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December 03, 2022 7 min read

If you've been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, your doctor has likely prescribed levothyroxine. While levothyroxine is the most common treatment for hypothyroidism, NP Thyroid (thyroid tablets, USP), a natural desiccated thyroid, is also a popular alternative. This natural medicine has been shown to improve thyroid function. But what is it, how does it work, and what makes it different from other products? Keep reading to find out more!

What is NP Thyroid?

NP Thyroid is the generic brand of thyroid tablets, USP, a thyroid medication used to treat hypothyroidism. It's made from a desiccated pig thyroid gland and provides the body with a natural source of thyroid hormones. It contains both T4 and T3 hormones. This means that it can help restore levels of both hormones in your body.

Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid is a condition in which your thyroid does not produce enough of certain essential thyroid hormones. Having enough thyroid hormone is vital for maintaining normal physical and mental functioning. In children, it is crucial for their normal physical and psychological development. Symptoms of low thyroid hormone activity include fatigue, muscle aches, constipation, dry skin, unexplained weight gain, difficulty losing weight, slow heart rate, or cold sensitivity.

NP Thyroid works by replacing the thyroid hormones missing from your body, thus, easing your symptoms.

Aside from treating hypothyroidism, NP Thyroid tablets may also be used to treat other thyroid disorders (such as certain types of goiter and thyroid cancer) and check thyroid function.

Remember that you shouldn't use this medication to treat infertility or lose weight unless the problems are caused by low thyroid hormone levels. Although NP Thyroid has been used in combination with other therapeutic agents to treat obesity, it's generally not recommended because it can cause life-threatening side effects.

The dangers and advantages of this drug for older persons should be discussed with their doctor or pharmacist.

What Company Produces NP Thyroid?

NP Thyroid is produced and sold by Acella Pharmaceuticals LLC, a company with a corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia. Harold Deas is its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Their primary area of focus is the production of generic medications. NP Thyroid is one of their few branded products.

How is NP Thyroid different from levothyroxine and Armour Thyroid?

NP Thyroid and levothyroxine

NP Thyroid contains all two major thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3). Levothyroxine, on the other hand, only contains T4.

T3 is the active form of thyroid hormone that plays a significant role in metabolism. Some patients prefer NP Thyroid because it more closely resembles the body's natural thyroid hormone levels.

In addition, Acella Pharmaceuticals' NP Thyroid is considered a natural thyroid tablet because it is derived from the animal thyroid gland. The ingredients in this medicine are natural, not made in a lab. Because of its natural origin, NP Thyroid has the disadvantage of having a bad smell. Fortunately, not all Natural Desiccated Thyroid brands have this problem. Other brands like Armour Thyroid and VitaliThy don't have any noticeable smell.

NP Thyroid and Armour Thyroid

NP Thyroid and Armour Thyroid are both natural products, but there are some key differences between the two. One of the main differences is the ingredients.

NP Thyroid tablets contain the following ingredients:

  • Thyroid (USP)

  • Calcium stearate

  • Dextrose Monohydrate

  • Maltodextrin

  • Mineral oil

  • Minor amounts of calcitonin, T1, T2, thyroid cofactors and proteins

Armour Thyroid doesn't contain maltodextrin or mineral oil. Instead, it contains opadry white, sodium starch glycolate, and microcrystalline cellulose.

Even though the sole distinction between NP Thyroid and Armour Thyroid are in the inactive ingredients, some people may still notice a significant difference since in their condition the sources of the Thyroid (USP) in both products might not be the same or produced by different suppliers.

Moreover, the microcrystalline cellulose in Armour Thyroid can cause unwanted reactions in some people. This is, of course, not a problem with NP Thyroid.

How do you take NP Thyroid?

NP Thyroid from Acella Pharmaceuticals LLC must be taken as directed by your doctor, usually once daily on an empty stomach, 30 minutes to 1 hour before breakfast.

Your doctor will give the dose in accordance with your medical condition and test results. Each patient will have a different course and dose, so do not arbitrarily add more doses. For children, the dosage is also based on age/weight.

Don't forget to take it at the same time each day, and don't stop taking it without consulting your doctor first. You may need to take smaller and smaller doses before stopping it completely.

Certain medications (cholestyramine, simethicone, iron, colestipol, sodium polystyrene sulfonate, colesevelam, antacids, sucralfate, calcium carbonate, orlistat) can interact with NP Thyroid and decrease how much of the medication is absorbed by your body. Take them 4 hours before or after your NP Thyroid to avoid drug interactions.

There are many different brands of nature thyroid drugs available on the market, so don't change brands without consulting your doctor or pharmacist first. Tell your doctor if your condition worsens or persists after several weeks of taking this medicine.

What are the precautions before taking NP Thyroid?

NP Thyroid from Acella Pharmaceuticals LLC is not recommended for patients with untreated adrenal insufficiency, gross thyrotoxicosis, and hypersensitivity to any ingredient in the medication.

NP Thyroid should be used cautiously in older patients and people with cardiovascular disease. These include patients with angina pectoris or the elderly with a greater likelihood of acute cardiac disease. In these patients, therapy should not include a higher dose of NP Thyroid and must be started with low doses.

Elderly patients who have severe hypothyroidism that is untreated or undertreated may be especially vulnerable to decompensation, which could lead to a myxedema coma. That's why if you've been taking this medication, it's important to talk to your doctor first before discontinuing.

What to do if you miss a dose of NP Thyroid?

Your thyroid medication is important, and you must take it every day. But what should you do if you forget to take a dose? 

In that case, take the missed dose as soon as possible. However, be sure to take it when your stomach is empty.

If your next scheduled dose is approaching, skip the missing dose. You shouldn't take two doses at once because it may lead to an overdose.

What are the potential benefits of using NP Thyroid?

NP Thyroid is a replacement or supplemental therapy in patients with hypothyroidism of various causes, including:

  • Congenital hypothyroidism

  • Myxedema

  • Hypothyroidism in patients of any age (children, adults, the elderly) or state (including pregnancy)

  • Primary hypothyroidism resulting from functional deficiency

  • Primary atrophy

  • A partial or total absence of the thyroid gland

  • The effects of surgery, radiation, or drugs with or without the presence of goiter

  • Secondary (pituitary) or tertiary (hypothalamic) hypothyroidism

In addition to hypothyroidism treatment, NP Thyroid is used as a TSH suppressant in the treatment or prevention of various types of euthyroid goiters, including thyroid nodules, subacute or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (Hashimoto's), multinodular goiter, and in the management of thyroid cancer.


Are there any potential side effects of NP Thyroid?

Acella Pharmaceuticals list the following conditions as the potential side effects of NP Thyroid:

  • Hair loss

  • Heart palpitations

  • Weight reduction

  • Tremors

  • Headaches

  • Diarrhea

  • Migraines

  • Stomach pain

  • Puffy Face

  • Dry skin

You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the above side effects or serious injury. Your doctor may adjust your dose. 

What are the potential risks of using NP Thyroid?

More serious side effects and risks of NP Thyroid are rare. They're usually associated with an overdose. Here are the risks and adverse reactions you need to be aware of:

  • Skin rash or hives

  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing

  • Chest pain

  • Fast or pounding heartbeat

  • Inability to stand the heat

  • Extreme nervousness or irritability, tremors

  • Severe diarrhea, intense sweating

If you experience any of these risks, you should seek immediate medical help. In serious adverse events, you may need blood tests to monitor your condition.

Is it okay for pregnant women to take NP Thyroid?

No, Acella cautioned that there are serious concerns present for pregnant mothers and newborns with hypothyroidism. In those patients, the company warned of a "reasonable risk of serious damage," which might include an early miscarriage, fetal hyperthyroidism, and slowed neural and skeletal development in the womb. Therefore, always talk to your doctor first before stopping or taking NP Thyroid. You might need to take another safer thyroid medication for yourself and your baby.

Why was NP Thyroid recalled?

Acella Pharmaceuticals did a voluntary nationwide recall of certain lots of NP Thyroid in 2021. The recall was announced after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that some lots of NP Thyroid were sub-potent as they contained less medication than the labeled amount. Sub potency may result in not enough of the medication in your bloodstream.

Today, all strengths of NP Thyroid by Acella Pharmaceuticals are back available. Acella has asserted that NP Thyroid is produced by the strictest guidelines set forth by the FDA for the production of clean and safe drugs. The company stated on its bottles that the drug satisfies specific manufacturing specifications and contains a specific quantity of active ingredients in each pill.

Are there any alternatives to NP Thyroid?

If you want to switch from NP Thyroid, or if you can't find it in your nearest pharmacy, there are various alternatives you can consider. One of them is VitaliThy, a Natural Desiccated Thyroid supplement you can buy Online. It's made from pure, pharmaceutical-grade ingredients like Thyroid Powder (USP). It contains all of the hormones that a thyroid gland would normally produce, including T4, T3, T2, T1, and Calcitonin. Thus, it can effectively ease your hypothyroid symptoms like fatigue and weight problems.

Wojciech Majda
Wojciech Majda

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