Alternative contraceptives

The NICE clinical guideline on long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) offers information on the assessment and choice of LARC methods for different groups of women. Long-acting reversible hormonal contraception methods include depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) by intramuscular (IM) or subcutaneous (SC) administration, the etonogestrel subdermal implant (Nexplanon), norethisterone enantate intramuscular injection (Noristerat) and the progestogen-only intrauterine system (Mirena). Copper-containing (non-hormonal) intrauterine devices are also available.

Costs of alternative contraceptives

Table 3 Costs of alternative long-acting reversible hormonal contraception methods

Usual dose and duration of action

Unit cost excluding VAT

DMPA‑IM (Depo-Provera)

150 mg/ml intramuscular injection every 12 weeks (±5 days)


DMPA‑SC (Sayana Press)

104 mg/0.65 ml subcutaneous injection every 13 weeks (±7 days)


Etonogestrel implant (Nexplanon)

68 mg subdermal implant for up to 3 years


Levonorgestrel intrauterine system (Mirena)

52 mg T‑shaped intrauterine system (releasing approximately 20 microgram/24 hours) for up to 5 years


Norethisterone enantate (Noristerat)

200 mg in 1 ml oily solution for intramuscular injection: may be repeated once after 8 weeks


Abbreviations: DMPA‑IM, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate by intramuscular injection; DMPA‑SC, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate by subcutaneous administration.

a Costs taken from Drug Tariff, December 2013

b Costs taken from MIMS, December 2013