Another generic drug update, rebranding update

by Caleb Reading

Drugs that are (or will soon be) available as a generic:Oxycontin (oxycodone HCl controlled-release) is available as a generic now.
Ambien (Zoldipem) will be available soon.


Ditropan XL (Oxybutynin extended-release) is probably available now. The suppliers for the store I worked at didn’t have it yet, but they were taking pre-orders.

Rebranding update:

Since Ambien is going generic soon, you’ve probably already seen the ads for Ambien CR. Yep, they’ve been telling people to be sure to get their free 7 day trial, and, hey, while you’re at it, why not get a prescription for the CR instead of the generic immediate-release form?

The thing that really cracks me up about this situation is that a CR form is counterintuitive for this drug, since you need a quick interaction with GABA in order to fall asleep in the first place, and, if the half-life were extended, it might be that much harder to not be groggy the next day. Granted, part of this new CR form dissolves immediately to help you fall asleep, and the rest dissolves slowly “to help you stay asleep.” Seems like a recipe for next-day-grogginess to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if the CR form turned out to have more next day side effects (but, of course, it’s more profitable, so the drug reps will sing its praises).

I just find it more than a little convenient that this is being released, with accompanying marketing blitz, right before Ambien is set to go generic. Gotta get everyone to tell their doctor to switch them to the CR before they find out it might just be a ruse for patent extension.