A recent earnings report by Forest Lab included this [my comments in square brackets]:
Separately, Forest distributes Levothroid, a synthetic levothyroxine product for the treatment of hypothyroidism [the brand i was taking], pursuant to a distribution agreement with the product’s manufacturer and holder of the product’s NDA [that’s Lloyd Pharmaceuticals]. The manufacturer has notified Forest that the FDA has indicated it has regulatory and quality concerns with respect to the facility where the product is manufactured. The manufacturer has stopped manufacturing and shipping product from its facility. At this time, Forest understands that the manufacturer is continuing to work with the FDA to address the FDA’s concerns.
Pending further details Forest has discontinued shipping Levothroid to its customers and does not know how long the product will be unavailable.
Although i was unable to find the actual FDA letter, i found a couple of enforcement reports that outlined recalls of Levothroid, the medication i was taking, at 75 mcg and at 50 mcg, though these weren’t the strengths i was taking. They found them to be subpotent! Between these recalls, the distribution issues, and the FDA concerns, i realized that i might not have been taking what i thought i was! And this would fully explain the change in my condition: If the dosage was subpotent, it would explain the rise in my test results and the symptoms i’ve been struggling with.
To me this is an example of two things:
- It shows the lack of care drug manufacturers have. Forest (and the manufacturer Lloyd Pharmaceuticals) have been in trouble with the FDA before, quite a bit actually. They don’t seem to care how this is impacting people’s health and quality of life.
- I forget about the systemic issues! I looked for answers that would explain why my hypothyroidism got triggered through something i did (or didn’t do). It didn’t even occur to me that the medication i was taking could be subpotent.
To me, it’s another lesson to remember to look at the systems, including those outside of my personal influence. And it’s time to switch medication!