You’re Not Alone as a Patient
You may have been recently diagnosed with a chronic condition requiring self-administration of your medication using an injection device, such as an autoinjector, prefilled syringe or a wearable. The thought of having to inject yourself may make you feel frightened, helpless, overwhelmed or any number of emotions. There are millions of patients who have and are currently going through the initial acceptance of having to manage their care through self-injection.
What to expect
Depending on your prescribed medication, the first 30, 60 and 90 days (commonly referred to as the onboarding phase) are the most important regarding your treatment. This is the time when you’re expected to self-administer medication based upon your doctor’s prescribed regimen. This critical time is typically when you develop a routine and habit of injecting your medication correctly and on time. If you have been prescribed an injectable medication, your first exposure to an autoinjector, prefilled syringe or wearable device most likely happened while training with a healthcare professional on-site at a medical facility. After being trained by your healthcare provider, your next injection will most likely be performed without healthcare provider supervision and outside a healthcare facility.
When it comes to self-injecting for the first time on your own, you may be affected by a number of factors, including needle anxiety, lack of confidence or memory recall of correct administration technique, which may make you feel you’re not able to up to the task of administering your medication. This is completely normal, and rest assured there are a number of resources available to you to help make self-injection easier.
Understanding How We Learn
Advancements in the study of how learning occurs has facilitated a deeper understanding of how people mentally take in and process information. Memory recall and retention rates are increased when multiple neurological connections are made within and between regions of the brain. This occurs when senses such as audio, visual and touch are stimulated simultaneously.
When you use a training device, you’re using all your senses at once, which helps you gain familiarity with the real device’s features and functionality. Training prior to your real injection could help decrease your anxiety, increase your confidence and increase the likelihood of correctly administering your medication, which in turn improves the odds of receiving the correct dose and a better quality of life.
Make a list of any vitamins, supplements or other medications you’re taking
Do your homework on your condition
Make a list of questions you want to ask before your appointment
Bring something to take notes with when visiting your doctor
Ask questions to make sure you fully understand your prescribed treatment
Ask your doctor if there is a training device available
Find out ways to keep in touch with your doctor before you leave
Request a training device through the drug brand
Join the drug brand’s patient support program if one is available
A drug brand’s patient support program is a good resource for:
- further understanding your condition and the treatment prescribed
- to hear from other patients with similar conditions
- reminders, videos, sharps containers, rebates and more
If you suffer from a chronic condition, such as Rheumatoid or Psoriatic Arthritis, Plaque Psoriasis, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Hidradenitis Suppurative or Ankylosing Spondylitis, the following resources may provide additional information and resources for your condition.