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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Specialties & Departments > Hypothyroidism Treatment

Hypothyroidism Treatment Cost


How Much Does Hypothyroidism Treatment Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Doctor-Visit and Prescription Copayshigh costWithout Health Insurance: $180-$1,200 Per Year
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In hypothyroidism, the thyroid is underactive and does not produce enough of certain hormones. This can cause fatigue, lack of energy, weight gain and other problems. Treatment typically involves oral hormone replacement therapy.

Typical costs:

  • For patients covered by health insurance, the typical cost of hypothyroidism treatment will include doctor copays and prescription drug copays. Hypothyroidism treatment typically is covered by health insurance.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, hypothyroid treatment typically costs $15-$100 per month -- or $180-$1,200 per year -- for the synthetic thyroid hormone typically prescribed. For example, Drugstore.com charges about $15-$20, depending on the dose, for a one-month supply of the brand-name drug Levothroid, or $25-$45 for a one-month supply of the brand-name drug Synthroid. Drugstore.com charges up to $100 or more for a one-month supply, depending on dosage, of the brand-name drug Cytomel. Many doctors do not recommend generic levothyroxine because potency can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and there is no way to make sure the patient gets the generic drug from the same manufacturer each time; changing potency can cause side effects ranging from a high heart rate or dizziness, if the patient gets too much of the drug, to exhaustion or depression, if the patient gets too little.
Related articles: Thyroid Test, Blood Tests, Hyperthyroidism Treatment, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • The doctor typically will prescribe the hormone levothyroxine[1] , which is typically taken orally every day. Brand names include Synthroid[2] and Levothroid[3] . Within a few weeks, symptoms should begin to lessen. In some cases, a doctor might prescribe another drug, such as liothyronine sodium (brand name Cytomel).
  • After a few months of treatment, the doctor typically will perform follow-up thyroid tests to make sure the dosage is correct. In many cases, the doctor will make changes to the dosage once or more, depending on the test results. Patients typically must take this medication for life.
  • The Mayo Clinic offers an overview of hypothyroid treatment[4] .
Additional costs:
  • Patients with hypothyroidism should visit the doctor regularly for follow-up and monitoring as often as the doctor recommends.
Discounts:
  • Some clinics offer specialist care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a locator for clinics[5] that provide discounts on an income-based sliding scale.
  • Many doctors and hospitals give discounts of up to 30% or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. For example, Washington Hospital Healthcare System[6] in California offers a 35% discount.
  • Some drug manufacturers offer free or discounted medicines to patients in need. For example, Abbott Laboratories[7] , the maker of Synthroid, has a patient assistance program.
Shopping for hypothyroidism treatment:
  • A primary care physician can make a referral to an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating problems with the endocrine system. Or, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists offers a doctor locator[8] by city and state. To help patients find an endocrinologist who focuses on thyroid problems, the American Thyroid Association offers a thyroid specialist locator[9] by state.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a682461.html
  2.  www.synthroid.com/
  3.  www.levothroid.com/
  4.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothyroidism/DS00353/DSECTION=treatments%2Dand%2Ddrugs
  5.  findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx
  6.  www.whhs.com/about/washington-hospital-discount-policy-for-uninsured/
  7.  www.abbviepaf.org
  8.  /www.aace.com/resources/find-an-endocrinologist
  9.  www.thyroid.org/patient-thyroid-information/endocrinology-thyroid-doctor/
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