Levonorgestrel - Subcutaneous

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Levonorgestrel is a long-acting birth control implant. This medicine is used to prevent pregnancy.
How do I use this medicine?
Levonorgestrel is contained inside a tiny, cylindrical rod. This tiny rod will be inserted under the skin at the inner thigh or at the inner side of your non-dominant upper arm.

Your doctor will give you a local anaesthetic (medicine that blocks pain and sensation) before making a small incision in the skin. Your doctor will then place the implant in the correct position for you.

Each Levonorgestrel implant may be left in place for a specified number of years (4 or 5 years, depending on the brand used). The implant can be removed at any time by your doctor but no later than the specified span of use (4 or 5 years) from the date of insertion. Remember to see your doctor on the date of implant removal.
When should I not use this medicine?
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • current, suspected, or history of breast cancer or sex hormone-sensitive cancers
  • unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • current or history of blood clot disorders
  • liver disease e.g. liver tumours
as Levonorgestrel may not be suitable for you.

Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while being treated with Levonorgestrel, alert your doctor immediately. This medicine may cause harm to your unborn child.
What should I take note of while using this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • with risk or history of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that occurs outside of the womb)
  • history of ovarian cyst (fluid-filled sacs or pockets)
  • slow heart rate
  • high blood pressure
  • seizure or fits
  • depression
  • severe headache
  • migraine (severe throbbing or pulsating sensation usually affecting one side of the head that is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound)
  • current or in remission cancer of the blood
  • obesity
Let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding.

Levonorgestrel does not reduce your risk of getting HIV infection or any other sexually transmitted diseases. Ensure that you use proper precautions to avoid getting these diseases.

If you are going to have an operation or certain laboratory tests (e.g. test for cholesterol levels or blood sugar tolerance), inform your doctor that you are using this medicine.

Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
  • Pregnancy tests must be done before treatment to know if this medicine is suited for you to use.
  • Routine tests (e.g. sugar levels) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
  • Your blood pressure may rise to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure during treatment.
  • Regular monitoring of signs and symptoms of infection and formation of blood clots may also be needed.
What side effects could I experience?
Levonorgestrel may cause any of the following side effects: headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, nervousness, hair loss, pimple, back pain, breast secretion, increased appetite, weight gain or loss, rash, pain, itching at the site of the implant, chest pain, breathlessness.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • signs and symptoms of pregnancy outside the womb such as light vaginal bleeding, lower abdominal pain
  • displacement of the implant
  • swollen belly, fast breathing, fast heartbeat, cold and clammy skin, pale or bluish skin
  • pain, swelling and tenderness in your leg accompanied by redness and warmth
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes, fever, loss of appetite
  • changes in menstrual bleeding patterns e.g. irregular menstruation
  • rashes, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
  • changes in the nipple, lumps in the breast, dimpling of the skin
  • difficulty in sleeping, lack of energy, change in mood
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I use this with other medicines?
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • rifampicin (medicine used to treat TB [lung infection known as tuberculosis])
  • medicines for seizures (fits) e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine, primidone
  • medicines for HIV infection e.g. ritonavir, efavirenz, atazanavir, nelfinavir
  • medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. griseofulvin, voriconazole, ketoconazole, itraconazole
  • certain antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, clarithromycin
  • medicines for high blood pressure or heart disease e.g. diltiazem, verapamil
  • ciclosporin (medicine used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders)
  • St. John's Wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Levonorgestrel.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or using any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on Levonorgestrel - Subcutaneous and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2024 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com
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