Armour Thyroid (desiccated thyroid) is a brand-name oral tablet prescribed for certain thyroid conditions in adults and some children. Armour Thyroid is typically taken once per day, but the dosage can vary by condition.
Armour Thyroid may be prescribed to treat hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels) in certain situations in adults and children. The drug is also prescribed to help manage thyroid cancer and thyroid nodules and goiters in adults.
Armour Thyroid belongs to a drug class called thyroid hormone. Armour Thyroid isn’t available in a generic version.
Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Armour Thyroid, including its strengths and how to take the medication. For a comprehensive look at Armour Thyroid, including details about its uses, see this article.
Note: This article describes typical dosages for Armour Thyroid provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Armour Thyroid, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
The information below describes Armour Thyroid’s typical dosages and other details about the drug.
Armour Thyroid form
Armour Thyroid comes as an oral tablet.
Armour Thyroid strengths
Armour Thyroid comes in many strengths:
- 15 milligrams (mg)
- 30 mg
- 60 mg
- 90 mg
- 120 mg
- 180 mg
- 240 mg
- 300 mg
Typically, your doctor will start by prescribing you a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended in adults. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for hypothyroidism
Doctors may prescribe Armour Thyroid to treat certain forms of hypothyroidism.
If your doctor prescribes Armour Thyroid for your hypothyroidism, your starting dose will likely be 30 mg. Typically, you’ll take this once per day.
Every 2–3 weeks, your doctor may recommend increasing your daily dose. They’ll usually increase it by 15 mg until your thyroid hormone level gets to the usual range. This will be your maintenance dosage. The typically recommended maintenance dosage is between 60–120 mg, taken once per day.
If this dosage isn’t working for you, your doctor may recommend another dosage increase. However, a dosage above 180 mg per day may mean your body isn’t absorbing Armour Thyroid properly. For more information about this, talk with your doctor.
Dosage for thyroid nodules and goiters
Armour Thyroid may be prescribed to help treat thyroid nodules and goiters. For these conditions, the recommended starting dosage depends on your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Your doctor will determine the dose necessary to reach a TSH level that’s in the desired range. You’ll usually take this once per day.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your dosage.
Dosage for thyroid cancer
Doctors may prescribe Armour Thyroid to help manage thyroid cancer.
The recommended starting dosage for thyroid cancer depends on your TSH level and other factors. Your doctor will determine the dose necessary to reach the desired TSH level. You’ll usually take this dose once per day.
If you have questions about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor for more information.
Armour Thyroid is prescribed to treat congenital hypothyroidism in children of all ages. (“Congenital” means present at birth.) The starting dosage for this condition is based on your child’s body weight in kilograms (kg).
Your child’s doctor will calculate the dosage, measured in mg per kg (mg/kg) of body weight.
* One kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lb).
Dosage for congenital hypothyroidism
The table below lists the typical daily dose range for children by body weight:
|Age||Recommended weight-based daily dose range in mg/kg||Recommended daily dose range|
|0–6 months||4.8–6 mg/kg||15–30 mg|
|6–12 months||3.6–4.8 mg/kg||30–45 mg|
|1–5 years||3–3.6 mg/kg||45–60 mg|
|6–12 years||2.4–3 mg/kg||60–90 mg|
|12 years and older||1.2–1.8 mg/kg||over 90 mg|
For example, if your child is 10 years old, their doctor may prescribe 3 mg/kg of body weight per day. If your child weighs 30 kg (about 66 lb), their dosage would be 90 mg Armour Thyroid per day. They’ll adjust your child’s dosage over time, ultimately prescribing the smallest dosage to reach the desired effect.
Talk with your child’s doctor if you have questions about their dosage.
Armour Thyroid is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Armour Thyroid is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
Before you start taking Armour Thyroid, your doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you.
The Armour Thyroid dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- your age
- your body weight
- how your body responds to Armour Thyroid
- the type and severity of the condition you’re taking Armour Thyroid to treat
- other medications you take
- side effects you may have with Armour Thyroid
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Armour Thyroid dosage.
Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage if you take certain medications. These include estrogen, oral contraceptives (birth control pills), cholestyramine (Prevalite), or colestipol (Colestid). These drugs can affect the level of Armour Thyroid in your body. To find out whether any medications you take interact with Armour Thyroid, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also view the “Interactions” section in this article.
Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage if you have certain medical conditions. These include heart problems (such as angina and coronary artery disease) and myxedema (severe hypothyroidism). Typically, your doctor will prescribe a lower starting dosage of Armour Thyroid if you have such a condition.
Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take and any health conditions you may have.
Armour Thyroid comes as a tablet that you swallow whole. Do not crush, chew, or place the tablet in water.
Your doctor will likely recommend taking your dose on an empty stomach. This means 1 hour before or at least 2 hours after a meal. Some Armour Thyroid tablets can be cut in half. These tablets will have a line in the middle showing where to cut the tablet. Typically, the 180-milligram (mg) and 300-mg tablets can be cut in half. (For details about the drug’s strengths, see the “Armour Thyroid dosage” section above.)
It may be helpful to take Armour Thyroid around the same time of day. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so Armour Thyroid can work effectively.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have questions about how to take Armour Thyroid, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS
Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Armour Thyroid in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
If you miss a dose of Armour Thyroid, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next scheduled dose. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed one. If you’re not sure whether you should take a missed dose or skip it, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your bathroom mirror or bedside table. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
It’s important that you don’t take more Armour Thyroid than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to harmful effects or overdose.
Symptoms of an overdose
Overdose symptoms of Armour Thyroid can include:
If you take more than the recommended amount of Armour Thyroid
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Armour Thyroid. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Below are some frequently asked questions about Armour Thyroid.
Is the dosage of Armour Thyroid similar to the dosage of levothyroxine?
Yes, the dosage of Armour Thyroid is similar to the dosage of levothyroxine but not identical. The dose in milligrams (mg) for each medication differs because they have different active ingredients.
Levothyroxine* is a generic medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat certain thyroid conditions. The active drug, levothyroxine, is a synthetic form of a natural thyroid hormone called thyroxine (T4). The active drugs in Armour Thyroid are levothyroxine and another thyroid hormone called liothyronine (T3).
Armour Thyroid and levothyroxine are prescribed for similar conditions, including hypothyroidism. Your doctor will prescribe the drug and the dosage that’s right for your condition. If you’re taking Armour Thyroid and you’re interested in taking levothyroxine instead, talk with your doctor. They can convert your dose to levothyroxine if they recommend the drug.
To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Is there a typical dosage range for Armour Thyroid?
Yes, the typically recommended dosage range for Armour Thyroid is between 60–120 mg per day for hypothyroidism. Doctors usually start people at the lower dosage and may increase it in some cases. The goal is to find the lowest dose that’s effective for your condition. This helps reduce your risk of side effects from the drug. (To learn more, see the “Side effects” section in this article.)
If you’re taking Armour Thyroid to treat thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules, or goiter, the typical dosage range may be higher. It depends on your lab values for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). For details, see the “Armour Thyroid dosage” section above.
If you have questions about Armour Thyroid’s dosage range, talk with your doctor or pharmacist
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Armour Thyroid for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Armour Thyroid without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Armour Thyroid that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Armour Thyroid. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Armour Thyroid. For information about other aspects of Armour Thyroid, refer to this article.
- Cost. If you’d like to learn about Armour Thyroid and cost, see this article.
- Details about your condition. For details about the conditions Armour Thyroid is prescribed for, see this list of hypothyroidism articles and our cancer hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.