OUCH! New Enbrel injections! | Arthritis Information


What's up with the new enbrel injections (once a week)???  They HURT!  I really hated taking two shots a week, but it was really hard to give myself this shot.  Why does it burn so much?  I even left it out for 10 minutes or so.  Isn't it the exact same stuff as before?  Those injections never bothered me so why is it so painful now?  Is there a reason and does anyone know?  I really don't want to go back to taking 2 shots, and I probably won't despite the pain, but yuck.  Anyone have any tips on reducing the pain?  TIA!!!


Try leaving the enbrel out for at least 30 minutes and make sure the alcohol that you rub on the spot for the shot has evaporated before giving yourself the shot.  Where do you give yourself the shot?  I do it in the stomach from underneath and have no pain.  I hope this helps.  meme

I do give my injection in my stomach and I always wait for the alcohol to dry (you only make that mistake once!lol!)  I will try leaving it out for 30 minutes next time.  Thanks for the tip!


Molly Someone else told me this idea ice the spot before giving yourself the shot.  I haven't tried it but my ffiend says it works for her.  meme

I have loved Enbrel since I started taking it almost 5 years ago.  I don't think you will regret it once you get used to giving yourself shots.  The 50mg injection burned for me too, but it's worth it because I know how I'll feel without it...and it doesn't last long!  If it's just terrible for you, you should ask your doctor about going to 2 25mg injections a week.  For some reason those ones didn't burn AT ALL.  I hardly even felt them!  But it was kind of a pain to have to take two shots...just because I would forget.  Like Meme said, you'll be an old pro very quickly.


I had the same problem with the 50mg enbrel shot (but not the 25mg ones.)  I have heard that it may be because the 50mg shot has preservative in it since it is pre mixed and the 25mg did not need preservative since you had to mix it yourself.  The nurse at enliven also recommended icing down the injection site first til it is numb and also making sure the shot is room temp.  I haven't tried it that way yet as I am getting over pneumonia and haven't been able to take my shot for almost 7 weeks now. 


I am  the biggest needle phobic ever, but here's what I do and I feel zero pain. 

First, warm the Enbrel... not just to room temp, but to BODY temp. You wouldn't jump into a bath at just 68 degrees? why inject something that cold? I roll the syringe between my palms, after I've left it out an hour. Ice the area to be injected,  allow the alcohol  to dry, then injects, counting slowly to 20 as you do so. No pain...

LOL, I have been on Enbrel for about 18 months now, 2 25mg shots a week.  After hearing about the pain from the once a week, I have NO desire to switch to once a week injections.  Now I never forget my injection, ever.  Sunday in the right thigh and Thurs in the left.  I also find that since I am not getting total pain relief from Enbrel, usually only for 1 day after the injection, at most 2, I would rather have 1 good day twice a week than 1 good day only once a week.  I know the 50mg should last longer, but I tried 2 shots of the 25mg on the same day and I experienced the same pain relief the next day, but then suffered for 6 long days until I could take the next injection.  With the twice a week, I get relief on Monday and Friday and only have to wait a few days until I can do the next injection, not a LONG 6 days.

Wow folks,

I went to do my first shot, and couldnt.  I had to have someone else do it for me.  I left the shot out for an hour, and it stung like the fire of Hades going in. 

Please helppppppppp....lol


Hi Lisa.

Yes, they still offer the 25mg shots 2x weekly and yes, you still have to mix them. I have hand problems, so my husband sets it up for me. Do ice the site, that helps with the injection pain.

I took MTX for years by injection. The first time I injected myself I wanted to be sure it went in so I used plenty of force. It went in ok and bounced right back out.


Hi Lisa,

I am on the 25mg. I have no urge to change to the 50!!!! I have no pain with the injection. I can mix it ok, but cannot remove the cover on the needle. My hubby does that for me. I think that if you change to the 25mg, and you can, you will be able give yourself the shot once you find out that it doesn't hurt. I didn't think I could ever give myself a shot as I really, really have a phobia about needles. I go hysterical when they come to me for an IV. I really understand how you feel. I hope that the ice helps for you, others swear by it.


Dyna - I laughed so hard when I read what happened with your first injection. The same thing happened to me with the Enbrel!!!! And that needle hurts a little the second time around.


Hi Lu

You and I seem to share a number of the same medical problems. RA, OA, Neuropathy, Sjogrens, DDD, LERT and everything but the kitchen sink. I swear everytime I turn around I have added something else to the list. Is that kittens I see in your picture. Thats about how many dogs we have and they sleep with us. Its nice to see that I am not the only one with a long list of abbreviations behind my name. Somebody might think we are really educated with a lot of degrees and awards. Boy, would they be in for a surprise.


I agree with all the advice given, leave it out for about thirty minutes, and ice you ijection site (stomach, stomach, stomach!!!)


I had to quit enbre after three months of no relief.  Will be starting Arava and Remicade soon.


Take care,


Hi Dyna,

Those are my three little puppies. Don't laugh but their names are Brutus (black & white, Shih Tzu), Popeye (grey & white, Shih Tzu), and Wimpy (beige, Lhaso Apso). They are my joy and companionship. They sleep there, on my side of the bed, of course, every night. I wouldn't have it any other way.


I know what you mean about the "titles" not the type of education I wanted!


Jrf5460 - the enbrel hasn't stopped my pain, but my rd wants me to stay on it because of the PA. He says that it will slow the joint destruction even though it didn't help the pain. I really hope he is right!! I would hate to think that I am poking myself with needles for nothing



I have been on enbrel for a little over a year and have had fabulous life changing results. I was so disappointed when I went from the 25ml shot to the 50ml shot and it hurt. The needle bounced back on me too the first time and had to stab myself again. The needle is as thick as a salami! Last night I left the shot out for over an hour and it was a little better but not pain free like the 25ml's. I alternate between my stomach and thighs. I have had JRA for most of my life and enbrel has made me so happy that compalining about a shot in the grand scheme of things sounds a little silly but I'm glad to know it's not just me.



Since my first and very painful injection, I have let the enbrel sit out a half hour or so, held it in my hands to get it to body temp for as long as I can within this time frame, and iced the injection site.  My second injection was completely pain free, and during my last one, I could feel very slight burning.  For my second shot, I did hold it in my hands longer than the next one.


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