Running out of places to inject Humira...

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Pibbin
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 163
   Posted 7/10/2008 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I now get weekly shots of Humira, and rotate between both thighs and stomach area. Just saw the back-of-the-arm thread, but am hesitant to try that b/c I usually get an unsightly welt that lasts several days...

Because of the frequency of my injections, it seems like it is going to be difficult to avoid accidentally injecting in a spot that I've previously used. Does anyone know if this is a true problem? I also have lots of old stretch marks from pregnancies, which makes it tricky to navigate. I can't even figure out a way to keep track of the injection sites, a written diagram would no longer help due to the number of shots I've had.

If I inject into scar tissue from an old injection, or into a stretch mark, will this have negative results in terms of absorbing the medication -- anyone know?

Thanks, I always appreciate the wisdom on this site!


:-)
Dx Mild Proctitis 7/06 at age 33, Dx Severe Pan Colitis 5/07, Dx Crohn's Colitis 10/07
Failed Asacol, Lialda, 6-MP, Canasa, Rowasa, Entocort, and Remicade
On Humira since 1/08 with promising results, but can't get below 5mg Prednisone
4/9/08 Humira dose increased to 40mg/weekly
Down to 7.5 mg pred


Stef17
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1811
   Posted 7/10/2008 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
The instructions say that if you need to do multiple injections to make sure you stick yourself at least one inch away from the last injection site. So... I would say that it really shouldn't make too much of a difference, even if you are getting a weekly shot. These shots are just subcutaneous and the skin should heal up pretty well in between shots.

By the way, I did end up getting 2 shots in the back of my arm - it hurt TONS less than doing it in the leg. I'm too chicken to do it in the stomach - and I'm pregnant so I'm running out of loose skin. :) Anyway, maybe between the arms, legs, and stomach you will be ok. Just start high and move down. Over the weeks you should be fine.

gachrons
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 7/10/2008 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Gee how long does it take to heal those injection sites ?I am not on Humira but did read aboput the stretch mark thing. I too have alot of them and was wandering about that. Here's hoping you find a place to get it done. lol gail

broomhilda
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 7/10/2008 6:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I normally rotate thigh(s) and location on the thigh(s) every other shot. I also take Humira weekly. I did get brave my last injection and did the stomach only because I was going on vacation and didn't want a huge bruise on my leg should I accidently hit a vein. The shot stung just as bad in the stomach as the leg. The stomach wasn't all that bad that I wouldn't do it again. The thing I didn't like was I ice the injection site beforehand and the ice pack on the tummy was worse than the leg to me. As long as you are rotating sites you should be okay. I've never had a problem and have been doing this for several months now. Stretch marks or scar tissue I don't have any idea if this would effect the injection. I do have very little stretch marks from pregnancy and the ones I have are at the top of the thigh.
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium, Lexapro, Glucosamine, Multi-Vitamin, Ultracet Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, peri-menopausal.


Pibbin
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 163
   Posted 7/10/2008 7:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the reassurances! I am hoping that as long as I am rotating I will be okay. I'm just a bit nervous that I will eventually be hitting the same exact spot of a prior injection for a second time, and don't want anything to interfere with the absorption or anything.

Stef, thanks for the advice to start high and move down. So logical, wish I'd thought of that months ago!

Maybe once summer is over and I'm not baring my arms I'll try the back of the arm. For whatever reason, as long as I am not having lots of tummy pain, the stomach injections feel about the same to me as the thigh, occasionally it actually hurts less. I am totally mystified how some shots hurt more on some days than others!
Dx Mild Proctitis 7/06 at age 33, Dx Severe Pan Colitis 5/07, Dx Crohn's Colitis 10/07
Failed Asacol, Lialda, 6-MP, Canasa, Rowasa, Entocort, and Remicade
On Humira since 1/08 with promising results, but can't get below 5mg Prednisone
4/9/08 Humira dose increased to 40mg/weekly
Now alternating 7.5 mg/5 mg pred


Stef17
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1811
   Posted 7/10/2008 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
My theory on why some shots hurt more than others is how fast the medicine gets injected. I've been using the self-injecting pens, but my husband does the shot cuz I'm a wuss. He can tell when the shot hurts less because the yellow line fills up more slowly in the window. That's why I'm dying to try the syringes. Then I'd be able to control how fast or slow the medicine goes in. Burns like the devil, right?

Betagirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1928
   Posted 7/11/2008 4:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pibbin

I've been on Humira 2.5 years at varying #'s of shots per week (most I had to do was 2 per week for about 2 months). I'm still on the syringe primarily because I can control how slow I inject that wonderfully stinging drug :)

I've never had an issue with finding spots, and I've only used my thighs. I've also had where some hurt more than others. Usually when it doesn't hurt so much for me I've hit a vein. I spoke with my doc about the what if I inject into a vein versus sub-q and he said not a big deal, but it won't be *as* effective.

So I guess no worries :)
"Only the meek get pinched...the bold survive."


hspenser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 544
   Posted 7/11/2008 5:41 AM (GMT -7)   

I use the pens...two every other week...I rotate between the thighs, lower stomach and upper stomach...this way it takes six weeks before i come back to the same area...if you are doing one weekly and follow the same pattern but add in the fact that you have two sides in each area to shoot (left and right side) then you also have a six week cycle and certainly after six weeks the prvious site has healed completely and the chances of you actually hitting the the same exact spot as before is very very slim.

 

even if you are doing two shots per week...your cycle time is still three weeks and that should be plenty.


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


Pibbin
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 163
   Posted 7/11/2008 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Y'all are great -- thanks!

Stef, I like your theory, that actually makes sense. My hubs injects me too, as I'm also to chicken to do it to myself, I'll ask him to keep an eye on the speed.

Thanks Betagirl for the assurances. My doc doesn't seem to have many folks on the Humira, so I don't get a lot of advice from him re: the specifics.

Hspenser, I never thought of considering upper and lower stomach separately -- great idea. I will try your format, makes a lot of sense.
Dx Mild Proctitis 7/06 at age 33, Dx Severe Pan Colitis 5/07, Dx Crohn's Colitis 10/07
Failed Asacol, Lialda, 6-MP, Canasa, Rowasa, Entocort, and Remicade
On Humira since 1/08 with promising results, but can't get below 5mg Prednisone
4/9/08 Humira dose increased to 40mg/weekly
Now alternating 7.5 mg/5 mg pred


hspenser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 544
   Posted 7/11/2008 8:44 AM (GMT -7)   
The humira website and written directions show a pretty wide injection site for both the stomach and the thighs....it is easy to sub-divide these areas and then do the rotation I suggested....good luck

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


karendee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 7/11/2008 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   

I did my second set of injections last night. This post has helped me a lot. I did one kind of close to the old ones (about 1inch) I was chicken to try the tummy.  My hubby caught me and said isn't that a little close to the last one? I told him I would try the tummy next time.

hspenser, rotating is a great idea cause it is hard to mark down on paper where I gave the shots before.

I plan to now rotate so a new area is done every 2 weeks. I have some stretch marks on the tummy so I may only have upper tummy to hit :-)
 
Last night I was nervous and forgot to use my alcohol wipe before i injected myself. Luckily I used an ice pack with a clean paper towel on the area before but I am worried I may have contaminated myself with germs that may have been on my leg.
 
thanks everyone!
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.

 

 

Post Edited (karendee) : 7/11/2008 10:24:06 AM (GMT-6)


Crohn's 4 ever
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 7/11/2008 11:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I was told that if you are taking weekly shots to rotate, around, and I have a book from a assc of Humira and there is a diagram of the human body and I put an x, exactly where I put the shot.  I am on biweekly but may be weekly coming.  I use the syringes, and it does sting, like a bee sting almost, but not from the needle, it is very short, it is from the Humira itself.  Injecting scar tissues, stretch marks are to be avoided, and too many needles in one area can cause scarring in the area and clots.  I find the gut hurts the less, probably cause I am not skinny there LOL.  I date and mark on the book where and when I do the shot. Good luck
Tough times don't last long, tough people do!
 
Crohn's 30 years
dx 15 years
2 resections
Humira
Prednisone


Pibbin
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 163
   Posted 7/11/2008 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone know the medical rationale behind no injecting scar tissues or stretch marks? I worry that it may accidentally happen sometime.
Dx Mild Proctitis 7/06 at age 33, Dx Severe Pan Colitis 5/07, Dx Crohn's Colitis 10/07
Failed Asacol, Lialda, 6-MP, Canasa, Rowasa, Entocort, and Remicade
On Humira since 1/08 with promising results, but can't get below 5mg Prednisone
4/9/08 Humira dose increased to 40mg/weekly
Now alternating 7.5 mg/5 mg pred


Pibbin
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 163
   Posted 7/12/2008 1:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Stef17 -- just had to report back, I think your theory is totally on the money!

Last night's injection didn't hurt as bad as others, and my husband noticed that the medication dispensed slowly. Too bad that the pen is spring loaded -- it seems like luck of the draw how speedy the medication comes out.
Dx Mild Proctitis 7/06 at age 33, Dx Severe Pan Colitis 5/07, Dx Crohn's Colitis 10/07
Failed Asacol, Lialda, 6-MP, Canasa, Rowasa, Entocort, and Remicade
On Humira since 1/08 with promising results, but can't get below 5mg Prednisone
4/9/08 Humira dose increased to 40mg/weekly
Now alternating 7.5 mg/5 mg pred

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