Painful injections Humira, Enbrel

For those who are using Enbrel or Humira. I've used both, and I sometimes found the injections to be intolerably painful. I discovered that they are painful for two reasons. The needles are thick and blunt and cause pain upon entry, and the medication itself is very painful when it enters your body so quickly. After switching from the auto injector to the prefilled syringe I discovered I could control the flow of medication and thereby greatly reduce the pain. I often take up to 2 minutes to complete the injection. Another added benifit is , that if you inject yourself and find that you hit a nerve, you can remove the syringe and poke yourself somewhere else.

I have also discovered that the the needles used on these syringes are fat and blunt. They hurt. I have been using Becton Dickenson 1mL, 12.7mm, 30gauge insulin syringes. I remove the the plunger, place it in it's sanitary cap, inject the prefilled syringe into the barrel of the BD syringe, and barely place the plunger back on the BD syringe, being careful not to squeeze it out. Invert the BD syringe and tap the barrel to get the air up so you can squeeze the air out. I've been doing this for about 8 months now, and I don't have to deal with the pain anymore.

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Isn't that interesting... I found the pre-filled syringes to be extremely fine. Must be how they are distributed in Canada. I experienced no pain whatsoever. This is why I went for the pre-filled rather than the auto injector, I read here that the auto injector was more painful.

Glad to hear that you have found a pain-free method!

Nancy

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I use the pens and they do hurt when I inject on my thighs, but I've found that my belly doesn't hurt at all. Finally found a silver lining to two c-sections and numb tummy!

I'm going on 13 weeks of 2X per week and have noticed that the day after I get a red blotchy spot wherever I've had my shot. It's not enough to warrant trying to get off of them though.

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I just did my 4th injection of Humira last Wednesday, first time injecting in my thigh and it was very painful. Like you, I haven't had any pain in the belly area...must be more fatty than my leg!! ;)

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Funny how some people experience no pain at all. I started injecting myself in my thigh as instructed by my doctor. I'd say about 5% of the time I felt very little pain. Most of the time, however, the pain was excruciating. I liken it to driving a nail into the bone. I now inject myself in the belly. I find it to be less sensitve. 9 times out of 10, I slowly insert the needle and I barely feel it. I do it slowly, and if it starts to hurt I pull it out and poke somewhere else.

After reading everyones comments, I've come to the conclusion that I'm just much more sensitive to these injections than most people.

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I just did my 4th injection of Enbrel this past Monday. the three previous injections with the pen were in my thighs and they burned a lot! Very painful. One lady on another board I visit mentioned the stomach because there are less nerve endings there so I tried it this week and sure enough, no pain and the burning sensation was extremely minimal. I do have a bit of a bruise but it doesn't hurt. When the nurse was teaching me how to give myself injections she recommended the thighs and said a lot of people didn't like the stomach area. I will have to tell her next time I see her that the stomach area is the best IMO.

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My doctor told me to ice the injection site 10-15 minutes before I injected the enbrel injection. The to ice it again for 10-15 minutes after the I injected it. It does help but still itches afterwards. Hope this helps.

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I really feel just about zero pain. Initially the first injections in the thigh area (where the nurse showed me how to inject humira) not only hurt, but bled and bruised for quite a while. Eventually, I developed my own location and don't even get a spot of blood and never any reaction. For me I sit in a kitchen chair and inject the skin I can grab at the very top of where my thigh joins my torso. For me it's no reaction, only a slight pinch and no blood.

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warm up the syringe in your hand s [or just wait about 15 mn for it to come to room temp ,] when injecting... inject slowly and you won't feel hardly anything . when you inject the syringe .hold the syringe in your hand like you would hold a dart and put needle in quickly ,not slowly at a slanted 45 degree angle . but inject the medicine slowly .[ the faster the needle actually breaks through the skin the less pain it causes.]
cathy from ma

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I found when I was on Humira I found if I took it out of the fridge about half an hour before I gave myself the shot it did not hurt half as much. It stung but not the burning when I injected it.

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Just thought I'd share a bit of info. After using Humira for about 8 months, I've found that it has completely lost it's effectiveness. My doctor put me on 2 injections a week but it still didn't work. Now I'm back on Enbrel. Enbrel, for me, is not as effective as Humira was, but it does alleviate the itching and burning, and to a smaller degree the patches have faded somewhat.

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For me, icing the injection site before injecting has no effect whatsoever. If anything, I think it causes it to hurt more. Also, letting it warm to room temperature does not lessen the pain. It's not the temperature, but the medication itself that that hurts like hell. But if you inject yourself with cold medication right from the refrigerator it does feel weird entering your body. I like to let it warm up myself.

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All the above are true. Everyone is different but those Auto injectors are killer because they inject all the medicine in seconds. I can only manage the pre-filled syringe. I do warm it in my hands or get it out 15-30 minutes before and I do ice before & after although it helps sometimes but not all the time. The belly is definitely the least painful but you do need to rotate your injection site so every few weeks I do it in my thighs even though it hurts more. Go in quick but then inject slow and breath deeply-it really does help! Most often there is a red spot from the site & it itches but not intolerable for me. I have been on Enbrel for over 5 years and it has helped my RA tremendously! I still hate giving myself a shot (I so enjoyed the reprieve when I was pregnant & didn't have to take it) but over all it is worth it. Enbrel has worked far better for me than MTX or any of the other pills they had me on.
Never thought of transferring it to another syringe.
Also, this is mental but as I am about to inject I say a prayer of thankfulness (like many do over a meal) and I ask my body to receive it with great joy because it helps my body so much. believe it or not most of the time it helps me relax and reduces the pain for me.
As with most Auto Immune disorders I can still flare when I am under emotional stress or I get off my gluten-free/ minimal sugar diet. Just keep that in mind, the medicine is not the cure all. It works best in combination with other lifestyle changes.
Hope that helps!

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