Starting Humira

Whether you’re getting ready to start taking Humira, know someone who is, or simply find the subject of self-administering shots to be absolutely absurd… this post may be able to give you some insight. As you may know, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in June of 2012. This was a very frustrating time of trial and error for me.  None of the oral medications were helping my condition, and I was at the end of my rope!

After three months of trying standard oral medications, my doctor talked to me about Humira.
Of course I had heard of Humira, but I didn’t know much about it.  After talking to my gastroenterologist and researching on my own, I had learned all I needed to know.  Humira happens to be one of the miracle drugs that can help multiple autoimmune diseases.  Unfortunately, it does come with some serious warnings and possible side effects.  However, the benefits definitely outweigh the scariness factor when it comes to my particular health concerns.

Since I’m not a doctor, scientist, or anyone with the authority to explain exactly how or why Humira works, I recommend you check here for the details.

When I left the doctor’s office that day I was sent home with a Humira Pen Training Kit in hand.  While waiting for my insurance to provide me with prior authorization, I could be practicing my shots.  Yes, I do mean practice.  A dear friend of mine was actually on a flight to Fort Wayne for a short visit at the time, so we practiced together over the weekend! The training pen (did I mention there is NO NEEDLE in the training pen?) was helpful! In fact, when it came time to do the real thing, I knew exactly what to do.
My first injection day came very quickly (see the images below to get a peek at what the starter kit looks like). The first dose is insane!  The plan is to complete FOUR injections in one night.  Two weeks later, you inject two more.  After the initial two injection days, maintenance is one injection every other week.

Humira Starter KitHumira CalendarBefore getting started, I took the pen out of the fridge 15 minutes in advance.  This allows the pen to warm up a bit and to help with burning at the injection site.  I made the mistake of taking the pens out of the box as I needed them.  That only held them closer together and kept them cooler… eek!  I’ve heard of other people holding the pen in their armpit for a few minutes to expedite the warming process, but don’t leave the medicine out too long!

Injection one was a breeze! Injections two, three, and four kept getting colder… and therefore more painful!The good news is that I made it through that night and learned my lesson… though I nearly had to sedate my poor husband…

The pens are very practical and easy to administer.  The dosage is measured, the needle is safely hidden, and all you have to do is push a button while holding the pen firmly against your skin. Humira can be injected subcutaneously (just under the skin) in the stomach or thigh.  Personally, the stomach feels best to me.  Some people disagree, but making Humira part of my routine has taken some changes, different approaches, and a little trial and error.  I’m sure that others have their own tips and tricks to make the best of each injection too!  Do you have a preferred injection site? Or any tips to share?

 

 

3 Comments

3 Comments on Starting Humira

  1. Chandra
    August 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm (3 years ago)

    Hello,
    I was just approved to start Humeria to treat Crohn’s. This article has been super helpful for letting me know what to expect. Still quite nervous, especially for day 1. Does it look like an epi-pen?

    • Mallory
      September 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Chandra! Sorry for missing your comment! By now, I’m sure that you’ve already done your loading dose (and a few more) of Humira. I hope it is working well for you! How are you feeling?

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