Chinese Hampster Ovaries. That’s what Rebif is made of. American hampster ovaries are not good enough, no. We must import these little gems of medicine. Besides, PETA would probably object. I don’t think they’re performing hysterectomies on the little rodents so PETA would definitely object.
Every time someone says Rebif I flash to two movies; Sixth Day and Back to the Future. Re-Pet meets Biff. Scary combo, it does make the shots easier to take though.
Enough frivolity. Things you should know about Rebif.
- If you are female your menstrual cycle may change. Mine has gotten lighter and shorter, and the horrible cramps have almost completely left.
- The chances of your injecting sites looking like a bee sting is pretty high. A bad bee sting. Mine are about silver dollar size and progressively get darker, redder and angrier looking. Some, especially in my thighs, form hard bumps that dissipate over a week or three. I’m told this is normal.
- Talk to your doctor or nurse or whoever, in person, about where you can inject. If you have a close friend or spouse ask about your entire tush. Ask about the back of your thighs, saddle bag, any area that has some meat on it. Serono gives you some very limited options. You will need more if your injection sites last a couple weeks and the discolorated area is large you’re going to run out of Serono approved areas. Fast.
- Talk to your neuro, nurse whoever you trust that has medical knowlege (sorry, psychic hotline is out) about needle depth. They want you to use the deepest needle depth. I find shorter needle depths less painful. But talk to your doc about this!
- One word. Lidocaine (aka EMLA). People suggest heating the targeted injection site, or icing it, or rubbing it, or or or or. Forget all that. If the injection bothers you numb the area with Lidocaine, available from Mr. Pharmacist. It’s a topical numbing agent. It will not completely numb the tissue the medicine is being injected into.
- The auto-injector, refered to by someone wittier than I as an auto-inflictor, is an awesome device. Awesome devices make life easier but have draw backs. It injects the meds much faster than you would manually. This has been known to cause worse injection site reactions. It also makes the injection sting a bit more. However its wonderful if someone is giving you the shot. My husband gives me every injection. He isn’t able to jab me, we’ve tried, so the auto-injector (Rebiject) works perfectly for us.
- There are many suggestions on how to deal with the aftershocks of the injection. These include, but are not limited to; rubbing the area with a clean cotton ball for 2 minutes after the injection, using a heating pad on the injection site for a few minutes to half an hour, injecting a softball and throwing it at someone you aren’t fond of. Rubbing the site does feel good, I don’t like the heating pad and Rebif is a wee bit expensive to go beaning someone with although I’m reserving that for the next jerk of a doctor I deal with.
- Take your shot out of the fridge as early as the morning of your injection. Taking the chill out of the med helps the medicine go in – with less screaming. update: Serono is now saying you can take the shot out a week in advance depending on how warm your home is. I personally like keeping the shots in the fridge and taking them out the morning of. Habit. Means less things to remember. That’s good because I have MS.
Serono offers several items to Rebif users. Travel cases, injection journals, all sorts of stuff. Take advantage of these offers, the travel case is really nice.