Psoriasis Treatment - OnlineDermClinic
Getting Used to Psoriasis Injections
Self-injections for psoriasis may fill you with trepidation. But administering biologics for psoriasis may be easier than you think and provide the results you've been hoping for.
By Jennifer Anderson
Medically Reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH
Don't Miss This
Sign Up for OurLiving with PsoriasisNewsletter
Thanks for signing up!You might also like these other newsletters:
It may sound painful and complicated, but injecting medications to treat psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis actually is simple and, for many people, the best way to find relief.
The key is to learn to give the injections correctly, and this is why people usually give their first injection under the guidance of a nurse, said Benjamin Ehst, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of dermatology at Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland. Drug manufacturers also offer step-by-step instructions and how-to videos online and have representatives available to answer questions by phone.
What Are Biologics?
Biologics are proteins grown in a lab to target specific parts of the immune system. The goal is to reduce the inflammation you're experiencing by either blocking the action of a specific immune cell or proteins within the immune system.
Dr. Ehst explained that biologics, which are injected, often work better than topical creams or pills because they target the root cause of the inflammation. “They try to block the parts of the immune system that are overactive in psoriasis,” he said.
Biologics have to be injected because they are proteins and, if taken orally, the body would treat them as food, explained Arthur F. Kavanaugh, MD, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine.
Drugs Approved for Self-Injection Shots for Psoriasis
Six biologics have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Of these, three can be self-injected: etanercept (Enbrel) and adalimumab (Humira), which are used to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and golimumab (Simponi), which is used to treat psoriatic arthritis.
Enbrel is injected twice a week for 12 weeks and then once a week thereafter, while Humira usually is injected once every two weeks. Simponi is injected once a month.
How Biologics for Psoriasis Are Injected
The medication goes just under the skin. All that you'll need are a single-use “pen” or auto-injector containing the medication, an alcohol swab, a cotton ball, and a sharps container for disposing of the used needle.
The medication should be kept refrigerated. About 15 minutes before an injection, set the medication out to let it warm up for a more comfortable experience. Look through the window to make sure the liquid inside is clear and colorless; golimumab may be slightly yellow.
Wash your hands thoroughly. Choose an injection site, usually the top of your thigh or your abdomen away from your navel. It’s best to rotate from one site to another to give each area a chance to heal. Clean the site with an alcohol swab.
- Pull the white cap straight off.
- Pulling the skin taught, press the auto-injector onto the injection site.
- Press and release the purple button. When you do this, you will hear a click.
- Maintain pressure on the auto-injector for a slow count to 15 before pulling out the needle.
- Use a cotton ball or bandage to apply pressure if there is any bleeding at the site.
- Pull the gray cap straight off, making sure the small, gray needle cover of the syringe also has come off.
- Remove the plum-colored cap from the bottom of the pen and turn the pen so the plum-colored activation button is pointed up.
- With your skin pulled taught, press the white end flat against your skin and press the plum-colored activation button.
- You will hear a click, which indicates the start of the injection.
- In about 10 seconds, a yellow mark should appear in the window view, indicating the injection is complete.
- Slowly pull the pen from your skin and use cotton or a bandage for any bleeding.
- Twist the cap slightly to break the security seal.
- Hold the auto-injector firmly against the skin and make sure the safety sleeve slides into the clear cover.
- Press the button on the side of the auto-injector with your thumb or fingers. You'll hear a loud click.
- Continue to hold the auto-injector firmly against the skin until you hear a second click, usually up to 15 seconds later. This second click indicates the injection is complete, and the needle has pulled back into the injector.
- A yellow indicator in the viewing window means the injection was done properly.
For all medications, the auto-injector should then be disposed in the sharps container.
Video: Psoriasis and Apple Cider Vinegar: Does It Work?
Heels for Fall 2013
How to Be a Ride or Die Chick
Lorde Wasnt Asked to Perform Solo at the Grammys, but Male Contenders Were
Blue Goldtone Round Bracelet Watch - Women
How to Help Your Teen Overcome Peer Pressure to Drink
The Best Cancer-Fighting Tomato
Setting Achievable Goals for Type 2 Diabetes
Out of Hundreds of Other Stories Dresses, These 19 Are the Best
How To Do The Adho Mukha Vrksasana And What Are Its Benefits
Differences Found in Smokers, Nonsmokers Who Develop Lung Cancer
How to Improve Soil