"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of generic levothyroxine made by a number of different pharmaceutical companies. The various brand name and generic tablets of levothyroxine may differ in how much levothyroxine they contain; how much of the levothyroxine is absorbed into your body; and, how much levothyroxine circulates in your body.
If your doctor has switched you from a brand name levothyroxine – such as Synthroid – to a generic version, you may experience symptoms of too much medication or not enough medication."
Excerpt from About article: Levothyroxine: Is there a difference between brand name and generic versions?
All Synthroid is levothyroxine sodium, but not all levothyroxine sodium is Synthroid.
There are several "brands" of levothyroxine sodium... Synthroid and Levoxyl are the 2 main ones. Then there are also several manufacturers of generic levothyroxine sodium.
All manufacturers are allowed a certain "tolerance", meaning their products can vary by a certain amount. Some argue that generics are not as good as brand names. While there may some variance, an 88 mcg pill should contain 88 mcg levothyroxine +- the allowed tolerance.
One of the biggest differences is the fillers/binders/dyes that each manufacturer use, which some people react to. The other big difference, as you found out, is the cost, which will be higher for a brand name than for generic.
Because it takes levothyroxine approximately 4-6 weeks to reach full potential is your blood and the T4 circulating in your system is that which you took a couple weeks ago, any immediate reaction would be caused by fillers/binders.
Some of us do just as well or better on generic levo as on name brands.
Synthroid is a brand name. The formulation has been changed several times over the years. The FDA site has information on the history of this product.
Levoxyl is not a generic. It is a brand name, just like Synthroid is. It comes from the same manufacturer every time you refill your script. Think of them like Coke and Pepsi. Both are brand names. Both are colas. Some people like one better than the other. All the other "colas" you can buy are like generic levothyroxine. Though all are cola, each has some difference ingredients in it, like dyes, etc., depending on who makes them.
As Barb said, brand name versus generic comes with a huge price increase. However, as far as thyroid meds are concerned, different people react differently to the inactive (fillers and binders) ingredients in the different tablets. So, the advice is always "if you find something that works for you, stick with it".
You've already had a bad experience with generics. I guess you have to decide if it's worth $68 to possibly repeat that bad experience.
I should have added that if you have your doctor rewrite your script you could save half the cost of either script. Ask your doctor to write your script for double the strength, e.g. if you take 100 mcg, ask him to write the script for 200 mcg, with instructions to take 1/2 a pill per day. 45 pills will then last you 90 days, and you will only pay half as much for the 45 pills as you paid for the 90.
My doctor changed me to Levoxyl from Synthroid and I had such a allergic reaction , needless to say back on Synthroid. I am allergic to the fillers In meds.. My body just cannot handle generics if switched from name brand.