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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? No
  • Drug class: Female sex hormone (progestin)


    Highly effective long-term reversible contraceptive method.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Administered by means of implants consisting of six flexible closed capsules (about the size of match sticks) that are inserted beneath the skin on the inside of the upper arm. Implantation is done by a health-care professional within seven days of the start of the last menstrual period. The drug slowly diffuses into the bloodstream, delivering a nearly constant level of levonorgestrel to the body for up to 5 years.

When to take:
Implanted when long-term (up to 5 years) contraception is desired.

If you forget a dose:
Not a concern.

What drug does:
Inhibits ovulation in some women so that eggs are not produced regularly. Causes the mucus of the cervix to thicken, preventing the sperm from reaching the egg if one is produced.

Time lapse before drug works:
24 hours

Don't take with:
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


None expected.


Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    None expected.


    Increased, decreased, irregular or prolonged menstruation; spotting between periods.


    Headache, acne.


  • Severe bleeding, infection with pus at implant site, vaginal infection.
  • Swelling, numbness, discoloration or tenderness at implant site; breast discharge or tenderness; weight gain or loss; excess hair growth; hair loss from scalp; nausea; dizziness; muscle or abdominal pain; appetite changes; nervousness; depression.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:

  • You are allergic to any progestin hormone.
  • You are or suspect you might be pregnant.
  • You have liver disease or liver tumors.
  • You have unexplained vaginal bleeding.
  • You have breast cancer.
  • You have now, or have a history of, blood clots in the legs, lungs or eyes.

Before you start, consult your doctor:
If you have a condition that could be aggravated by fluid retention.

Over age 60:
Not recommended.

If pregnancy occurs, the capsules should be removed.

Drug passes into milk. Consult your doctor about the advisability of breast-feeding.

Infants & children:
Not recommended.

Prolonged use:

  • No problems expected.
  • Capsules should be removed at end of five years. New capsules may be implanted if continuing contraception is desired.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
No problems expected.


  • Must be removed by a health-care professional.
  • May be removed at your request at any time for any reason.
  • Removal should be considered if you will be immobile for a long time due to illness or surgery.


  • May affect results of some medical tests.
  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. For additional protection, couples may also use condoms and/or spermicidal agents.
  • Fertility returns shortly after implants are removed, usually within two weeks.
  • Have blood pressure checked by your doctor 3 months after implant.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------- -----------------------
Phenytoin Decreased contraceptive effect.
Carbamazepine Decreased contraceptive effect.
Barbiturates* Decreased contraceptive effect.
Phenylbutazone Decreased contraceptive effect.
Isoniazid Decreased contraceptive effect.
Rifampin Decreased contraceptive effect.

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: None expected.
Beverages: None expected.
Cocaine: None expected.
Foods: None expected.
Marijuana: None expected.
Tobacco: None expected, but consult doctor.

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