Five generic versions of Alesse are available: Aviane, Falmina, Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol, Lutera, and Orsythia. Generic Alesse is equivalent to brand-name Alesse (the generic versions have been given an "AB" rating by the FDA). However, generic Alesse is allowed to have different inactive ingredients, such as fillers or dyes, which may cause problems for people with certain sensitivities.
Is Generic Alesse Available?Alesse® (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is one of the many oral contraceptives (birth control pills) available. It belongs to a group of medications known as combined oral contraceptives, named because they contain a combination of two different types of hormones.
Alesse is made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Generic Alesse is available, although it is sold under what looks like other brand names, rather than the usual generic name.
Names for Generic Alesse
Currently, generic Alesse is sold under the following names:
- Aviane® (made by Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
- Falmina™ (made by Novast Laboratories)
- Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol (made by Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
- Lutera™ (made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
- Orsythia™ (made by Patheon, Inc., for Qualitest Pharmaceuticals USA).
The generic names of birth control pills can be confusing; the names are long, and several different products can have the same generic name, even though they are different. To avoid confusion, manufacturers of generic birth control pills often give their versions a "brand name," instead of using the standard generic name. These products are still generics, even though they seem like brand-name products, due to their names.
Are the Generic Versions as Good as Alesse?All generic medications must undergo certain tests to compare them to brand-name medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then looks at these tests to decide if the generic versions are equivalent to the brand-name medications and assigns a rating to each one. An "AB" rating means that the FDA has determined that a generic medication is equivalent to a brand-name medication. Aviane, Falmina, Lutera, Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol, and Orsythia all have an "AB" rating, meaning they should be equivalent to Alesse.
However, generic medications are allowed to have different inactive ingredients than the brand-name medication. This might include fillers, dyes, or other ingredients, which could cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities.