Nexplanon (etonogestrel) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to help prevent pregnancy in females.*

Nexplanon is a form of hormonal birth control. Specifically, Nexplanon belongs to a drug class called progestins.

Nexplanon is a device that is implanted (inserted) into your arm by your doctor. Nexplanon may also be referred to as a “birth control implant.”

At this time, Nexplanon is only available in a brand-name form. It’s not currently available as a generic drug.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

Dosage summary

The following chart summarizes Nexplanon’s hormone dosage. Your doctor will determine the dosage that’s best for you.

FormStrengthTypical dosage
thin plastic implant device68 milligrams (mg)one device implanted every 3 years

For information about the dosage of the Nexplanon implant, including its strength and how the drug is given, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Nexplanon, see this article.

Before getting your Nexplanon implant, your doctor will discuss the dosage with you.

Nexplanon form

Nexplanon comes as a device that is inserted under the skin of your arm. It comes in an applicator for your doctor to implant it.

Nexplanon strength

Nexplanon comes in one strength: 68 milligrams (mg) of etonogestrel.

Typical dosage

The following information describes the dosage that is commonly used or recommended. Nexplanon comes in one strength. So if your doctor recommends Nexplanon, they will likely recommend the same dosage.

Dosage for helping prevent pregnancy

To help prevent pregnancy, you should have one Nexplanon device implanted once every 3 years. However, if you would like to have Nexplanon removed earlier than 3 years, talk with your doctor.

Children’s dosage

Nexplanon is approved to help prevent pregnancy in females.* So people who are younger than age 18 years and can become pregnant may use Nexplanon as a form of birth control. It’s important to note that Nexplanon is not approved for use in children who haven’t gone through puberty or haven’t had their period.

The dosing of Nexplanon for children is the same as it is for adults. So children using this medication will also have one device implanted once every 3 years. However, if your child wants to have their Nexplanon device removed earlier than 3 years after getting it, talk with their doctor.

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

Long-term treatment

Nexplanon is meant to be used for the long-term prevention of pregnancy. If you and your doctor determine that Nexplanon is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely use it long term.

If you would like to have your Nexplanon device removed sooner to get pregnant or if you’re having side effects from the device, talk with your doctor. They can schedule an appointment to have your Nexplanon implant removed and can recommend other birth control options if needed.

You may have some questions about the dosing of Nexplanon. Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

What’s the daily dosage of Nexplanon?

The daily dosage of medication that’s released from your Nexplanon device depends on how long you’ve had the implant. Within 5 to 6 weeks of getting your Nexplanon device implanted, it releases a dosage per day of 60 micrograms (mcg) to 70 mcg of etonogestrel.

Once you’ve had the implant for one year, your dose decreases to between 35 mcg to 45 mcg of etonogestrel per day. By the end of your second year with the Nexplanon device, you will be receiving a dose of 30 mcg to 40 mcg of etonogestrel per day. And at the end of your third year with Nexplanon, you will likely be getting a dose between 25 mcg and 30 mcg of etonogestrel per day.

Even though the device releases a different amount of medication, it’s still an effective birth control option for up to 3 years. If you have questions about how much medication you’re getting from Nexplanon, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

How does Nexplanon’s dosage compare with that of an IUD or birth control pill?

Etonogestrel, the active drug in Nexplanon, comes in the Nexplanon device. Etonogestrel, in combination with ethinyl estradiol, is one of the ingredients that comes in vaginal rings such as NuvaRing, Eluryng, and VeraRing. NuvaRing releases about 120 mcg of etonogestrel per day. Although this dosage is higher than the daily dosage of etonogestrel that Nexplanon releases, the two birth control options cannot be directly compared because NuvaRing, Eluryng, and Veraring are inserted vaginally rather than implanted. Etonogestrel does not come in other intrauterine devices (IUDs) or birth control pills.

However, IUDs are also used to help prevent pregnancy, and they may need to be replaced less often than Nexplanon. Below is a table with some IUDs and when they need to be replaced.

IUD nameWhen to replace IUD
Mirena7 years
Liletta6 years
Kyleena5 years
Skyla3 years
Paragard10 years

If you decide to take a birth control pill to help prevent pregnancy, you will need to take a tablet once every day.

If you would like to learn more about the difference between Nexplanon, IUDs, and birth control pills to help prevent pregnancy, talk with your doctor. They can help you determine the best form of birth control for you.

Nexplanon is a device that’s implanted under the skin of your arm by your doctor. Before getting Nexplanon inserted, your doctor will recommend that you take a pregnancy test to be sure that you aren’t pregnant.

Your doctor will recommend the best time for you to have your Nexplanon device implanted. In most cases, your doctor will recommend inserting the Nexplanon device during the first 5 days of your period. If you need to have Nexplanon inserted after the fifth day of your period, your doctor will recommend using another form of birth control for 7 days to help prevent pregnancy.

When it’s time to implant your Nexplanon device, your doctor will numb your skin and then use an applicator to insert the device under the skin of your arm. They will insert the device into the skin of your nondominant arm. Then, they’ll feel the skin of your arm to ensure that the device was implanted in the correct place.

If you can’t feel your Nexplanon device in your arm, tell your doctor. Although rare, it’s possible for the Nexplanon device to move. In some cases, this may be serious. Your doctor will be able to help locate the device and move it back into the correct area.

Your Nexplanon device will be effective for 3 years. If you’d like to have your Nexplanon device removed earlier than 3 years, tell your doctor. To have your device removed, your doctor will feel your arm to find the location of the device. Then, they will numb your arm and make a small cut to remove the device. If you’re getting a new Nexplanon device inserted, they can take the old implant out and put a new one in at the same appointment.

If you have additional questions about how your Nexplanon implant will be inserted or removed, talk with your doctor.

The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Nexplanon for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

If you have questions about the dosage of Nexplanon that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.

Besides learning about Nexplanon’s birth control dosage, you may want other information about the drug. These additional articles might be helpful to you:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today 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.