By Staff Reports
(DGIwire) – Increasingly, people with a variety of chronic conditions—such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and other autoimmune diseases—may be prescribed a treatment requiring self-injection of a drug called a biologic. According to the National Institutes of Health, biologics are made from living organisms or their components and can be used to produce a wide range of medicines. When a doctor first discusses the use of self-injection treatment, it is natural to be apprehensive at first, but there are plenty of tips for getting up to speed and building self-confidence when it comes to self-injection. For those and their loved ones who may be facing a new self-injection treatment, here are a few considerations to keep in mind.
- Initial injections may be supervised: Initially, patients will receive in-person training on self-injections either in the doctor’s office or at home from a nurse. This is a great opportunity to bring up any questions or concerns about the medication or the process of self-injection, notes CrohnsDisease.com. The website also suggests checking with the drug manufacturer to see if they offer any training resources.
- There are many ways to reduce anxiety: com also states that setting up an automatic reminder system, icing the body part where injection takes place and putting on music are just three of the many ways to get in the right frame of mind for self-injection. Both practical and psychological strategies can be helpful, the website adds.
- Realistic training devices can help ensure injections are administered properly:Those who are starting a new biologic should ask their healthcare providers what resources may be available to them from the drug maker. While all therapies come with Instructions for Use, there are some drugs that come with realistic training devices that mimic the look, feel and operation of actual autoinjectors or prefilled syringes.
“We found that 64 percent of patients reported having a training device to practice with at home would help decrease anxiety, while 89 percent of patients reported it is very important to have the most realistic training available,” 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.
As such, companies like Noble are focused on helping patients become comfortable with their injection device during the first 30, 60 or 90 days of treatment. Since dosing intervals vary for each patient, these reusable training devices can help a patient, who may have forgotten how to inject properly, practice proper technique prior to really injecting.
“The important thing when starting any treatment is to feel comfortable taking it, so it is done safely and effectively. The more comfortable a patient is with their treatment, the more likely they are to stick with it,” adds Reynolds.