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Generic Demulen

Demulen is no longer available in brand-name form; you can only get generic versions of this birth control pill. Generic Demulen is sold under the names Zovia and Kelnor. If your healthcare provider writes a prescription for Demulen, your pharmacist will automatically give you one of these two generic forms.

Can I Buy Generic Demulen?

Demulen® (ethynodiol diacetate/ethinyl estradiol) is a birth control pill (oral contraceptive). Brand-name Demulen is no longer available in the United States, as it was discontinued by its manufacturer. However, generic versions are still available.
If your healthcare provider writes you a prescription for Demulen, your pharmacist will automatically substitute one of the generic versions.

What Happened to Demulen?

It is quite common for manufacturers to stop making a brand-name drug once the patent(s) run out and generic versions become available. In most situations (with very few exceptions), insurance companies require people to use generics when available (i.e., they will not cover a brand-name drug if a generic version is available).
Additionally, people without insurance usually choose generics, as they are more affordable. Subsequently, the demand for brand-name drugs usually dwindles once generics become available. Eventually, it becomes financially burdensome for the brand-name manufacturer to continue making a medication that just is not selling.

Generic Availability of Demulen

Generic Demulen is sold under two different names. Zovia®, which is made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, comes in two different strengths -- Zovia 1/35 and Zovia 1/50.
Kelnor™ (made by Barr Pharmaceuticals, a company that is now owned by Teva Pharmaceuticals) is another generic birth control pill that is equivalent to Demulen. Kelnor comes only in the 1/35 strength; it is not available in the 1/50 strength.
The generic names of birth control pills can be confusing -- the chemical names are long and several different products can have the same chemical name, even though they have different strengths. To help avoid confusion, manufacturers of generic birth control pills give their versions a "brand name." These products are still generics, even though they seem like brand-name products, due to their names.

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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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