Struggling with injections

I don't know if my hands are getting bad again but I'm having a nightmare with my injections. Humira comes in pen form which isn't too bad but the MTX syringes are a nightmare. They aren't metoject, just normal pharmacy syringes. They've changed lately and the syringe seems flimsier. The plunger is a very light plastic and I can't seem to push it. I've managed to cause a fair bit of bleeding for the last few weeks and enormous bruises.

Rheum nurse and hospital pharmacy can't offer any suggestions and they won't change the syringe. Unfortunately, there is nobody in my family who could help me.

Any ideas would be much appreciated, thank you.

13 Replies

  • Not sure where you are. Metoject pens would be the first suggestion if not and again depending where you are could a district nurse or practice nurse help out while your hands are bad. Difficult not knowing if you in the UK. Metoject are prescribed in England sdo presumably they are nice approved.


  • I've never heard such nonsense by a health professional. I have Metojet pens and you should too. You shouldn't have to struggle like that. Ask your GP for Metojet pen and if this is refused, complain to your consultant. Then, if that doesn't work, ask for their reasons in writing then check the NHS website which will show you how to complain.

  • If Crashdoll lives in an area like mine, my GP has nothing to do with the Methotrexate injections. My consultant sends a prescription to Alcura, who then deliver the injections to me. I had the choice of syringe and needle or pen. I decided to stick with the syringe as I was used to it and would need retraining for the pen. Your rheumy nurse should have told the consultant you are having problems, and they should then have changed to a pen for you. Otherwise, try to arrange for the practice nurse or district nurse to do them for you. If it is your hospital consultant that is refusing to change them for you, you can complain through your hospital's PALS.Visit

    for information on the Patient Advice and Liaison Service.

    Good Luck. x

  • Ah the regional health service strikes again. I would fight this to the bitter end.

  • Hi, my sister is a community nurse and has told me she gives mtx injections to someone whose hands are too bad to self inject. Hope this helps.

  • Rubbish!! I guess I was fortunate in that I used to have Medac prefllled syringes as they were easy to use (though my h had to pull off the cap as I couldn't grip it tight enough) but when I had my latest increase in dose I was automatically changed to pens. I now get on with them though it did take a good few weeks to used to doing it. I don't know where you inject but I've always done it it my tum as I found it easier than my thigh (though I was only showed how to do it in my tum). At my last appointment with my Rheumy nurse I told her how I'd struggled with it in the beginning so she suggesed I try my thigh, well you'd have though I'd knifed myself, blood dripped all down my thigh, not doing that again! If you do inject in your thigh see if it's a bit easier in your tum.

    I take it your hospital pharmacy dispense your script for you, so I'm not sure if it would be possible to transfer it so your Practice took over & request the pens, though you could ask.

    This seems a case of cost cutting & as usual it's the patient who's feeling it. Commonsense must prevail. The minx in me would ask if they would do your weekly injection, stating why (which of course will be inconvenient for you & I would hope they would say for your Rheumy dept too) & when they object suggest you come in & demonstrate how difficult it is for you to do it yourself. Maybe that would bring home to them just how awkward it is for you to push the plunger & make I would like to think make them rethink. Something's go to give for goodness sake. x

  • I'm afraid I don't have any suggestions for you. My pharmacy automatically went over to pens once the syringes became unavailable. I do know my Rheumatology Dept run a Friday morning injection clinic where they do the injections for people who either can't or won't do them themselves.

    One tip I was given - and it works - is to do the injection after a warm bath. It makes it much easier.

    I do hope you manage to sort something out.

  • I agree with others that this is just daft! I used to have the syringes, and while at first I had the Medac pre-filled ones that were fine I was then changed to ones that you had to put together yourself and were so cheap and shoddy that they looked like something out ofa kids toy doctor kit. And I really struggled to use them as the plunger was so sticky, so I empathise with your problems. All my nurse could suggest to me was that I come into the hospital for the injection clinic they hold once a week for those people who can't self inject, or ask my local chemist if they'd do it as they are trained to do injections.

  • Hi Crashdoll, Sorry to hear the problems you're experiencing. Have you had a Medication Use Review (MUR) with your regular pharmacy? If not, I suggest you book one and explain the problems you're having to your pharmacist. Ask them whether they can persuade your GP to alter the Methotrexate device for you. If that fails ask for a GP telephone appointment to get the device style changed. Explain that if they won't change it, you'll need to book a weekly nurse appointment for it to be administered. That'll be a lot more expensive for them than the pens! Good luck. Teresa

  • Wow, my surgery must be miles ahead of any of yours. I only had to ask and it was done. Perhaps you should make a lot more fuss. Go national if you have to!

  • Hi, my syringes were changed automatically to the pens, but mine don't come from my

    GP, mine are through Evolution Home Care, but I do know if I was having your problems I would be making a lot of fuss and I wouldn't give up, they are supposed to make sure the needles are safe and don't cause problems, and to be honest I thought everywhere was now using the metoject pens x

  • Gosh lots of replies. Thank you, all. My GP shared care agreement is that only prescribe MTX tablets, they won't do the injections.

    I work full-time, 20 miles away, so weekly nurse visits are really impracticable. I could suggest this to rheum clinic to see if they offer the pens as a cheaper alternative but that might backfire on me!

    I do understand that the pens are more costly and I wouldn't ask if I wasn't desperate. I really dread the injections all day Friday, as I do it before bed to prevent side effects. I could potentially return to the tablets but I am having lots of digestive issues and I've been advised against taking anything that could make me vomit any more. <sigh>

  • Go to your gp practice manager and tell them of your difficulties. They will investigate.

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