Generic Lybrel

At this time, you can buy Lybrel (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) only in generic form. The manufacturer of brand-name Lybrel decided to stop making the product, likely for financial reasons. The generic version is sold under the name Amethyst.

Is a Generic Lybrel Available?

Lybrel™ (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill. It is one of the many oral contraceptives available. It is the first and only birth control pill that is approved to be taken continuously, without any hormone-free periods. As a result, women do not have regular, monthly periods while taking Lybrel (although most women have some irregular bleeding and spotting from time to time).
Lybrel was made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., but it has been discontinued. Generic Lybrel is available, although it is sold under what looks like another brand name rather than the usual generic name.

Generic Lybrel Availability

Currently, generic Lybrel is sold under the name Amethyst™. It is made by Watson Laboratories, Inc.
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.

What Happened to Lybrel?

The manufacturer of Lybrel decided to stop making it, likely for financial reasons. It is fairly common for a brand-name drug to be discontinued once generic versions enter the market, although this is not always the case.
Lybrel was not removed from the market for safety reasons (it was not recalled by the Food and Drug Administration). Sometimes, discontinued brand-name drugs are later resurrected if the brand-name manufacturer sells the marketing rights to another company, so it is possible that Lybrel may be available again someday.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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