Two versions of generic Loestrin are currently available: Junel and Microgestin. Both come in two strengths, just like brand-name Loestrin. Although the FDA has determined that generic Loestrin is equivalent to the brand-name drug, it's important to know that the generic versions may contain different inactive ingredients, which may cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities.
Loestrin® (norethindrone/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. Also, it is a monophasic birth control pill (as opposed to a biphasic or triphasic pill), because the strength of the pills does not vary throughout the cycle.
(Loestrin is not the same as Loestrin® Fe or Loestrin® 24 Fe. The information in this article does not apply to either of these medications.)
Currently, Loestrin is made by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., although it was first made by Warner Chilcott Company, Inc. Generic Loestrin is available; however, it is sold under what looks like other brand names, rather than the usual generic name.
One version of generic Loestrin is sold under the name Junel™. It is made by Barr Laboratories, the parent company of Duramed (the current maker of Loestrin). The other version of generic Loestrin is sold under the name Microgestin® (made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, 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 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.