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Pain with injection

Hi -
My 10 year old has so much discomfort with the Humira injection, that we are considering switching to remicade.
We have tried taking it out of the fridge for an hour, pinching the site, and we use the syringe not the pen.
Am I missing anything else that would help? He is absolutely terrified of the humira. He is fine with other injections, IVs, etc.

Thanks for any suggestions.
I dont know what the status is but i thought i had heard something about a formula that is supposed to be less painful. You mihht check out the section in here called Parents of Kids with ibd also. I am going to tag Maya 142, my little penguin.


Staff member
Hi and welcome!

My daughters also hated Humira at first. They were older than your son though (teenagers) so once they figured out it helped them feel better, it was totally worth it to them.

There are definitely some tricks you can try to lessen injection pain. Some parents add Lidocaine to Humira and inject a mixture of both. I'll tag my little penguin, since she did that for her son for years - she can explain how to do it and get your doc on board.

You can try something like Buzzy, but that really helps more with the needle poke and it's the medication that burn with Humira. But my older daughter (who is still on Humira) says it does help a bit. Here is a link: https://buzzyhelps.com

The other that REALLY helped us was distraction. You can ask him open ended questions to distract him. Or have him play a fast paced video game so he is focusing on that for the shot. We did the shot while my girls watched TV, which worked for us, but really the more focused you can get him on something else, the better it will work.

Lastly, some parents have had success with taking kids to see a psychologist to help deal with the shot. There are coping strategies that he could learn - breathing, visualization etc.

There are very few meds for Crohn's and even fewer for pediatric Crohn's, so you don't want to lose Humira as an option unless you absolutely have to.

The other thing Ron was talking about is the new formulation of Humira - they have actually reformulated it to remove the ingredient that burns. The new formulation has been available in Europe for quite a while now, and many members on here say it's MUCH less painful.

It was supposed to be released some time this summer in the US. I heard that AbbVie wants to use up the old formulation of Humira and then they will release the new formulation. So probably pretty soon...

I'll tag some more parents who may have ideas:

my little penguin

Staff member
Ds started humira at age 9
He is almost 14 now (just switched to Stelara)

Things we did

Psychologist helped Ds realize shot was only 10 seconds
And that was worth feeling good the rest of the time
Added lidocaine to the humira syringe (rheumo wrote a script for us with instructions)

Asked Ds hard questions that he had to think about to answers
That kept the brain busy
Had Ds count puppies (visualize)
Had Ds eat a lollipop (sugar lessens pain of shots)
Gave Ds a shot while he played Xbox (concentration no pain )
Buzzy and ice

Picking which room the shot is done in
Where he gets the shot
If he wants to push the plunger or do the shots himself
What he gets after the shot
Movie / dessert etc...,

Shot blocker also help

You can't feel the pinch but you can feel the meds

Ds used to cry very hard at first with humira
But it can get better
After the one psychologist visit
No more crying or tears
Just an ow
The doc explained to Ds crying is ok
But it causes his whole body to tense up which makes the pain worse than it needs to be
That's all it took for ds
No more crying

Giving the kids control is key

Good article on tips


Ds takes painful daily kineret shots now
No issues

Hi and welcome.
My Grace was 4 or 5 at the time of humira.
We found doing it right away, as in our of the fridge and into the arm was best for her.
Trying to ice or cream made her get worked up by the time the shot happened.
The buzzy bee helped detract her be that's about it.

She does prefer Remicade.