Anyone use very small gauge needles?

A board to discuss the Multiple Sclerosis modifying drug Avonex

Anyone use very small gauge needles?

Postby Inquiz » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:52 pm


I've been on Avonex now for 4 months and I'm still having difficulty with injection discomfort. I know try icing the spot down until it feels numb before the injection and I get the shot at room temp. My Avonex prescription comes with the standard 23 gauge/ 1 and 1/4'' needle. When I go for my next neuro visit I'm going to request a prescription for the 1'' needle but I don't know what the gauge is on that. Does anyone know if there are there any issues with using a smaller gauge needle to reduce injection pain? Is there a minimum length needle that's necessary to reach the muscle? Would a standard 27 gauge/ 1/2 '' IV needle be acceptable? I do plan on discussing with my neuro but I thought I would ask people out there who actually do the injections.

Thank you!
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Postby Bewitched » Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:48 am

I think the standard 1 1/4" needle does the job for the thigh area. You MUST get the injection into the muscle. You do not want it to not reach the muscle. The 1" 25 gauge needle I'm going to get along with my next Avonex refill for my upper arm injections. Speak to your neuro because you need a prescription for the 1" 25 gauge needle. Also, speak to Biogen. They will arrange everything with your health insurance and your doctor for the smaller needle if I am not mistaken. I don't think a shorter needle than the 1" is recommended no matter how small of a build you may be. You may not get into the muscle. After doing some research, I found that they actually use the 1 1/4" needle for children (for vaccinations, etc.). Hope this helps.
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Postby Inquiz » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:05 pm

Thank you for your response.

I went to a new neurologist today (didn't get a good feeling from my original one). I questioned her about smaller needles (such as 1/2 '' needles). She did mention it needs to be IM but given that I'm not a very large person, it might work for me. There's a nurse in her office who she says specializes in injection medicine that she is suggesting I talk to the next time she's in. In the meantime, I guess if there's anyone out there who has ever tried anything smaller than a 1'' needle I'd really like to know.

Thank you so much!
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small guage needles

Postby grace422 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:24 am

I use 27G 1 1/4 needles. You have to get a prescription from your neuro. They decide based on how small you are. I had read somewhere that if you were under 110 pounds you were approved, but the limit might be higher.
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Postby catlady » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:46 am

I use the 25G 1" needle. I am average build (5"4 135lbs).

I sure hope the medicine is getting into the muscle!!! I have only been on Avonex for 3 weeks.

I think I may try the auto-injector tomorrow... so far I have been doing it manually, and I seem to jab the needle in too far/hard (to the point that the plastic from the end of the needle leaves a mark on my skin).... I think the autoinjector stops the needle prior to the plastic part hitting the skin, so that might make things easier for me.
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