Intramuscular Injection (Self-injection)
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Intramuscular Injection (Self-injection)?

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

Intramuscular Injection
Intramuscular Injection
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Some medicines are better absorbed when given in the muscle; if taken by mouth, they may not work. Other medicines may be given in the muscle if you are unable to take them by mouth.

Some examples of medicines 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:

  • You may have some bleeding, soreness, or redness at the site.
  • Allergic reaction to the medicine is possible. If you may be allergic to a medicine, do not inject it.
  • Rarely, the site may become infected.

Call Your Doctor

Contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Difficulty giving yourself the injection
  • Continued bleeding at the injection site
  • A lot of pain
  • Medicine is injected into the wrong area
  • Rash or swelling at the injection site
  • Fever or allergic reaction develops

In case of an emergency, call 911.