Armour Thyroid (thyroid) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat certain types of thyroid conditions. The drug comes as an oral tablet. It’s usually taken once daily.
Armour Thyroid is used in adults and certain children to treat:
The active ingredient in Armour Thyroid is thyroid, which is from porcine (pig) thyroid glands. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
Armour Thyroid belongs to a group of drugs called thyroid hormones. This article describes the dosages of Armour Thyroid, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Armour Thyroid, see this in-depth article.
Note: Armour Thyroid has been available since before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began its drug approval process. For this reason, the drug has not been approved by the FDA. To learn more about this, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
This section describes the usual dosages of Armour Thyroid. Keep reading for more details about Armour Thyroid’s dosage.
What is Armour Thyroid’s form?
Armour Thyroid is available as an oral tablet.
What strengths does Armour Thyroid come in?
Armour Thyroid comes in the following strengths:
- 15 milligrams (mg)
- 30 mg
- 60 mg
- 90 mg
- 120 mg
- 180 mg
- 240 mg
- 300 mg
What are the usual dosages of Armour Thyroid?
Your doctor will likely start you on a low dosage and adjust it over time to reach the right amount for you. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for hypothyroidism
For adults with hypothyroidism, the typical starting dosage of Armour Thyroid is 30 mg taken once per day. Your doctor may increase your dose by 15 mg every 2–3 weeks.
Dosage for thyroid nodules and goiters
If you’re an adult taking Armour Thyroid for thyroid nodules and goiters, your doctor will determine the best dosage to get your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels within the desired range. Your doctor may adjust your dose over time based on your treatment plan.
Dosage for thyroid cancer
If you’re an adult taking Armour Thyroid for thyroid cancer, your doctor will determine the best dosage to get your TSH levels within the desired range. If needed, your doctor will adjust your dose over time based on your treatment plan.
What’s the dosage of Armour Thyroid for children?
Armour Thyroid is used to treat certain thyroid conditions in certain children. See below for details.
Dosage for hypothyroidism
For children with hypothyroidism, their doctor will calculate the correct dosage depending on the child’s age and body weight in kilograms (kg). See the table below to learn more.
|Child’s age||Weight-based dosage||Average dosage range|
|younger than 6 months||4.8–6 mg/kg once daily||15–30 mg once daily|
|6 months to less than 1 year||3.6–4.8 mg/kg once daily||30–45 mg once daily|
|1–5 years||3–3.6 mg/kg once daily||45–60 mg once daily|
|6–12 years||2.4–3 mg/kg once daily||60–90 mg once daily|
|older than 12 years||1.2–1.8 mg/kg once daily||more than 90 mg once daily|
Dosage for thyroid nodules and goiters
For children with thyroid nodules and goiters, their doctor will determine what the best dosage of Armour Thyroid is for them. Their doctor will adjust the dosage if needed based on your child’s thyroid hormone levels.
Dosage for thyroid cancer
For children with thyroid cancer, their doctor will determine the Armour Thyroid dosage that’s right for them. Their doctor will adjust the dosage if needed based on your child’s thyroid hormone levels.
For more information about Armour Thyroid’s dosage for children, talk with your child’s doctor or a pharmacist.
Is Armour Thyroid used long term?
Yes, Armour Thyroid is usually used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely take it long term.
The dosage of Armour Thyroid you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re using Armour Thyroid to treat
- your age
- your body weight in kilograms (kg)
- your body’s response to Armour Thyroid
- test results that measure your thyroid function
- other drugs you’re taking
Armour Thyroid is available as an oral tablet. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication.
You’ll take Armour Thyroid once per day, 30–60 minutes before your first meal. You should try to take the drug around the same time each day. This helps keep a steady level of the drug in your body.
For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Armour Thyroid, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Accessible drug containers and labels
Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:
- have large print
- use braille
- feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
Let your pharmacist know if you have trouble opening medication bottles. They may have tips to help, or they may be able to supply Armour Thyroid in an easy-open container.
If you miss a dose of Armour Thyroid, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at its usual time. If you’re not sure whether you should take a missed dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Armour Thyroid on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.
If you need help remembering your appointments, try setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.
Do not take more Armour Thyroid than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to harmful effects.
Symptoms of overdose
Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:
- increased blood pressure
- fast heart rate
- high blood sugar
- night sweats
What to do in case you take too much Armour Thyroid
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Armour Thyroid. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Armour Thyroid’s dosage.
Is Armour Thyroid’s dosage similar to the dosages of Synthroid and Cytomel?
The forms and how often you take each drug are similar. Armour Thyroid, Synthroid (levothyroxine), and Cytomel (liothyronine) are all oral tablets taken once per day.
The dose in milligrams for each drug differs. Your doctor will prescribe the drug and the dosage that’s right for you.
To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.
How long does it take for Armour Thyroid to start working?
Armour Thyroid starts to work after your first dose. Because of how the drug works, you likely won’t feel the drug working in your body. But your doctor will monitor you during treatment to check whether the drug is working to treat your condition. They’ll likely order tests to check your thyroid hormone levels a few weeks after you start treatment. Then, you’ll have these tests done at certain times throughout your Armour Thyroid treatment.
If you have other questions about what to expect from your Armour Thyroid treatment, talk with your doctor.
The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Armour Thyroid for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of Armour Thyroid without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Armour Thyroid exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Will I need to come in for an office visit each time my dosage is increased?
- Is it safe to stop Armour Thyroid if I take the lowest dosage?
- Would a different dosage affect my risk of side effects from Armour Thyroid?
To get information on different conditions and tips for improving your health, subscribe to any of Healthline’s newsletters. You may also want to check out the online communities at Bezzy. It’s a place where people with certain conditions can find support and connect with others.
Disclaimer: Healthline 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.