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Etonogestrel Side Effects

In Summary

Commonly reported side effects of etonogestrel include: irregular menses and weight gain. Other side effects include: depression and pain. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to etonogestrel: intradermal implant

Along with its needed effects, etonogestrel may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking etonogestrel:

More Common

Less Common

  • Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the insertion site
  • bloating
  • blurred vision or other changes in vision
  • breast discharge
  • breast enlargement
  • burning feeling while urinating
  • difficult or painful urination
  • difficulty with breathing
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • headache, severe and throbbing
  • lumps in the breasts
  • nervousness
  • noisy breathing
  • painful or tender cysts in the breasts
  • pounding in the ears
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash, hives, itching
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • stomach or pelvic discomfort, aching, or heaviness
  • swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs
  • tightness in the chest

Rare

  • Collection of blood under the skin at the insertion site
  • deep, dark purple bruise at the insertion site

Some side effects of etonogestrel may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More Common

  • Back pain
  • blemishes on the skin, pimples
  • body aches or pain
  • crying
  • depersonalization
  • discouragement
  • dysphoria
  • ear congestion
  • euphoria
  • feeling sad or empty
  • hoarseness
  • increased clear or white vaginal discharge
  • increased weight
  • irregular bleeding cycle
  • irritability
  • itching of the vagina or genital area
  • light vaginal bleeding between regular menstrual periods
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • loss of voice
  • mental depression
  • nasal congestion
  • pain, cramps, or heavy menstrual bleeding
  • pain during sexual intercourse
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • paranoia
  • quick to react or overreact emotionally
  • rapidly changing moods
  • stomach pain
  • tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • thick, white vaginal discharge with no odor or with a mild odor
  • trouble concentrating
  • voice changes

Less Common

  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • abnormal or decreased touch sensation
  • belching
  • bone pain
  • burning feeling in the chest or stomach
  • decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • difficulty having a bowel movement
  • difficulty with moving
  • dull ache or feeling of pressure or heaviness in the legs
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • feeling of vaginal pressure
  • feeling of warmth
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • heartburn
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increased appetite
  • increased hair growth on the forehead, back, arms, and legs
  • indigestion
  • itching skin near damaged veins
  • lack or loss of strength
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • muscle cramping or stiffness
  • passing gas
  • pelvic pain
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally upper chest
  • redness, swelling in the ear, or earache
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • sneezing
  • stomach bloating and cramping
  • stuffy nose
  • swollen joints
  • tenderness in the stomach area
  • vaginal burning or pain
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to etonogestrel: subcutaneous implant

Genitourinary

Very common (10% or more): Menstrual bleeding irregularities (37%), vaginitis (14.5%), breast pain (12.8%)

Common (1% to 10%): Leukorrhea, dysmenorrhea

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urinary tract infection, dysuria, genital discharge, vulvovaginal discomfort, galactorrhea, breast enlargement, pruritus genital

Postmarketing reports: Ectopic pregnancy, breast discharge, ovarian cyst[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (24.9%)

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Migraine, somnolence

Postmarketing reports: Convulsions[Ref]

Metabolic

Very common (10% or more): Weight increase (13.7%)

Common (1% to 10%): Increased appetite, weight decreased[Ref]

Dermatologic

Very common (10% or more): Acne (14.8%)

Common (1% to 10%): Alopecia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypertrichosis, pruritus, rash

Postmarketing reports: Angioedema, aggravation of angioedema and/or aggravation of hereditary angioedema, chloasma, seborrhea, urticaria[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Abdominal pain (10.9%)

Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, flatulence

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Constipation, diarrhea, vomiting[Ref]

Respiratory

Very common (10% or more): Pharyngitis (10.5%)

Postmarketing reports: Rhinitis[Ref]

Local

Implant site complications include: bruising, slight local irritation, pain, itching, fibrosis at implant site, paresthesia or paresthesia-like events, scarring, hematoma, redness, swelling, and abscess.

Migration of the implants has rarely occurred to the chest wall, as well as within the vasculature including the pulmonary artery. Some patients with migration to the pulmonary artery reported chest pain and/or dyspnea, others were asymptomatic.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Insertion site pain, implant site complications, injection site reaction

Frequency not reported: Expulsion or migration of the implant[Ref]

Psychiatric

Common (1% to 10%): Emotional lability, depression, nervousness, libido decreased

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anxiety, insomnia[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Common (1% to 10%): Back pain

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Arthralgia, musculoskeletal pain, myalgia[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Common (1% to 10%): Hypersensitivity

Postmarketing reports: Anaphylactic reactions[Ref]

Other

Common (1% to 10%): Influenza-like symptoms, pain, hot flush, fatigue

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Edema, pyrexia[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Postmarketing reports: Clinically relevant rise in blood pressure[Ref]

References

1. "Product Information. Nexplanon (etonogestrel)." Organon Pharmaceuticals, West Orange, NJ.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. "Product Information. Implanon (etonogestrel)." Organon Pharmaceuticals, West Orange, NJ.

4. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.

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