Self injecting advice, please - Pernicious Anaemi...

Pernicious Anaemia Society

23,281 members16,380 posts

Self injecting advice, please


I've finally got everything together to start injecting myself... Hooray! Unfortunately, the person (ex nurse) who I was going to ask to show me how to do it is having family problems and I don't want to ask her right now. However, I really don't want to wait any longer.

I've watched a few YouTube clips and practised on a lime, so I'm feeling more confident than I was before. My problem is that I have never had the courage to watch when the nurse gave me a jab, so I don't know how far to push the needle in! The needles I have are 1 1/4 inch and I will be injecting into my thigh but when my partner does it he will be injecting my arm.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

19 Replies

those needles are the same size as the one I use. The first time I tried it I just quickly plunged it in to the hilt. The nurse watching me flinched a bit at the speed but said the depth was OK.

Nowadays I slowly slide it in, it takes about 1 second, and I use slightly shorter, thinner, needles - - but they're currently unavailable from Amazon.

I don't have much fat above my thigh muscle (it all migrates to my belly), so I thought a smaller needle would be OK.

One tip - to make sure I swab, stab and plaster the same bit of thigh I press my thumbnail in twice, about 3mm apart. The indentations mark the stab zone.

Jennie16 in reply to fbirder

Thank you.

That's a better idea than my partner came up with... target tattoos lol

fbirder in reply to Jennie16

Target tattoos! I love it.

As an archer I'm quite tempted to get one on my bicep. Imagine the look on the nurse's face😃

I use a long needle-about 1 1/2 " to extract the b12 from the ampoule . Then a shorter ,thinner needle 1'' to inject into my thigh. I keep an account of frequency and alternate thighs. First time I had a large gin and tonic, to give myself some Dutch courage ! After over a year of self-injecting ,I don't turn a hair. It's just routine now---and so it will be with you! I got all the info from the internet. You will need a yellow spent needle box to keep the old needles in safely. You truly do not need to worry! 3 cheers for you!!!

scorpiojo in reply to wedgewood

where do you actually get the b12 ampoules from? Going for my first at gps Wednesday but this might not be enough... Pm if that's appropriate for supplier...

fbirder in reply to scorpiojo

I get my B12 from

They have an English version of their site, which makes it easier.

Jennie16 in reply to fbirder

This is where I got mine from too. are amazing. Cheap and quick delivery.

Jennie16 in reply to wedgewood

I've got some longer needles and a sharps box... just needed that last bit of reassurance i think. Oh and my needle phobia daughter out of the house lol

Use a penny and hold it on the spot on your thigh where you plan to inject for a count of 10. This leaves a nice ring to aim for. Clean the skin in and around the ring with alcohol swabs.

Make sure all the air bubbles are out of the syringe after taking up the B12 from the vial or ampoule.

This first time I injected I put a new needle on the syringe after I had used the first in the rubber stopper on the vial. Now I just use the same needle for both.

When you are ready, tell your thigh to completely relax. Watch your muscle relax.

No need to quickly jab that might cause you to tense up again .

Place the needle in the ring and gently press. If you feel too much pain you may be near a blood vessel or nerve. Reposition the tip in the ring and press firmly. I find a little shake of the hand also helps get it started.

I was lucky that the first time was completely painless and the needle slid right in.

Keep the syringe straight as you press the plunger as you don't want the break the needle. I bent one once. But I inject into my buttocks using a full length mirror and got my directions reversed.

When you remove the needle watch for a drop of blood. Wipe it off with the alcohol swab. I've found that plasters are more of a problem and I leave the injection site uncovered - but that is up to you.

Jennie16 in reply to pvanderaa

Thank you. I plan on using two needles to start with. I think I now know all the theory... just need to get on with it lol

got my b12 going to get my needles let me know how you get on as lm just about ready to go ahead l think!

May162016 as regards giving intramuscular injections.Clean the area pinch the flesh and skin go into the muscle quickly and then pull the plunger back to make sure you have not hit a vein and then inject withdrawing the needle and rub the site which helps absorption.Don,t let it intimidate you.It is very simple.I prefer to go into the thigh rather than the arm but it should be rotated in any case so the areas get a rest and allow healing.I didn't,t mention how far maybe quarter of an inch or less.I hope this is of some help.of course it would be simpler if I could show you in personEveryone holds the syringe etc differently so don,t worry you are not doing it properly.I wish I had a penny for every student nurse I taught. Good luck.

Retren again I overlooked assuming you had done this drawing your solution up and expelling the surplus to get the air out and I use a different needle so any fluid being drawn up doesn't hit the tissues when injected.

clivealiveForum Support

Hi Jennie16 I sincerely hope (needle-less to say) that both you and the lime benefit from your endeavours. :D

I wish you all the best.

This advice all sounds great and I'm sure you've done it by now...

My routine is very simple - I always wash my hands but don't use a swab. Either way make sure the area is dry before you inject - moisture mobilises "dirt".

I try to stick it in a spot in my thigh that doesn't hurt (occasionally it does so just try somewhere else a few mm away) and slowly push it in.

If you are skinny go in about an inch, if you are better covered then by all means use the full length of the needle. It really doesn't matter but it's best to get it in the muscle as it takes (sometimes a lot) longer to be absorbed from fat as it is a water based injection.

Draw back to check you aren't in a vein - even then it's not a problem as the solution is safe for iv injection but it won't give you a long lasting effect - and then slowly press in the plunger. I find the slower the better (and why I now don't want anyone else to do it!).

Pull it out (straight!) and rub the site. It rarely bleeds but if it does I might hold a tissue on it until it does.

Don't forget all the cofactors needed to metabolise the B12 - a broad spectrum multivitamin and mineral supplement plus extra folate, potassium and magnesium.

And now look forward to feeling better!

BD makes an auto'injector. It works with insulin syringes and I used it years ago to auto inject heparin years ago. They should still be available. I have three kids that are type one Diabetics. They tease me and recommend the slow method of you are injecting free hand.

I just inject into stomach fat with 1 ml insulin syringe. Pinch fat place needle on spot. Slow pressure and it goes in easy and painlessly.

Same here but I do put the ampoule in my bra for a few minutes before opening. Warm b12 is sting-free!

You may also like...