The thyroid is a tiny butterfly shaped gland in the neck that is made up of two distincl lobes. The thyroid gland predominantly produces thyroxine (T4) which is converted to the
active fonn of thyroid honn one, triiodothyrooine (T3), primarily in the liver.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition where the thyroid is overactive in producing thyroid hormone. Hyper thyroidism can be brought on by ge nelic condi tions, an autoimmunedisease that makes the body attack its own thyroid, or it can be exacerbated from tumors in the reproductive glands. The symptoms of a hyperactive thyroid are an unusu ally large appetite, nervousness, anxiety, weight loss, nausea, vomiting and dry hair and skin.
Hypothyroidis m is defined as low levels of th yro id hormone caused by an underactive thyroid gland that is incapable of producing e nough T4 to keep the body optimally function ing or bas difficulty converting T4 into the active fonn, T3. Some common causes of hypothyroidism include cancer, removal of the thyroid g land, autoimmune diseases, environmental toxins and radiation therapy. Some factors affecting the conversion of T4 to T3 include liver disease, nutrient deficien cies, medications and stress. When thyroid hormone levels fall too low, the body’s processes tend to slow down causing symptoms, such as sen sitivity to cold, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, brittle nails, depression and swollen, puffy eyes.
While the most common test for thyroid disorders is a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) level, there are other levels that should be reviewed in order to have a complete picture of thyroid function. It is impo rtant to also look at free T3 and T4 levels, reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies.
Compounded Thyroid Medications vsManufactured Pharmaceuticals
While prescribing manufactured T4 (i.e. Synthroid) may help for most hypothyroid patients, it may not address every patient’s needs. For patients who have difficulty converting T4 to T3, they get the mosl benefit from the addition of both T4 and T3. Again, it is vitally important to look at each patie nt on an individ ual basis and prescribe according to that patient’s specific levels. A tailo red regimen for addressing a patient’s thyro id function is ideal.
This can easily be accomplished by a compounding pharmacist collaborating with the patient’s physi cian in tailoring a regimen to the specific needs of the palient. Compounded thyroid medications contain a specific ratio of T4 and T3 based on patient lab values.
Commercia lly available thyroid medications contain fillers and excipients that may not be well tolerated by all patients. Through compounding, these fillers and excipients can be removed, allowing patie nts to receive the benefits without the reactions to these additives. Furthermore, many patients experience side effects from manufactured thyroid medications since they are immediate release and are formulated to release the active drug, in this case thyroid hormone, immediately after oral ad ministration. This sudden increase of thyroid honnone can cause side effects, such as heart palpitations and flushing. A compounding pharmacy, however, can compound thyroid hormone as a sustained release caps ule. A sustained release capsule is designed to release the active drug at a predetermined rate in order to maintain a constant drug conce ntration for a specific period of time with minimum s ide effects.
It is important to choose a reputable compound ing pharmacy when having any medication com pounded, including thyroid hormone. Misirx Pha rmacy has achieved PCAB acc reditation. The Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) only grants accreditatio n to those pharmacies that pass a set of rigorous standards, including using only high quality pharmaceuti cal grade chemicals, frequent ly testing finished products to ensure potency and purity, passing a thorough on-site inspection and continually training and educating its pharmacists a nd tech nicians.