Birth control pills, or oral contraceptives, contain female hormones that suppress ovulation--the monthly release of an egg from the ovary. Suppressing ovulation prevents pregnancy because without an egg, conception cannot occur. Women have several options for different types of birth control pills, with varying doses and hormone content. U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved generic brands of birth control pills are equivalents of the brand name versions of these drugs.
Cryselle and Low-Ogestrel
Cryselle and Low-Ogestrel are combination birth control pills containing 0.03 mg of ethinyl estradiol, an estrogen-like hormone, and 0.3 mg of norgestrel, a progesterone-like hormone. The pills come in a 28-day pack with 21 hormone-containing pills, taken one per day for the first three weeks of the cycle, and seven inactive pills. Women should take oral contraceptive pills at the same time each day to maintain adequate hormone levels for the suppression of ovulation, notes the FDA-approved prescribing information for the brand name equivalent of these drugs.
Norethin 1/35, Norinyl 1+35 and Nortrel 1/35
Norethin 1/35, Norinyl 1+35 and Nortrel 1/35 are generic brands of birth control pills that contain a slightly higher dose of estrogen than Cryselle and Low-Ogestrel. Each pill contains 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol and 1.0 mg of norethindrone, a progesterone-like hormone. Packs contain 28 pills, including 21 with hormones and seven inactive pills. According to the FDA-approved prescribing information for the brand name equivalent of these generic brands, the chance of becoming pregnant while on combination birth control pills is approximately 1 to 5 percent.
Neocon and Nortrel
Neocon and Nortrel are 28-day combination birth control packs. Each of the 21 hormone pills contains 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol and 0.5 mg of norethindrone. The pill packs include 21 combination hormone pills and seven inactive pills. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that women age 35 and older who smoke should not take combination birth control pills because of an increased risk for blood clots, heart attack and stroke.
Necon 7/7/7 and Nortrel 7/7/7
Necon 7/7/7 and Nortrel 7/7/7 are combination birth controls, containing 0.035 mg of ethinyl estradiol in each pill. The amount of the progesterone-like drug, norethindrone, varies in the pills. The first seven pills of the cycle contain 0.5 mg of norethindrone. The next seven pills contain 0.75 mg and the last seven active pills contain 1.0 mg of norethindrone. This type of combination birth control pill, with three different hormone doses throughout the cycle, is known as a triphasic oral contraceptive, notes the medical information website eMedTV.
Errin and Jolivette
Errin and Jolivette are generic brands of a progestin-only birth control pill, sometimes called "mini pills" because they do not contain estrogen. Each pill contains 0.35 mg of norethindrone, a progesterone-like hormone. Progestin-only birth control pills may prove slightly less effective at preventing pregnancy than combination birth control pills, notes eMedTV.