There are two generic versions of Estrostep Fe available (sold under the names Tri-Legest Fe or Tilia Fe). The FDA has assigned these drugs an "AB" rating, meaning that they are considered equivalent to Estrostep Fe. Generic medications, however, are allowed to have different inactive ingredients, such as fillers or dyes, which can cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities.
Is Generic Estrostep Fe Available?
Estrostep® Fe (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a birth control pill (oral contraceptive). It is a triphasic combined oral contraceptive. It is a "combined" oral contraceptive because it contains two different hormones, and "triphasic" because it contains three different phases of hormone doses in each pack. In addition to preventing pregnancy, Estrostep Fe is approved to treat acne in women.
Estrostep Fe is made by Warner Chilcott Company, Inc. Generic Estrostep Fe is sold under names that look like brand names, rather than the usual "generic" name.
Names for Generic Estrostep Fe
At this time, generic Estrostep Fe is sold under the name Tri-Legest® Fe (made by Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) or Tilia™ Fe (sold by Watson Laboratories, Inc.). Generic names of birth control pills can be confusing -- the names are long, and many different products have the same generic name, but have different strengths. To avoid confusion, manufacturers of generic birth control pills give their versions a "brand name." These products are still generics, even though their names make them seem like brand-name products.
Are Tilia and Tri-Legest Fe as Good as Estrostep Fe?
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 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. Tilia Fe and Tri-Legest Fe have "AB" ratings, meaning they should be equivalent to Estrostep Fe.
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. The packaging of generic birth control pills may also be different from the packaging of the brand-name products.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Estrostep Fe [package insert]. Rockaway, NJ: Warner Chilcott Company, Inc.;2006 April.
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 March 26, 2010.
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