Top of the page
If you need to give yourself injections, or shots, at home, you may have some questions or concerns.
You might need to inject medicine under the skin (subcutaneous). Or you might inject it into a muscle (intramuscular). Either way, these tips may help address your concerns.
If you notice an air bubble in the syringe:
Injecting a small air bubble into the skin or a muscle is usually harmless. But it might mean you aren't getting the full dose of medicine, because the air takes up space in the syringe.
If you bend or break a needle while giving yourself a shot, carefully remove the needle if you can. Dispose of the needle in a safe way (in a hard plastic, metal, or "sharps" container with a lid).
If no medicine went in, you can give yourself another shot. If some medicine went in, check with your doctor before you give yourself another shot.
If you're bleeding after you remove the needle, apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding. Clean the wound with soap and water, and cover it with a bandage, if needed, to protect it.
If you can't remove the needle, or if a broken part of the needle didn't come out, you need medical attention. A doctor will help remove the needle.
If you see blood in the syringe, it means you might have hit a blood vessel. This usually isn't harmful. If you see blood in the bottom of the syringe (hub) before you push in the plunger, remove the needle without giving the medicine. Dispose of the needle in a safe way (in a hard plastic, metal, or "sharps" container with a lid).
You can put a new needle on the syringe and then give the injection in a new spot.
Always wash your hands, clean the injection site, and keep your needles sterile. If you notice signs of infection, call your doctor or nurse call line. These signs include:
Your doctor or nurse will show you where to inject your medicine.
Keep track of where on your body you inject your medicine. You may want to note the site and the date on a diagram of your body. Give your next shot in another area, or at least 3 centimetres away from your last shot.
Bruising means you might have hit a small blood vessel. This usually isn't harmful. If you have a bruise, use other areas for your shots until the bruise heals.
Many people don't like needles, but they learn to use them because it's important for their health. You can learn how to give yourself shots.
See if someone at home can help you with your shot. A nurse can also help you feel more comfortable giving yourself shots by helping you practice what you need to do. The nurse may show you how to practice on a firm fruit like an orange and can help you learn the best technique. Learning about the process of giving yourself shots can help.
Current as ofSeptember 23, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Current as of: September 23, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.