Learn how to prepare and inject HEMLIBRA
Your healthcare provider will train you or your caregiver on how to
inject. Once trained, you should be able to inject HEMLIBRA at home by
yourself or with the help of a caregiver. Talk to your healthcare
provider if you have any questions.
Watch the injection video
See a demonstration of how to inject HEMLIBRA
On screen: How to Inject HEMLIBRA (emicizumab-kxwh)
Hi! I’m Michael, and today I’m going to demonstrate how to inject HEMLIBRA. Be sure to allow yourself enough time so your medication can reach room temperature and you can inject without interruption. Whether you’re injecting yourself or a person you care for, this video is a refresher of what you learned at your healthcare provider’s office or hemophilia treatment center.
You should not inject yourself unless you have been shown how to by your healthcare provider. I hope the video is helpful, but of course if you have any questions about your treatment, always ask your healthcare provider and be sure you read and understand the Instructions for Use that came with your HEMLIBRA before you inject it.
Alright, let’s get started. First, you’ll need to collect all the necessary injection supplies. Some may be different than what you’re used to, and you may need two of some items, depending on the dose that your healthcare provider prescribed.
Be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for your dose and only use the syringes and needles that he or she prescribes, being careful to only use them once and to discard everything in a sharps container right after you use it. It’s also good to mention that if your healthcare provider prescribes a dose that is more than 2 mL, you’ll need to administer more than one subcutaneous injection, so check with your healthcare provider for instructions.
You will need:
- Vial containing the medicine
- Alcohol wipes
- A cotton ball
- A syringe
- An 18G transfer needle
- A 26G injection needle with a safety shield
- Sharps disposal container
Please refer to the Instructions for Use for proper storage instructions.
If you’re not sure if you have everything you need, be sure to always check out the Instructions for Use pamphlet that came in the box with HEMLIBRA and is available at HEMLIBRA.com.
You also can speak with a Connect coordinator at 1-866-HEMLIBRA.
On screen: Connects Patient Resource Center
Remember to inspect all supplies before you start, including the box and vial label. If they are damaged, have dropped or expired, don’t use them and get another set of supplies.
Also, check your medication to be sure it is the right strength, isn’t damaged and hasn’t expired. Double check to make sure the name HEMLIBRA appears on the box and vial label too. You’ll also want to check the appearance of your medication. HEMLIBRA is a colorless to slightly yellow liquid. Don’t use it if it is damaged, looks cloudy, hazy or colored, is missing the cap covering the stopper or has particles.
On screen: Vial for illustrative purposes only.
Okay, I have everything I need. I have inspected the vial and, since I took my vial out of the refrigerator 15 minutes ago in order to bring it to room temperature, the vial is ready to use.
I’ll grab my injection log so I can track the date of my dose, how much I injected and the injection site. And now I just need to wash my hands (with soap and water of course) and dry them thoroughly.
On screen: Place supplies on a clean, well-lit surface away from direct sunlight. Do not try to warm up the vial by any other way.
Let’s start by getting the HEMLIBRA vial ready.
First, take off the cap. Clean the vial stopper with an alcohol wipe and throw it away.
Next, we need to prepare the syringe by attaching it to the transfer needle. To do this, push and twist the transfer needle clockwise until it’s fully attached.
Now, I’m going to slowly pull back the plunger to draw air into the syringe. Take your time here as you’ll want to pull back to the same amount as your prescribed dose.
As you know, your healthcare provider prescribed your dose based on your weight, and will tell you your specific dose. For me, I have a 105 mg vial and there will be a little left over, which I have to discard in a puncture-proof container.
Do not save unused medicine in the vial for later use, as the medicine in the syringe must be injected immediately. If your prescribed dose is more than 2 milliliters, you will need to administer more than one subcutaneous injection. Contact your healthcare provider for the appropriate injection instructions.
- Do not save unused medicine in the vial for later use.
- The medicine in the syringe must be injected immediately.
- If your prescribed dose is more than 2mL, you will need to administer more than one subcutaneous injection; contact your healthcare provider for the appropriate injection instructions.
Once that’s done, uncap the transfer needle by holding the syringe at the bottom with the needle pointing up and pull the cap straight off.
When you’re doing this be careful not to touch the needle or place it on a surface after the cap has been removed. And don’t throw the cap away, because you’ll need it again. If you do touch the needle by accident, or it touches anything else, just throw it away and start with another one.
On screen: Place the transfer needle cap down on a flat surface. Do not touch the needle or place it on a surface after the cap has been removed.
Next, you’ll need to inject air into the vial. With the vial on a flat surface, insert the needle and syringe straight down into the center of the vial stopper. Then, once the needle’s in the vial, turn it upside down.
With the needle above the medicine, now push that plunger to inject air out of the syringe and above the medicine. Make sure to keep your finger pressed down on the plunger.
On screen: Do not inject air into the medicine as this could create air bubbles in the medicine.
Next, slide the tip of the needle down so that it’s in the medicine and slowly pull back the plunger to fill the syringe.
You’ll want to fill it with more than your prescribed dose to make sure that you get the correct amount.
Be careful not to pull the plunger out of the syringe. If your prescribed dose is more than is in the vial, withdraw all of the medicine and refer to the Instructions for Use on how to combine vials. HEMLIBRA comes in four strengths. Depending on your dose, you may need to use more than one vial to give your total prescribed dose. Your healthcare provider will determine your dose in milliliters that you will need to give based on your body weight. Do not use different HEMLIBRA vials of different concentrations when combining vials to achieve the prescribed dose.
- Be careful not to pull the plunger out of the syringe.
- If your prescribed dose is more than is in the vial, withdraw all of the medicine and refer to the Instructions for Use on how to combine vials.
- HEMLIBRA comes in four strengths. Depending on your dose, you may need to use more than one vial to give your total prescribed dose. Your healthcare provider will determine your dose in milliliters (mL) that you will need to give based on your body weight. Do not use different HEMLIBRA vials of different concentrations when combining vials to achieve the prescribed dose.
Before we move on, we’ll also need to remove any large air bubbles in the medicine.
Just gently tap the syringe with your fingers – like this – until the air bubbles rise to the top.
Next, move the tip of the needle above the medicine and slowly push the plunger to get the air bubbles out of the syringe.
If the medicine is now at or below your prescribed dose, move that needle back into the medication and slowly pull the plunger until you have more than you need.
Repeat these steps until you have removed all larger air bubbles. Ensure you have enough medicine in the syringe to complete your dose before moving on. If you can’t remove all medicine, turn the vial upright to reach the remaining amount.
- Repeat these steps until you have removed all larger air bubbles.
- Ensure you have enough medicine in the syringe to complete your dose before moving on.
- If you can’t remove all medicine, turn the vial upright to reach the remaining amount.
When the air bubbles are gone, it’s time to recap the needle. First, remove the syringe and transfer needle from the vial.
Then, using only one hand, slide the needle into the cap in an upward scooping motion. You may want to use a clean, hard surface to help you – like your injection mat. Push the cap down to fully attach it.
Using one hand may feel awkward at first, but it helps to make sure you don’t accidentally stick yourself with the needle.
Now it’s time to choose your injection site. You can use the front or middle of your thigh, your stomach area (abdomen), except for a 2-inch section around your belly button, or, if you are injecting someone else, you can use the outer area of the upper arm. Today, I’ve chosen my stomach, but it’s important to choose a different location each time you take your medication. As long as the site is at least 1 inch away from the area you used last time, you’re good.
Then you’ll need to clean the injection site with an alcohol wipe and wait for about 10 seconds while it dries.
Do not inject into areas that could be irritated by a belt or waistband. Do not inject into moles, scars, bruises or areas where the skin is tender, red, hard or the skin is broken. Do not touch, fan or blow on the cleaned area before your injection.
- Do not inject into areas that could be irritated by a belt or waistband.
- Do not inject into moles, scars, bruises or areas where the skin is tender, red, hard or the skin is broken.
- Do not touch, fan or blow on the cleaned area before your injection.
Now, I’m ready to inject HEMLIBRA.
First, remove the transfer needle from the syringe by twisting it counter-clockwise and gently pulling. Then throw away the transfer needle in a sharps container.
Don’t use the transfer needle to inject medicine as this may cause harm such as pain and bleeding.
Next, you’ll need to attach the injection needle to the syringe by pushing the needle clockwise until it is fully attached and moving the safety shield away toward the syringe barrel.
And finally, carefully pull the injection needle cap away from the syringe and throw away the cap into your sharps disposal container.
On screen: Do not touch the needle or allow it to touch any surface. After the injection needle cap has been removed, the medicine must be injected immediately.
Now you’ll want to slowly push the plunger to your prescribed dose.
Next, pinch the skin on the spot you chose for your injection. You don’t need a lot of skin – just enough to hold with two fingers. Then fully insert the needle quickly and firmly at a 45- to 90-degree angle to your skin. Hold the syringe and let go of the pinched skin.
On screen: Do not hold or push on the plunger while inserting the needle. Do not rub the injection site after injection.
Now slowly push the plunger all the way down to inject the medication, then remove the needle and syringe at the same angle. Remember, do not inject the medicine intravenously – the injection goes just under the skin, not into your veins.
For safety, cover the needle with the safety shield. To do this, move the safety shield forward 90 degrees and then press down firmly against a flat surface until you hear a click.
On screen: Keep your fingers behind the safety shield and away from the needle.
Ok, that’s it – we’re done. After the injection, you may see a few drops of blood. If you do, just press a cotton ball or gauze on it to stop the bleeding. If you experience any bruising, you can also use an ice pack.
On screen: If bleeding does not stop, contact your healthcare provider.
Since you can only use your needles and syringes one time, you can now throw them away in a sharps container. Just remember to not throw away any loose needles or syringes in your trash can.
Only use the vial one time. Throw away any unused medicine in the vial. Do not save unused medicine for later use. Always keep the sharps disposal container out of reach of children.
- Only use the vial one time.
- Throw away any unused medicine in the vial.
- Do not save unused medicine for later use.
- Always keep the sharps disposal container out of reach of children.
When I’m done, I like to write down the spot I just used in my injection log so I don’t forget. I also write down the date, time and vial lot information in case I need it for my healthcare provider at some point in the future.
That’s it! This time next week, I’ll inject again. I’ve set a calendar reminder in my phone to help me. You may use your phone or a paper calendar – whatever works best for you.
I know that a new routine can sometimes take a little bit of time to get used to, but keep it up and refer back to this video anytime you need a refresher.
Remember, if you have any questions, always talk to your healthcare provider.
On screen: For a copy of the full Instructions for Use and Medication Guide, visit HEMLIBRA.com and the link to the full Prescribing Information
What is HEMLIBRA?
HEMLIBRA is a prescription medicine used for routine prophylaxis to prevent or reduce the frequency of bleeding episodes in adults and children with hemophilia A with factor VIII inhibitors.
What is the most important information I should know about HEMLIBRA?
HEMLIBRA increases the potential for your blood to clot. Discontinue prophylactic use of bypassing agents the day before starting HEMLIBRA prophylaxis. Carefully follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding when to use an on-demand bypassing agent, and the dose and schedule you should use. HEMLIBRA may cause the following serious side effects when used with aPCC (FEIBA®), including:
Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). This is a condition involving blood clots and injury to small blood vessels that may cause harm to your kidneys, brain, and other organs. Get medical help right away if you have any of the signs and symptoms of TMA during or after treatment with HEMLIBRA.
Blood clots (thrombotic events). Blood clots may form in blood vessels in your arm, leg, lung or head. Get medical help right away if you have any of the signs or symptoms of blood clots during or after treatment with HEMLIBRA.
If aPCC (FEIBA®) is needed, talk to your healthcare provider in case you feel you need more than 100 units per kilogram of aPCC (FEIBA®) total.
How should I use HEMLIBRA?
See the detailed “Instructions for Use” that comes with your HEMLIBRA for information on how to prepare and inject a dose of HEMLIBRA, and how to properly throw away (dispose of) used needles and syringes.
HEMLIBRA may interfere with laboratory tests that measure how well your blood is clotting and may cause a false reading. Talk to your healthcare provider about how this may affect your care.
What are the other possible side effects of HEMLIBRA?
The most common side effects of HEMLIBRA include: redness, tenderness, warmth, or itching at the site of injection; headache; and joint pain. These are not all of the possible side effects of HEMLIBRA.
You may report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. You may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555.
Please see the HEMLIBRA full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for more important safety information including Serious Side Effects.