rebif auto-inject fail

02Jul13

Since October, I’ve been using an autoinjection system to dose my Rebif three times a week. It looks like this, and I open it up to place the syringes in before each injection:

Rebif autoinjection system (Image credit: EMF Serono)

Rebif autoinjection system (Image credit: EMF Serono)

This is my first injectable drug, but it hasn’t been too tough giving myself shots. The autoinjector helps, since it’s spring-loaded to deliver the needle the precise amount under the skin. I just press a button on the side of the apparatus, and it springs into place, delivering my 44 micrograms of liquid.

(Yes, it does sometimes sting a little. I have tricks to work around it.)

Anyway, I’m just finishing up a few weeks out of town, and I always bring exactly enough syringes for the trip (so that I only need to be a “special case” for airport security one direction). My last injection day, I set up the syringe in the autoinjector… and the spring didn’t feel ready to snap. I knew something was wrong. So I took the contraption back apart (as simple as unscrewing the two halves), took out the syringe, put the syringe back in, nothing looked wrong… and screwed the two halves back together.

Well, something must’ve still been wrong, because the injector fired without my telling it to. Rather than the syringe emptying when I pressed the button on the side, it emptied as soon as I put the equipment back together, without any warning,before I could position it on my skin. Basically, I lost a syringe of Rebif into the air. (And this stuff ain’t cheap.)

My first–and hopefully only–missed dose. I’m going to attempt another injection tonight when I get home, but will “dry-fire” the autoinjector a few times so that I don’t lose another round (hopefully). And this is a sign that I need to learn to manually inject, without the assistance of the autoinjector–I figure the main thing to learn will be how far to sink the needle under my skin.

Given that the experts don’t really know how Rebif works–just that it does work for many people–I doubt one missed dose will hurt. Also, given when I’ve learned about lack of medication compliance from my time in the pharma industry, I won’t beat myself up over this.

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One Response to “rebif auto-inject fail”

  1. Adding: I used my autoinjector last night, and all went well. It just didn’t work that one time… I guess no one’s perfect, right? 😉


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