If you’re looking at birth control options, your doctor might suggest Nexplanon for you.
Nexplanon is a prescription implant that’s used to help prevent pregnancy. It can be used in females* of any age who can become pregnant.
The active ingredient in Nexplanon is etonogestrel. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) It belongs to a group of drugs called progestins. Nexplanon only comes as a brand-name drug. It’s not available in a generic version.
Your doctor or another healthcare professional will place Nexplanon just under the skin of your upper arm. You can use one Nexplanon implant for up to 3 years.
This article describes the dosage of the Nexplanon implant, as well as its strength and how it’s used. To learn more about Nexplanon, see this in-depth article.
Please keep in mind that this article covers Nexplanon’s standard dosage schedule, which is provided by the drugmaker. Always follow instructions provided by your doctor regarding Nexplanon use.
*We use the term “female” in this article to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.
The information provided below lists common dosage information about Nexplanon.
What is Nexplanon’s form?
Nexplanon comes as a small, rod-shaped implant. Your doctor or another healthcare professional will place it just under the skin of your upper arm.
What strength does Nexplanon come in?
Nexplanon comes in one strength: 68 milligrams (mg) of etonogestrel.
What are the usual dosages of Nexplanon?
Nexplanon only comes in one dosage. The implant slowly releases the active ingredient (etonogestrel) into your body over a period of 3 years.
Dosage for preventing pregnancy
One Nexplanon implant can be used for up to 3 years. After your doctor removes it, you can choose to have a new implant inserted. This can be done at the same appointment as your removal.
Nexplanon can be removed sooner than 3 years if you and your doctor determine it’s not right for you.
Is Nexplanon used long term?
Yes, Nexplanon is a long-term birth control option. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for you, you’ll likely have it implanted for 3 years. After your doctor removes your Nexplanon implant, you can choose to have a new one inserted.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Nexplanon’s dosage.
After Nexplanon is inserted, what’s the daily dose of the drug that’s released into my body?
The Nexplanon implant contains a total dose of 68 milligrams (mg) of etonogestrel. This amount is slowly released into your bloodstream over 3 years (the maximum time you can use one implant). The average daily dose you receive changes slightly over the course of 3 years.
For the first 5 to 6 weeks, Nexplanon releases a dose of 60 to 70 micrograms (mcg) of etonogestrel per day. By the end of the first year, the dose is reduced to about 35 to 45 mcg per day. In the second year, the dose per day is about 30 to 40 mcg. By the end of the third year, the dose is about 25 to 30 mcg per day.
If you have questions about the Nexplanon dose that’s released into your body, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If I have problems with the Nexplanon implant, can I have it removed early?
Yes, you can. One Nexplanon implant can be used for up to 3 years, but you can have it removed earlier than that. (Nexplanon must be placed and removed by your doctor or another healthcare professional.)
Reasons to have Nexplanon removed early may include if you experience bothersome side effects or if the implant becomes damaged. Damaging a Nexplanon implant is rare, but it could occur if the area where it’s implanted is injured. This could cause the implant to bend or break.
If you want to have Nexplanon removed early, talk with your doctor about other birth control options.
Nexplanon is a small, rod-shaped implant that goes just under the skin of your nondominant upper arm. (So if you’re right-handed, the device would be placed in your left arm, or vice versa.) Your doctor or another healthcare professional will insert Nexplanon for you.
You can use one implant for up to 3 years. After your doctor removes it, you can choose to have a new implant inserted. This can be done at the same appointment as your removal.
If you have questions about how Nexplanon is placed or removed, talk with your doctor.
The sections above describe the usual dosage provided by the drugmaker.
If you have questions or concerns about the Nexplanon implant, talk with your doctor. Examples of questions you may want to ask include:
- How does Nexplanon’s dosage compare with other that of other birth control options?
- Will it hurt to have Nexplanon inserted?
- Will I get a reminder to have Nexplanon removed when I’m approaching the 3-year mark?
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.