Can you be strategic with Humira injection sites?

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GloGirl504
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 6/16/2017 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys, it's been a while, which is a good thing.

Overall I've been doing well with Humira and even with my low pain threshold I'm able to do the injections without too much of a problem. But every once in a while I seem to hit a spot that just kills.

I use the pen, not the syringe, and I always do the stomach, never the thigh since I hear that's more painful. I abide by the rule of rotating around four general areas around the belly button, at least 2 inches from the belly button. I notice that the top two spots usually hurt more than the bottom two, probably because there's more fat toward the bottom.

Instead of asking for general tips for reducing pain, I'm wondering if any of you have figured out which specific areas to avoid. Also, would it be bad if I decided to just alternate between the bottom two spots instead of doing top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right?
Female, 28
Dx'd w/pancolitis 1/13/15
Lialda 1.2g x4 daily
6 mos. Pred. then started biweekly Humira 8/17/15
1 Ultimate Flora probiotic/day + trying Align
1 Freeda Quintab multivitamin/day
100mg sertraline (Zoloft)/day

iPoop
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 10527
   Posted 6/16/2017 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad you're doing well!

I'm not on humira, but pulled up the following that could help?
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=17&m=1450984

I'd say pick meaty-areas. UC can make us bean-pole skinny and that can be harder than it should.
Moderator Ulcerative Colitis
John
, 39, UC Proctosigmoiditis
Rx: Remicade @5mgs/kg/6wks; 75mgs 6MP, 4.8g Lialda, and rowasa

I swore to myself that once i was off of prednisone that I'd burn both the pills and bottle with great hedonistic enjoyment: booze, food, and dance. And if I ever need a colectomy... ;-)

jsanch6couv
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2014
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 6/18/2017 11:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I use the pen as well and just went to weekly dosing. I always inject in the stomach because the thighs hurt like the devil! I follow the clockwise method (12 sites), and I find above the belly button hurts more too. I'm not skinny (165 lbs) so I don't think lack of fatty tissue is the problem LOL! I've had two c-sections, so my lower abdomen is numb anyway, and those sites hurt a lot less. I've never used it, but you could ask your doc to prescribe lidocaine cream to apply before your dose. Might help with the pain. Good luck!
Jessica, 35--dx'ed proctosigmoiditis June 2014

Flaring since June 2016
Humira started 12/4/2015, upped to weekly dosage 5/18/17
Other weekly: (started 5/18/17): Methotrexate 15 mg, Folic Acid 5 mg, Zofran
Daily: Rowasa AM, Colocort PM, Lexapro 10 mg, Probiotic, Vitamin D 2000 IU (sublingual), Liquid Multivitamin
Prior meds: Lialda 4.8 mg (DC'd 5/18/17), Pred taper finished 5/24/17

Bacon Girl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 5473
   Posted 6/18/2017 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not on Humira anymore but take Simponi and even though it isn't a "studied/recommended" site, I always do it right below my butt cheek. I am under 100 lbs so my meatiest area is right there. The other sites (abdomen, top of thigh, and bicep) usually end up being intramuscular injections instead of subcutaneous. This causes them to bleed more for me and I can feel it more (although it is more uncomfortable than painful). I told my doctor that I do my shots there and he said it was fine.
Joanna, 27
Diagnosed w/ proctitis 2006, spread to pancolitis, appendicitis, and ileocecal valve syndrome
Meds:100 mg Simponi, 25 mg imuran, 21 mg nicotine patch
Bone Supplement, Mag Citrate, VSL, Vit C, Oral Iron/Venofer

Diet: meat, eggs, broth, dairy, nuts/seeds, fruits/veggies

formerly known as bananagirl

Mrs. Brady
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 6/19/2017 6:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Great question, I tend to go to the same four spots on my stomach, alternating sides each week and parallel to belly button and about 2 inches below. The lower shot is better for me, probably because there is more fat there. Hopefully someone can chime in with some additional advice. I did one of my loading dose shots in my thigh and it was not good, stung and hurt so bad.
Hoshimoto's Hypothyroidism DX Oct 1997
Pancolitis DX Nov 2013
GERD DX Nov 2013
Lupus, DX Sept 2015
Medications - Synthroid; Hydrocort Enemas (as needed); Prilosec; Iron; Plaquenil; Vit D, Humira
Past Meds: Lialda and Imuran - adverse reactions to both, discontinued

GloGirl504
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 6/20/2017 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the tips, guys. Last night's injection was on the bottom right and, as expected, it hurt a lot less.
Female, 28
Dx'd w/pancolitis 1/13/15
6 mos. Pred. then started biweekly Humira 8/17/15
1 Ultimate Flora probiotic/day + trying Align
1 Freeda Quintab multivitamin/day
just went off sertraline (zoloft)

GloGirl504
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 6/20/2017 2:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Bacon Girl said...
The other sites (abdomen, top of thigh, and bicep) usually end up being intramuscular injections instead of subcutaneous.


Ahh, see that's interesting, that's kind of what I was getting at because I heard people talking about it before, but I couldn't remember the terminology. So I wonder how you can avoid intramuscular sites on your abdomen.
Female, 28
Dx'd w/pancolitis 1/13/15
6 mos. Pred. then started biweekly Humira 8/17/15
1 Ultimate Flora probiotic/day + trying Align
1 Freeda Quintab multivitamin/day
just went off sertraline (zoloft)

iPoop
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 10527
   Posted 6/20/2017 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
You're best to inject Humira into areas with fat deposits, to avoid intramuscular injections and the pain associated with them. It's one of those things where being toned and fit, or just skinny due to UC-weightloss can actually work against you and cause pain at injection sites. We all should have areas with a little bit of fat deposits, whether it is our tummy, inner-thighs, butt, or triceps. I don't believe it really matters at all where on your body you do the injections. It just has to be subcutaneous (just below the skin) and preferably into fat. If you have areas where you are exceptionally toned or strong then they might be all muscle and not a good injection site (a runner with strong legs, etc.).
Moderator Ulcerative Colitis
John
, 39, UC Proctosigmoiditis
Rx: Remicade @5mgs/kg/6wks; 75mgs 6MP, 4.8g Lialda, and rowasa

Poopcation, it's a day without pooping and it would totally be a restful vacation! Think of all I'd get done when not worrying about or sitting on the throne repeatedly!

GloGirl504
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 6/20/2017 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   
iPoop said...
You're best to inject Humira into areas with fat deposits, to avoid intramuscular injections and the pain associated with them. It's one of those things where being toned and fit, or just skinny due to UC-weightloss can actually work against you and cause pain at injection sites. We all should have areas with a little bit of fat deposits, whether it is our tummy, inner-thighs, butt, or triceps. I don't believe it really matters at all where on your body you do the injections. It just has to be subcutaneous (just below the skin) and preferably into fat. If you have areas where you are exceptionally toned or strong then they might be all muscle and not a good injection site (a runner with strong legs, etc.).


Okay, so just look for the fat? tongue That probably means really avoiding above the belly button, hope that's okay. I'd contact my Humira ambassador, but I can never seem to reach an actual person.
Female, 28
Dx'd w/pancolitis 1/13/15
6 mos. Pred. then started biweekly Humira 8/17/15
1 Ultimate Flora probiotic/day + trying Align
1 Freeda Quintab multivitamin/day
just went off sertraline (zoloft)

Bacon Girl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 5473
   Posted 6/20/2017 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
If you are set on using your abdomen, I'd just go in the pooch area if you have one! I have such low body fat that the abdomen shots hurt me but the top of the thigh was just as unpleasant. I'm thankful that my shot is once a month because my last one wasn't too good. I don't self inject (I can't do that to myself) so my stepdad gives it to me. He went straight into my tricep last week and it was such a bleeder. Felt like I got punched in the arm and I couldn't lift it.

I honestly hate complaining/whining about it though because I am in a good spot right now and would rather take a shot EVERY SINGLE DAY FOREVER instead of ever flaring again. It's really a small price to pay to have a somewhat normal life.
Joanna, 27
Diagnosed w/ proctitis 2006, spread to pancolitis, appendicitis, and ileocecal valve syndrome
Meds:100 mg Simponi, 25 mg imuran, 21 mg nicotine patch
Bone Supplement, Mag Citrate, VSL, Vit C, Oral Iron/Venofer

Diet: meat, eggs, broth, dairy, nuts/seeds, fruits/veggies

formerly known as bananagirl
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