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A subcutaneous (say "sub-kyoo-TAY-nee-us") shot is an injection of medicine under the skin, but not in a muscle. Some medicines, such as insulin and some kinds of blood-thinners, are injected only under the skin. This type of shot is usually given in the belly or the thigh.
At first, you may be nervous about giving yourself a shot. But soon, giving the shot will become routine.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Follow your health professional's instructions for where and how often to inject your medicine. Your nurse will show you how to give yourself the shot.
This includes your syringe (containing medicine) and an alcohol wipe or a cotton ball dipped in alcohol.
Dry them well.
A shot in the belly should be 5 centimetres away from your belly button.
Let it dry.
Keep your fingers off the plunger.
Pinch it between the fingers and thumb of one hand.
The needle should stand straight up from the skin.
This allows the medicine to go into the fatty tissue. Be sure to hold the skin fold as you give the shot. This will help make sure that you don't inject the medicine into muscle.
You can use your finger, a cotton ball, or a piece of gauze. To help avoid bruising, don't rub the area.
Don't use the same needle more than one time.
Slightly change the spot where you give the shot each time you do it.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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