Last Updated 18 Sep 2009
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 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.
Other information about Implanon:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
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.
In the case of Implanon:
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.
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:
It is very important that you seek urgent medical advice if you become pregnant or think you have become pregnant while taking this 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.
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.
Implanon, Version 4, last updated 18 Sep 2009