Humira pain with injecting

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jas
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 8/12/2010 9:56 AM (GMT -7)   
In a follow-up with my GI yesterday she asked me how my Humira injections had been going. I told her it was fine... that I have found it more helpful to inject in my abdomen...but that it still burns quite a bit and leaves a significant bruise. She insisted that I must me injecting too fast (I use the pen so this is out of my control) and that none of her patients experience painful injections. I found myself slightly annoyed by this...I am used to pain and needles (as all of us are) and was completely insulted when she went on to imply I may have a lower pain tolerance than her other patients. I am a med school student and know that I'm not the only person ever to have found these injections to be painful. I admit I do get anxious before the injection which could lower my pain threshold, but only slightly. They have become better the more I get, but I dont think the burning is going to stop.
 
Sorry for the vent...just frustrated that I would be an isolated case in her 100s of patients on Humira.
JAS


Currently taking: started Humira 07.13.10
Recently tried 6MP and developed pancreatitis
Allergic to mesalamines

grayeyedblonde
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 383
   Posted 8/12/2010 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Maybe her other patients haven't said anything because they know she would just imply that it was all in their head.

I hate Dr's like this!
Dx'd w/ Crohn's in 1979 at age 13. Bad flare 2008 but no health insurance so I dealt with it. Colonoscopy in July 2009 caused a perforated colon, emergency bowel resection. 2 fistula's, perianal and perivaginal.

Humira, probiotic, a multivitamin, Glucosamine, D3, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and fish oil. I also take Tramadol 50 mg and Klonopin (for anxiety) as needed.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

fongers06
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 8/12/2010 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
It is not just you. I actually just did my injection last night and it burns worse I think as time goes on. I do mine in my leg because I once read that you were not supposed to do it too close to any scars and my stomach has lots of them :) I get it out of the fridge 30 mins before I do it and during that 30 minutes I put an ice pack on my leg to numb the spot some. It still burns. You are right - with the pen there is no way to control how fast it goes in. I am sorry that your doctor made you feel like that. I know what it is like to have a doctor make you think you are crazy or the only one that feels a certain way. I have no advice on how to make the injections hurt less, I just hope that in knowing that you are not the only one who feels like this, it will help put your mind at ease some.
Diagnosed with Crohns in May 08
Resection in November 08
Currently on Humira, Entocort, Zoloft, Ritilan SR, B12 injections, Cytomel, Calcium and Vitamin D
Married, mother of 4 that works part time

crohnielass
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1118
   Posted 8/12/2010 12:20 PM (GMT -7)   
That is awful to be told thatI think that people who have to inject daily should be prescribed "magic cream" what they give to children before an injection I admire people who can self inject I recently refused Humira as I have now a real fear of needles. Bev x
Diagnosed with crohns at 13 now 43
Salazophrine 2000mg daily,
Lomotil, 20mg citalopram & VSL#3.

“I may not be where I need to be but,
I thank God I’m not where I use to be “

ZenaWP
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 8/12/2010 12:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I wish in these cases, we could tell the doctor to give themselves the shot and then tell us it doesn't sting!  Yes, it hurts like **** and mine has been bruising quite a bit lately.  I feel like the pen jabs you so forcefully that it makes it bruise and no, there isn't anything we can do to control that. 

Crohn's Disease with Arthritis, Non-Erosive Reflux Disease, Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Depression/Anxiety 

jas
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 8/12/2010 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Fongers06 - Do you find that the ice helps? When I had 2 injections a few weeks ago I did one with ice and one without and the spot where I had iced hurt much more. However, I also have found that some of those pens tend to hurt more sometimes than others so maybe I should give the ice another try.

Thanks,

Jenn
JAS


Currently taking: started Humira 07.13.10
Recently tried 6MP and developed pancreatitis
Allergic to mesalamines

grayeyedblonde
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 383
   Posted 8/12/2010 4:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Jas-I have found that WHERE I inject has a lot to do with how much it stings. For me, I have to inject to the left or right of my belly button or higher. If I inject lower, in the 'fat roll' it stings A LOT more. Icing before and immediately after helps. I just use the ice packs that come with the humira and put it on the site until the area is numb. Try different spots and see if that helps.
Dx'd w/ Crohn's in 1979 at age 13. Bad flare 2008 but no health insurance so I dealt with it. Colonoscopy in July 2009 caused a perforated colon, emergency bowel resection. 2 fistula's, perianal and perivaginal.

Humira, probiotic, a multivitamin, Glucosamine, D3, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and fish oil. I also take Tramadol 50 mg and Klonopin (for anxiety) as needed.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

cupcakespinkgal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1277
   Posted 8/12/2010 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   
That stinks. Of course it hurts, and that is out of your control with the pen. I agree on my abdomen up higher by my belly button used to hurt less, I could not handle it my legs. The ice never really helped for me, I found that if I took 2 Tylenol about an hour before kind of took the sting out. It still burned a little but not quite as much, took the edge off for me.
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 1998, father has UC we were diagnosed at the same age.

Currently on 20 mg Prednisone, 2g Sulfasalzine, Butyric Acid, Kefir/probiotics, Curcumin, Magnesium, D3, B complex vitamin, and multi-mineral. Previously on Remicade, stopped Humira after 9 months, wasn't working.

No surgeries so far.

Stef17
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1811
   Posted 8/12/2010 7:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I would love for these docs to get a shot of humira and then they can talk about how it doesn't hurt. It burns like the devil EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Every time a doctor says to me "It's not that bad." I say, "Have you ever had one?" That shuts them up pretty quickly. It's not the needle. It's the medicine and there's nothing that helps. I actually have to bite a towel so I don't scream out loud and scare my kids.

jas
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 8/13/2010 10:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the suggestions. I think I will try a little higher up on my addomen as I'v been doing it a little below and to the side of my bellybutton. When the nurse met with me to give the first 4 she told me most people use the thigh because its less painful. I have virtually no fat on my legs and found them so painful I will probably never try injecting there again.
JAS


Currently taking: started Humira 07.13.10
Recently tried 6MP and developed pancreatitis
Allergic to mesalamines

rebecca1987
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 8/16/2010 1:31 PM (GMT -7)   
When I tell people that the Humira pen hurts worse than a celestone shot they can't believe it.  In December I will of been on this medication for a year and the injections don't seem to get any less painfull  Emotionally I am better prepared but I tense up so much that  I'm sure that doesn't help the pain.  When I first started getting the injections I would have a  nervous breakdown for 30 mins - 1hr before I could finally calm down enough to get me shot.  Healthy/normal people that aren't in our situation just don't understand.  I've tried everything from leaving the medicine out to using a ice pack and it still hurts.  I'll never forget the day after I got my four injections the Dr. asked me how it went.  I told him it hurt pretty bad and he was like I know.  He really wanted to put me on Cimzia because apparently it doesn't hurt much if at all but my lovely insurance comp will only pay for Humira.

Becky77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 8/16/2010 11:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Grrrr...BAD DOCTOR!!!!

How can someone who hasn't experienced something tell you what you should or shouldn't be feeling? That's like telling a woman in labor that they shouldn't be feeling so much pain, and they have never had a child or spoken to anyone about the pain childbirth can cause. Or that they should be dealing with it better than they are. Completely irritating!!! It is NOT bad, nor should someone ever insinuate that because something hurts YOU, that there's something wrong with you. Everyone has a different pain tolerance, and it's not a weakness if you can'n tolerate as much pain as someone else.

My GI has always just asked me if I'm doing ok with injections or if there are any concerns. We've never actually spoken about how much or little pain the injections are. Since the pain is the same for me and things aren't getting worse, I don't bring it up when I see my GI.
Becky

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D
Coumadin stopped 3/15/10!!!!

fongers06
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 8/17/2010 8:58 AM (GMT -7)   
jas - I don't know if it hurts any worse with the ice pack or just numbs it up a bit.  I put it on 1/2 hour before I do the shot and then immediately put it back on after I do the injection.  Still hurts, but sometimes the cold takes your mind off of it.
Diagnosed with Crohns in May 08
Resection in November 08
Currently on Humira, Entocort, Zoloft, Ritilan SR, B12 injections, Cytomel, Calcium and Vitamin D
Married, mother of 4 that works part time

the-80s-rock
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 8/17/2010 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
my nurse said take it out of the fridge 15 minutes prior to your injection. she said it would sting less if it warms up a bit...

jas
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 8/17/2010 4:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I actually take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before I inject it. My nurse did that the day I got 4 injections and suggested that I do the same. She said throuout training Abott has always indicated it is perfectly fine.

I think the time I tried ice I held on to close to the injecting time so maybe I'll give it another try and take it off with more time to sit.

Thank you all so much for the suggestions and support...as always. :)
JAS


Currently taking: started Humira 07.13.10
Recently tried 6MP and developed pancreatitis
Allergic to mesalamines

isergodur
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 831
   Posted 8/17/2010 6:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I would like to reccomend the syringe. It so much better you can contole how fast it goes in.
25 year old female from Iceland.
Diagnosed with : Endometriosis march 2007, Anxiety disorder august 2007, CD/UC they don't know witch October 2008, Autoimmune Hepatitis in July 2009
Medication - Humira, Asacol, Librax, Cipralex and Cerazette.

My wonderful dogs :) ~ www.poodle.is ~

randynoguts
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6050
   Posted 8/18/2010 3:54 AM (GMT -7)   
your drs an idiot or woefully uninformed. have her take one in the abdomen and see what she says then..

as a side note i would like to ponder a question... does it sting more for ladies than us men how would we find out? there should be a study huh?

i mean womens skin by its very nature seems more tender on the belly than a mans perhaps even thinner needing the ability to stretch so far and somewhat return to normal, smaller or non existant hair folliculs, meaning that it would not be stimulated byt hair movement to dull the pain receptors etc... what do you all think?

potty pooper
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 375
   Posted 8/19/2010 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Hate drs that make remarks like that! I find the pen shots hurt a lot and seems to get worse as time goes on. Today, after my colonoscopy my dr. upped my shots to every week. I only do them in the abdomen. 30 minutes at room temp, and wait a few seconds after swabbing with alcohol. Makes it sting less.

Any dr. that tells a patient with IBD that they have a low pain threshhold should go X#$$%%%.

skt5
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/21/2010 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   

Becky (monkiray),

I am new to this forum. I am also 32 years old and was diagnosed with crohns back in 1998.  Up until this past May, it has been extremely mild for the last 12 years.  I was hospitalized in May & June with obstructions.  I was on prednisone for a bit and tapered off that...I NEVER want to go on that again. It made me a crazy person! I am currently taking humira.  I just took my second dose of 2 injections this past Thursday.  For the last week and a half I have felt horrible. My stomach is just hurting. I was wondering how long it took before the humira started working for you.  I felt pretty good for about 2 or so weeks before the first humira injection (I was still on prednisone) and about a week after those initial 4 injections my stomach started hurting to the point where it's waking me up some nights.  It's been like this for a week and a half now.  I'm frustrated b/c sometimes I swear that when I have a flare up, the docs put me on these new meds and I end up feeling worse than I did before.  Just trying to get a little insight on how long it takes before I start feeling some relief.  Thanks sooo much!

Oh & it definitely is a painful shot.  I did ok in the doc office on the initial visit although I swore I would NEVER give them in the thigh again. That was HORRIBLE!!! Did the second dose a few days ago....I psyched myself out so bad I just stood there for 15 minutes freaking myself out.  Finally called my husband up and he did it for me.  That's how we'll be doing it from now on!

Thanks for any and all input!

.

jas
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 8/22/2010 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I switched from Remicade to Humira when I was well controlled so unfortunately I have no idea of guessing when you will get some relief. I absolutely agree with you that injecting in the thigh is the worst. The burning was so intense one time when I injected in my nothing but muscle thigh that I was sure I was going to pass out. For some reason that one injection was way worse than any others.

As for the stomach pain I would definitely talk to you dr. My stomach gets sore for a few days after injecting (especially if I'm sitting in certain positions) and usually leaves a bruise. As long as you are not getting any sort of infection at the injection site you could get a prescription for some lidocaine ointment. That way it would just numb it some and hopefully keep you from being woken up.
JAS


Currently taking: started Humira 07.13.10
Recently tried 6MP and developed pancreatitis
Allergic to mesalamines

Becky77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 8/22/2010 7:27 PM (GMT -7)   
It's hard for me to say how quick it worked. Remicade was controlling my symptoms pretty well, but I still had mild disease activity while on it. My obstructions were every 2-3 months, then after I started Humira, they went to about every 6 months. My obstructions now are just from scar tissue, so the Humira won't help that, but when I had a colonoscopy a couple months ago, the crohn's wasn't active AT ALL!!!!!

skt5, I know that doesn't answer your question, and I'm sorry. Do you have anything to take for the pain? Maybe you could try going on clear liquids for 24 hours to see if it calms your stomach down, then gradually progress to foods you normally eat. It might give you a little break and help calm things down.
Becky

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D
Coumadin stopped 3/15/10!!!!

Cyan
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/27/2010 10:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi guys,
I wanted to say that I too have terrible stomach pain from the Humira. I just took my second loading dose and have had a hard time holding down my job because the pain is crazy! (I tried Remicade and had a terrible reaction - couldn't walk for a month - so they have switched me to Humira.) I have to take Ambien to get any rest at all because of the pain at night. I can hardly stand up straight.... and I have a very high tolerance for pain just like most folks who are dealing with Crohn's. When I told me doctor about this, he just shrugged his shoulders, said yeah, we don't know what it can do and that was it. This is the same doctor who also refuses to discuss any possible diet modifications that may help me. I am so depressed about this whole thing. What I'm wondering is when can I expect to see results from all this agony? Do I really have to wait 3-6 months before Humira is declared a success or failure?

And yes - the Humira pen hurts like hell. No two ways about it. I thought I was going to pass out the first time. I do think icing my belly before the injection helps some but really it hurts like mad. And for a doctor to say that it doesn't ... well he has never had one. If every doctor had to do this to themselves every two weeks, they would have a whole new appreciation for what we deal with. For real.
Crohn's for 15 years, recently diagnosed correctly, reactions to both Remicade and Flagyl. Started Humira August 2010, horrible abdomen pain since. Lost over half my hair, gained 15 lbs. GEESH!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Currently taking Humira, Prednisone, 6MP, Lasix, Lortab, Ambien, Boniva, Multi-Vitamin, Calcium, D3, Flaxseed Oil, Fish Oil, Natren Probiotics, B12, Lutein

staci100
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 8/27/2010 3:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Mine hurt from the day I started till my last injection over 2 years later. I feel that my pain tolerance is quite high as well and my GI reacted about the same way. I quit doing the pen in my legs b/c that was excruciating for me and left a huge welt! I would pace the floor for about 5-6 minutes contemplating that shot! I hated it but it did help my bowels. Yes Cyan it definitely hurts like hell!!!!
36 y/o Female
Diagnosed with CD 1993

Currently taking Asacol, B-12, Folic Acid, Probiotic, Fish Oil, LDN

Past meds: Humira, Immuran, Robinul, Flagyl, Cipro, Prednisone, Bentyl,
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