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When giving yourself an injection, it’s recommended that you pull back slightly on the plunger, to check for blood, before actually injecting. But, occasionally people forget, and it’s almost a sure thing that at least once you will pull the needle out and find blood and bruises. Unless you are injecting into your neck and hit the jugular you have no problem! And even then, with the size of needles we use, it would be real hard to have a bleeding problem. The skin is “rich” with blood supply, so its just a matter of time before you “nail” something that bleeds or shows up as a bruise (not just the normal interferon reaction). Normally, if you hit an actual vein, there will be no doubt in your mind, as the blood tends to come up into the needle very quickly. If you see that happen before you actually inject, just start over again with a fresh dose. If you only see bruising or a small drop or two of blood, chances are that you only went through some capillaries and it’s nothing to worry about. The only important thing to do if you are bleeding after an injection is to cover it with a band-aid. Even for long-term interferon users there is enough clotting factor to stop the bleeding in a few minutes. The band-aid is to stop making a mess. Interferon is given intramuscularly and intravenously for other conditions, so even if you are “lucky” enough to find a real vein or vessel the interferon won’t hurt you. Some people say it is not necessary to discard the dose. The caution against injecting the interferon intravenously is because interferon is very irritating and can cause a slight phlebitis (inflammation of the vein). Also it will be painful once the reaction starts, with swelling and redness. If that ever happens to you first apply cold compresses to keep the swelling down and take your favorite painkiller. If after 24 hours the swelling becomes worse, along with increased pain and redness, apply warm compresses and call your doctor or go to the emergency room.



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