For the last four months, I have been taking a birth control called Wymzya FE. I really like this birth control, but when I had my physical with my primary care provider, they switched me to the generic form of Wymzya FE. My question is, will I still be protected from pregnancy if I take the generic form of Wymzya?

Great question! Yes, you will still be protected against pregnancy even if you take a generic form of the medication. You might being wondering, is there a difference? The simple answer is, no, there is no difference between a generic and a brand name medication. Ok, but now you’re wondering, why are they called different names?

A brand name medication is one that is sold by a drug company under a specific name and it’s protected by a patent. A generic medication is the same exact medication created to be identical to the one that is already marketed by a brand-name. The dosage, form, safety, strength, route of administration (pill, injection, chewable, etc.), quality, performance, characteristics, and intended use are all the same as the brand name medication. For example, Wymzya Fe is the brand name for generic medication Norethindrone-Ethinyl Estradiol-Iron, which is an oral contraceptive (aka “the pill.”) The pill helps regulate monthly periods and protects against pregnancy. This particular birth control pill contains two hormones: norethindrone, which is a form of the hormone progestin, and ethinyl estradiol, which is a form of the hormone estrogen. The Fe stands for iron (think chemistry class) and is added into each of the seven placebo tablets taken during the fourth week (when you get your period). Together, norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol work together to protect you against pregnancy.

That being said, you must take your pill at the same exact time every single day without any missed or late doses. For example, if you take your pill every night at 9pm, you must take it every night at 9 pm. A lapse of twenty minutes or more between doses can place you at risk for pregnancy. A great way to remember is by setting an alarm on your cell phone. When the alarm goes off, you stop what you are doing and take your pill. So, as long as you take your medication on time, you will be protected against pregnancy regardless of whether or not the medication is a brand name or generic. However, if you ever have concerns about a medication you are taking, it is always best to speak with your health care provider. Your HCP knows you, your body, and medications best and will be able to answer any questions you may have!