Tue May 23, 7:20 PM ET
WASHINGTON – The first generic version of Lexapro, one of the most widely prescribed antidepressants, with more than $2 billion in sales last year, received federal approval Monday.
Ivax Corp. of Miami, part of Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., becomes the first company cleared to make a generic version of the prescription drug, according to the Web site of the Food and Drug Administration. The agency approved 5, 10 and 20 milligram doses of the drug, also called escitalopram oxalate, for the treatment of major depression.
Lexapro, the brand-name version of the drug, is made by New York-based Forest Laboratories Inc.
In 2005, Lexapro was the No. 2 antidepressant in the United States, behind Zoloft, with 29.6 million prescriptions filled, according to IMS Health, a prescription information provider. Lexapro’s U.S. sales last year were $2.1 billion.