UPDATE in OP: I did it!!! Thanks!! - HELP! I have to use the Humira Pen this time - tips?

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Aimee =)
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Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 3/17/2008 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I was trained on the syringes last year - me and GI agreed it would be the best for me. I have been doing the syringe for over a year without a problem.
 
Medco called GI for authorization and he, in a lapse of memory, wrote pen on the script. So they mailed it to me. Since it was his fault, not theirs, I am assuming I will have to use this box of pens before switching back to syringes.
 
I'm terrified of the pens. I have mastered the syringes and even then I freak out right beforehand and have to coax myself into doing it. I have been told the pen hurts more because you can't control it.
 
My nurse told me to just follow the instructions in the box on how to inject it and that I should do fine. I'm not pleased about this... but am already 12 days late on my script (thanks Medco) so I can't wait around.
 
Any tips on injecting the pen?
 
----
 
I finally did it last night. I'm glad I asked for help because I would have let go of my pinched skin.
 
I tried a few new things after hearing your experiences: I did it in my belly, and I iced the heck out of beforehand, too. I didn't even feel it - honestly. I gripped for the worst, had to talk myself into it while I had that white thing stuck on my skin for 10 minutes, and when I punched the button it was over before I realized it. Now, it did hurt for awhile after the fact but I didn't feel a thing when it went in.
 
I don't know if it was the ice, the location, or the pen since it was all new to me. I will still stick with syringes but I won't be scared of the 2nd pen I have to use.
 
Thanks! 

Post Edited (Aimee =)) : 3/20/2008 8:57:17 PM (GMT-6)


broomhilda
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 3/17/2008 6:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I like the syringes better too. I can inject realllllll slow. Ice up the sight and let the pen sit out while you're iced. I always use a numbing 10 minutes on the ice pack. Make sure the little window on the pen is where you can see it before you start the injection. Since it's natural reaction to withdraw your hand from a pen injection, you may want someone to help you NOT do this the first time. Also found it useful to inject just slight of center on the thigh. I may be crazy, but it feels like less nerve endings there. Also I try and concentrate on the pressure of my fingers where I pinch my skin instead of the actual injection site. This helps fake myself out. Remember to release the skin pinch before withdrawing the needle with any injection so that you don't have some of you meds flushing back out from the pressure. I learned this while taking my B12. Since the B12 is red you could see some dribble back out if I continued the pinch when I withdrew the needle. YOU CAN DO THIS! I freak family out when I do regular syringes. I inject the needle really slow. Once you get past the surface nerves you can't feel the needle...so why jab yourself in the first place! Family is like....ewwwww, doesn't it hurt to do it that way! I've gotten so good at this I don't even draw blood anymore! Now, get to it and get it overwith and let me know how you did!
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Predinsone, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Acne, Fatigue, Joint Pain, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, fibroid cysts, peri-menopausal.


praying4healing
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 3/17/2008 7:53 PM (GMT -7)   
i do the same thing with my pen, let it sit out, ice the leg ( i dont do the stomach at all!). However, i have a question, i was never trained to do the pinch on my leg, on my stomach yes, on my leg no. Is this bad? does it mean im not getting the medicine? Also, i dont pay attention to the window, i just close my eyes and hold it there for about 30 secs, ensure that its n there. Please if n e one can answer the question about the pinch itd b great
25 y/o female- crohns disease since 14
Ileostomy pending-very worried
Tried asacol,pentasa,prednisone,remicade,6mp,azasan, no avail
Seatons placed
Worst year ever!

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear....."
Where does mine come from?!
 Temp Ileostomy performed 1/29/08
Still Adusting
 Healingwell.com has been my Godsend...Thank you


deedeerose
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 1117
   Posted 3/17/2008 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Good luck! Hope it went well. I am starting the Humira pins hopefully within the week. I am so excited. I have been watching and waiting for this for many, many years! I have read alot of positive things about it on this board. I hope it works as well for you! Let us know how you make out.
Crohns diagnosed since 1992. Three resections: 1994, 1999, 2004. Had my gallbladder removed in 2007. Crohn's flaring for a couple of years now. Fistula since June 2007. about to start Humira!!!


Kanditron
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 3/17/2008 8:56 PM (GMT -7)   
my advice would be go for the fattiest area you can. Luckily, I have quite the gut so that's where I do my pen shots with very little pain. Of course let it warm first
25 years old
Diagnosed 9/06 with Pancolitis. The diagnosis was changed 9/20/07 to Crohn's disease.
Located in my large intestines, stomach, and mouth.
Asacol 3 3x's a day reinstated 9/20/07
Methylpred 40 mg a day.

myspace.com/kandice789


CrohnsDaddy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 3/18/2008 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I've only used the pens so far. I do them on the top of my thighs. So far I've done a total of nine of them, and only one of them bit really hard. I pinch the skin fold *really* hard. So hard, that the pinch hurts a bit. Makes it so I don't even feel the shot. For me, not seeing the needle makes the process much easier. I've gotten to the point where I don't even have to sit there and coax myself into doing it for several minutes. : )
Just trying to be a "Regular Member".
 
Entocort 9 mg/day, Pentasa 4 gm/day, started Humira 1/22/08, started 100 mg of Azasan (Imuran) 2/20/08. I'm convinced that Prednisone is the root of all evil, and primarily responsible for global warming.


yankeespg23
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 3/18/2008 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey there
The pens are not too bad. However, I don't do them myself, my wife happily does it for me.
I was afraid of shooting it in my stomach but finally decided to try it and its easier in the stomach then the thighs. Prob because of more fat.
I was told by the nurse to pinch whether it was thigh or stomach. I too, ice the area for a good 20 min and let the pen sit out to get to room temp.
When Injecting the pen, count to 10 and release, 30 is a little excessive. You will actually hear a swoosh as u hit the button and the medicine goes in. good luck
33 yr old Male from Nyc. DX with Crohn's in oct of 1987, at age 13.
Resection in 1990 at age of 16.
Currently on Humira pen shots, 40mg once every 2 weeks. Cipro 2x a day.
Multi vitamin daily, Iron - Ferrous Sulfate 2x a day + b 12 pill 2x a day.


Aimee =)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 3/18/2008 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the tips - I pulled the stuff out last night, read the directions, got confused and scared and put it back in the fridge!

I am going to try again tonight.

Do you pinch and hold the skin when you inject hte med? I couldn't tell from the directions. On my syringe, I pinch, jab needle, let go of skin to relax it and then inject med.

Sounds more complicated than the syringe, though I'm sure it's just because I'm new at it, but I may make DH help me. He refuses to even watch me do the syringe but I may need him to help this time.

dunny2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 3/18/2008 11:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Aimee, pinch up a small roll of fat, this way your're sure to get it into fat, not muscle...

I would suggest your tummy more to work with there, and I was pleasantly surprised when I used the pen, it really doesn't
hurt.and I don't ice up! This is really no different than the syringe, just remember to hold the pen straight and not at the 45
degree angle used for the syringe. It really is quite easy, just remember to hold the pen in place until the yellow shows in the
window.

BTW. I think where you are getting confused with pinching and relaxing it, do it exactly the same way as for the syringe, pinch,
inject then relax. Good luck. Let us know how you get on!!
Vicky

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.


Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts


CrohnsDaddy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 3/18/2008 4:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, I hold the pinch the whole time I'm doing the shot. I don't let go of the pinch until I've withdrawn the needle.
Just trying to be a "Regular Member".
 
Entocort 9 mg/day, Pentasa 4 gm/day, started Humira 1/22/08, started 100 mg of Azasan (Imuran) 2/20/08. I'm convinced that Prednisone is the root of all evil, and primarily responsible for global warming.


broomhilda
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 3/18/2008 8:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I was pretty sure that with the subcutaneous (spelling?) injectables albeit a syringe or pen that the needle size only penetrates the skin and not the muscle in the first place. To me, an injection in the muscle is much worse cause you tense up and make yourself more sore. As to why you actually pinch the skin in the first place is a mystery to me...other than CrohnsDaddy's explanation of pinching it so tight you forget about the pain in the first place. Tell me CrohnsDaddy do you bruise yourself often with this method! You crack me up! I know there is more fat in my stomach but it just sounds horrid for me to inject there. Plus between my B12 injections and the Humira, I've gotten so good that most the time I don't even draw blood! My husband says 'cause there wasn't any there in the first place!

Alright Aimee-Get to it! You have a whole cheering section here and you know the injection is better than a flare any day of the week!
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Predinsone, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Acne, Fatigue, Joint Pain, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, fibroid cysts, peri-menopausal.


CrohnsDaddy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 3/19/2008 8:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Ummm.... no? : ) Seriously, no I really don't bruise doing it like this. I wathced both of the training videos (for the pen and for the syringe), and they are quite different. The training video for the pen says to hold the pinched skin throughout the injection, and to only let go of the pinch after the needle is removed. Yes, the length of the needle is supposed to prevent muscle injection, but I guess there's still enough risk that they want people to do the pinch too. Either that, or they just want to make sure we're well aware of how much pinchable material we have. : )
Just trying to be a "Regular Member".
 
Entocort 9 mg/day, Pentasa 4 gm/day, started Humira 1/22/08, started 100 mg of Azasan (Imuran) 2/20/08. I'm convinced that Prednisone is the root of all evil, and primarily responsible for global warming.


Aimee =)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 3/20/2008 7:57 PM (GMT -7)   
bump for update!

broomhilda
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 3/20/2008 9:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hooray for Aimee! I knew you could do it!

Crohn's Daddy-Yeah, I'm fast approaching th 1/2 century mark and I can tell you, I am beginning to have "too much pinchable area"! But I guess since I'm only 140lbs to begin with, that's a good thing for the next time I suddenly drop 35 pounds huh! I like to think of it as my own insurance policy!
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Predinsone, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Acne, Fatigue, Joint Pain, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, fibroid cysts, peri-menopausal.


Mellie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 3/22/2008 8:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Way to go Aimee!  Did you have to do all four loading doses? I gave my "pen" shots in the leg. I found that to the  left or right of the center of the thigh was better than the middle.  I just took my first dose Thursday.  Did it make you really tired?  I was zonked  out within 2 hours of taking it.

Diagnosed with Crohns/Colitis in 2004. Currently taking Azulfidine 500 mg/3 x 3 day, Synthroid. Have had joint complications such as pyroderma gangrenosum in ankles as complication of IBD.

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