Subcutaneous (SQ or Sub-Q) injection means the injection is given in the fatty tissue, just under the skin.
A SQ injection is the best way to give yourself certain medicines, including:
SQ injections; Sub-Q injections
The best areas on your body to give yourself a SQ injection are:
Your injection site should be healthy, meaning there should be no redness, swelling, scarring, or other damage to your skin or the 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 a 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 Also check the date on the label to make sure the medicine is not outdated.
In addition to 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.
Medication administration. In: Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC. Clinical Nursing Skills. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Prentice Hall; 2011: chap 18.
Giving a subcutaneous injection. Rockville, MD. National Institute of Health Clinical Center. US Dept of Health and Human Services: 2012. NIH publications.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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