3 Tips to Make Rheumatoid Arthritis Injections Easier

(DGIwire) – Anyone who uses injectable medication to treat their rheumatoid arthritis (RA) knows that injecting can be challenging at first. But there are strategies that can be used to help take the sting out of these injections. Here are a few tips:

  • Ask a healthcare provider for a trainer. “Needle anxiety is a common adherence barrier for RA patients who are prescribed prefilled syringes and other injection-based delivery systems,” says Joe Reynolds, Research Manager at Noble. “To help patients overcome the emotional barriers of self-injecting, training devices that fully simulate the patient experience of self-injecting are available.”
  • Rotate injection sites. Prescribed medication must be injected into a subcutaneous layer of fat, notes Healthline.com. To limit scarring, don’t inject in the same place every time. Instead, rotate injection sites in a regular pattern. Each injection should be at least one inch away from the previous injection site. Calendar or smartphone apps can be used to easily track injection sites.
  • Numb the area. To numb the injection site, apply an ice pack or ice cube to the skin for a few minutes beforehand, Healthline.com suggests. Wrap the ice pack or ice cube in a thin cloth to protect the skin. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, can also help limit sensation.

“There are a wide array of challenges faced by patients who are instructed to self-inject for RA and other medical conditions. These include ensuring that they have been properly trained and instilling a sufficient level of self-confidence prior to starting therapy. Trainers can play an integral role here. With the use of an appropriate trainer, RA patients can overcome a wide range of barriers to effective treatment and achieve a higher quality of life as a result,” Reynolds adds.