Getting started with methotrexate injections

westkip Member Posts: 5
edited 18. Dec 2013, 07:13 in Young people's community
Hi I am posting on behalf of my 12 year old daughter. She was just diagnosed in August this year with juvenile arthritis. She has had a number of joint injections and has taken oral methotrexate. For a number of reasons she has started methotrexate injections three weeks ago. She currently attends the children's hospital to have these, and unfortunately it appears that transferring this to a community nurse is not an option. So the hospital suggested last week that she learns to do it herself. She feels that she would like to be able to do this, but currently can't imagine ever being able to manage it. As it is less than 4mths since her initial diagnosis she has had a lot to come to terms with, and she feels that this is a huge responsibility to take on and she is scared. I was wondering if anyone had experience of managing these injections around this age, or has any tips/suggestions to try and support her move forward with it.


  • charleeh
    charleeh Member Posts: 173
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am 22 and had arthritis since I was 17.

    I stared on oral methotrexate at a high dose and was changed over to injections as they can have a better affect as they get in your system better (you don't lose any in the gut).

    It is the smallest needle I have ever had and when you do it yourself it doesn't hurt as much as someone else doing it!!! So that is something positive to tell your daughter :)

    The main benefit for me was that I didn't feel sick with the injection - so that's a big plus side too.

    I have arthritis in my hands and find it hard to use them when in flare but I was able to inject myself with ease. The caps can be a little stiff to pull off but my nurses gave me a cap-puller-offer that the metroject manufacturer had sent them which helped a great deal.

    I hated the sight of needles when I started, in fact I couldn't even watch the nurse do mine, but I watched her a few times and realised it hurts more if your eyes are shut as you have nothing but the feeling of the needle to focus on if that makes any sense?
    If you just hold the sealed needle in the packet and have a good look at it, you soon realise it is very very tiny.
    A bonus is that it is a subcutaneous injection, which goes into a fatty part not a vein - I found that my fear of needles was actually a fear of blood! I still don't like watching an injection in my vein (blood test or drip) etc but I could quite comfortably manage the self injections.

    The method I was told was to pinch an inch of skin on my thigh and put the needle in - doing it yourself you have more control, you simple feel a bit of a pop and then the needle slides in and you don't feel anything at all. ( and I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to needles).
    Sometimes I had my skin go a bit yellow but it fades fast, it's just as I was pale and you could see the methotrexate in my thigh.

    I hope this helps anyway.

    Sorry to waffle on!

    I hope your daughter feels better soon - when I was settled on mehotrexate when I was first diagnosed it seemed to work a miracle for a couple of years!

    Best wishes,
    Charleeh Xx
  • BluesWalk
    BluesWalk Member Posts: 48
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I took methotrexate for a short while both tablets and injections. I don't have kids as in only 24 but I would just say try and make it a positive experience like be really happy almost celebrating how brave she is etc. Maybe even get a present or something for those initial weeks.

    I tho k its just the thought of it that is the most terrifying. Once she realises a pinch on the arm is more painful should be good. Hope this helps xD
  • Sezeelson
    Sezeelson Member Posts: 133
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    I started on methotrexate injection at about the age of 6/7 and have been on and off it till now (21). I'm now on enbrel which I have been injecting since 16.

    Have you spoken to your nurse about training you to do the injection? My mum did all mine at home after the first injection and tutorial whithout a hitch.

    You could start this way, and gradually pass over the responsibility of it to her as she becomes more comfortable with it? It can be tough but it will probably help her to know she has control over her injections.

    Definitely recommend doing the injection before some sort of exercise such a running or playing and try to avoid doing it before sleeping, it made me feel horrible and gave me the munchies :lol: