Synthroid or levothyroxine. Which is better?
What is Levothyroxine?
Levothyroxine is a generic version of Synthroid, Levoxyl, Unithyroid, Tirosint, and Euthyrox, among other names. Both generic and brand name medications are used to treat “hypothyroidism”, a condition where your body is not producing enough “thyroid hormone”. Your thyroid hormones control many of your bodily functions, so not having enough can cause many problems. Levothyroxine is the go-to treatment for hypothyroidism and works by “replacing” the missing thyroid hormones in your body.
Levothyroxine comes in a wide range of doses. This may be confusing to some people.
What is the normal dose?
There is no “normal” dose, and patients are often prescribed a few different doses before they find which one works best for them. Patients usually start at the lowest dose and work their way up until they find the right dose. Even a small change makes a big difference, which is why there are many different doses available for levothyroxine.
Is a higher dose more expensive?
The price of levothyroxine can vary greatly depending on the dose. This can be frustrating as the dose that works for you may be far more expensive than other available doses.
Levothyroxine 75 mcg: $12–$25
Levothyroxine 300 mcg: $18–$48
If you are on levothyroxine 300 mcg you could be paying almost double the price of 75 mcg
With coupons and online pharmacy options you can get levothyroxine at affordable prices between $4 and $13. You should pay attention to available doses though. Often these prices don’t include 300 mcg and you will see a price jump for it.
We keep one price for levothyroxine regardless of the dose.
At Marley Drug a 75 mcg dose costs the same as a 300 mcg dose. This gives you the flexibility in choosing the right dose for you without worrying about any additional costs! Levothyroxine is on our Wholesale Price List: .
Generic Levothyroxine vs Synthroid
Levothyroxine is available as either brand name (e.g. Synthroid) or generic versions. Neither the brand name nor generic levothyroxine is better than the other. It depends on individuals. Although the active ingredient—levothyroxine sodium—is the same, the inactive ingredients can affect how your body absorbs the medication. Once you’ve found the right one for you it’s best to stick with it for consistency.
There is also cost to consider. Many patients are unknowingly paying more by choosing the brand name product.
With a Synthroid Savings Card patients are paying $25 per month, and without the card a whopping $52–$79 per month! That means you could be paying more for one month of Synthroid than for 12 months of generic levothyroxine at Marley Drug.
Why you should stick to the same manufacturer of Levothyroxine
Levothyroxine has a narrow therapeutic range, which means that small changes in the medication ingredients or dosages can alter how well the medication works for you. Because of this, it’s recommended to use the same manufacturer for levothyroxine each time.
When you get a generic version of levothyroxine at a typical pharmacy, the pharmacist has multiple generic products to choose from. Patients can’t be sure that they are getting the same generic every time they refill the prescription.
Getting a 6- or 12-month supply ensures consistency with the formula of levothyroxine and allows you to be sure you are staying at the same dose for the best possible effect of the medication
Switching from Synthroid to Generic Levothyroxine?
While it is not recommended to change back and forth between generic and brand name, it is completely fine to switch from one to the other. However, when switching from brand to generic it’s best to talk with your healthcare provider first, so you can monitor any potential changes in your thyroid levels.
Why filling in longer supply is better for you
Levothyroxine is usually taken for life. Once you’re on a steady dose, filling in longer supply means you will have access to a consistent supply of medication from the same drug manufacturer. This ensures consistency in the medication you’re taking.
It also means:
- Fewer pharmacy visits
- You'll experience less hassle
- You'll have lower out-of-pocket costs for you
Prices mentioned in this article are based on average retail price at major box chain pharmacy in the U.S. as of June 19, 2022.