Getting a specific brand of levothyroxine

Whilst it's extremely unusual to have reactions to levothyroxine itself, some people cannot tolerate some of the excipients (fillers) used in tablets. These include ingredients such as lactose or mannitol.

This has been recognised in the MHRA levothyroxine prescribing guidance. This allows healthcare professionals to consider consistently prescribing a specific formulation known to be well tolerated by the patient.

If you are experiencing persistent problems with side effects of levothyroxine, we would suggest you discuss this guidance with your healthcare professional and also to report any adverse effects to the MHRA Yellow Card system.

However, please be aware that supply problems and buying policies of pharmacies mean that having a certain brand prescribed does not unfortunately guarantee you will be always be able to get hold of your prescribed brand.

Many brands have virtually identical ingredients and are often made by the same manufacturer. If you  are concerned about a change of brand, we would recommend you compare the ingredients of each formulation. You can find these in the patient leaflet that comes with the brand. Alternatively, you can ask your pharmacist