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The eMC  

Last Updated 18 Sep 2009

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Implanon 68mg implant

Implanon 68mg implant

Due to recent news coverage, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) has provided some advice to women using the Implanon contraceptive implant:

  • Women who can feel their Implanon implant, and who are within the three-year timeframe for having one fitted, do not need to take any action.
  • If the implant cannot be located this does not necessarily mean that Implanon is not present, and women may wish to ask for confirmation of its presence at the next routine appointment with their Implanon fitter. In the meantime if women are in any doubt about the presence of Implanon they should use a condom for contraceptive cover, as recommended in the patient information leaflet

Further information is provided on the MHRA website:

Implanon (Im-plan-on) is a medicine which is used in contraception. Implanon contains etonogestrel. It is supplied by Organon Laboratories Limited.

The information in this Medicine Guide for Implanon varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.

Implanon 68mg implant

Information specific to Implanon 68mg implant when used in contraception

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Your medicine

Implanon contains a hormone which is similar to the hormone progesterone that is produced by the body. It is used to prevent women from becoming pregnant. It works by preventing the release of eggs from the ovary. It also increases the thickness of vaginal fluid which can stop a sperm from reaching an egg.

Implanon is a long-term contraceptive. It is an implant that is inserted under the skin of the arm. After Implanon has been inserted, you and your prescriber should check and feel the implant in your arm. If Implanon cannot be felt, your prescriber may need to carry out some tests. You may need to take extra contraceptive precautions until you and your prescriber are absolutely sure the implant is in place. If a new implant is inserted immediately after removing an old one, you will be continually protected from becoming pregnant. Implanon is usually replaced every two to three years. However, you may ask your prescriber to remove it at any time.

You may also need to take extra contraceptive precautions if Implanon has not been inserted within the first five days of a menstrual period or if you are taking certain medicines that interact with Implanon. Ask your prescriber or family planning nurse or read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine for more information.

Implanon does not provide protection against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.

Other information about Implanon:

  • you will usually have a medical check-up three months after Implanon has been inserted
  • you will be given a user card with details of when Implanon was inserted and the date of removal

Implanon is an implant – it will be implanted by a healthcare professional. The person responsible for giving you your medicine will make sure that you get the right dose. If you feel that the medicine is making you feel unwell or you think it is not working, you should talk to someone who is involved in your care.

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When to take your medicine

Your prescriber or family planning nurse will advise you when you need to have your implant inserted. It is usually replaced every two to three years. It is a good idea to make a note of the date of your next insertion so that you do not miss any of your appointments.

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How to take your medicine

Implanon is an implant – it will be inserted under your skin by a healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about this medicine or how this will be given to you, talk to someone who is involved in your medical care.

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Taking too much of your medicine

Taking extra doses of some medicines can be harmful. In some cases even one extra dose can cause you problems. In the case of Implanon, the person who is responsible for giving you your medicine will make sure that you are given the correct dose.

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Stopping your medicine

If you are not having any problems with Implanon, you should keep using the implant until you no longer need this form of contraception or your prescriber advises you that Implanon needs to be removed.

If you are in any doubt, contact your prescriber, pharmacist, specialist clinic or call 111.

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Looking after your medicine

The medical team will often be responsible for looking after this medicine. However, if you are responsible for looking after this medicine make sure that you store it properly and safely. Check the label and Patient Information leaflet for details or ask a member of your medical team.

In the case of Implanon:

  • store in the original pack

Do not use the medicine after the expiry date shown on the packaging. If you have any unused medicine, return it to your pharmacist who will dispose of it safely.

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Whether this medicine is suitable for you

Implanon is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.

Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:

Furthermore the prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with special care or may not prescribe it at all for females under 18 years of age.

As part of the process of assessing suitability to take this medicine a prescriber may also arrange tests:

  • to determine whether or not the medicine is suitable and whether it must be prescribed with extra care
  • to check that this medicine is not having any undesired effects

Over time it is possible that Implanon can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Implanon has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.

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A medicine is only made available to the public if the clinical trials have shown that the benefits of taking the medicine outweigh the risks.

Once a medicine has been licensed, information on the medicine's effects, both intended and unintended, is continuously recorded and updated.

Some side-effects may be serious while others may only be a mild inconvenience.

Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine.

Very common: More than 1 in 10 people who take Implanon:

  • acne
  • breast pain or tenderness
  • headaches
  • irregular menstrual periods - seek medical advice if you continue to have irregular bleeding
  • vaginal infections
  • weight gain

Common: More than 1 in 100 people who take Implanon:

Uncommon: More than 1 in 1000 people who take Implanon:

The frequency of these side-effects is unknown:

  • abscess, fibrosis or scarring at the site of insertion
  • angioedema or worsening of angioedema
  • bruising, irritation, pain or itching at the time of insertion or removal of Implanon
  • decreased glucose tolerance
  • ectopic pregnancy - seek medical advice if you have stomach pain or amenorrhoea
  • increased growth of ovarian follicles
  • liver problems
  • movement or expulsion of Implanon - this may also happen if there is inflammation at the site of insertion
  • paraesthesiae
  • raised blood pressure
  • urticaria

The frequency of these side-effects is unknown and has been reported in women who have taken combined oral contraceptives :

  • chloasma - seek medical advice if you develop chloasma. If you are prone to having chloasma, you should avoid exposure to the sun or ultraviolet light while using Implanon
  • hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast cancer or liver tumour
  • may affect the results for certain tests
  • thromboembolic problems such as deep vein thrombosis, arterial thromboembolism or pulmonary embolism - these problems may return in women who have a history of thromboembolic problems
  • worsening of conditions that may occur during pregnancy or hormone treatment. These include: jaundice, itching, skin rashes, gallstones, porphyria, systemic lupus erythematosus, chorea, blood problems or hearing loss due to otosclerosis. Seek medical advice if you get any of these conditions

If you feel unwell or if you have concerns about a side-effect, you will need to seek advice. If you feel very ill, get medical help straight away. Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, nurse or call 111.

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Taking other medicines

If you are taking more than one medicine they may interact with each other. At times your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, in other cases this may not be appropriate.

The decision to use medicines that interact depends on your specific circumstances. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines that interact, if it is believed that the benefits of taking the medicines together outweigh the risks. In such cases, it may be necessary to alter your dose or monitor you more closely.

Tell your prescriber the names of all the medicines that you are taking so that they can consider all possible interactions. This includes all the medicines which have been prescribed by your GP, hospital doctor, dentist, nurse, health visitor, midwife or pharmacist. You must also tell your prescriber about medicines which you have bought over the counter without prescriptions.

The following medicines may interact with Implanon:

The following types of medicine may interact with Implanon:

If you are taking Implanon and one of the above medicines or types of medicines, make sure your prescriber knows about it.

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Complementary preparations and vitamins

Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins.

Make sure you tell your prescriber the names of all the complementary preparations and vitamins that you are taking or are planning to take.

Your prescriber can then decide whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact.

In the case of Implanon:

If you have been prescribed Implanon you should only take something on the above list on the specific advice of your prescriber or pharmacist.

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Driving and operating machinery

When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.

Like all medicines Implanon can cause side effects. You should see how this medicine affects you and then judge if you are safe to drive or operate machinery. If you are in any doubt, talk to your prescriber.

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Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your prescriber may advise you to avoid certain foods.

In the case of Implanon:

  • there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when using Implanon
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Alcohol can interact with certain medicines.

In the case of Implanon:

  • there are no known interactions between alcohol and Implanon
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Family planning and pregnancy

Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.

In the case of Implanon:

  • do not use this medicine during pregnancy
  • your prescriber will only start your treatment with Implanon once they are certain that you are not pregnant. For more information talk to your prescriber

It is very important that you seek urgent medical advice if you become pregnant or think you have become pregnant while taking this medicine.

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Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.

In the case of Implanon:

  • this medicine may be used by women who are breast-feeding

For information about Implanon and breast-feeding, contact your prescriber.

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Ingredients of your medicine

Medicines contain active ingredients. They may also contain other, additional ingredients that help ensure the stability, safety and effectiveness of the medicine. They are also added to improve the medicine's taste and appearance and to make it easier to take. Some may be used to prolong the life of the medicine.

You should check that you are able to take the ingredients in your medicine, especially if you have any allergies.

Implanon contains:

If you are not able to take any of the ingredients in your medicine, talk to your prescriber or pharmacist to see if they can suggest an alternative medicine. If you have reacted badly to Implanon before, do not take Implanon. Talk to your prescriber, pharmacist or nurse as soon as possible.

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Implanon, Version 4, last updated 18 Sep 2009