IMPLANON: Single Rod Implantable Contraceptive

IMPLANON made by Organon International pharmaceutical company incorporated, headquartered in Roseland, New Jersey, part of Akzo Noel (multinational company, active in the fields of healthcare products, chemicals, and coatings – Headquartered in Arnhem, Netherlands) is a contraceptive implant, in use since 1998, and used by 2.5 million women in over 30 countries. IMPLANON is the only single-rod implantable contraceptive worldwide. This implant is a small flexible rod (1.5 inch long) containing 68 milligrams of progestogenic hormone (etonogestrel), which is inserted (office procedure takes less than a minute) just underneath the skin of the upper inner arm and provides protection against pregnancy for a duration of three years, if left in place. This method has a less than one percent failure rate. Normally, scar tissue develops around the insertion, which prevents it from shifting or moving inside the arm. Before inserting the rod, a local anesthetic is applied to area of the skin. The same drug used in the contraceptive vaginal ring. During the first two years, the implanted rod releases approximately 60 – 70 micrograms of progestogenic hormone and then decreases the amount to 25 – 0 micrograms per day by the third year. After the third year, the implanted rod should be removed, since it does not serve any further purpose or will not prevent a future pregnancy. It is a biodegradable synthetic material, which should not cause any health problems.

IMPLANON should be implanted between the days one and five of a menstrual cycle (Day one is the first day of the period), assuming no other hormonal contraceptive had been used. Otherwise, the woman’s physician or family planning nurse, will inform when the optimal time to insert the implant.

The ingredient etonogestrel is a synthetic form of naturally occurring female sex hormone, progesterone, which enters the bloodstream. Preventing pregnancy in two ways: Increased amount of etonogestrel deceives the body processes into thinking, ovulation has already occurred. Thus producing progesterone, preventing the release of eggs from the ovaries and preventing pregnancy. Also, the drug effects natural mucus at the neck of the womb (cervix). It increases the thickness the mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to cross from the vagina into the womb. By preventing sperm, from entering the womb, prevents fertilization of an egg, and would have lead to a pregnancy. Implanted rod can be removed anytime by a doctor or family planning nurse, if the woman decides she would like to get pregnant in the future or if the side effects become hard to overcome.

Advisable Information and recommendations: Have an ultrasound, magnetic resonance or have blood samples taken, which ensures accuracy of the implant rod has been properly inserted and is administering appropriate amount of the drug. In the meantime, until such tests can be performed, advisable to take precautionary steps, including wearing a condom, during intercourse. Besides, will prevent any sexually transmitted diseases, most of the time. After, three months from the time the implant was inserted, recommended having a check up which includes having blood pressure checked. Consult with your physician if the contraceptive rod should be removed, prior to having any elective surgery, and during long periods of immobility. Women that are obese may need to replace the contraceptive rod, sooner than three years. Irregular menstrual bleeding will cause eleven percent of these women to have the contraceptive rod removed. The time when IMPLANON rod needs to be removed may require minor surgery, if it has moved slightly from the original insertion site. Hormonal contraceptives users have small increase risk developing or being diagnosed with breast cancer. The implant increases the side effects of those that are diagnosed having chlosma. This causes yellow – brown patches of coloring on the skin, as seen especially on the face. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet radiation or UV lamps, is recommended. Women having the contraceptive rod should avoid cigarette smoking, which can increase the risk of serious cardiovascular side effect. Medical advise from a physician should be ascertained before committing to breast – feeding, which may or may not effect the development and growth of a child, if the contraceptive rod is still inserted or will be inserted.

Medical reasons, which prevent the use of IMPLANON rod implant includes: Deep vein thrombosis (When blood clots occur in a major vein), severe liver disease or history of liver disease, progestogen dependent cancer, unknown cause of vaginal bleeding, and hereditary blood disorders (porphyrias).

Side effects maybe experienced (3.6 percent of a study participants) after insertion of IMPLANON rod, which includes: Menstrual bleeding, frequent or longer heavier bleeding, spotting or no bleeding at all, breast tenderness or pain, depressed mood, depressed sex drive, nervousness, hair loss or growth, migraine, weight gain and hot flushes. Also, swelling or pains in either leg, breathlessness, pain when breathing or coughing, chest pain, abdominal pain, coughing up blood, itching of the whole body, yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice) or feeling a lump in a breast, then the implant rod may need to be removed.

In July 2006, the Food and Drug and Administration approved the use of IMPLANON female contraceptive implant. Organon pharmaceutical will launch a national clinical training program, beginning in August 2006, teaching health care professionals how to insert and remove the rod. This contraceptive will be made available in the United States by late 2006. According to the company spokesman Frances DeSena, the price of IMPLANON will be comparable to the monthly cost of other hormonal methods. A card containing the implant’s lot number will be included in the medical files of women fitted with IMPLANON to help track anyone in case a problem occurs, leading to a recall.

According to Rabo Securities, IMPLANON had accounted for $57.7 million of sales in 2005.

Previously, Norplant (developed by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals) another type of implantable contraceptive, was pulled from the market six years ago, due to complaints about serious side effects or other problems. It worked up to four years or seven years more than IMPLANON, but lawsuits by women injured having its six rods removed. Also, another implanted two – rod product called Jadelle, received FDA approval in 1996, but has never been sold in the United States.

Further information regarding IMPLANON: Log onto or
Call: 1-877-IMPLANON (1-877-467-5266).

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