Prescribed a Self-Injection? Ask a Doctor These Questions

By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) – When prescribed a new medication that requires self-injection, it is likely that any patient would have a series of questions. The best person for them to ask is their healthcare practitioner, who can provide detailed answers that are specific to their particular condition and course of treatment. However, there are some general questions whose answers can apply to every patient who will need to self-inject their medication. Here are three of them.

  • Why is it necessary to self-inject this drug? There are a number of factors behind the growing use of self-injectable medications. These factors include the rising prevalence of chronic diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn’s disease, among others) that require specialized drugs called biologics, which suppress the immune system. These drugs are usually prescribed after other medications have not provided effective relief from symptoms. Since the dosing interval a patient requires varies on an individual basis—and because it can be costly and inconvenient to go to the doctor for every injection—biologic self-injections have become commonplace, similar to those for diabetes patients who are prescribed insulin.
  • What is the most important thing to know about self-injecting? Using the device properly is important to ensure a patient gets the proper dosage of medicine. A wide range of studies, published in journals and presented at conferences, have shown that confident, well-trained patients are more likely to utilize their self-injecting devices properly.
  • What strategies can ensure patients are self-injecting the right way? “One proven strategy is giving patients realistic trainers that mimic the appearance, feel and working mechanisms of their injections,” says Joe Reynolds, Research Manager of Noble®, which develops injection and inhaler training products as part of patient and healthcare provider education materials for pharmaceutical companies.

Advances in self-injection training technologies, such as those designed by Noble, simulate the functionality of an actual autoinjector or pre-filled syringe and allow patients to gain familiarity and confidence with a drug delivery device prior to actually performing an injection.

“The more comfortable patients feel when self-injecting, the better the outcomes are likely to be. It is important to make sure that patients ask questions and that their healthcare team provides them with tools to help each step of the way,” Reynolds adds.

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