May 24, 2017
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Implanon Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Implanon, Nexplanon

Generic Name: etonogestrel (implant) (Pronunciation: e toe noe JES trel)

What is etonogestrel implant (Implanon)?

Etonogestrel implant contains a hormone that prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medication also causes changes in your cervical mucus 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 not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of etonogestrel implant (Implanon)?

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 severe headache, confusion, pain behind the eyes, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;
  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • a breast lump;
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, tired feeling, mood changes); or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • pain, numbness, or tingling where the implant was inserted;
  • minor bleeding or scarring where the implant was inserted;
  • menstrual cramps, changes in your menstrual periods;
  • mild headache, dizziness, mood changes;
  • vaginal itching or discharge;
  • breast pain;
  • acne;
  • problems with contact lenses;
  • nausea, mild stomach pain;
  • back pain;
  • feeling nervous or depressed;
  • sore throat, flu symptoms; or
  • weight gain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Implanon (etonogestrel implant) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

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

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.

You should not use this implant if you are allergic to etonogestrel, or if you have any of the following conditions: unusual vaginal bleeding, liver disease or liver cancer, or if you have ever had breast or uterine cancer, a heart attack, a stroke, or a blood clot.

Before receiving the etonogestrel implant, tell your doctor if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gallbladder disease, kidney disease, an ovarian cyst, headaches, a history of depression, if you are overweight, or if you are allergic to numbing medicines.

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 surgery or medical tests or if you will be on bed rest, you may need to have your etonogestrel implant removed for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you have an 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.

Side Effects Centers

Implanon - User Reviews

Implanon User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Implanon sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

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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