Although one of the patents for Lotronex (alosetron) has expired, companies have not yet made a generic version of this drug. This may be because there is another patent for Lotronex, which won't expire until October 2018. Once the patent expires, a generic Lotronex product might become available. However, due to its restricted use, it may not be profitable for companies to make a generic version.
Can I Buy Generic Lotronex?
Lotronex® (alosetron hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is used in women whose main symptom is diarrhea, and who have not been adequately helped with other treatments.
Lotronex is made by Patheon, Inc., for Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. The drug is protected from generic competition by patents that have not yet expired.
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
The first patent for Lotronex expired in January 2013. This was the earliest predictable date that a generic version could have become available. However, at this time no generic manufacturer makes a generic version of Lotronex. This could be because Lotronex is protected by another patent that does not expire until October 2018.
Once Lotronex goes off-patent, there may be several companies that manufacture a generic version of it. However, it is unknown if this is the case. Lotronex is associated with potentially serious bowel side effects. As a result, it is reserved for only the most severe IBS cases, after other treatments have been tried. Because of its restricted use, it is unclear whether generic manufacturers will choose to make a generic Lotronex drug even after it goes off-patent.
Is Alosetron a Generic Lotronex?
No -- alosetron is the active ingredient in Lotronex, not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that the active ingredient of a drug is often referred to as the "generic name." The generic name is different from a generic version of a medicine.
In order for there to be a generic version of a medicine, the original medicine must have gone off-patent, and another company besides the original manufacturer would make the product.