Subcutaneous (SQ or Sub-Q) means below the skin and into the fatty tissue, just under the skin.
An SQ injection is the best way to give yourself certain medicines. Some of these medicines are insulin, blood-thinning drugs, and fertility drugs.
These are the best areas on your body to give yourself an SQ injection:
Your injection site should be healthy. This means there should be no redness, swelling, scaring, or other damage to your skin or tissue below your skin.
Change your injection site from one injection to the next. This will keep your skin healthy and help your body absorb the medicine well.
You will need a syringe that has an SQ needle attached to it. These needles are very short and thin.
You may get syringes from the pharmacy that are pre-filled with the correct dose of your medicine. Or, you may need to fill your syringe with the correct dose from the medicine vial.
Either way, check the medicine label to make sure you are taking the correct medicine and the correct dose. Also check the date on the label to make sure the medicine is not outdated.
Besides a syringe, you will need:
If you are using a pre-filled syringe:
If you are filling your syringe with medicine, you will need to learn the proper technique for filling a syringe with medicine.
SQ injections, Sub-Q injections
Giving a subcutaneous injection. Rockville, MD. National Institute of Health Clinical Center. US Dept of Health and Human Services: 2002. NIH publications.
Updated by: Jennifer K. Mannheim, ARNP, Medical Staff, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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