Giving yourself or family member an injection
Giving yourself or a family member an injection can be scary. Most people don't like shots and the idea of giving one can be a major stressor. However, for many people with multiple sclerosis, weekly or even daily injections are a way of life.
People with MS routinely give inject their medications into a muscle, IM injections, or just under the skin. These are called subcutaneous injections. (SQ)
It is important to know which type of injection you are to use when taking your injectable multiple sclerosis therapy.
Your neurologist, doctor or MS nurse will instruct you in the correct way to take your shots and you will be given plenty of time to practice. If you are unsure of the correct procedure for giving your shots, ask. It is your health practitioners job to help you become comfortable administering your own injections.
Whichever type of injectable medication you take be sure to store it as the manufacturer suggests. Refrigerated medications should be allowed to sit on a counter for at least an hour to warm to room temperature.
Gather all your supplies before starting and do not let anything distract you while you are preparing or administering your shot.
Most MS medications suggest applying ice to the intended injection site before hand to lessen pain and help reduce reactions.
To reduce the likelihood of injection site reactions, it is very important to rotate shot locations. You should never inject in the same area twice in a row, and if possible never in the same month.
IM injections are given in the large muscles of the thigh, hip, upper arm or buttocks. SQ injections can be given just about anywhere, but remember to alternate injection sites.
After giving the injection, massage the area gently for several minutes and then apply ice.