part of Thyroid USP (diluent). For those patients who are super sensitive to lactose, these medications may not work. A natural thyroid product that does not contain lactose monohydrate is Armour Thyroid. If you are looking for a natural thyroid product that is completely dairy-free and free of other toxic ingredients then you will need to use a compounding pharmacy to get the fillers that will work for you.

Armour Thyroid

  • Armour Thyroid is also desiccate porcine thyroid.
  • Unfortunately the inactive ingredients in Armour include calcium stearate, dextrose, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate and opadry white.
  • It is dairy-free, but the dextrose and cellulose are possibly corn-based.
  • Opadry II 85F19316 contains polyvinyl alcohol USP, talc USP and polyethylene glycol NF.
  • Sodium starch glycolate is a starch. What is the source? Does it contain gluten?

How to Get the Medication You Want

  1. Access the full prescribing information for the drug you are taking (links below) and for the drug you would like to take.
  2. Print off copies for your doctor and ask for a prescription that you want.
  3. If your doctor is not familiar with the medication you want, like WP Thyroid, visit the website for a list of prescribing physicians.  This is how I found a good doctor in my area.

I Can’t Take Porcine Thyroid Medications

  • There may be reasons that you are unable or unwilling to take natural thyroid (porcine). If that is the case then most people do well combining synthetic T4 with synthetic T3.
  • Compare Thyroid Medications


Chart Source

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 10.10.07 AM


Full Prescribing Information from

WP Thyroid


Armour Thyroid


More Reading on the topic

For additional information, please read Chris Kresser’s article.