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Lunelle was a once-a-month combined estrogen and progestin hormone birth control injection delivered to the muscle of your upper arm, thigh, or buttocks. Lunelle was used to prevent pregnancy but did not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Although it was the first contraceptive hormonal injection in the United States, due to a voluntary recall in 2002, Lunelle is no longer available. We don’t currently carry this brand, but please reach out to our team with more questions or if you need help choosing an alternative birth-control method that fits your lifestyle.
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What Were the Disadvantages of Lunelle?
Women with medical concerns such as depression, high blood pressure, history of blood-clotting conditions, or liver disease were cautioned against using Lunelle. As with all contraceptive methods, side effects may sometimes occur. The most common side effects reported by Lunelle users were:
- Vaginal bleeding.
- Tenderness of the breasts.
- Irregular menstrual cycles.
- Minimal weight gain.
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
- Skin reaction at the injection site (itching, pain, swelling).
What Were the Advantages of Lunelle?
Once-a-month shots are considered safe and 97.9-99 percent effective. Shot advantages include not forgetting to take a pill, sexual spontaneity, and lighter, shorter periods. Lunelle may have protected against ovarian and uterine cancers as well as osteoporosis and infections of the fallopian tubes.
Was Lunelle Safe?
As is the case with today's birth-control injections, Lunelle was considered safe for women with normal monthly periods. Women with certain diseases were cautioned against using Lunelle and encouraged to consult their physician, a common practice with contraceptive shots.
Lunelle was recalled by the United States Food and Drug Administration because its manufacturer, Pharmacia Corporation, could not ensure the effectiveness of its pre-filled shots. Risk of pregnancy increased unless Lunelle was used in conjunction with another contraceptive. Depo-Provera, a progestin-only contraceptive injection available in the U.S., is similar in effectiveness and intention to Lunelle.
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