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Subcutaneous Injection
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is 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.

Body Tissue Layers
Body Tissue Layers
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Injection Sites
Injection Sites
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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 (eg, enoxaparin ) to prevent blood clots

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 911.