I had a GP do my first 4 loading doses because everyone was concerned with my poor history with IBD meds in case I had a bad reaction, it was fine, no reaction, then 2 weeks later for my second loading dose of 2 pens they sent a nurse to my house to teach me how to do my shots on myself, she was excellent, it was better that she had me do them in front of her rather than her do them for me.
I let my pen warm up to room temperature first to cut down on the stinging pain that the med can cause going in. I wipe the area (I do it in my thigh, alternating each time I do my shot, I'm on them weekly now rather than biweekly) with the alcohol wipe, pinch the skin of the area I'm going to inject, hold the pen firmly at a 90 degree angel as directed in the pamphlet that comes in the Humira kit (which you should be getting as well and it has a practice pen in the kit, no needle is in the practice pen, it's just to help you get familiar with the pens) holding the pen so you can easily see the yellow indicator in the window of the pen, inject and don't let go of the top part you push down on to extend the needle into your skin, hold the pen for 10 seconds while watching the yellow indicator reach all the way down, which takes 10 full seconds and not letting go until it's stopped moving. the yellow indicator in the window isn't visible until you inject which is the point to help guide you how long you have to push the top button of the pen down. Then I quickly put a small cotton ball on it and push down (don't rub) firmly but not crazy hard, to stop any possible slight bleeding from the needle, about
5 minutes does the trick, sometimes the area will be red or swell a bit at or near the injection sight, this is normal and it will go away after a bit of time. It's that easy, I don't like needles either, you don't see the needle unless you look for it under the sleeve the needle is in (you won't see it in the practice pen at all since it's just a practice pen) so if I can do these injections, anyone can cuz I freak out about
doing things like that wrong as well.
Humira put my crohn's colitis (CD affecting the colon) in remission fairly quick, but I have IBS as well, wasn't sure if it was my IBS or still flaring so just before I went in for a second scope to check on my inflammation I asked my GI to up me to weekly and he did and still wants me to stay on it weekly cuz I was such a tough case to treat. It also closed up the inflamed fistula tract so it definitely works for me.
The only side effect I've had was horrible headaches but I found out that taking an antihistamine before bed, the day I do my shots and sometimes right after my shot I will get a bit of redness and slight swelling around the injection site but it goes away shortly after I've done the injection, so the area is a bit tender for a couple hours but it's nothing intrusive. soon after you do your shot you can carry on with business as usual. Some people will ice the area to stop the pain from the needle going in, it's just a pinch for 10 seconds so I don't bother, others will use a numbing cream that you put on a while before the injection then use the alcohol wipes but I don't bother cuz it's just a pinch.
Just make sure you hold the pen straight (90 degree angel) pinch the area so that you don't hit an artery or anything, don't inject into scars, blemishes, birthmarks, etc and remember to continue pushing down on the top part that releases the needle, if you let go it will stop administering the med and the med will leak all over on you not get in you. Pinch the area the whole time you're injecting don't let go of your pinched skin until you let go of the spring loaded push button at the top of the pen. Read the instructions over and over to familiarize yourself with proper directions, in case you get a nurse that is a bit clueless about
the injection pens, sadly that does happen.
I found the shots hurt worse in the belly than the top of my thigh, it's trial and error, I had my first 4 loading shots all done in the gut, that's what prompted me to try my thighs for the second loading dose of 2 pens.
How long it takes to kick in varies from person to person, I can't recall the timeline I was probably told but it wasn't near as long as it generally takes with oral meds traditionally used.
You can use ice to numb the slight pinch of the needle just make sure you keep pinching the skin through the whole shot (10 seconds, and time the yellow indicator as it moves down and then stops when the med is completely released from the pen.
DX with Crohn's Disease in 1991 shortly after becoming ill. CD was affecting small and large bowel & anus (perianal crohn's skin tags) & rectum for first 2 yrs of becoming sick, CD remained constant in colon (Crohn's colitis) & anus with anal tags, intolerant to oral meds. Currently on Humira (Feb 2014) once a week and B12, Vitamin A and Omega's daily. In remission but trying to combat IBS D/C.
Post Edited (pb4) : 11/24/2015 7:27:34 PM (GMT-7)