Rebif :Injection site reaction
Correct injection technique can minimise injection site reaction. However, no matter how carefully you inject rebif® you may still get injection site reactions.
The following may be helpful in managing this common side effect:
Before the injection, allow the cold rebif® solution to reach room temperature.
Rotate the injection sites. Use at least three different areas for injections.
Some areas are more sensitive than others.
Try all the areas and use the sites that don't react as much.
The use of a rebiject™, a device used to inject the medication at the correct rate and depth is available free of charge from the NSW MS Society or from Serono Australia Pty. Ltd.
If you find some fluid left on your skin after the injection, the next time hold the rebiject™ in place while you count SLOWLY up to 10.
If the area around the injection site becomes red within 1 hour you may be having a reaction to the alcohol swab. You need to wait for the alcohol to dry before you inject rebif®.
If you are already doing this - try without using the swab.
Don't use the alcohol swab on the injection site after the injection.
The 4 injection sites/areas are the abdomen, thighs, buttocks and arms. Instructions are as follows:
The area between the ribs, pubic bone and hips.
Lean forward until a roll of skin (fat) is formed, this is the site that should be injected.
Avoid the area around the navel and waistband. Two fingers from the navel is safe for injecting.
You need to sit down on a hard chair or stool. The side of the buttocks from the hips to the chair is the injection area. The area you sit on and 3cm either side of the crease should not be injected.
You need to sit right back on the seat with your legs straight out and no weight on them. This brings the soft tissue (fat) closer to the surface. To measure the injection site place one hand on top of the thigh at the groin and the other hand on the thigh fingers touching the knee. The area between the hands on top and the outside of the thigh are the injection sites. The inside of the thigh should not be injected.
The arms are not recommended; if this site has to be used, measure the site by imagining a line across the arm from the base of the armpit and placing your hand above your elbow. The back of the arm between the armpit and the hand is the injection site.
Do not pinch the skin it may force some of the medication back to the surface. Use the rebiject™ on an area with most fat.
Do not rub the area after the injection, apply gentle pressure to the injection site for a minute or two this will assist the injection site to close and heal.
Ice applied before and after the injection can reduce the discomfort of the injection and may reduce the site reactions.
"Stop Itch", xylocaine gel or other preparations used for stings or sunburn may reduce injection site reactions that are painful, itchy or sting. These agents should not be applied until 6 hours after the injection.
If the marks are pain-free ask your doctor to write a script for 1% hydrocortisone cream.
· If necrotic skin lesions develop it may be necessary to discontinue treatment or change to another medication. Speak to your doctor.