Getting to the point of injection-site reactions

Many people feel anxious about injections. It can be a daunting challenge to feel comfortable about getting your medications by injection. However, most medications for MS are given by injection. Talk to your health care team if you have any concerns about injections. This team can help put you at ease about taking your MS medications.

The term injection-site reaction may include skin redness, swelling, itchiness, discoloration, and tenderness at the place where the injection is given. MS injection medications are given as either subcutaneous (SC) or intramuscular (IM) injections. Both can cause pain, and a deeper IM injection may cause more bruising and pain than a SC injection.

To minimize injection-site reactions, rotate the injection sites according to a schedule provided by your health care team. This prevents any one site from being overused. In general, the same injection site should not be used more than once per week.

Your doctor or nurse will instruct you on proper injection techniques. This training process varies depending on the individual. Some people may feel confident about giving themselves injections early on, while others will need more instruction before they feel comfortable. It is important that you understand all the proper procedures before trying to give the injection yourself.

You can always ask for additional help if you need it, and there are tips that your health care professional can give you to lessen the risk of injection-site reactions. A variety of different support programs with on-call health professionals are available; ask your doctor or nurse how to access these resources.

Another factor to consider is the medication schedule. All these medications come with different frequencies of injection, so talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of the different injection frequencies and how they fit into your lifestyle. Talk to your doctor about what works with your lifestyle. Define what convenience means to you.

Keep in mind that there may be other factors you want to consider when choosing the best treatment plan for you. Talk to your doctor about available options.

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