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Rebif injection sites

Hi guys, Rachael has now been injecting for a couple of months with Rebif. The first time was not so sore but it has got increasingly more painful since then. Both her thighs are covered in red marks/bruises which hurt, she can’t inject in her stomach as she is really slim and has no fat there, she is now mainly doing it above and on her bum which she finds really painful. She tried once on the back of her arms but again being so slim and no fat it was too sore, also having a numb hand makes it difficult to get it in position and fire it. She is determined to do it herself and won’t let me give it to her. Is there any other sites she could try using? Linda x

Hi Linda

When I was on Rebif I found that the thighs were the best place and also to the side of the thigh a bit if you know what I mean.

I am not skinny so it wasn’t as painful for me. I had no trouble in the tummy area but I remember that it did get better in time.The back of the arms were really painful for me too. I also didn’t get any pain in my hips.

Hope it gets better for Rachael soon.

Shazzie xxx

I find the thighs and tummy easiest, but they still leave marks. You don’t new much fat, as the needle doesn’t go in far at all. Has she tried ice packs? I ice my injection site for 10 mins before injecting and 10 mins after and I feel absolutely nothing! X

Hi Linda,

I don’t have to inject so if I’m talking nonsense just tell me to (politely) go away. Would it help to use something like an ice-cube to breifly numb the skin before injecting? Might that also help a bit with the bruising? Like I said I have no experince so this may be a rubbish idea.

Either way kudos to Rachael for wanting to do it herself. It must be upsetting enough for you to see your daughter in pain without being the one to inflict it.

I hope some-one has a solution for you hun.

Take care

JBK x

Hi everyone, she has tried ice packs, heat packs, rubbing, different sites and nothing seems to help. Not sure how sore it really is as sometimes she does it no bother, others she is almost having a panic attack before injecting and she is maybe just getting herself worked up. When the machine beeps that the injection is done and she removes the machine from her skin she has a pea size bump that then flattens out and goes bright red and sore and stays red for weeks. Is this a normal reaction? Linda x

Hi Linda, Sorry about long post but my return key doesn’t work. I really think it’s best for Rachel if she lets you help her do some of the injections. I have to trust my husband to do my left hip as I just simply cannot get in a comfortable position to do it. What depth has Rachel got the needle set at? As she is very slim maybe she only needs it on a 6mm. What comfort levels does she use? A lot of people on here set the needle speed to fast and the injection speed to slow. Again as she is slim I would say that she doesn’t need to have the injection time anymore than 10 secs. Try to adjust the comfort settings and depth to suit her. Also give the rebismart a shake when you have the needle in place and this will stop any liquid forming on the needle beforehand, sometimes that can make an injection painful. I don’t sit the Rebismart flush to the skin, I tend to press in a little bit which reduces any pain slightly but I am quite a large lady so this may not work with Rachel. I personally find the injections fairly painful to administer but I just sit there and swear like a trooper at the top of my voice the whole time the injection is going in and my husband also joins in which is quite funny. ( good job we’re in a detached house with no close neighbours !! ) It takes my mind off the pain though. Because Rachel is thin she may be accidently injecting into the same sore bits because she can’t see what she’s doing i.e. on the back of the arms, hips so I think she may need your help here. For the arms, try putting a cushion underneath her armpit so that it pushes any fat on the back of the arms into prominence, then rest the forearm on a chair elbow. I find this makes the arms easier to inject. If her legs are really the worst and very sore, see if her nurse suggests that she miss this area for a couple of weeks. I also find that if I put a cold gel pack on before injecting that numbs the area a bit and I also put it back on afterwards and that reduces some of the tenderness. Some people prefer to warm the skin beforehand. Again try to experiment. I think though no matter how slim or fat a person is, Rebif is likely to leave red marks which can be tender and they take a few weeks to go. I’ve got a lot of spare flesh and I’m covered in reddy brown marks. I hope things get easier for her xx

Thanks fudgey, my return key does not work on this either. Will try the cushion thing with her arm as that sounds quite a good idea. Will also check her comfort settings, last I checked it was for 8 seconds but can’t remember the depth. She screams while doing it and we are in a semi detached house so gawd knows what the neighbours think is happening. She has an appointment next week with her MS nurse so will say to him to check things. Thanks again. Linda x

Hi Linda I’ve been injecting for 3 months now and have found it’ getting more and more painful as times going on. The My Support nurse is coming round in a few weeks so going to talk to her about it. Have changed sites slightly and tried cold etc but it still hurts. I have to have it sett on about 18 seconds as I was getting quite alot of medecine on my skin after, so far it seems to be helping and no more spots… Maybe its just something she cant have. Which is wat I think about mine. Sorry if this isnt wat you wanted to hear. Hope you get a solution soon Kate x x

Hi Kate, she has her MS nurse app soon so hopefully he can tell her if and what she is doing wrong, think she gets her first blood tests taken to see how it is so keep everything crossed it goes ok. Linda x

[quote=“JellyBellyKelly”]

Hi Linda,

I don’t have to inject so if I’m talking nonsense just tell me to (politely) go away. Would it help to use something like an ice-cube to breifly numb the skin before injecting? Might that also help a bit with the bruising? Like I said I have no experince so this may be a rubbish idea.

Either way kudos to Rachael for wanting to do it herself. It must be upsetting enough for you to see your daughter in pain without being the one to inflict it.

I hope some-one has a solution for you hun.

Take care

JBK x

[/quote] Hi Jbk, yes you are making sense because I have started doing this. I put my cold pack that came with the rebif in the freezer and place it onto the area I am injecting into to numb it and it does take the edge off a little because my injection sites where getting really sore. Nicola x

I found the cold pack made it hurt more although its took me weeks to figure that out. I now heat the area. It still hurts but a little less. I also found at the beginning it didn’t hurt so much and now it hurts more. That said although I almost dread doing them if I’m sticking fingers up to the m.s then I will keep doing it. I also get the red marks and bruises which lass ages and are tender. The marks seem to be improving since I’ve made a conscious effort to moisturise morning and evening. I don’t do it before a jab but do do it the morning off my jab. I use a lotion from holland and Barrett with arnica in it, also aloe Vera. I have started experimenting with the settings but to be honest I am just keen to get the jab done and over with. I like someone above close my eyes and either swear or make a funny wincing face. Good luck xxx

Hi Linda

I have the needle speed set to fast, the injection speed to slow and the depth to 8mm. The injection time is set to +13 seconds. These are all in the Comfort Settings in the Rebismart. It does mean I have to sit there a bit longer but once the needle is in I don’t feel a thing and the needle goes in so fast now that it’s over before I have thought about it.

Since I have played around with it and set it up this way the injections sting less and bruise less. I am also a very petite build without an ounce of fat anywhere. I never inject on my arms; I stick to thighs, hips and tummy. My tummy never hurts at all, my hips (they used to be muffin tops until I lost weight) hurt a tiny bit and my thighs sting the most. I have to steel myself to inject into my thighs as it always stings, often bleeds and always leaves red site marks. At least it bruises a lot less now I have the Comfort Settings set right for me. I tried the hot and cold ice packs before and after injection in various combinations and they made no difference. My thighs look like corned beef lol. I do find that the sides of my thighs hurt less than the fronts (as you look at them) so I use the sides more if the fronts are very sore. Usually I rotate more on the thighs using 6 sites on the fronts and 6 sites on the sides so it takes longer to get back to the bruised, red bits.

I hope the MS nurse can help Rachael find the settings that will suit her better. Sometimes it is just trial and error. I do find if I tense up it hurts more. I have to force myself to relax and think nice thoughts as I press the button. It sounds daft but it really does make a difference.

If it’s any consolation, tell Rachael she should be lucky we have the Rebismart now. When I first started on Rebif there was no such luxury and the first auto injector I used was shaped like a long blow dart but wider at one end. It used to fire the syringes in like throwing a dart and, because it had these silly little soft touch buttons and I have very little feeling in my fingertips, I always used to press too hard causing lots of bleeding and massive bruises. I was so glad when my nurse said there was a new gadget out that would really help me, and it has certainly made a difference.

Good luck to Rachael with getting things sorted. She needs to keep doing the injections to stave off any more relapses and you don’t want her building up a phobia now.

Tracey x

Thanks for that, will get her to try new settings tonight. She is so fed up at the moment. She is also really tired, flushed and headachey so don’t know if she is coming down with something or it is just the MS. We were supposed to start gym today after our holiday but she did not feel up to it so hopefully get started later in the week. We saw the original type of needles before the smart machine came in, there would be no way she would be able to give herself that injection. Linda x