Injection Site Reactions

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elcamino
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 7/1/2006 9:04 PM (GMT -7)   
When I first started taking Enbrel, I got a few injection site reactions.  Very mild, just red around the injection site.  They went away for a long time, but the last few injections they've come back and they're stronger than they were.  They are now raised and itchy, whereas before they were flat and non-itchy.  They do tend to go away on their own after a few days, but they drive me crazy with the itching while they're here.  Is there any topical tx OTC I can try?
 
Thanks,
Elcamino
Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: Early Lupus/MCTD
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan


erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 7/2/2006 9:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey "El"
Happy 4th of July! cool
From personal & formal experience I'll chip in my 0.2cents.
The 1st 6 months I took Enbrel 25mg twice weekly there was barely any trace of any sort of stick that took place.  The 6 months after that the site began to turn like you explained. 
When I took the 50mg Enbrel after a while they were raised, pinkish, itchy and like a bee-sting sorta.
It is a predictable reaction really.  Bound to happen.  The red flag warning to watch for is if this reaction site area starts to spread, otherwise it's an "adverse normal" side effect (ironic that phrase is!)....pretty much benign, annoying but benign.
Some odds n' ends:
  • The more superficial the needle & medication goes into the skin the more raised a bump can occur.  If the solution isn't hitting a fat layer, it's going to aggrevate the skin and kinda just stay there...all lumpy, itchy & annoying.
  • When clothing touches the injection site...like the waist of a pant, stockings, etc...that'll raise & irritate it more.
  • Like poison ivy, the more it's touched, scratched, rubbed...the more it will itch.
  • Not a great idea to put any OTC lotions, ointments, etc...on it.  There is a small SMALL break in skin & it could burn or mess with the medication that was injected.
  • Bandaids can make it worse too.
  • Rule out any LATEX sensitivity?
  • An antihistamine taken the day of or 2 hours before the injection may prevent this from happenning. 

So I would place my bets on leaving the site open to air for the 1st few hours afterwards.  I know what ya mean though, they turn into big ol' welts.  Some of the reactions I had were really funny looking too.  Quite irregular!  Similar to when we would scratch the heck out of a mosquito bite as kids and they'de turn into gigantic red blothches. 

Wouldn't hurt to ask the rheummy about a topical RX for this. I'm curious if there is something like a steroidal lotion for them...maybe there is.

Do you inject into the thighs or abdomen?

Take care El.

:-)  

 
Active, Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns. AS. Chiari Malformation & Right Brain venous anomoly. Partial complex seizures. Emphysema. Rheumatic Lung & Heart. MVP and Tricuspid prolapse. Had Lymes disease for 10 years.
Meds: Humira 40mg Q 4 days; Pred 20mg prn; Pentasa 4G daily; Imuran 50mg; Dilaudid 4mg; Diazepam 5mg; Avinza 30mg; Reglan; Meclizine; LidoDerm; MiraLax & too many others.


elcamino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 7/2/2006 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Erin.  I never thought about them spreading before, but I guess that would not be a very good thing, now, would it?  Enliven services called about 3 weeks ago and asked specifically about injection site reactions.  At the time, I was not having them, and hadn't had them for quite a while.  The nurse I spoke to said they were VERY interested in injection site reactions because they have to report all of them to the FDA, even if they are only mild reactions, like I've had. 

I inject in the thigh.  I did my stomach for a while, but the last couple of times I used that area it hurt like *&*e!  I switched back to my thighs and haven't had a problem, except for the reactions.  When I first started taking enbrel, my rheumy told me there is a prescription oinment for injection site reactions.  I was just hoping to find something OTC, but I'll ask him about it when I go back.  Especially if I stay on Enbrel.

Happy Birthday America!

Elcamino


Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: Early Lupus/MCTD
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan


erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 7/2/2006 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
They're most likely updating their information. They need statistics. Call them back & tell them. It's actually really nice to hear that SOMEONE is doing there job! LOL. I betcha if enough people complain about injection site reactions the makers of the med will change the pH of the Enbrel or tweek the solution! That would be fantastic.
Ciao!
Active, Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns. AS. Chiari Malformation & Right Brain venous anomoly. Partial complex seizures. Emphysema. Rheumatic Lung & Heart. MVP and Tricuspid prolapse. Had Lymes disease for 10 years.
Meds: Humira 40mg Q 4 days; Pred 20mg prn; Pentasa 4G daily; Imuran 50mg; Dilaudid 4mg; Diazepam 5mg; Avinza 30mg; Reglan; Meclizine; LidoDerm; MiraLax & too many others.

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