Humira Injection Pain Relief

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SM Says:

I've been on Humira for a little over a year now and the injection pain was pretty unbearable. I used to have a leather belt to bite down on.

On a strange hunch I decided to try mega-hot sauce (carolina reaper based) a few minutes before my injection. The perceived leg pain during the injection while my mouth was still ablaze was almost nothing! I thought surely it must be a fluke, maybe I picked a good spot that week. The two weeks later I took another spoonful of hot sauce. Same thing! Though this time I got heart burn from the vinegar based hot sauce. I decided next time to go straight to the source and buy a habanero from the super market.

The first time I bit into the habanero I was actually looking forward to the shot! When I actually did the injection I 'academically' knew that the medicine was going in, but my brain was saying 'Dude, focus on your mouth only right now, that's the part that's dying'.

I've since been doing the 'habanero' trick for about 3 months now. I've settled into a groove where I bite off the tip of one and chew it really well. Better to digest it in the mouth than in the gut later (important!). I then wait a minute or so for the warmth to build from that. Then, as needed I'll nibble along the sides of the pepper, careful not to get seeds. Avoid the seeds, chew well, and the after effects of the pepper pretty much disappear. It has worked every single time!

I realize that my discovery of this was predicated on a previous passion for very spicy foods, but I think the mechanism of action would work in everybody. Maybe a habanero is a bit much, but what about the tip of a jalapeno?

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David Says:

Thanks for the helpful tip SM! It makes sense to me that something more intense such as a habanero or jalapeno pepper would distract from another source of pain and anguish. Who would've thought these inj's could be so painful though?

How long does pain from the inj. last when you don't have a distraction like hot peppers to mask it? I'm also curious to know if the heat from the peppers outlasts the duration of pain from the inj.?

Has anyone else found other forms of 'distraction' from the pain? At the moment, hot chili peppers seem to take the win.

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SM Says:

Re: David (# 1)

Good questions! It doesn't seem to shorten the duration of the pain, it just greatly reduces the perceived pain during that time.

The pain from the peppers can last well beyond the actual acute pain of the inj. Though personally, it's not as bad and helps me during the 'walk it off stage' that's still painful. As a plus, it feels like I just overcame some significant adversity and I feel better/almost proud of myself. It's strange.

As another point of data I did this a few days ago. The habaneros that I got were apparently pretty weak because while I felt the heat, it wasn't 'alarmingly hot'. Turns out that part is critical because it was the most painful inj. I've had in months!

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Skip Says:

What size needle are you using to inject the meds? Not sure if it is similar but I inject testosterone cypronate (sic) .50cc into my thigh once a week. The T comes in a 10 ML vile, infused in an oil. I use 18ga to withdraw from vile and 23 ga 1" needle to inject IM. Some shots are less painful than others, but all are easily bearable. I alternate legs each week. The needle goes in the upper half of my thigh, outside of the leg in the meatiest place.

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Dee Says:
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I've just recently began participating in a study called strategies to assist with pain management. Mine is the cognitive behavioral therapy course and this sounds something like what they're teaching in class. Ways to create a gate that is closed instead of open to the pain. Good for you!

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Dale Says:

Re: David (# 1)

The use of Hot Peppers for pain has been around for eons... If you do the research, you can see where the Aztec Indians used Hot Peppers for pain relief... The Military "Mind over Matter" technique can be helpful when dealing with pain... It takes a lot of time to learn the technique, but it does help... First, control your breathing, you want to be as calm as possible... Yes, you can use pain medication to calm yourself... Next, focus on an object and remain focused on said object until the pain eases... Repeat until you no longer need pain medication to calm yourself when starting... Now, according to the Military, continue repeating the process until you are able to "Just Think" of said object and the pain disappears... I'm not very good at it, but it does help...

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Jeanie Says:
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Great you found relief. You didn’t state if it was pen or the actual needle. I was on Humira for 5 years. Injector pen. While it stung a few seconds, it never hurt . My joints are too froze to use the actual needle

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