Painful SI into thighs - Can anyone explain or give advice

My husband (bless him) injects me every other day now with 1ml hydroxocobalamin and it hurts like billyo. He has injected me with 2ml of cyan(1ml B12) while on holidays in Spain and France and that didn't hurt. .

The vials are warmed by me first and I prepare and load the injection he sticks it into me gently and presses slowly.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

13 Replies

  • Oh pramela I winced when reading your post.

    I cannot write from experience from injecting myself but having had over 600 cyanocobamalin B12 jabs during the last 45 years I have only had a "handful" of "painful" ones administered by a succession of surgery nurses in all that time and I've always had them into the upper muscle of an arm.

    Whether it's the hydroxo that's causing you the pain, I don't know, but maybe it's the speed at which your husband inserts the needle that's the problem. My nurses are always very quick.

    I'm not a medically trained person but there are others on here who will be able to give you good advice.

  • I have just started hydro SI and agree they bloody hurt. I thought I was just being a wimp. For me it's like injecting acid into my leg. I thought I would just get used to it. I am 3 weeks I to my lifetime of SI let's hope I do get used to it. I'll check your post again just in case there is anyone who can help

  • Hi Pramela, I receive 1 b12 hydroxocoblamin weekly at gp surgery which is pretty painless and my partner very carefully injects me 1 or two times wiekly with hydroxocoblamin depot which I get from Germany. It really stings, and is painful. I think it maybe the carrier used in the serum. Kind regards.

  • Maybe try subcutaneous injections (into stomach flesh) with a small needle? That's what I do and it doesn't hurt at all, other than 'a little prick'.

  • Hi, sorry to hear of your discomfort with the jabs. I do every other day too and have done for months. My wife does mine, we have tried all the sites known to man. Liz is a nurse of 40+ years experience. She holds the syringe like a dart and buries it to the stop, it's a 30ml long blue needle. The insertion is very quick just like throwing a dart. The 1 ml of hydroxy she takes 2 to 3 seconds to inject. It helps enormously if you can make a conscious action to relax your muscles. Liz knows if I have not done so, as the needle is offered more resistance by the flesh. Jabs like that are always less comfortable. Generally we go for a buttock as it is usually the easiest site of all for me, but the relaxation of the muscles is still very important. If you try a buttock one, get him to imagine drawing a cross on it with the crosspiece about centre. Then always always always go for the upper outer quadrant as the site for the jab. This keeps the needle well away from the sciatic nerve. Hope it gets better for you.

    Best Luck


  • Try the insulin needles. I self inject into the sub Q in the stomach area. It never hurts.

  • I self inject both hydroxo and cyano and hydroxo is definitely the more painful of the two! As they appear to affect me in just the same way, I'm definitely buying cyano as a replacement when I need some more. Maybe it's the carrier? No idea really, but I do notice a difference between the two.

  • Thank you for all your replies - you have informed me on all sorts of things even if I do not thank you for them.

    I think it is the quantity of serum that is injected - 1ml is thicker than the 2ml cyan which is diluted 1ml B12 and 1ml (I presume) saline. Do you lovely people think that all of us who SI with the 1ml could dilute it with another ml of saline and, if so, how could we do this?

  • I have been Self Injecting for over two years, ever since the third of the initial series, and so far only had 1 which stung a bit as I pushed the serum in. I do it in the outer thigh muscle and find even inserting the needle doesn't hurt after the initial passage through the surface layer. The last 3 have been the start of a 2 weekly interval trial so I am glad I don't get any bad experiences. I always make sure I am as calm as can be and the target leg is relaxed and have found the best time for doing it is just before I get into bed. I sit on the edge of the bed with the disposal box nearby and a couple of large tissues spread out, 1 to use to snap off the top of the ampoule and the other for laying the syringe and needles on.

    It isn't a pleasant experience and I am thankful for that as I wouldn't like to think I am enjoying self injecting, but on the other hand I don't find it an unpleasant one either so can face doing it with equanimity.

    The rewards from the injection are incentive enough to keep doing it.

  • I am surprised to hear of so many tales of painful injections. I have been self injecting with hydroxo now for 6 weeks at 3 times a week in alternate thighs and can only recall one occasion when it was painful and that was when I hit a vein and it bled immediately. Almost all of the time I don't even notice when the needle is inserted.

    Sticking the needle in gently is not the way to do it. The technique outlined by roddogsbody is correct - insert the needle quickly and firmly like throwing a dart and then inject slowly. Works like a charm every time however a bit more information might help to determine what the problem might be.

    When does it actually hurt? Is it when the needle is inserted or when the fluid is injected?

    Do you use one needle for drawing up the serum and then change to another for the injection? If not there is a chance that you might being blunting the needle on the vial.

    What size/colour needle do you use for the injection? A thinner needle might help.

  • Hi pramela

    I have to admit finding injecting IM into my thigh a bit uncomfortable, even using a Blue (23 gauge) needle, 1 1/4" length. If injecting IM, definitely hold the skin taut and throw the needle as if a dart, ie quickly, and there should be less pain. I found it difficult to relax my muscle which definitely would have helped. Even so, I injected it very slowly as, when trying to push it in quicker, I would feel a definite 'ache' which I didn't like.

    I have now changed to using an orange needle, 5/8" x 25g, injecting subcutaneously into abdo (of which there is ample ;) ). So, I now pinch up a chunk of abdomen, inject at 45 degrees and inject very slowly. Brilliant.

  • JMN2017 Hi, I'm trying to get some info on self injecting. Such as what do I need and where can I get supplies.

  • Noticed a difference between two dosages of hydroxy we were getting from my care. The 1500 was painless, but they were out of stock and we got the 1000. Wow, what a difference. Doesn't seem to make any sense!? Same brand, same needles.

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