There are five different forms of generic Ortho-Cyclen. The FDA has given these generic Ortho-Cyclen drugs an "AB" rating, meaning they are equivalent to the brand-name version. It is important to know, however, that generic medications may have different inactive ingredients than the brand-name medication.
Is a Generic Ortho-Cyclen Available?
Ortho-Cyclen® (norgestimate/ethinyl estradiol) is an oral contraceptive (birth control pill). It is available with a prescription. Ortho-Cyclen is a combined oral contraceptive, the most common type of birth control pill.
Ortho-Cyclen is made by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc. Generic Ortho-Cyclen is available but is sold under other "brand" names (instead of the usual "generic" name). Because these less expensive, generic versions of Ortho-Cyclen are available, you may find that your insurance company will not cover brand-name Ortho-Cyclen.
Generic Ortho-Cyclen Names
Currently, generic Ortho-Cyclen is sold under the names Estarylla™, Mono-Linyah™, MonoNessa®, Previfem®, and Sprintec®. 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 even though they are very different). 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.
Are Generics as Good as Ortho-Cyclen?
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. All of the generic versions for Ortho-Cyclen have an "AB" rating, meaning they should be equivalent to Ortho-Cyclen.
However, generic medications are allowed to have different inactive ingredients than the brand-name medication. This might include fillers or dyes or other ingredients that may cause problems for people with allergies or sensitivities.