What is Armour Thyroid and its Side Effects

What connection does Armour Thyroid have with hypothyroidism?

Armour Thyroid is the brand name of the natural desiccated extract of the thyroid which is used to treat the hypothyroidism condition. Hypothyroidism is the underachieve state of the thyroid. This medicine is extracted from the dried animal thyroid glands. It is mainly a natural product obtained from the thyroid glands of pigs. It works by replacing those hormones which are not produced by the thyroid gland. Hence it fills the place of deficient hormones and prevent underachieve state of thyroid and makes it reach the normal state. It also helps in managing thyroid cancer by preventing enlargement of thyroid glands.

Several different brands of thyroid supplements are available in the market by the name of Nature-Throid, Westhroid, WP Thyroid, NP Thyroid, and Armour Thyroid. Sticking to one particular brand is not mandatory, however, you must not frequently switch brands, especially without consulting your doctor.

In February 2014, the drug company Actavis took over Forest Laboratories for nearly $25 million. Forest Laboratories was the parent maker of Armour Thyroid till then.

Few warnings linked with Armour Thyroid includes:

  • It should not be used for self-treatment of obesity or any other weight-related problems.


  • Incorrect use of this medicine might cause serious fatal and even life-threatening side effects.
  • Its large doses might lead to toxicity, especially if taken in combination with any sort of diet pills.
  • This medication is not used for infertility treatment unless fertility issues are caused by low levels of thyroid hormones.

Before starting with Armour Thyroid therapy, you must speak with your doctor in case you are breastfeeding or pregnant or even if you are planning to be on the family way.

You must discuss your detailed medical history with your doctor. Including the following conditions, if any:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart problems
  • Adrenal and pituitary gland problems
  • Hyperthyroid issues in the past
  • Any type of allergies or allergic reactions experienced in the past

Diabetic patients must regularly monitor their blood sugar levels while on Armour Thyroid therapy because it causes blood sugar alterations.

This medication shows its best effective results if consumed regularly at the same time. Situations like missed dose and overdose must be, avoided with care in order to reap the best results and avoid any complications.

Temporary hair loss is normal amongst children and elderly people while on therapy. As their bodies are more sensitive towards drugs.

What are the side effects linked with Armour Thyroid?

There are minimal to no side effects with low doses of Armour Thyroid whereas with high doses of it, conditions like depression, weight gain, dry and flaky skin, and constipation etc. are very common to occur.

Its non-serious side effects include:

  • Trouble in breathing
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Irregular menstrual cycles


Its serious side effects include:

  • An allergic reaction like rash or hives, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, swelling over face, lips, tongue or mouth.
  • Changes in appetite
  • Diarrhea or increase in the frequency of bowel movements
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Fainting or feeling of it
  • Increased sensitivity towards hot
  • Nervousness
  • Tremors
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • An extreme level of weakness in the body

You must immediately seek your doctor’s advise if you notice any severe side effects affecting you while on Armour Thyroid therapy.

There is no denying that Armour Thyroid is extremely effective medicine for hypothyroidism. However, the side effects linked with it might turn out to be troublesome in rare cases. So in such extreme cases, some other alternative medicines for the same are, supposed to be taken.

Are there any alternatives for Armour Thyroid?

The original treatment for hypothyroidism includes naturally occurring desiccated thyroid obtained from animals. It has been in use for more than a century now.

However, during the middle of 1900’s a synthetic thyroxine (T4) version was, formulated. Thyroxine is, considered one of the two main thyroid hormones. Its synthetic form was termed as levothyroxine or l-thyroxine although, its functioning was same as of T4.

Although, the natural desiccated thyroid also contained two key thyroid hormones i.e. thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) along with other components found in any organic thyroid gland. Later levothyroxine became the preferred line of treatment for hypothyroidism.

Following are the few marketing brand names for levothyroxine:

  • Levoxyl
  • Tirosint
  • Synthroid
  • Unithroid


In case you are, worried about side effects, then prefer discussing it with your doctor and closing for other alternatives of Armour Thyroid. Also, discuss the pros and cons of both the drugs as well as your doctor’s preference and reason. Try to understand your doctor’s opinion since he is the best person to prescribe the medication for you after analyzing your thyroid test results. Go for easy home Thyroid Tests.

Precaution is always better and easy than a cure. So opt for regular health check-ups and keep yourself aware of your upcoming conditions. Early detection only leads to quick and effective therapy to ensure proper reversal of the conditions. Ignorance can only make the situation worse with fatal or life-threatening outcomes at times. Any kind of thyroid disorder is treatable until it reaches its extreme levels after which surgery, left as the last resource. In rarest of the rare cases, even surgery is unable to deal with the fatal condition of the patient.

Also, avoid self-medication and treatment to avoid complications. If you have hypothyroidism along with any other ailment then remember to consult your doctor before taking any medication. This is good for your health and safety. Try achieving a good balance between work and life since our hormones get, affected with may environmental factors. Always be wise in choosing a good and healthy balanced diet for a better you.

Leave a Reply