Can I inject Humira in the back of my arm?

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Stef17
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Date Joined Feb 2003
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   Posted 6/17/2008 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry to make a new post for this, but I've been reading everyone's posts and all I see is stuff about the thigh and the stomach.  I used to take Enbrel and was allowed to get a shot in the fatty part of the back of my arm. I'm getting ready to start on Humira and really have the heebs about injecting my stomach. Can I do my arm or is that a no-no?

karendee
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 6/17/2008 11:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Stef17,
I think that is a great question. I am getting ready to start Humira too and I can't use my stomach (stretch marks from a pregnancy are there)
 
I could have sworn someone posted once about Humira in the arm because I was shocked when I watched the Humira video them saying thigh and stomach.
 
Hopefully someone will answer soon. if not I will ask my Nurse when I learn how to do my shots.
 
Karen

 ...

Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 On 150mg Azathioprine (generic Imuran), Pentasa, & Entocort (take zofran for nausea now)

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma

Also on Prilosec 2x a day for reflux.

 


wahoo217
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 6/17/2008 12:06 PM (GMT -7)   

So to answer your question, I asked the nurse the same thing yesterday. She said you could but it might hurt more. Apparently she said she's heard it hurts more in your thigh as well. I also was not so excited at the thought of having it in my stomach. I actually didn't want to sit or lay down either but I sat and had all 4 in my stomach. It really wasn't TOO bad. Slight stinging but I think the anxiety of thinking about it was WAY worse for me. I would definitely still ask about the arm though.


Julia Hill
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Date Joined Mar 2008
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   Posted 6/17/2008 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
 
When the nurse came to teach me how to inject myself with the loading dose of Humira, she said you can use the back flabby part of your arm but it does hurt more.  She was right, it did.  I found the thigh also hurt more, I think it it because I don't have as much skin to pinch there as I do on my abdomen.  Wherever you inject, make sure you ice the area first for at least 15 minutes.  I to have stretch marks on my abdomen, but they inject there anyway.  I have chosen to inject in my abdomen switching from left to right every 2 weeks.  I sit in a chair, pinch the skin, swab and inject.  (make sure the swabbed area is dry, as the alchol can sting if it isn't)  I was told that they say to use the abdomen and thigh on the DVD as these are the two places one can see to easily inject themselves.  Good Luck, and I hope you feel much better on the Humira.
 
Julia
 

Ides
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7077
   Posted 6/17/2008 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
When I was on Humira, I found the thigh injections to be painful. I never felt any pain or stinging when I injected in the abdomen. I stopped using the thighs and injected strictly in the abdomen. I also have more "additional" protection there - fat, saggy skin from 2 kids and weight yo-yo-ing. LOL Tell me...how does Heidi Klum go from childbirth one week to back on the runway the next week in small designer gowns? That has to be genes I did NOT get!
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, Sjogren's ?
 


Stef17
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1811
   Posted 6/17/2008 4:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I think I'll be able to inject in the stomach for a few more weeks, but after that - no dice. I'm almost 12 weeks pregnant. I guess I could constantly do my legs, but when I was getting the Enbrel, it was nice to not have to look at it because hubby would always stick the back of my arm - got plenty of fat back there. :)

potatoqwn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 6/17/2008 7:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Stomach is much less painful than the thighs for sure!

staci100
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 6/17/2008 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had 14 injections and the 14th one was more painful than any of the others.  It was in my thigh but it wasn't the first time in my thigh.  Does anyone know why these injections are so painful?

staci100
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 6/17/2008 7:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, mine are the pre-filled pens. The pharmacy said that most people thought the syringe was even more painful.

sr5599
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1202
   Posted 6/17/2008 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   
my loading doses were injected, one in each arm and one in each leg. To me, they all stung about the same. But, they had not warmed up either and that made a big difference for me!
--40 year old female, dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine
--rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone
--methylpred - finally off 6/15/08, tried Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--started Tysabri 3/21/08, started Xifanan 5/24/08 
--single mom to 10-yr-old girl


staci100
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 6/17/2008 8:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I let my pens sit out for atleast an hour and it was still VERY painful.
Diagnosed 1993
Currently taking Asacol, 100mg Immuran, 7.5mg prednisone (tapering), Bi-weekly Humira injections since Feb 08, Fish Oil, Probiotics, Multi Vitamin, B-12 tablet, folic acid


karendee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 6/18/2008 6:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow, this is very interesting. I heard also that if you pinch your skin harder that the pens are not as painful. I think even someone here posted that (I think i read on Ivy's links to new med info). I am a bit concerned it might hurt but I keep thinking about all the pills I can skip once the Humira starts working. I also plan to ice the area and leave the pen out some.

I have plenty of fat in my arms and I might try one there to see how it feels. For once my extra fat is useful!
 
Ides: I think those people that are skinny after they had babies are freaks of nature. Plus she probably had trainers, nannies, chef's. She was not like me eating a bite of food when the baby slept and could barely get a shower each day sometimes.

Karen


 ...

Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 On 150mg Azathioprine (generic Imuran), Pentasa, & Entocort (take zofran for nausea now)

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma

Also on Prilosec 2x a day for reflux.

 

Post Edited (karendee) : 6/18/2008 7:40:13 AM (GMT-6)


Stef17
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Date Joined Feb 2003
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   Posted 6/18/2008 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
They are either freaks of nature or... they have Crohn's disease. :P Oh to have a chef and a nanny! Mostly the chef part would be great. I hate food.

I know from taking Enbrel in the back of the arm - the harder you pinch your arm, the less you feel the needle stick. I can only speak for the syringe needles, Enbrel was never offered in a pen. I'm thinking I might avoid the pen altogether. Sound painful.

Aimee =)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 6/18/2008 10:29 AM (GMT -7)   
I do the thigh and it hurts the least for me - I've done the stomach once or twice and it was not pleasant.

I HATE the pen. HATE it. So painful.

hspenser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 544
   Posted 6/19/2008 6:33 AM (GMT -7)   

sounds like everyone reacts differently to the shots...and that makes a lot of sense.

we all have varied levels of tolerence for pain...and many of us are sensitive in certain areas that others are not.

For me what works is to be sure to let the pens sit out for about 45 minutes in the winter months and maybe 20 to 30 this time of year...once at room temp I inject holding/pinching the skin looslely.

i have found that the tighter I hold the skin the more painful the shot....I think by pinching the skin tighter I create a more dense site for the medicine to penetrate and therefore it hurts more.

I rotate the shot sights...I take two shots every other week...1st set upper abdomen left and right side...two weeks later the next set goes into the right and left side of the lower abdomen and finally two weeks after that I inject once into each thigh....this way I let each area rest for six weeks before injecting in the same area again.....for the most part it is all very painless and usually takes less than 2 or 3 minutes out of the day.


dx IBS 1999   UC 2000   CD 2001
Tested BIOGEN TYSABRI (gave me 2 years of remission)
currently on Low Dose Netroxene (started Jan. 19, 2007)...against Dr's wishes, he was pushing for Remicade.  Stopped the Naltrexone July 28th...started Humira Aug 31st, 2007...current dose two shots every other week.
Crohns is currently active and has been since April of 2005
51 yrs old


staci100
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 6/23/2008 7:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I am due for a shot tomorrow. I will not pinch the skin as tight. Maybe that is my problem. Thanks.
Diagnosed 1993
Currently taking Asacol, 100mg Immuran, 7.5mg prednisone (tapering), Bi-weekly Humira injections since Feb 08, Fish Oil, Probiotics, Multi Vitamin, B-12 tablet, folic acid


Trsora1
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 6/25/2008 11:10 AM (GMT -7)   
humira shot does hurt and burn like hell. I think the ice pack just helps from inserting the needle. I def have the prefilled syringes. Cant even imagine having pens. I def have to control it when it goes in. The stinging and it is very painful. After i give myself the shot about 5 mintues after the area around were i did the shot burns and stings. Then like i dont even know i did it. If i do it in my leg i have to do it high up becuase i have more fat there on my thigh. Not inner thigh but kinda close up there. I usually do it in my stomach switch off from left to right side. I let it sit out for 1/2 hour but doenst make difference

texcactus
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/9/2008 11:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been on Humira about a year. switched from Remicade...has so many side effects from it.
I take my Humira shot in my stomach, change sides every two wks.  I take the pre-filled syringe out and let sit 15 mins...then put something frozen on.  The shot still stings but not as bad as when nurse gave it to me cold in the pens..those hurt like heck!  I have someone else give them to me..Im chicken. I did do my thighs but they swelled up like the size of a baseball for few days...so took benadryl and wiped me out. 
Tummy has been getting fatter and fatter ...hope its not building up fat or something... I have gained some weight since I have been on it...all in tummy..
those pens hurt like heck though..was like a razor cut...ewww...injections much better. Crohns has been doing good with a few flare ups..
Good luck to all of u...a lot better then an all day visit at hosp. to get infusion of remicade..then made my joints hurt bad...
 

karendee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 7/10/2008 7:03 AM (GMT -7)   

texcactus, my nurse said if someone else gives me the shots I can go back of my arm, love handle area etc... She gave me a chart. I did my thighs and was ok.

I do my shots again tonight so we will see if the tummy hurts. I plan to do at least one there. the legs are just easier for me.

Karen


 ...

Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 On 150mg Azathioprine (generic Imuran), Pentasa, & Entocort Switching to Humira June 2008 will wean off Pentasa and Entocort

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma - Also on Prilosec for reflux.

 

 


texcactus
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/10/2008 9:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Karen
Had no idea you could do arms till I found this.  I started off doing legs, but they swelled so bad. Does anyone else have the swelling and itching for a few days.
 

ZenaWP
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 7/10/2008 9:31 AM (GMT -7)   
When I was on the clinical trial for Cimzia, they allowed back of the arm, but when I got whelps, it was very noticeable, so I started doing the legs.  The documentation they give you for Humira only shows the stomach and thighs, but I would think arms may work, since Humira is so similar to Cimzia.  Maybe it's just because you can't reach the back of your own arm well enough and that's why they don't include that as an option. 
Crohn's Disease, Acid Reflux/Gastritis, Hypothyroidism, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Depression/Anxiety.  Too many meds to list them all.  =) 


karendee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 7/10/2008 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   
texcactus, I took some benadryl after my shot because one site was swelling a bit. The nurse told me the swelling usually gets better over time ( as your body gets used to the medicine.)

Zena, I also think it is because you cannot reach it...

Karen

 ...

Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 On 150mg Azathioprine (generic Imuran), Pentasa, & Entocort Switching to Humira June 2008 will wean off Pentasa and Entocort

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma - Also on Prilosec for reflux.

 

 


crohnspatient13
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 7/15/2008 7:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, i'm new to the site but am really desperate for some answers. i have had severe crohns for over 5 years and i have been on remicade for four. recently i stopped responding to the remicade treatments and my doctor recommended humira, not warning me of any pain assoiciated with the whole process. I went in today to my primary care and they gave me the first of four shots in my thigh with the pen and it was one of the most painful things i have ever experienced, a constant 10 second long stab of firey agony!. Im wondering from reading everyones posts if i should give it another try in the stomach, if it's worth it, and if anyone had experienced severe pain like this with the self inject pens. I am still traumatized from this afternoon and can not imagine trying to or letting anyone stick me with one of those pens ever again, but i'm quickly running out of options being in a severe flare for over a year. any advice?

texcactus
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/15/2008 9:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I know exactly how what you are talking about on the pain.  I have had Crohn's for 14 years, I was on Remicade also for about 4 years and it stopped working, I asked my dr. right after Humira got approved to get on it.  Anyway it hurt sooo bad the first time. I thought the same thing, there is no way I can do this again.  It's not bad after the first treatment. I think you will go down to 2 pens then one.  I always freeze the site first that is going to be injected. 
Also, I found out the syringes are lot less painful, I have someone in the family give me the injections. I had them look at how to on Humira.com,has a video to watch.  Trust me the shots are a lot better...Still stings but medicine isnt going in as fast as pen.  I also started in the thighs, my leg would swell up like a baseball at first so I would have to take benadryl.  So maybe one day having to lay around...vs. all day at the hosp. getting Remicade IV. It has helped my Crohn's so much too. I have gained about 20 lbs. in the last year, I have been getting injections in stomach, but thinking about doing arms which I read on here..the back of the arm.  Also, at the drs. they prob. didnt let med sit out for 15mins so it makes it hurt worse when cold.  They ship me the meds fed-ex, I also don't have all the aching in my joints like from Remicade.  I would be in bed for days from that.
Well, guess I wrote a letter...lol
Just wanted to let you know it does get better.
 

crohnspatient13
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 7/16/2008 5:05 AM (GMT -7)   
thanks so much for the advice, i think i'll go back in today and try and get the remaining three shots. i guess ill just need to tough it out because i really need to see some improvement! thanks again
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