While Flonase (a similar nasal allergy spray) is available as a generic, Rhinocort Aqua is still under a patent that prevents any generic versions from being manufactured in the United States. When the patent expires in October 2017, several drug companies are expected to begin producing generic versions. However, patents for specific uses or lawsuits could delay the availability of generic Rhinocort Aqua.
Is a Generic Version of Rhinocort Aqua Available?
Rhinocort Aqua® (budesonide nasal spray) is a prescription spray used to treat nasal allergies (known medically as allergic rhinitis). It belongs to a group of medications known as corticosteroids (or simply "steroids" for short).
Rhinocort Aqua is manufactured by AstraZeneca. It is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic Rhinocort Aqua from being manufactured in the United States. It is important to note that generic fluticasone propionate nasal spray is not a generic version of Rhinocort Aqua (it is a generic version of Flonase®, a similar medication).
When Will Generic Rhinocort Aqua Be Available?
The first patent for Rhinocort Aqua currently expires in October 2017. This is the earliest possible date that a generic version of the drug could become available. However, other circumstances could come up to extend the exclusivity period beyond this date. This could include such things as other patents for specific Rhinocort Aqua uses or lawsuits. Once the patent expires, several companies will likely begin manufacturing generic Rhinocort Aqua.
Is Budesonide the Same as Generic Rhinocort Aqua?
No -- budesonide is the active ingredient in Rhinocort Aqua (as well as in several other medications), but is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of any drug is 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 must make the product.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Rhinocort Aqua [package insert]. Wilmington, DE: AstraZeneca LP;2005 January.
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 August 2, 2007.
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