Implanon, an Implantable Contraceptive, Is Approved

Lasts up to 3 years

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TUESDAY, July 18, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Implanon (etonogestrel implant), a rod-shaped implantable female contraceptive that lasts up to three years, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, manufacturer Organon USA said Tuesday.

The matchstick-sized device is inserted just below the skin on the inner side of a woman's upper arm during an in-office doctor's visit, the company said in a statement. The device continually releases a low dose of the synthetic hormone progestin for up to three years.

The device offers 99 percent contraceptive protection, and upon removal, Organon said, a woman's fertility should return to what it was before the device was implanted.

Noted side effects include irregular bleeding, site swelling, and pain. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of a serious cardiovascular side effect and should be avoided, Organon said.

Implanon has been used by some 2.5 million women in 30 countries since 1998, the company said. It will be released in the United States later this year, and become more widely available in 2007, Organon said.

More information

To learn more about Implanon, visit the company's Web site.

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