Subcutaneous Injection

A subcutaneous (sub-Q) injection is a shot that delivers medicine into the layer of fat between the skin and the muscle. This type of injection can be given by a healthcare professional, or a patient can self-inject.

  • Call Your Doctor


    Contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:


    • You are unable to give yourself the injection
    • The injection site continues to bleed
    • There is a lot of pain
    • You inject the medicine into the wrong area
    • You get a rash around the injection site
    • You develop a fever or experience signs of allergic reaction

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    A subcutaneous (sub-Q) injection is a shot that delivers medicine into the layer of fat between the skin and the muscle. This type of injection can be given by a healthcare professional, or a patient can self-inject.

    Body Tissue Layers
    Skin layers
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    Injection Sites
    Insulin Injection Sites
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  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure


    Some medicines need to be injected because they are not effective if taken by mouth.
    Subcutaneous injections are an easy way to deliver this type of medicine. Examples of medicines given by sub-Q injection include:


    • Insulin for people with
      diabetes

    • Low molecular weight heparin (such as
      enoxaparin) to prevent blood clots

  • Possible Complications

    Any break in the skin can increase the risk of infection. However, following the steps will help prevent infection.