It’s that day again. Get out your alcohol wipes and thaw out your pen. It’s that biweekly torture we call Humira. Humira has been great. A fantastic replacement for Imuran for over a year now. But something about having to stick yourself with a needle to feel better is psychologically jarring.
Ready, Set…up your Stations.
Here’s the setup. I know my Humira has to thaw a minimum of 30 minutes, but usually no more than an hour, so I take it out of the fridge. Let’s setup supplies: hand towel, ice pack, alcohol wipes and band-aids.
Slap that lidocaine patch on your thigh. Gotta hope it helps when the meds go in.
Ding! Siri’s alarm tells me time is up, let’s assume position.
Get that band-aid and ice pack ready…we are going in!
Peel back the paper holding that gray and burgundy wonder. Remove caps #1 and #2.
The needle on the Humira pen is teeny tiny…but that’s not what you have to worry about. The reason for the lidocaine is that there is a preservative in the Humira that stings when it penetrates the skin. This is the reason we leave it out of the fridge for so long before injecting: it helps lessen its potency. The reason for the ice is that the spring action of the pen can cause bruising at the injection site.
Now, we are ready for the injection. Choose an area in either the stomach (around the belly button or the thigh; whichever is “fattier”. More fat in the area means less pain. For this article, I chose my thigh. I normally inject my stomach, but there was pre-existing bruises I didn’t want confusing anyone. For me, the thigh means more pain but less bruising and the stomach is less pain but long lasting bruises. (Even with the icing.)
Okay. Got your spot picked? Grab hold of that skin and place the bottom of the pen flat against it. With your other hand, press the top of the pen and wait for the yellow indicator in the window to glide all the way to the bottom.
Congrats! You just did your Humira injection! Now grab that band-aid, slap it over top and hold the ice pack on for a good 15-20 minutes. (I have found this time frame is just long enough to stop blood flow to the area and not too long that you can’t go on with your day.)
Humira is a love/loathe medication, like so many of the ones prescribed to us are. Overall, it’s been one of the better ones for me. The worst part of Humira is injection day. I can’t recall any side effects from it, other than the bruising. I’ll take that over something worse like weight gain or steroid rage any day!
Do you have any other tips for your injections we missed? Be sure to include them in the comments.