NOTE: Woodland Hills Pharmacy does not carry NP Thyroid. We offer a compounded alternative that uses the same natural desiccated thyroid ingredient.
NP Thyroid is brand-name version of Thyroid USP – a natural, desiccated porcine thyroid for treating hypothyroidism. The thyroid medication is obtained from the glands of pigs and contains all essential forms of the thyroid hormone including T4 and T3.
Who Manufactures NP Thyroid?
NP Thyroid is marketed by Acella Pharmaceuticals LLC, which is a company headquartered in Alpharetta, GA. Their focus is mainly on the manufacturing of generic drugs. NP Thyroid is one of their few branded products.
Active and Inactive Ingredients
NP Thyroid contains the same Thyroid USP active ingredient as all other natural desiccated thyroid brands. Thyroid USP is also the same active ingredient found in compounded natural thyroid. NP Thyroid has inactive ingredients that include calcium stearate, dextrose, and mineral oil. It is manufactured in tablets at a large scale, so measures need to be taken to ensure that the product is stable and reaches patients unaltered. Calcium stearate is a type of calcium that helps the tablets release from the mold they are made in. Dextrose is a simple sugar that helps counteract the distinct taste of the natural thyroid. Mineral oil can have several possible applications that it may be used for in this product.
Is NP Thyroid Generic?
Technically there is no “generic” version of Thyroid USP because there is no patent-protected, FDA-approved version that is available commercially. In the prescribing information for NP Thyroid it clearly states that “This is not an Orange Book product and has not been subjected to FDA therapeutic equivalency or other equivalency testing. No representation is made as to generic status or bioequivalency.” Because the FDA has grandfathered in natural thyroid and it has not gone through the typical FDA-approval process, all companies can manufacture and market it so long as they adhere to current FDA manufacturing standards. NP Thyroid is just one of many several brands – along with other well-known brands like Nature Throid, WP Thyroid, and Armour Thyroid – that are using the same natural thyroid ingredient with varying excipients and manufacturing processes.
Armour Thyroid, for example, contains calcium stearate, dextrose, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate and opadry white in addition to Thyroid USP. Many patients prefer WP Thyroid brand of Thyroid USP because it contains more natural additives and fillers. The inactive ingredients in WP Thyroid include inulin (from chicory root) and medium chain triglycerides (from coconut). Patients who are sensitive to inactive ingredients often choose WP Thyroid, however recently RLC Labs, the manufacturer, has been experiencing shortages of this formulation.
NP Thyroid Changes
Large groups of patients have frequently responded to changes in formulations of thyroid medication. In 2017 in France, the drug manufacturer Merck returned its thyroid medication to market only six months after changing the formulation. The French government requested that they re-introduce the old formulation after thousands of complaints came in from thyroid patients throughout the country. The company did not change the active ingredient in the formulation – only the excipients. Because of that there was little consensus as to what could be causing the response to the change. However many patients who take natural thyroid medication attest that changes in the inactive ingredients do have an effect on their hypothyroid symptoms.
Recently, patients started speaking up online about changes they noticed in the NP Thyroid tablets they were receiving. They noted changes in color, texture, and size of the tablets and worsening of the already distinct smell. This was combined with reports of worsening hypothyroid symptoms and other symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Most manufacturers will deny that any changes they made in their manufacturing may have led to symptoms, however patients continue to report side effects when a formulation changes.
Natural Compounded Thyroid
While the natural thyroid manufacturing industry seems to be in upheaval, many patients are starting to turn to compounded natural thyroid as an alternative. Compounded natural thyroid uses the same Thyroid USP found in all manufactured thyroid brands. However there are a few key differences between a compounded product and a manufactured product.
- The first is that a compounded product can be made without any of the inactive ingredients that are required for a manufactured product. A manufactured product needs to have certain additives to maintain stability through the processes of manufacturing, distributing, and storing. A compounded product is made at the pharmacy and then given directly to the patient. It is similar to the difference between something that is hand-made and something that is made in a factory.
- A compounding pharmacy obtains bulk pharmaceutical ingredients like Thyroid USP and makes them into a finished product in the lab. Because this process happens at much smaller scale, a compounding pharmacy never experiences “shortages.” At our compounding pharmacy, we do not bow to the pressure of cost-savings above patient health. We make desiccated thyroid capsules the same way, every time, using only Thyroid USP.
- The dosages of a manufactured thyroid medication are fixed, which means that if a production run of one dosage is delayed, all patients who take that dosage are affected. A compounding pharmacy makes each prescription individually, so it can be made any dosage required. When the prescription is received, it can be ¼ grain, ½ grain, 1 grain, 2 grain, or anything in between and it can still be made in the same timeframe.
Patients who are taking thyroid medication are almost always taking it long-term. If you are hypothyroid, you will likely be taking thyroid medication indefinitely. Because of the medication’s significant impact on a patient’s life, the decision about what type of thyroid to use is an important one. While many patients continue to feel well taking NP Thyroid, WP Thyroid, Nature Throid, others are noticing side effects from manufacturer changes or are having difficulty obtaining the medication. Transferring to compounded thyroid is easy and your exact dose can be translated from whichever brand you are currently taking. To learn more, feel free to contact us today to speak with one of our experience pharmacists. Click here to contact us now.