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Etonogestrel is used in contraception

How it works

Etonogestrel belongs to a class of medications called progestin (synthetic form of female hormone progesterone). It works by inhibiting the release of eggs (ovulation) and  also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.

Common side effects

Adrenal insufficiency, Rash, Vaginal discharge, Headache, Dizziness, Back pain, Increased appetite, Decreased libido, Pain in extremity, Abdominal distension, Cushing syndrome, Sleepiness, Vomiting, Nausea, Edema, Abdominal pain, Lower abdominal pain, Breast pain, Hair loss, Fatigue, Acne, Hot flushes, Thrombophlebitis, Diarrhoea, Irregular menstrual cycle, Cushingoid syndrome, Increased blood pressure, Depression, Mood changes, Nervousness, Constipation, Increased glucose level in blood, Breathing difficulty

Available Medicine

No medicine available

Expert advice

  • Inform your doctor if you have liver disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, fits, and gall bladder disorders or if you are overweight or have a history of depression, blood clotting related conditions or dark-coloured skin patches on the face (chloasma).
  • Tell your doctor if you have had breast cancer and contact your doctor if you notice a lump in your breast while on etonogestrel therapy.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you experience unusually heavy vaginal bleeding, severe stomach ache or symptoms of jaundice, pain and swelling in your legs, pain in chest, breathlessness or if your cough out blood.
  • Inform your doctor well in advance if you are going to be immobilized or confined to bed due to surgery etc.
  • You should get etonogestrel implants replaced (if contraception is to be continued) or removed after a maximum of 3 years after insertion.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take if allergic to etonogestrel or any of its ingredients.
  • Do not take if suffering from  clotting disorders or have history for the same.
  • Do not take if suffering from liver cancers or severe liver disorders.
  • Do not take if suffering from unexplained vaginal bleeding.
  • Do not take if suffering from or suspected to have breast cancer or any other cancer sensitive to sex hormones.
  • DO not take if pregnant.

Frequently asked questions



Is etonogestrel a progestin?
Yes, etonogestrel is a contraceptive and belongs to a class of medications called progestin (synthetic form of female hormone progesterone)


Is etonogestrel androgenic?
Yes, it is androgenic. Acne is a side effect of androgenic activity of etonogestrel.

Content on this page was last updated on 10 February, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)