Is humira injection PAINFUL???

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 294
   Posted 4/8/2009 12:28 PM (GMT -7)   
OMG watching youtube videos of people taking humira has me freaked! It looks painful and the people are saying its painful....

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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 4/8/2009 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't take Humira. But my husband gives me B12 and I give myself imitrex (all too frequently). I have found the alcohol wipes with the benzocaine (sp?) stuff really helps. I use one wipe on a large area. wait about 2 minutes, then use a second wipe on the actual, smaller, area that will be injected. It doesn't take all the pain away, but it does numb it some. And I am a bit of a wimp which is why my husband gives me the B12 shots, I just can't do it myself. If they came in a pen like the imitrex I would be OK, but I can't LOOK at needle and then push it into myself.

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1811
   Posted 4/8/2009 1:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, it hurts like #%$#%@$^$^#^%#@!$!#@. It's not the needle prick that hurts, it's the medicine that burns, but it only lasts as long as it takes for all of the medicine to get in. For me it hurts a little after that too, but 10 minutes later, I'm fine. :) I have found that icing the spot makes it worse. Others say that it helps. I have my husband stick it in the fatty part of the back of my arm. That way I don't have to see it and I don't have to do it to myself. I did the first 4 shots in my thighs and I will never do it there again. I never tried my stomach because when I started I was pregnant and now I'm not preggo any more, I'm just too chicken to try my stomach -seems like it would hurt worse.

Sorry I'm not making this easier for you, but I wanted to tell the truth. I didn't think I was too much of a wuss, but I HATE taking my Humira shot. At least the medicine works for me. Somehow that kind of makes it worth it.

Glad Bag
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 699
   Posted 4/8/2009 1:53 PM (GMT -7)   
It hurts a lot less than the symptoms they prescribe it to alleviate do.
"I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together!" - The Beatles

doesn't that just sound cool when you sing it?

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 294
   Posted 4/8/2009 1:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks...I just cant believe I am going to be taking a biological injectable drug that I have to administer to myself...its so surreal to me...I have done so well over the past 15 years I have only had 5 bad flare ups including this one where I am on my back...Always treated with anti iflam drugs and steroids...

Even now I have an IV in my arm as I am taking iv steroids for 10 days because oral wasnt doing the trick and still no response the disease doest even recognize the drug...Im not even having side effects from it...very mild acne on my shoulders...and a little insomnia...but no appetite incrase, and no weight gain...

So tommorow I am on Humira...and I hope it works and does the trick...

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 4/8/2009 1:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I started humira 3 weeks ago...I don't think the shots are that bad...I use the humira pens and I don't warm up the meds...the initial shot was painful, but after that I guess I just got used to it...everyone's tolerance is different...good luck...

42 year old woman diagnosed with UC 1991, Jpouch surgery 1992, Crohn's diagnosis 2009
Current meds: 500mg 2x's daily cipro, 800mg xifaxin, 9mg entocort, Humira (started 3/23/09), synthroid

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 4/8/2009 2:28 PM (GMT -7)   
The medicine burns, but just leave it out for 20-30 minutes and make sure you've got enough skin squeezed between your fingers. You do get used to and it does get better. I don't ever ice really does hurt a lot at first but you'll gradually get used to it.
20 years old, Diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's and Colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone 10 mg, pentasa 2 pills 4x a day, bentyl as needed, omeprazole in the morning, prenatal multivitamin, humira every other week, and Align probiotics given to me by my GI.
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy most likely the result of severe Crohn's inflammation in July of 2008.
Diet almost completely without refined sugars, wheat, flour, gluten, high lactose dairy, and/or junk food in general.
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/8/2009 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   
People are probably putting up videos of the first time they use an injectable. Not knowing what's coming is more scary than the actual event. After a few times, you really do get used to it. Sure, it burns a little going in. But it's 10 seconds of pain. Icing the area before does help.

If people put up videos of their 10th injection it would give a very different impression.
Healing well with psoriasis, PsA, and hypogonadism, and happy to share my experiences.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 589
   Posted 4/8/2009 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   
it never bothered me any more than a typical injection. only thing i didnt like was having to inject myself. creeped me out.
21, Male, diagnosed over Christmas Break of my Junior year in High School.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 318
   Posted 4/9/2009 8:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Doc2007 said...
OMG watching youtube videos of people taking humira has me freaked! It looks painful and the people are saying its painful....
tongue Hi dont be scared i do my own needles now at first i had a VON come in and show me the ropes but now i am an old pro,at first i was nervous now its not bad it does burn a bite but only for a second it is kind of like a shot of morphine you know that burn i am sure it wont last yeah
there is also some itching it also doesnt last long and there might only be a small welt which will also go away.I give myself a shot every second monday now since i just got out of the hospital its now every week but i get the prefilled pens which are so much easier there is no measuring or worries if you took enough or to much it takes the guess work out of it for you.I hope that is something you were looking for dont be afaird its only another bump in the road and you will jump that i am sure us crohns patients are tough so this isnt so bad you will see,best of luck to you keep me posted on how you are doing i am also going to give you the number to the Humira Hotline which is 1-866-848-6472 they have been a great help to me so any concerns you have call them tell them your nervous and they to will set your mind at ease.Your bowel buddy Jenn. smilewinkgrin
i love this site a friend found it for me.Another one would ccf crohnes and colitis foudataion

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 4/9/2009 8:10 AM (GMT -7)   
i does hurt, but only for a few seconds, my husband has to give it to me cause i just cant do i myself. my goes in my leg, i cant imagine doing it in my stomach...ugh good luck!
29 yr old, female lower left moderate to severe UC since 2002
canasa when needed, can't do rowasa!
Humira since july'08
Lialda 3 pills a day

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 4/9/2009 10:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I discovered that leaving it out of the fridge for closer to an hour helps, also I've been injecting on the inside of my thighs, where it's more jiggly. The top of my thighs have more muscle (from biking), and it seems to be better to go where there's no resistance.

Yes, it hurts, but it really is only 10 seconds. And then you can demand a snuggle from someone nearby, which helps. :)
Diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in Jan 2007, though sick since mid 90’s. Currently on Humira and Protonix. Have had success with Entocort and Cipro; negative experience with Methotrexate.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 4/9/2009 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I actually stopped taking it because I could not take the pain.  I probably sound like a big baby, but I think that most of us crohnies can agree that we can tolerate pain better then the next person, with all that we have been through.  I tried numbing my leg with ice, I tried leaving the pen out for 30 mins, I tried it combined, nothing helped me.  I just couldnt take it anymore, so it was on to Remicade for me.

Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed.
Current Meds: Imuran 50mg, Vitamin B12 (injection), D, and C tablets. Fish Oil Tablets, Cats Claw, Slippery Elm, and Reishi.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 4/9/2009 5:04 PM (GMT -7)   

I don't take it anymore,but when I did,icing the area of injection for like 15 minutes,REALLY helped me alot,I couldn't really tolerate them without the ice,also leave the syringe at room temp for 15-20minutes. I took Benedryl a few times prior to the injection,because sometimes the area gets itchey.

Good luck smilewinkgrin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6130
   Posted 4/9/2009 5:24 PM (GMT -7)   
some hurt others dont... its wierd... luckily my abdomen is so cut up that a lot of the nerves are severed! so i have some numb spots.. :0).... i would never do it in my arms or legs as they are to thin for my comfort of hitting some fat. now my gut on the other hand has plenty. my wife does the shooting as i lay in my lazyboy with my hands under my butt so i wont smack her.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 4/9/2009 8:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Okay guys, those are not the stories I wanted to read as my doc is trying to decide if I have to go on Humira.
Do most of you need to take Benedryl with these shots-I can't take benedryl.

Aimee =)
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 4/9/2009 9:10 PM (GMT -7)   

You don't need to take Benadryl with it; I assume some people have found that they itch some after the injection so they take the Benadryl to offset that. If you did itch, you could take something else to help with it if it's unbearable without treatment.

I won't lie - it hurts. But, I freaked myself out over the pain initially and it wasn't as bad as I made it out to be in my imagination. The other option is MUCH more painful so I can take this small pain to avoid the big pain. It's funny, some injections hurt a lot more than others. Been on it 2+ years and can't figure out why that is the case.

There are things you can do to avoid pain. For me, the pen hurts a lot worse so I use a syringe. I also let it sit out and warm up for upwards of an hour prior to injection. I also squeeze the heck out of my thigh in order to avert some of the pain =) You can also try icing the area to numb it.

I've tried thigh and tummy and I prefer the thigh area. My DH won't even consider doing it for me so I have to give myself a pep talk before each injection - have to do it tonight, as a matter of fact!

Don't let the injection sway you away. Really. It has been a miracle drug for me and much less painful than surgery =)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 4/10/2009 6:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey :)

I started taking Humira two months ago and so here I go with my experience.

I don't use the pen, I get injections and I don't give it to myself. It lasts about 30 seconds as you can control how fast you'll inject it. I don't feel almost anything when the injections goes in, it's pretty small. Humira does sing, but I find it to be a piece of cake, it's really no big deal for me, I got used to it now and I'm just glad it doesn't last any longer. I found that sometimes it hurts more, sometimes less. My left side of the belly hurts more. For example 2.5 weeks ago when I got it injected in my left side. My intestines hurt that stigma. So I'm guessing the left side hurts more because that's the part of the belly my inflammation is located.

When I got the first 4 injections it hurt the most and I couldn't stand having any pants on, even panties so I just slept with very "loose" panties on that night hehe. Keep in mind that I got 2 injections on the first day, and two injections on the second day. The second time I got Humira 2 weeks later, it was 2 injections and it hurt for 20 mins, again the left side more than the right side, and my intestines hurt that day, but no big pain.

What I've notice now is that each time I get Humira, the bump on my stomach gets bigger and stays there for about 2 days, and the first couple of times I had no bumps, and now that I do, it's also reddish a little bit. But goes away soon. I hope it won't be getting worse or anything like that. I had no allergic reactions to Humira. Once my whole belly has this weird rash for an hour, the day after, but it all went away. So I don't take benadryl.

I had my last shot on Tuesday and it was the easiest dose so far. Besides the bump.

I guess we're all different, I'm just glad I don't use pens, and I'm glad I don't have to give it to myself for now. The nurse at the hospital gives it to me and I am always sitting maybe that makes a difference too? Don't know.

Good luck with everything! It's really important you stay calm and it might not be as bad as you think. I was really afraid of having a reaction to it but I didn't and it really doesn't hurt that much. B12 shots for me hurt more because it's hard to keep your behind don't have to worry about that when it comes to your stomach. At least not when you're sitting down. Plus, my shot lasts 30s, I breathe and talk while getting it and my belly does move...and it still isn't as painful as B12 shot...for me.

21 yr. old with crohn colitis. Diagnosed in March 2004. No surgeries so far.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 4/10/2009 7:09 AM (GMT -7)   
When I had the first four, only two of them burned a little bit and bruised me.  Now I know the spots around my stomach.  I also use the pens but my partner gives them to me!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 294
   Posted 4/10/2009 9:06 AM (GMT -7)   
So I had my loading dose yesterday...and IT was very very painful...Just one would have been okay but to have it hurt like it did and then anticipate that pain 3 more times was a bit much...i have the pen and it got the injection in my stomach and in my the end of the fourth shot my eyes teared up and I just felt that I had reached my limit for pain. But I will say that I feel better is that possible???I dont Know maybe because I went to acupuncture two hours after but I do feel better. I am wrapping my mind around the idea of no oral medication anymore...just a shot every two weeks. The one thing I am grateful for is that the pain is only 5 to 6 seconds and the meds load quicker than expected less than 10 seconds. THe nurse that was administering it to me noticed this. I am not looking forward to giving it to myself but i will get over it...MIND OVER MATTER.....

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 4/10/2009 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been on Humira now for 3 months.  I take it out of the fridge about a 1/2 hour before i use it.  I inject myself in the stomach.  The reason i use the stomach is, i am a thin guy.  I have no problems there at all.  ok maybe for a few seconds while it goes in but, that is it.  Beats going to the doc every 2 months and sitting in the chair for 4 hours with Remicade.  I stopped useing remicade because it no longer works.  so far with the Humira life is GREAT.  Good luck.  try it u might like it. yeah

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 4/10/2009 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   

When I first started using Humira, I hardly had any injection pain at all!  But as the months wore on, my injections have become MUCH more painful---I find this so strange!  By the way, I use the pen.  I do take it out of the fridge about 1/2 prior, and let the alcohol dry before injecting.

I know everyone is different, but injecting in the abdominal area is WAY LESS painful than in my thighs. Also, try not to put any pressure whatsoever on the injection site for at least 30 minutes after injecting---otherwise, it hurts like crazy and lots more bruising occurs.

Good luck!!



54 year old female;
Have had Crohn's of terminal ileum for over 9 yrs, but finally accepted diagnosis when it was confirmed Feb. 2008.
Allergic/hypersensitivity to Pentasa, Entocort, and 6-MP.  Recently started Humira in December.

Rider Fan
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1445
   Posted 4/10/2009 5:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I just did an injection tonight. I'm at 6 weeks, so still relatively new I guess. Cheryl, I noticed it stung a bit more than usual tonight but it wasn't bad. I just realized I didn't let the alcohol dry this time, as you do. Thanks for the reminder!
32 y/o male. Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: Humira 2/27/09. 17.5mg prednisone. Udo's Choice Probiotics (30 billion). Can't tolerate any iron supplements or infusions.

Tried SCD, didn't work, now avoiding gluten and dairy.
Go Saskatchewan Roughriders!

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 4/11/2009 5:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I just took my shot yesterday and was very proud to say that I gave it to myself (I was having my husband do it because I would pull it out too soon because of the pain). I am getting used to it now. It only stings for a few minutes, and so worth it. I have been on it for 6 weeks and feel great! I am now living a normal life!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1665
   Posted 4/12/2009 7:11 AM (GMT -7)   
wow, I didn't think it hurt at all and I gave the shots to myself. I thought it was kind of empowering and interesting. a tiny sting, that's it. I didn't do it long as it didn't help, but it was easy. I did my belly. I just remembered, the nurse told me not to use the alcohol, as it would cause it to sting, so I just left it out on the counter for 30 min and then gave myself the shot. the hardest part was finding any fat to grab (I was really skinnny at the time)

49 y/o woman.  Diagnosed 4/06 after colonscopy, SBFT, CT-scan all showed crohns. 3 months later, after pred and remicade, all tests showed no crohns. December '06 had adhesions cut through a laparoscopy. Now taking Glycolax, Ultra Fiber Plus, Florastor, and DHEA. Have become gluten-free diet per naturopath's tests.

Post Edited (yogaprof) : 4/12/2009 8:17:13 AM (GMT-6)

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