Shooting my shot actually hurts like hell. Hope me?
December 15, 2019 6:33 PM   Subscribe

Why do my shots hurt so much? Any Trulicity (dulaglutide) users out there?

I've given myself insulin shots in the past and they NEVER hurt. I'm now injecting Trulicity (with an automatic plunger design) once a week. The first shot in my stomach fat? No pain at all! The last two shots? Each time into the top of my thighs - and each HURT like an angry, fiery, miserable, big wasp sting, both the shot, and for a few minutes afterwards.

Is it that injecting into fat hurts less? Was I just lucky the first time? Should I just be prepared to bite a (metaphorical) strap for the foreseeable future?

[You are not my doctor! I am not asking for medical advice! I just want it to hurt not so much.]
posted by Ink-stained wretch to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This happens with my Tresiba sometimes. Was it warm/room temp the first time but cold for the others? Mine hurts more when it is cold.
posted by ChristineSings at 6:55 PM on December 15, 2019

I also just started Trulicity (5 shots in) and I haven't been able to bring myself to try it on the stomach yet, but yes, the thigh stings for me for a few minutes.

I did try it at room temp this week, and it didn't make an appreciable difference in discomfort for me. (I maybe found cold to be a little easier, because there was the shock of the cold to distract from the other discomfort.) Your experience makes me think I should grit my teeth and try the stomach.

(Glad it's not just me!)
posted by jenettsilver at 7:41 PM on December 15, 2019

You aren't re-using a disposable needle cap, are you? If you re-use a metal needle, in a syringe or otherwise, it becomes blunt and hurts more during subsequent uses due to difficulty penetrating the skin.
posted by XMLicious at 8:20 PM on December 15, 2019

I give myself shots with pens for my arthritis. In my experience, yes, more fat hurts less, and the belly always hurts less than the thigh.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:15 AM on December 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

In my experience with a similar one use auto plunge weekly, the thigh hurts like keerazy.
posted by tilde at 7:36 AM on December 16, 2019

I've had to use a couple of different kinds of subq meds and the auto-injectors always hurt more than the manual ones. (Also I have definitely had some meds that stung like anything separately from the injection pain, but my meds are not your meds and I never tried the belly as an injection site so I can't compare.)
posted by restless_nomad at 7:58 AM on December 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was advised to use a place where I could pinch some fat as an injection site, and have always used my belly. Over the three months, it has never hurt at all. Why did you decide to inject your thighs?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:05 AM on December 16, 2019

Kirth Gerson, the info I was given was to rotate sites from belly to thigh(s) to avoid developing subcutaneous hard areas.

XMLicious, no, this is a one-use auto-injector where you simply place it against your skin and hit a button.
posted by Ink-stained wretch at 8:57 AM on December 16, 2019

They told me to rotate sites, but I can use any spot with fat - belly, side, whatever. Now I know putting it in my thigh would probably hurt, so I won't do that.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:24 AM on December 16, 2019

I stopped using the auto-injector and went back to plain old syringes for my Enbrel (also injected in the thigh). Sticking myself rather than being stuck helped with the pain.
posted by GamblingBlues at 6:06 AM on December 17, 2019

Just a little additional data, for anyone else who this might help. Science for the win!

Last week I tried stomach for the first time, but just holding the skin flat, and it hurt less than my thigh, but still a noticeable amount. (Maybe half as much as the thigh. I am not skinny, so there is non-trivial fat on my thighs, even on the top of the thigh injection site.)

Tonight, I tried the other side of my stomach, holding the skin so it wasn't tight, and it hurt much less to do the injection. (If the thigh was a 6, last week was a 3.5, this was about 1.5.)

I barely felt the injection, and the site now stings a little, but sort of like the 'my cat has been a little too energetic claiming my hand' roughness than anything else.
posted by jenettsilver at 9:53 PM on December 28, 2019

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