7 Tips to Reduce the Pain of Injections
Lisa Emrich | March 28, 2012
Reviewed by Amit M. Shelat, DO, MPA, FACP on Aug 26, 2017
Room temperature medication
Drugs which must be kept in the refrigerator for storage are often much less painful upon injection when at room temperature. Remove one syringe from the refrigerator and, while still in the wrapper, hold it in your armpit to bring it to body temperature.
Warm skin is soft.
Cold skin can be hard. Inject after a warm shower when the skin is soft and supple. Or apply a warm compress to the injection site for 5 minutes before injecting. Take caution in any area where sensation of temperature is impaired.
Alcohol or no alcohol?
Wet alcohol on the skin burns too often. If you use the alcohol, let it dry before injecting to avoid the sting. Then after the injection, quickly apply a cotton ball to prevent medication from leaking and irritating the skin.
Set auto-injector depth.
Every body is different. Depending upon how much extra cushion (ie. fat) or lack there of you have, set the auto-injector depth accordingly. Deeper is usually better, but not so deep as to risk hitting a muscle - OUCH!! Adjust the depth somewhat for each site location. More fat, more depth, higher number. Less fat, less deep, lower number.
Rotate, rotate, rotate!
Help keep your skin healthy! Rotate injection sites, moving between different areas of the arms, legs, abdomen, and buttocks. Do not inject in the same place twice in a row, and be sure to wait at least seven days before using a particular spot again.
Post-injection, gently massage the area. For Rebif, Avonex, and Betaseron, you may do this immediately. For Copaxone, wait at least 24 hours before massaging any lumps.
Special no-drip needle option
To limit the amount of medication which leaks from the needle before injection, avoid the needle cap removed. You can also prepare the medication by twisting the plunger before injection, pulling it back just a bit. Do not touch the trigger until you are ready to inject!