Chemists say drug for thyroid ills unavailable


Supplies of an essential, unique medicine, used to treat severe thyroid disorders have run out across the State for a second time this summer, the Irish Pharmaceutical Union has claimed.

Eltroxin, used to treat hypothyroidism, is currently unavailable in Irish pharmacies. The drug, generically known as Thyroxine, is classified as an essential medicine by the World Health Organisation and there is no alternative to it on the market.

Sufferers of hyperthyroidism endure rapid weight gain and extreme tiredness, which can leave them unable to work, when left without their medication.

This is the second time in less than a month that Eltroxin has been out of stock in the State. In July, Antigen, Irish suppliers of Eltroxin, said "production difficulties" had resulted in the stoppage of the drug.

Within a week, Antigen supplied pharmacists with 25 mg doses of Eltroxin to tide patients over until the regular 50 mg amount became available.

Now, according to the IPU, pharmacists have run out of the lower dose version while the 50 mg Eltroxin remains out of stock.

Antigen's general manager Mr Dermot Lynch denies that there are no supplies of Eltroxin and suggests that pharmacists may not be stocking the 25 mg dose in anticipation of the return of the 50 mg dose.