I take a specific brand of contraceptive pill. Will a different brand work the same way?


Yes, a woman can change the brand of her contraceptive pill. She can choose to change to another brand that has the same active ingredients and same effect and she can also change to another brand with other active ingredients. In both situations the efficacy should be the same.  Commercial pharmaceutical companies create medicines, and then promote them under specific names. So the same tablet might have many different names. For example, the pain killer acetaminophen/paracetamol is sold as APAP, Panadol, Tylenol and many other brands.  But it is also sold as acetaminophen or under a store brand.  These are called “generic” brands.  The companies do not spend money advertising generics, therefore they are usually much less expensive then the well-advertised brands.

 Medicines with famous brands can be very expensive. The high cost does not mean that they are better. In fact, generic medicines have exactly the same formulation as the brand name medicines, are just as safe and effective, and are regulated and controlled for quality.  They just do not have a famous commercial brand name. Generic medicines help people worldwide get the medicines that they need at a more reasonable cost.  Women Help Women supports access to generic brands, so that more women can obtain the reproductive health medicines that they need for their health and reproductive autonomy.