Lunelle: Monthly Injection
Lunelle is no longer available in the United States. This medication was recalled due to a concern with the
effectiveness of it as a birth control method.
What is Lunelle?
Lunelle is an injection containing the synthetic hormones estrogen and progestin. It is a hormonal method of
contraception obtained by prescription.
How does Lunelle work?
Lunelle works through synthetic hormones injected into your system which help regulate a woman's fertility
and reproductive cycle similar to the way natural hormones work.
Lunelle prevents pregnancy in one of three ways.
- First, it prevents eggs from being released from the ovaries.
- Second, it thickens the cervical mucus preventing the sperm from reaching the
- Third, it changes the lining of the uterus preventing implantation. Ethical
How do you use Lunelle?
Lunelle is obtained from your healthcare provider each month, every 28 to 30 days. Your healthcare provider
will inject the synthetic hormones in the upper arm or in the buttocks. The initial injection is given within
the first five days of your menstrual bleeding.
How effective is Lunelle?
Lunelle has a failure rate of less than 1% when it is used correctly and consistently. When used correctly
only one in 1,000 women will get pregnant. You should take a pregnancy test if you are experiencing any
What are the side effects or health risks of Lunelle?
The birth control injections have side effects similar to those experienced by users of oral or other
hormonal types of contraception which include:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Moderate weight gain
- Nausea and vomiting
Injections may impact and worsen the effects of depression
You should not use the injections if you think you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Because of a potential increase in the risk of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, gallbladder disease or
tumors in the liver, the birth control injections should not be used by women who:
- Have high blood pressure
- Have breast or uterine cancer
- Have a history of blood clots
- Have a history of heart attack or stroke
- Are allergic to hormones
- Have diabetes
- Have liver disease
- Have unexplained vaginal bleeding.
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any of the following:
- Pain in the abdomen, chest or arms
- Redness, swelling, or pain in your legs
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Blurred or double vision
- Spitting up blood
- Increase in depression
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
Women who wish to use Lunelle should seek additional consultations with their physician if they are
experiencing any of the following medical concerns:
- High blood pressure
- High risk for heart disease
- History of blood clotting conditions
- History of liver disease
Is Lunelle reversible?
Yes. Ovulation usually returns within three menstrual cycles after discontinuing the injections. Pregnancy
is possible when you stop using Lunelle, but ovulation may be delayed for three months.
How much does Lunelle cost?
There are two fees associated with the use of Lunelle injections: 1) the doctor's visit and 2) the supply of
birth control injections. Office visits to obtain a prescription and your initial injection range from $50 to
$200; follow up visits are approximately $20 to $40 dollars. The cost for your monthly injection is
What about Lunelle and sexually transmitted diseases (STD's)?
Lunelle does NOT provide protection against the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
Frequently Asked Questions About Lunelle:
When does it start to work? Lunelle begins to work immediately, however a second form of
birth control should be used during the first seven days of the first month.
Can I use it while I am breastfeeding? If you have recently been pregnant or if you are
breastfeeding, it is best to consult your physician on the best time to start using the injections.
What are the pros and cons of Lunelle?
The Pros of Lunelle include:
- Highly effective when used correctly
- You do not have to remember to take a pill each day
- Easy to use and does not inhibit sexual spontaneity
- May have more regular, lighter and shorter periods
- Protective effect against ovarian cysts, cancer of the ovaries, cancer of
the lining of the uterus, premenstrual symptoms, osteoporosis, noncancerous breast growths, and
infection of the fallopian tubes
- It is reversible usually within three months
The Cons of Lunelle include:
- Does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases
- Requires a prescription and office visit
- Should not be used by women with some medical concerns
- Requires monthly doctors visits
- Injections may be painful