Implanon

Generic Name: Etonogestrel

  • What is Implanon?

    Implanon is a type of birth control for women. It is a flexible plastic rod the size of a matchstick that is put under the skin of your arm. Implanon contains a hormone called etonogestrel. You can use a single Implanon rod for up to 3 years. Because Implanon does not contain estrogen, your doctor may recommend Implanon even if you cannot use estrogen.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Implanon?

    Implanon does not protect against infection from HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) or other sexually transmitted diseases.

    After you receive Implanon, check that it is in place by pressing your fingertips over the skin in your arm where Implanon was placed. You should be able to feel the Implanon rod. If Implanon is not placed properly, it may not prevent pregnancy or it may be difficult or impossible to remove.

    The most common side effect of Implanon is a change in your menstrual periods. Expect your menstrual period to be irregular and unpredictable throughout the time you are using Implanon. You may have more bleeding, less bleeding, or no bleeding. The time between periods may vary, and in between periods you may have spotting.

  • Who should not take Implanon?

    Do not use Implanon if you: are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, have or have had serious blood clots, have unexplained vaginal bleeding, have liver disease, have breast cancer (now or in the past), or are allergic to anything in Implanon.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Implanon?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Implanon. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a history of diabetes, high cholesterol or triglycerides, headaches, seizures, epilepsy, gallbladder or kidney disease, depression, high blood pressure, or an allergic reaction to anesthetics and antiseptics.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: Implanon is inserted under the skin and should be removed 3 years after the date of insertion.

  • How should I take Implanon?

    Your doctor will insert Implanon in a minor surgical procedure in his or her office. Implanon is inserted just under the skin on the inner side of your upper arm.

    The timing of insertion is important. Depending on your history, your healthcare provider may ask you to have a pregnancy test before insertion, schedule the insertion at a specific time of your cycle (for example, within the first days of your regular menstrual bleeding), or use a backup method of birth control, such as condoms, for 7 days after Implanon insertion.

    Both you and your healthcare provider should check that Implanon is in your arm by feeling the Implanon implant. If you or your healthcare provider cannot feel Implanon, use a nonhormonal birth control method such as condoms until your healthcare provider confirms that Implanon is in place. You may need special tests for this or to help find Implanon when it is time to take it out.

    You will be asked to review and sign a consent form prior to inserting Implanon. You will also get a user card to keep at home with your health records. Your healthcare provider will fill out the insertion and removal dates. Keep track of the removal date and schedule an appointment for removal on or before this date.

    The insertion site is covered with 2 bandages. Leave the top bandage on for 24 hours. Keep the smaller bandage dry, clean, and in place for 3-5 days.

    Be sure to have checkups as advised by your healthcare provider.

  • What should I avoid while taking Implanon?

    Avoid smoking while using Implanon, especially if you are older than 35.

    Implanon does not protect you against HIV or sexually transmitted disease; using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from acquiring these diseases.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Implanon?

    If Implanon is taken with certain other drugs, the effect of either medication could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Implanon with the following medications: anti-HIV protease inhibitors, barbiturates, carbamazepine, felbamate, griseofulvin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, modafinil, oxcarbazepine, phenylbutazone, phenytoin, rifampin, St. John's Wort, and topiramate.

  • What are the possible side effects of Implanon?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: irregular and unpredictable bleeding, vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina), weight gain, headache, acne, breast pain, viral infections such as colds, sore throat, sinus infection or flu-like symptoms, stomach pain, painful periods, mood swings, nervousness, depression, back pain, nausea, dizziness, pain at the site of insertion

  • Can I receive Implanon if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    You should not use Implanon if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while using Implanon, you should see your doctor right away to remove Implanon to prevent ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb).

    You may start using Implanon if you are breastfeeding and have delivered your baby more than 4 weeks ago. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Implanon?

    Implanon should be removed 3 years after the date of insertion. Speak to your doctor if it is appropriate to continue using Implanon.

  • How should I store Implanon?

    Your doctor will store this medication.

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I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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