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All about: Implanon implant

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Generic Name: etonogestrel (implant) (et oh noe JES trel)
Brand Names: Implanon

What is etonogestrel implant?

Etonogestrel implant contains a hormone that prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medication also causes changes in your cervical mucous 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 purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

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

Do not use etonogestrel implant if you are pregnant or if you have recently had a baby. 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.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving the etonogestrel implant?

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 receive the implant if you are allergic to etonogestrel, or if you have:
  • a history of stroke or blood clot;

  • a history of breast cancer;

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding; or

  • liver disease or liver cancer.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions. You may not be able to use an etonogestrel implant, or you may need special tests during treatment.

  • an ovarian cyst;

  • high blood pressure;

  • heart disease or congestive heart failure;

  • high cholesterol or if you are overweight;

  • a history of depression;

  • gallbladder disease;

  • diabetes; or

  • seizures or epilepsy.

Do not use the implant if you are breast-feeding a baby younger than 4 weeks old.

The etonogestrel implant should not be used in girls younger than 18 years old.

How is the etonogestrel implant used?

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use etonogestrel implants for longer than recommended by your doctor.

The timing of when you will receive this implant depends on whether or not you were using birth control before, and what type it was. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Etonogestrel implant is inserted through a needle into the skin of your upper arm, just inside and above the elbow. You will receive the implant in your doctor's office or other clinic setting. The skin of your upper arm will be treated with a numbing medicine to keep you from feeling pain during the insertion.

Before receiving this implant, you may need a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant.

This implant must be inserted only by a physician or other healthcare provider who has been specially trained in the insertion of the etonogestrel implant. Incorrect placement of the rod too deeply can make it difficult or impossible to remove later on. If the rod is incorrectly inserted and falls out, you will not be protected from unintended pregnancy.

Once the implant is inserted, you should be able to feel it under your skin. Tell your doctor if you cannot feel the implant under the skin at any time while it is in place.

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.

If the implant is placed correctly, you will not need to use back-up birth control. Follow your doctor's instructions.

After the implant is inserted, your doctor will cover the arm with two bandages. You may remove the top bandage after 24 hours, but leave the smaller bandage on your arm for 3 to 5 days. Keep the area clean and dry while wearing the bandage. 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.

Your doctor will need to see you on a regular basis while you are using this medication. You may also need to have routine mammograms. Do not miss any appointments.

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. Some women have become pregnant within the first week after removal of an etonogestrel implant. Start using another form of birth control right away if you wish to avoid an unintended pregnancy.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since the etonogestrel implant is inserted under the skin and remains in place for up to 3 years, you will not be on a dosing schedule. Be sure to see your doctor for removal of the implant by the end of the third year.

What happens if I overdose?

If the implant is correctly inserted, an overdose of etonogestrel is highly unlikely. Symptoms of an overdose may include nausea, vomiting, and vaginal bleeding.

What should I avoid while taking etonogestrel implant?

Do not smoke while using etonogestrel implant, especially if you are older than 35. Smoking can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack caused by etonogestrel implant.

Etonogestrel implant will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases--including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from these diseases.

Etonogestrel implant side effects

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 be more likely to occur, such as:

  • 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;

  • increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair;

  • weight gain;

  • nausea, mild stomach pain, menstrual cramps;

  • vaginal itching or discharge;

  • headache, back pain, nervousness, dizziness;

  • runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough; or

  • problems with contact lenses;

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect etonogestrel implant?

Before receiving etonogestrel implant, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • phenylbutazone (Azolid, Butazolidin);

  • modafinil (Provigil);

  • St. John's wort;

  • antibiotic medicines such as griseofulvin (Grisactin, Grifulvin V, Fulvicin PG), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), amoxicillin (Augmentin), ampicillin (Omnipen), doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin), minocycline (Minocin), penicillin (Veetids, Pen Vee K, Bicillin), rifampin (Rifadin), rifabutin (Mycobutin), tetracycline (Sumycin, Achromycin, Robitet), and others;

  • seizure medicines such as phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), felbamate (Felbatol), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), or topiramate (Topamax);

  • a barbiturate such as amobarbital (Amytal), butabarbital (Butisol), mephobarbital (Mebaral), secobarbital (Seconal), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton); or

  • HIV medicines such as amprenavir (Agenerase), atazanavir (Reyataz), tipranavir (Aptivus), indinavir (Crixivan), saquinavir (Invirase), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), ritonavir (Norvir), or nelfinavir (Viracept).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use the etonogestrel implant, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect etonogestrel implant. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about etonogestrel implant written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Etonogestrel implant is available with a prescription under the brand name Implanon. Other brand or generic forms may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.02. Revision Date: 10/31/06 12:53:08 PM.

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