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Implant, Hormonal IUD Effective Beyond FDA-Approved Duration

Etonogestrel implant, levonorgestrel IUD effective beyond three and five years, respectively

FRIDAY, Feb. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The contraceptive implant and the 52-mg hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) seem to be effective beyond the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved duration, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Colleen McNicholas, D.O., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues examined the effectiveness of the contraceptive implant and 52-mg hormonal IUD in women using the methods beyond the FDA-approved duration of three and five years, respectively. Data were included for 237 implant users and 263 levonorgestrel IUD users who were willing to continue using their implant or IUD beyond the FDA-approved duration.

The researchers found that among the implant users, 123 used the etonogestrel implant for four years and 34 used it for five years. There were no pregnancies documented among the implant users, for a failure rate of 0 per 100 women-years. Among 263 levonorgestrel IUD users, there was one pregnancy confirmed, for a failure rate of 0.51 per 100 women-years. The median etonogestrel level at three and four years of use was 188.8 pg/mL and 177.0 pg/mL, respectively, among implant users with serum etonogestrel results. At three and four years, etonogestrel levels did not differ by body mass index (P = 0.79 and 0.47, respectively).

"Preliminary findings indicate the contraceptive implant and 52-mg hormonal IUD continue to be highly effective for an additional year beyond the FDA-approved three and five years," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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