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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Bicillin shots

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Author Topic: Bicillin shots
Ellen101
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I will be starting bicillin shots and I'm a little nervous. I was told I could give them to myself in the front of my thigh or have someone else give them in the butt. Was it hard to do yourself? I'm a little nervous to do them myself. Any tips? Also what type of results did you get on them?
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sammy
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You cannot inject Bicillin into the thigh. Your muscle there is not large enough to support that amount of medicine.

The only appropriate IM sites are the ventrogluteal (hip area) or dorsogluteal (butt area). Google these sites and you will see what I'm talking about. You will need to have a nurse or doctor to show you how to find these sites and how to do the injections.

You will be able to give yourself the shots after a nurse or doctor shows you how. It would be easier to have a friend or family member give them to you if possible.

Try to do a search on Bicillin. This is a common topic. You will find lots of tips.

Good luck with your new treatment.

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fflutterby
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Here is a link with some tips.

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/116612#000000

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Psalm 46 1 God is our refuge and strength

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Ellen101
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Wow I'm wondering why my LLNP said they could be given in the upper thigh....
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tdtid
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I too was told not to do mine in the thigh either, although at the same time, I thought I had someone else tell me that this is how they did theirs. So I don't know.

For me...my first few were done by a nurse. Then she taught my husband to do them. One thing I would stress for your own comfort is to have whomever is doing them to DO THEM SLOWLY. They burn going in if you don't.

I think it was an amazing medication and was about the time that I started making my huge progress. Then again, I had been on other treatment for many years before that, including IV, so maybe it was just the missing link, but yes, Bicillin for me was pretty powerful.

It made me feel like crap at first, but as I started getting more and more of my life back, I knew they were worth it. Good luck to you.

Cathy

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"To Dream The Impossible Dream" Man of La Mancha

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Maryland Mom
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Please listen to Sammy--don't try using your thigh as an injection site.

My husband insisted on injecting in his thigh when he was on Bicillin, and had multiple incidents of extremely painful knots in his thigh muscles as a result. Once he even ended up in the ER because of the pain. Meanwhile, I gave myself injections in the ventrogluteal site and never had any problems.

Bicillin is a DEEP IM injection, and is very thick and viscous. The ventrogluteal area is a bigger muscle better able to accommodate this type of injection.

The dorsogluteal site has also been used, as was mentioned, but is not widely recommended any more because of the risk of hitting the sciatic nerve.

When the doctor or nurse trains you on doing these injections, they will show you the body landmarks to use to accurately locate the best part of the muscle to use. Make sure you or whoever is trained to give you the injections has a good understanding of this for your own safety and comfort.

Warm the Bicillin before using, and inject SLOWLY and DEEP into the muscle to minimize discomfort.

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Ellen101
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No one will be training us on this... Now I'm feeling nervous
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Maryland Mom
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Bicillin can be a very effective drug for treating Lyme. I know many people who have experienced great benefits from it, myself included, so I don't want to talk you out of doing it!

I'm a little surprised to hear no one will be training you on the injections. Can you contact your LLNP and ask about this? Or maybe contact a local doctor's office and ask if you could arrange an appointment for a nurse to instruct you?

Giving IM injections is not difficult, and the training to do it properly is not complicated, but I think it would be very helpful if you have someone walk you through it.

There are internet sites that also help with learning how to do IM injections, here is a link for one:

http://www.drugs.com/cg/how-to-give-an-intramuscular-injection.html

It includes an illustration on how to locate the landmarks to give injections in different sites, along with a lot of other good information to know before giving an injection.

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Ellen101
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Thanks Maryland Mom. I also found a you tube video for giving injections as well. I could go back to my LLNP and I'm sure she would show us how, but finding a time we could both go and its not around the corner may be tough. At this point I'm wishing there was an oral med instead as I really don't want to do all this.
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sammy
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Ellen, you and your husband will be able to learn how to administer the shots but you must find someone familiar with giving them to teach you how.

Knowing the right injection sites is so important. This will help you avoid problems, you need to get needle and the medicine deep in the belly of the muscle. You don't want to hit a bone or nerve or blood vessel.

If you are taught to identify the sites well you will be able to rotate the injection spots without fear. Some people run into problems when they inject in the exact same spot over and over. They develop scar tissue and lumps and abcesses.

This is the step by step of what I did with my Bicillin shots, maybe it will help you feel more comfortable. It may be confusing until you can get a nurse to show you in person. At least you will have this to refer back to later when you are on your own.

First, apply ice to the injection area 20-30min before to numb the tissue well. While waiting for the site to get nice and numb I would hold the Bicillin syringe in my hands to warm it up to body temp.

Once you're numb, put the needle on the Bicillin. Don't push the medicine through the tip of the needle. This is unique, most all other medicines are "primed" before use. The manufacturer warns that you should not push the medicine through the needle because the bicillin is so thick that it can dry and clog the needle if not used immediately. Also, you need to leave the tiny bubble that they put in the syringe so that you can see if there is ever any blood when you aspirate. Bicillin cannot be injected into a blood vessel.

When it is time to give the injection, pick your site, clean it with alcohol, tug the skin down and hold with one hand, hold the syringe and insert the needle with your other hand. (Don't pinch your skin for this kind of injection unless your are very skinny like a super model and have no fat. You need the needle to go deep.) So hold the skin with one hand, hold the syringe and needle with the other. If you can, rest and brace your syringe hand against your skin, it will help with the next step.

Gently tug back on the plunger to aspirate (check to make sure that there is not blood), if it feels OK and no blood is seen in the syringe then go ahead and inject the Bicillin slowly. (Do this with the hand that originally pulled the skin down, you syringe hand is now also resting against your skin.) I pushed the Bicillin over 5min. If I pushed it too fast my muscle would tense and hurt so bad, it's easier to relax and take it at your own pace.

After the shot I would get up and walk around for a couple minutes while I warmed up my hot pack in the microwave. Then I gently massaged the area with the hot pack over the injection site. This helps the medicine to be absorbed and reduces pain and stiffness. If I did not do the walking around, heat, and massage then I would be sore for several days after the injection.

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Ellen101
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Thanks Sammy. One of my concerns is my major symptom is pain in my lower back that radiates into the buttocks on both sides and down the outer sides of my thighs. If I'm already in alot of pain in those areas would injecting in the butt just make for more pain???
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sammy
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Sorry for the extremely long post earlier. I have a difficult time condensing my thoughts.

I'm not a doctor so I can't diagnose you. Lower back pain that radiates to your buttocks may be caused by a nerve problem. Have you been evaluated by a doctor? If you continue having the pain then you may need some tests like an MRI to see what's going on structurally in the spine area. You can also see a neurologist for nerve function tests.

The bicillin shots should not make your pain worse. The medicine should be deposited in an area where it will be safely and slowly absorbed. But Lyme is not a predictable illness and our responses are often individual. If your pain is exacerbated by the Lyme infection then a herx may increase your back pain.

The actual injections should not make your back hurt more. They did make my muscles sore and achy off and on for about a day afterwards. It really helped to walk, apply heat, and massage the injection site immediately afterwards. If I didn't do those 3 things then I really hurt for several days and my muscles felt tight.

You can also take ibuprofen or an RX anti-inflammatory to help reduce pain and inflammation before and after the shots. If your muscle area gets tight and sore you can always gently massage it and apply heat to the area again.

Hopefully with time the Bicillin and your other antibiotics will start to work to decrease your pain and help you feel better.

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nonna05
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Ellen I get those pains you're talking about...Sometimes extra magnesium helps or I go low in potassium pretty easy. So I take a script one once in a while....

Sammy say's hopefully with time and other ABX's you'll feel better over time..

Anybody have input on that?

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Ellen101
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Sammy do you think these pains are due to something other than lyme??? When I discuss it with my LLNP she says they are lyme.. I had a pelvic MRI which just showed some arthritis in the SI joints. I have not had an MRI of my spine.

My rheumatologist said possibly psoriatic arthritis...the orthopedic said bursitis...the pain does get better when I stop the abx..so I'm thinking it is lyme..I have not tried staying off them altogether to see what happens long term yet.

Nonna, I have been doubling up on the mag SR. Not sure if I should try a different kind. My LLNP did not say anything about potassium, so no RX for that.

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