Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) (NYSE: MRK) today announced that NEXPLANON® (etonogestrel implant) 68 mg, a long-acting, progestin-only single-rod hormonal contraceptive, is now available in the United States. NEXPLANON is approved by the FDA for the prevention of pregnancy in women for up to three years. NEXPLANON must be removed by the end of the third year and may be replaced by a new NEXPLANON, if continued contraceptive protection is desired.
About the size of a matchstick, NEXPLANON is made of a soft, flexible, medical polymer and is inserted just under the skin of a woman's upper arm in a minor surgical in-office procedure. All healthcare providers performing insertions and/or removals of NEXPLANON should receive instructions and training prior to inserting or removing the implant. Training on the insertion and removal of NEXPLANON is offered by Merck.
NEXPLANON is effective, when inserted correctly, with less than 1 pregnancy per 100 women who used NEXPLANON for 1 year. NEXPLANON may be less effective in women who are very overweight and in women who are taking medications that induce liver enzymes. NEXPLANON is a progestin-only contraceptive that does not contain estrogen. NEXPLANON does not depend on daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly administration. Etonogestrel, the progestin in NEXPLANON, prevents pregnancy in three ways: inhibiting ovulation, thickening of the cervical mucus, and alterations in the endometrium.
"Merck is committed to providing women with a range of birth control options. We are excited to add NEXPLANON to Merck's growing Women's Health portfolio," said Terrie Curran, senior vice president and general manager, Women's Health at Merck.