You can now buy one form of gatifloxacin, Zymaxid, in generic form. This product has been given an "AT" rating by the FDA, which means it is considered equivalent to the brand-name drug. The other form of gatifloxacin, Zymar, is sold as a brand-name drug only.
Gatifloxacin is a prescription antibiotic available in the form of an eye drop. It is used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis, or "pink eye." Gatifloxacin belongs to a class of medications called fluoroquinolones, or "quinolones" for short.
Gatifloxacin is currently available as Zymaxid™ and Zymar®. Both products are made by Allergan, Inc. At this time, Zymaxid -- but not Zymar -- is available in generic form.
Generic Zymaxid is available in one strength: Gatifloxacin 0.5% ophthalmic solution. It is made by Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
All generic medications must undergo certain tests to compare them to brand-name medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then looks at these tests to decide if the generics are equivalent to the brand-name medications and assigns a rating to each one.
An "AT" rating means that the FDA has determined that a generic medication is equivalent to a brand-name medication. Generic gatifloxacin has an "AT" rating, meaning it should be equivalent to Zymaxid.
The first patent for one of the gatifloxacin eye drop products (Zymar) recently expired; however, it is not yet available as a generic product. This may be because there is another patent for Zymar that is not due to expire until June 2016. Thus, this is the earliest predictable date that a generic gatifloxacin could become available.
However, other circumstances could come up to extend or shorten the exclusivity period. This could include such things as lawsuits or other patents for specific gatifloxacin uses. Once a gatifloxacin product goes off-patent, there may be several companies that manufacturer a generic version.