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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Implanon

Generic Name: etonogestrel (implant) (Pronunciation: e toe noe JES trel)

What is etonogestrel implant (Implanon)?

Etonogestrel implant contains a hormone that prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medication also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.

Etonogestrel implant is used as contraception to prevent pregnancy. The medicine is contained in a small plastic rod that is implanted into the skin of your upper arm. The medicine is released slowly into the body. The rod can remain in place and provide continuous contraception for up to 3 years.

Etonogestrel implant may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of etonogestrel implant (Implanon)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • warmth, redness, swelling, or oozing where the implant was inserted;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • severe pain or cramping in your pelvic area (may be only on one side);
  • sudden headache, confusion, pain behind the eyes, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • pain, numbness, or tingling where the implant was inserted;
  • minor bleeding or scarring where the implant was inserted;
  • breast pain;
  • acne, freckles or darkening of facial skin;
  • menstrual cramps, changes in menstrual bleeding pattern;
  • increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair;
  • weight gain;
  • nausea, mild stomach pain;
  • vaginal itching or discharge;
  • headache, back pain, nervousness, dizziness;
  • runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough; or
  • problems with contact lenses.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about etonogestrel implant (Implanon)?

Do not use an etonogestrel implant if you are pregnant. If you have recently had a baby, wait at least 3 weeks (4 weeks if breast-feeding) before receiving an etonogestrel implant.

Do not use this medication if you have any of the following conditions: a history of stroke or blood clot, a history of breast cancer, abnormal vaginal bleeding, liver disease, or liver cancer. Using hormones can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, especially if you smoke and are older than 35.

Before receiving the etonogestrel implant, tell your doctor if you have an ovarian cyst, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, gallbladder disease, a seizure disorder, or if you are overweight.

Etonogestrel implant is inserted through a needle into the skin of your upper arm. The medicine is released slowly into the body from the implant. The implant can remain in place to provide continuous contraception for up to 3 years.

You will most likely have irregular and unpredictable periods while using the etonogestrel implant. Tell your doctor if your periods are very heavy or long-lasting, or if you miss a period (you may be pregnant).

If you need to have any type of medical tests or surgery, or if you will be on bed rest, you may need to stop using this medication for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using etonogestrel implant.

The etonogestrel implant must be removed by the end of the third year after it was inserted and may be replaced at that time with a new implant. If you choose not to replace the implant, your ability to get pregnant will return quickly. Start using another form of birth control right away if you wish to avoid an unintended pregnancy.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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