Nexplanon

Generic Name: Etonogestrel

  • What is Nexplanon?

    Nexplanon is a birth control implant used by women to prevent pregnancy for up to 3 years. It contains a progestin hormone called etonogestrel. Nexplanon is inserted just under the skin of the inner side of your upper arm.

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

    Nexplanon is intended to prevent pregnancy. It does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases.

    The Nexplanon implant may not be placed in your arm at all due to a failed insertion. If this happens, you can become pregnant. You should be able to feel the implant under your skin immediately after insertion. Tell your doctor if you cannot feel the implant.

    Insertion and removal of the implant can lead to pain, irritation, swelling, bruising, or scarring at the insertion site; infection; or injury to nerves or blood vessels in your arm. Also, scar tissue can form around the implant or the implant can break, making it difficult to remove; you may need surgery to remove the implant. In addition, the implant can come out by itself, which can result in you becoming pregnant. Use a back-up birth control method and call your doctor immediately if your implant comes out.

    You can experience longer or shorter bleeding during your periods or have no bleeding at all while you are using Nexplanon. Nexplanon can also lead to spotting. Tell your doctor immediately if you think you may be pregnant or if you notice any changes in your menstrual bleeding.

    If you become pregnant while using Nexplanon, you have a slightly higher chance that the pregnancy will be ectopic (occurring outside the womb) than do women who do not use birth control. Ectopic pregnancies can cause serious internal bleeding, infertility, and even death. Call your doctor immediately if you think you are pregnant or have unexplained lower stomach pain.

    Cigarette smoking while using Nexplanon can increase your risk of serious side effects on the heart and blood vessels, including heart attack, blood clots, or stroke. Your risk of getting serious blood clots can increase during surgery or bed rest. Tell your doctor at least 4 weeks before going to surgery.

    Nexplanon can also increase your risk of cancer of your breasts or reproductive organs, high blood pressure, liver tumors, or gallbladder disease. Your doctor will monitor you for these conditions. Ask your doctor to show you how to examine your breasts.

    Tell your doctor immediately if you have lower leg pain that does not go away, severe chest pain or heaviness in your chest, sudden shortness of breath, coughing blood, sudden severe headaches, weakness or numbness in your arms or legs, trouble speaking, vision loss, yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, breast lumps, problems sleeping, lack of energy, tiredness, or depression.

  • Who should not take Nexplanon?

    Your doctor will not insert Nexplanon if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients. Also, your doctor will not insert Nexplanon if you have had a heart attack or stroke; blood clots in your legs, lungs, or eyes; liver disease, including liver tumors; known or suspected breast cancer or certain cancers sensitive to progestin; unexplained vaginal bleeding; or known or suspected pregnancy.

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

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Nexplanon. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have had heart attacks or strokes; blood clots; liver disease, including liver tumors; unexplained vaginal bleeding; breast cancer or certain hormonally sensitive cancers; diabetes; high triglycerides or cholesterol; headaches; high blood pressure; depression; gallbladder, heart, or kidney disease; or allergies.

  • 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: Your doctor will insert the Nexplanon implant for you.

  • How should I take Nexplanon?

    Your doctor will insert the Nexplanon implant just under the skin on the inner side of your upper arm. Your doctor can perform a pregnancy test before inserting Nexplanon and can schedule the insertion at a specific time of your menstrual cycle. You and your doctor should check that the implant is in your arm by feeling for it immediately after it has been inserted.

    Nexplanon must be removed after 3 years. Your doctor can insert a new implant under your skin after taking out the old one if you choose to continue using it for birth control. If you want to stop using Nexplanon before 3 years, your doctor can remove it at any time.

  • What should I avoid while taking Nexplanon?

    Do not miss your scheduled follow-up appointments with your doctor.

    Do not smoke while you are using Nexplanon.

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

    If Nexplanon is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Nexplanon with the following: bosentan, certain anti-HIV medications (such as efavirenz, indinavir, or ritonavir), cyclosporine, felbamate, griseofulvin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, rifampin, seizure medications (such as carbamazepine, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, or topiramate), or St. John's wort.

  • What are the possible side effects of Nexplanon?

    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: acne (pimples), back pain, breast pain, changes in menstrual bleeding patterns, depressed mood, dizziness, "flu-like" symptoms, headache, mood swings, nausea, pain, sore throat, stomach pain, vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina), weight gain

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

    Do not use Nexplanon if you are pregnant. It can be used while breastfeeding if 4 weeks have passed since you have had your baby. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

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

    Nexplanon implant should be placed under special circumstances determined by your doctor.

  • How should I store Nexplanon?

    Your doctor will store this medication for you.