"Nov. 20, 2012 -- Oral contraceptives should be made available without a prescription to reduce unintended pregnancies, according to a newly published opinion by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Implanon Consumer (continued)
Your periods may be early or late, shorter or longer, heavier or lighter than normal. You may also have some spotting between periods, especially during the first several months of use. If bleeding is prolonged (more than 8 days) or unusually heavy, contact your doctor. If you miss 2 periods in a row, contact your doctor for a pregnancy test.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
The rod must be removed after 3 years. This is usually a simple procedure done in your doctor's office. Rarely (e.g., if the rod has been placed too deeply or can't be felt), the rod may require surgery to remove.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: depression, unwanted facial/body hair.
This medication may rarely cause serious (sometimes fatal) problems from blood clots (e.g., pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack). Seek immediate medical attention if you experience: sudden shortness of breath, chest/jaw/left arm pain, confusion, coughing up blood, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, tingling/weakness/numbness in the arms/legs, headaches that are different from those you may have experienced in the past (e.g., headaches with other symptoms such as vision changes/lack of coordination, existing migraines becoming worse, sudden/very severe headaches), slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, vision problems/changes.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: severe stomach/abdominal/pelvic pain, lumps in the breast, unusual tiredness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the Implanon (etonogestrel implant) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
PRECAUTIONS: Before having the rod placed, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to etonogestrel; or to other progestins; or to any anesthetics or antiseptics that might be used in the procedure; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: abnormal breast exam, blood clots (e.g., in the legs, eyes, lungs), breast cancer, depression, high blood pressure, low levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL), diabetes, gall bladder disease, heart disease (e.g., chest pain, heart attack), history of yellowing eyes/skin (jaundice) during pregnancy or while using birth control pills, liver problems (e.g., liver tumor, active liver disease), migraine headaches, seizures, stroke, long periods of sitting or lying down (e.g., immobility such as being bedridden), unexplained vaginal bleeding.
Smoking cigarettes/using tobacco while using hormonal birth control (implant/pill/patch/ring) increases your risk of heart problems and stroke. Do not smoke. The risk of heart problems increases with age (especially in women over 35) and with frequent smoking (15 or more cigarettes a day).
Notify your doctor at least 4 weeks beforehand if you will be having surgery or will be confined to a chair/bed for a long time (e.g., a long plane flight). You may need to have this medication removed temporarily or take special precautions at these times while you are using this drug.
The drug in this implant may cause blotchy, dark areas on your skin (melasma). Sunlight may intensify this effect. If this occurs, avoid prolonged sun exposure, use a sunscreen, and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
If you are nearsighted or wear contact lenses, you may develop vision problems or may have problems wearing your contact lenses. Contact your eye doctor if these problems occur.
This product should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. A certain serious pregnancy problem (ectopic pregnancy) may be more likely if you become pregnant while using this product.
This medication passes into breast milk in small amounts. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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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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