Intramuscular Injection (Self-injection)

An intramuscular (IM) injection is a shot. The needle goes into the muscle to deliver medication. This is usually done by a doctor or nurse. Sometimes, your doctor may teach you to inject yourself. IM injections are deeper than injections given under the skin.

  • Call Your Doctor

    Call your doctor if any of the following occur:

    • Difficulty giving yourself the injection
    • A lot of pain
    • Medication is injected into the wrong area
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the injection site
    • Rash or hives develop
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Fever

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    An intramuscular (IM) injection is a shot. The needle goes into the muscle to deliver medication. This is usually done by a doctor or nurse. Sometimes, your doctor may teach you to inject yourself. IM injections are deeper than injections given under the skin.

    Intramuscular Injection
    intramuscular injection
    A needle passes through skin and fat layers into the muscle fibers to deliver medication.
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    Some medications are better absorbed when given in the muscle. Other medications may be given in the muscle if you are unable to take them by mouth.

    Some examples of medications given using an IM injection:

    • Certain antibiotics
    • Certain contraceptive hormones

    • Most
      vaccines
    • Epinephrine
      injections for
      severe allergic reactions

  • Possible Complications

    Complications associated with IM injections are:

    • Bleeding, soreness, or redness at the site
    • Allergic reaction to the medicatiom
    • Rarely, the site may become infected