Richard L. Shames MD.

The desiccated thyroid shortage is, for many people, rapidly becoming a thyroid crisis. BUT keep in mind, this crisis could be a time of opportunity for you to find something that works even better than what you are currently using.

First,  ask yourself, “in what category of thyroid patients am I”? Ask yourself honestly if your thyroid medicine is working perfectly well, or if there is definite room for improvement. We have useful information for people in both categories.

If you have wanted your medicine to work better, this is a perfect time to (re) test your thyroid levels for more current results if it has been more than 3 months since last testing..  More accurate testing will allow you to get more accurate dosing, with perhaps a slightly new regimen that might perform much better than your current prescription.

How to do this? Simply self-order a home test kit online. Log onto CanaryClub and follow step-by-step instructions for either the “His AdvancedPlus” or the "AdvancedPlus” test.  

If you are perfectly happy with your prescription for natural desiccated thyroid (Armour, Nature-Throid, Westhroid, etc), here are our suggestions if your pharmacy alerts you that they cannot fill your prescription because the medicine is unavailable.

  • Be aware that this shortage is liable to be temporary, perhaps only for a few months time
  • Clarify with your pharmacy exactly what they are unable to obtain.

Many pharmacies presently cannot get certain doses of Armour, but may be able to substitute other dosages if the prescription is written so as to allow such substitutions. While they may be completely out of Armour, they could have Naturethroid, Westhroid, or some generic desiccated thyroid. (Have your prescriber write your prescription for desiccated thyroid as broadly as possible.

For instance, “desiccated thyroid, 1 grain” could be filled with a generic, or with any of the others mentioned above.

If no luck with above, next step is to try another pharmacy. If that does not work, you may try a Canadian pharmacy, or a local, alternative medicine doctor's office that might have a supply for office dispensing.

If unsuccessful, tell your prescriber to re-write the prescription as “compounded desiccated thyroid” at same exact dosage as before. Many compounding pharmacies have the appropriate raw material for making up natural thyroid pills just for you at the exact dosage you were taking previously. 

If you cannot find any desiccated thyroid at all, anywhere, temporarily have your prescriber write a new prescription for (2)separate bottles, one of T3 and one of T4. To ensure the exact same amount of these two ingredients as you were taking, have prescriber write “compounded” on the prescription, and have  the prescription state the #of mg f T3 and of T4 that were in your Armour dosage. Have it filled at a compounding pharmacy. Less costly but possibly less accurate dosing is available from off the shelf T3 and T4 (with a new prescription for Cytomel  and Synthroid respectively.Whether you take the synthetic as a compounded preparation or whether it is off the shelf, synthetic thyroid is best augmented with natural thyroid and specific vitamins as follows:

  • One pill daily of a natural over the counter thyroid glandular such as Xymogen's T-150.
  • Extra vitamins and minerals can be supplied with Xymogen MedCaps T3, also take one daily.

You may order these from Xymogen through the Canary Club..

We wish for you to get through this (hopefully) temporary time with grace and ease, and even perhaps finding through the crisis something that works well for you, possibly even better than before.


Richard L. Shames MD
Karilee H. Shames PhD, RN, A-HNC




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The Canary Club is an educational advisory group with a team of medical advisors headed by Richard Shames, M.D.