Life with MS

Top 10 Injection Day Tips

By Laura McCatty, RN, MSCN and Sherry Adcock, RN, MSCN

Try these suggestions for making shots less painful and minimizing injection site reactions. Remember, many of these suggestions are anecdotal and may require further study.   

10) Keep your skin healthy. Get adequate nutrition, drink enough water, use sunscreen and avoid smoking.

9) Develop a routine. Your shots need to be consistently taken at about the same time of day for best results. If you need a reminder, use alarms, calendars, emails, or ask for help from family and friends. 

8) If you are nervous about your shot, focus on breathing deeply and evenly or try other techniques, such as panting. Consider trying visual imagery or playing soothing music.

7) If you give yourself your shot manually, try varying the rate of injection. Some people prefer a fast injection, others prefer to go slow.

6) Techniques like rubbing, pinching or putting pressure on your skin can help to decrease injection pain. Trying different body positions, such as  standing with your toes pointing inward for a gluteal injection, may also help.  

5) If things aren’t working for you, try something new. If you are injecting by hand, consider using an auto injector. If you have problems with an auto injector, consider manual injections.

4) Try one tip at a time. Keep track of your injections on a calendar and make notes of tips that work for you.

3) Have your MS nurse watch as you give yourself your shot and ask for advice. Even if you have been injecting your disease-modifying treatments for years, there may be new techniques to learn.

2) Be positive. Try thinking about the benefits of your medication each time you inject. 

1) Communicate with your doctor and MS nurse. 

 (Last reviewed 8/2009)