Etonogestrel (Implantation)


Etonogestrel (e-toe-noe-JES-trel)

Prevents pregnancy. This medicine is a hormone mixed in a plastic rod.

Brand Name(s)

Implanon, Nexplanon

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine


  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is placed under the skin of your arm, at the start of your menstrual cycle.
  • You will be asked to sign a user card and a Patient Consent Form before you receive this medicine. This form tells you about the risks of this medicine and the guidelines for safe use. Make sure you understand what is on the form before you sign it. If you have any questions ask your doctor.
  • After this medicine is inserted, you should check that it is in place by gently pressing your fingertips over the skin where this medicine was inserted. You should be able to feel the small rod.
  • You may have to use another form of birth control for 7 days after insertion of this medicine. Talk with your doctor about this.
  • Your doctor must remove the implant after 3 years. You can have a new implant inserted after the old one is taken out if you still want to use this medicine.
  • Your doctor can remove the implant at any time if you would like to stop using this medicine. After the implant is removed, you should use another form of birth control right away if you still need to prevent pregnancy .

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss your appointment to remove or insert this implant, call your doctor to make another appointment.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you use barbiturates (such as phenobarbital, Luminal®), bosentan (Tracleer®), carbamazepine (Tegretol®), felbamate (Felbatol®), griseofulvin (Grifulvin V®), modafinil (Provigil®), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal®), phenylbutazone, phenytoin (Dilantin®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), topiramate (Topamax®), or St. John's wort. Tell your doctor if you use cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), lamotrigine (Lamictal®), medicine to treat a fungus infection (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, Nizoral®, or Sporanox®), or medicine to treat HIV infection (such as atazanavir, efavirenz, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Crixivan®, Fortovase®, Invirase®, Kaletra®, Norvir®, Viracept®, or Viramune®). Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Your doctor will do a pregnancy test before you receive this medicine to make sure you are not pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine. You could harm your unborn baby if you use this medicine while you are pregnant.
  • You have a higher risk of pregnancy that grows outside of your womb (ectopic pregnancy) if you become pregnant while using this medicine. Ectopic pregnancies can cause serious internal bleeding.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. You may start using this medicine if you have had a baby more than 4 weeks ago.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney disease, diabetes, body swelling (fluid retention), gallbladder disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides, frequent headaches, seizures (epilepsy), or a history of depression.
  • This medicine will not protect you from HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. If this is a concern for you, talk with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to numbing medicines (anesthetics) or skin cleansers (antiseptics). These medicines will be used when etonogestrel implant is inserted into your arm.
  • This medicine may not work as well in women who are overweight. Talk with your doctor if you are overweight.
  • Check with your eye doctor if you wear contact lenses and you have vision problems or eye discomfort while using this medicine.
  • This medicine may cause pain, irritation, swelling, bruising, scarring, or other complications when the implant is inserted or removed. Talk to your doctor about these possible risks.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis), lungs (pulmonary embolism), brain (stroke), heart (heart attack), or eyes (blindness). Tell your doctor if you smoke cigarettes. Make sure your doctor knows at least 4 weeks before you have any surgery or need to be on bed rest. Your risk of serious medical problems is greater during surgery or bed rest or if you smoke cigarettes.
  • This medicine may also increase your risk of irregular monthly periods, ovarian cysts, high blood pressure, gallbladder problems, or liver tumors.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Breast pain, discharge, or lumps
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg or on one side of your body
  • Pain in your lower leg
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, swelling, or tenderness
  • Sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Trouble sleeping, weakness, tiredness, or sadness
  • Vaginal bleeding, burning, itching, or discharge
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Acne
  • Back pain
  • Irregular monthly periods
  • Mild headache
  • Mood changes or nervousness
  • Pain during monthly periods
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the implant is placed
  • Weight gain

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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