Quick Digest: Are Thyroid Medications Expensive?
- Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and thyroid cancer are conditions that can affect the production of essential hormones and require medication.
- The price of thyroid medication depends on your dosage, whether you get a name brand or generic drug, and the pharmacy you get your medication from.
- Medication for hyperthyroidism can range from about $4 - $93 and medication for hypothyroidism can range from about $16 - $25 for 30 tablets.
- MiraRx gives you access to discount codes for prescription drugs so you can get your thyroid medications at a reduced cost.
Note: This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for receiving medical care. If you are in an emergency situation, call 911 or go to the closest emergency room. If you have questions about thyroid conditions, symptoms, or medication, you should contact your provider.
What is the thyroid gland?
The thyroid is a gland located at the front of your neck that produces hormones that regulate many bodily functions. For example, the thyroid gland is responsible for temperature regulation, heart rate, brain development, and metabolism.
The names of the hormones that the thyroid gland produces are triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
Conditions that affect the thyroid gland
The most common problems with the thyroid gland are hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and thyroid cancer. These medical conditions will likely require medication.
Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is producing an overabundance of hormones. Some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism include but are not limited to weight loss, rapid or irregular heart rate, change in menstrual or bowel patterns, and enlarged thyroid gland.
Some diseases that can cause hyperthyroidism include:
- Grave’s disease
- Plummer’s disease
According to Johns Hopkins, the following medications are often used to treat people with hypothyroidism by supplementing hormone production:
- Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Euthyrox, Levo-T, Levoxyl, Unithroid)
- Liothyronine (Cytomel)
- Natural thyroid (Nature-throid, Westhroid)
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones needed by the body. Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism include but are not limited to fatigue, weight gain, puffy face, thinning hair, impaired memory, and enlarged thyroid gland.
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Some conditions that can cause someone to develop hypothyroidism include:
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Response to treatment for hyperthyroidism
- Radiation to treat cancer in the head and neck
- Thyroid surgery
- Medications, such as lithium
The following medications are sometimes used to treat hyperthyroidism by slowing down the production of certain hormones to regulate thyroid hormone levels:
- Propylthiouracil (PTU)
- Methimazole (Tapezole)
Thyroid Cancer occurs when a tumor forms on your thyroid gland. Some symptoms of thyroid cancer include a lump on your neck (thyroid nodules), difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, pain in your neck, and difficulty swallowing. It is unclear what causes thyroid cancer, but exposure to high levels of radiation and genetics may increase your risk.
Below are some of the types of thyroid cancer:
- Papillary thyroid cancer
- Follicular thyroid cancer
- Anaplastic thyroid cancer
- Medullary thyroid cancer
How much do thyroid medications cost without insurance?
It is important to consult your health care provider about what medication is best to treat your thyroid condition. The price of medications depends on what type of medication you get, the dosage, the form of medication, if you get a generic or name brand medication, and where you live.
Cost of Common Medications for Hyperthyroidism
Generic or Brand
Average Retail Price
|Levoxyl||Brand||50 mcg||30 tablets|
|Synthroid||Brand||50 mcg||30 tablets|
|Unithroid||Brand||50 mcg||30 tablets|
|Liothyronine||Generic||5 mcg||30 tablets|
|Cytomel||Brand||5 mcg||30 tablets|
|Nature-Throid||Generic||65 mcg||30 tablets|
|Westhroid||Generic||65 mcg||30 tablets|
Cost of Common Medications for Hypothyroidism
Generic or Brand
Average Retail Price
|Propylthiouracil||Generic||50 mcg||30 tablets|
|Methimazole||Generic||5 mcg||30 tablets|
Ways to get thyroid medications at a lower cost
It is clear that medication to treat thyroid disorders can be expensive. Here are some ways that you can get these medications at the lowest cost:
- MiraRx: through Mira’s Prescription Portal you can enter the name of the medication you need and your location. You will then be presented with coupons you can use to get your medication for a discounted price. For example, you can get Propylthiouracil, which is about $148.13 for only $42.15 by using MiraRx.
- Look for generic medications: generic medications can be significantly cheaper than their name-brand counterparts. If your doctor prescribes you a name-brand medication, you can ask if there is a generic medication you can take as a substitute. Sometimes there are differences between name brand and generic medications, but in many cases, the generic version of the medication is just as effective and can be substituted for the name brand.
- Check the price at different locations: pharmacies may offer the same medication at different prices. Therefore, you can call some of your local pharmacies or use MiraRx to see how much your medication will cost at different locations.