There are several generic versions of Desogen available. The FDA has assigned all generic versions of Desogen an "AB" rating, meaning that the generics are as good as the brand-name medication. However, generics are allowed to have different inactive ingredients (such as fillers or dyes) than the brand-name medication, which may cause problems in people with allergies or sensitivities.
Is a Generic Desogen Available?
Desogen® (desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is one of the many oral contraceptives (birth control pills) available. It is available only with a prescription. Compared to older birth control pills, Desogen contains a relatively low dose of hormones.
Desogen is made by Organon USA, Inc. Generic Desogen is available, although it is sold under what looks like other brand names (rather than the usual generic name).
Generic Desogen Names
Currently, generic Desogen is sold under the names Apri®, Emoquette™, Enskyce™, Reclipsen™, and Solia™. Because the generic names of birth control pills can be very confusing (the names are long, and several different products can have the same generic name, but come in different strengths), the manufacturers of generic birth control pills give their versions a "brand name," to avoid confusion. These products are still generics, even though they seem like brand-name products due to their names.
Ortho-Cept® is another birth control pill that is equivalent to Desogen. However, Ortho-Cept is a brand-name drug. This is important for insurance purposes (it is less likely to be covered, compared to the generics), and for cost purposes (it is usually more expensive than the generics).
Are Generics as Good as Desogen?
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 generics are equivalent to the brand-name medications, and assigns each generic a rating. An "AB" rating means that the FDA has determined that a generic medication is equivalent to a brand-name medication. Apri, Emoquette, Enskyce, Reclipsen, and Solia each have an "AB" rating, meaning they should be equivalent to Desogen. Ortho-Cept and Desogen are also equivalent to each other.
However, generic medications are allowed to have different inactive ingredients than the brand-name medication. This might include fillers, dyes, or other ingredients that may cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Desogen [package insert]. West Orange, NJ: Organon USA, Inc.;2004 May.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed May 24, 2013.
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