FDA OKs New Implantable Contraceptive
Device, Called Implanon, Said to Work up to 3 Years
WebMD News Archive
July 18, 2006 -- The FDA today announced approval of an implantable
contraceptive called Implanon, which is effective for up to three years,
according to its maker, Organon.
About the size of a matchstick, Implanon is implanted by health care workers
in the inner side of a woman's upper arm.
Implanon "continually releases a low, steady dose of progestin ... for a
period of up to three years via a unique, state-of-the-art implantable
technology," says an Organon news release. Progestin is a hormone also
found in oral contraceptives, or birth
The new contraceptive can be removed "at any time at the request of the
user, after which the woman's fertility
returns to her pre-existing fertility level," the company states.
Implanon has been used worldwide by about 2.5 million women in more than 30
countries since 1998, says Organon.
The company will sponsor a U.S. training program to teach health care
workers here how to implant the device. Implanon should become more widely
available in the U.S. in 2007, as the training program progresses, according to
Possible side effects include irregular bleeding, which can occur with other
progestin-only contraceptives, states Organon. Other possible side effects
include headache, acne, and mood swings,
which also can occur with other hormonal contraceptives.
In clinical studies, less than 4% of participants had complications such as
redness, swelling, and pain at the spot where Implanon was implanted. Removal
complications were seen in less than 2% of participants and included broken or
damaged implants and implants that had shifted slightly from their original
Cigarette smoking can raise the risk of heart
disease and stroke in women who use
hormonal contraceptives. Those women are "strongly advised not to
smoke," states Organon.
Like other hormonal contraceptives, Implanon doesn't protect against AIDS or
other sexually transmitted diseases.
SOURCE: News release, Organon.