Getting the most out of certain supplements and medications, such as Peptides, Testosterone and В12, might just mean that you need to learn how to correctly self-administer the injections.
Knowing how to safely use them and where to locate injection sites can take all the pain and anxiety that you might have away.
Self-injecting does not have to be something you dread. Learn how to give yourself subcutaneous injections so you can get the best results possible.
- What is a Subcutaneous Injection?
- Landmarks for Subcutaneous Injection
- Choosing a Site for Sub Q Injection
- Choosing a Sub Q Injection Needle
- Subcutaneous Injection Procedure
- Sub Q Procedure Infographic
- Disposal of Needles and Syringes
- Risks of Sub Q Injections
Please note: It is your responsibility to consult a doctor before commencing any new treatment.
What is a Subcutaneous Injection?
There is a fatty layer of tissue just beneath the surface of the skin called the subcutaneous layer. This layer of fat sits above muscle tissue and is the target area of where you want to inject the solution of your weight loss shot. The subcutaneous layer is made up of fat cells and can be easily pinched for the administration of an injection. With a small needle and fatty tissue as the target, there is little to no pain or discomfort associated with subcutaneous injections (also known as Sub Q injections or subdermal injections).
Why Subcutaneous Injections?
This type of shot is a preferred way to receive injections for the following reasons:
- Little to no pain
- Slow and gradual release
- Better absorption than oral
Other types of injections such as intravenous shots require a blood vessel and intramuscular injections require deep penetration into muscle tissue. Those types of injections have a fast-acting release that delivers the medication straight to where it’s needed most. Subcutaneous injections are often used when a slower release is preferred. Because there is little blood ow to the fatty layer of tissue a gradual release of the medication occurs when it is injected subcutaneously. In fact, it can take approximately 24 hours to fully absorb into the body which means you have a greater opportunity to use more of the substance as it is gradually released. This means you’re getting the most out of your medication to aid in your weight loss goals. You should be guided by the medical professional who is prescribing the medication to you but as a guideline, here are the types of medications that are often administered subcutaneously:
- HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
- HGH Peptides such as Ipamorelin
- Epinephrine ( Epi shots)
- BPC-157 and other Peptides
- B12 Methylcobalamin Injections
Subcutaneous Injections Sites
There are four suitable locations for subcutaneous injections: upper arms, thighs, abdomen, and even in some cases, the lower back. At each site you need to find the right location to inject the medication to experience the least amount of discomfort and the most effectiveness from your shots.
Look for the landmarks detailed below to correctly locate where you can safely self-administer the shot.
Microsoft Word – DRIGGERS How to Inject HCG & B12 Subcutaneously (Thigh, Buttocks, Stomach).pdf
Landmarks for Subcutaneous Injections
Abdomen: Avoid the belly button area. Concentrate on the area below the waist, two inches to the side from the navel, just above the hip bone. If this is the preferred site to inject most of the time, make sure that you start injections at the highest point first and work down and around one inch apart at a time. Imagine a donut shape with the belly button as the hole giving it a one-inch no-go radius. This is the most popular of the HCG injection sites.
Upper Arm: There are two areas on the upper arm that are suitable for subcut injections: the outer face of the arm and the back of the arm. As a typical rule, the middle area between the elbow and the shoulder bone is all appropriate for an injection site. In this area you should be able to pinch about one to two inches of skin and fatty tissue.
Thigh: Sit down to locate the appropriate sub q injection site. From the knee to the top of the leg where the hip bone and leg meets, you want to find the middle area. You can also divide your thigh into three equal parts and use the middle section as the injection site. Ensure you can pinch about one to two inches of fatty tissue.
Lower Back: If you choose this location for your sub Q injection it should not be done alone. You will require another person to administer the injection. Below the waist but just above where the buttocks meet the lower back is the area that’s safe for a subcutaneous injection. You’ll want to safely have someone administer the shot in a half way mark between the side of the body and the spine.
Choosing a Site to Give Yourself a Sub Q Injection
First correctly locate the possible injection sites by using the landmarks described above. This will help give you an idea of where you feel you will be the most comfortable self-administering a subcutaneous injection. Once you have decided where you want to start, you’ll need to follow a couple standard rules to ensure you’re correctly adhering to proper injection procedures.
• Always rotate injection site – This helps to ensure that you don’t experience any pain or discomfort from using the same area too many times. It also helps to prevent skin changes, discomfort, skin irritation, infection at the site, and tissue damage and scarring.
If you do use an area more often than others, start high in that area and work your way down one inch at a time. It’s preferred that you use a completely different site each time you take a shot.
• Keep an injection tracking log – Keeping a log that tracks where you last injected, the date, and time of this shot is a good habit to develop when using subcutaneous injections. This will help remind you which area you can appropriately use next to inject yourself. It can also help your caregiver isolate the possible cause of any symptoms that you may experience.
DRAWING UP THE AMOUNT or DOSE
Sub Q Injection Needle –
There are three components to a sub q injection needle: the plunger, needle, and the numbered markings on the barrel. These parts play an important role self-administering the medication.
- Plunger: forces medication into and out of the barrel
- Barrel: contains and measures the AMOUNT of medication.
- Needle: pierces the body to supply the medication
Drawing up the correct AMOUNT or DOSE to inject:
- Confirm the correct amount you are to draw up (ex. 0.15 0r 0.4 mL). The syringe has markings for units (10,20,30,40…. and these unit markings correlate to mL voulme. If you are supposed to inject 0.15 mL then draw up the amount to half way between the 10 and the 20 mark on the barrel. If you are injecting 0.4ml then draw up till you reach the 40 unit marking.
- Remove the medication from the Refrigerator and Wipe the rubber stopper on bottle of medication with alcohol. Turn the bottle upside down and insert the syringe into the bottle pointing towards the ceiling. Caution..keep the syringe straight up and do not bend the needle. It is very small.
- Pull back on the plunger and draw up the medication to the appropriate marking.
- Withdraw the needle, make sure there is no air in it. ( Tap on the syringe). Now you are ready to inject. Put the medication back into the refrigerator.
Subcutaneous Injection Procedure
SQ injection is considered a safe and effective way to administer medications. There are a few general steps that always need to be adhered to before proceeding with the injection. These are:
- Ensure you’re using the right medication, check expiration date, and the AMOUNT (dose)
- Always wash hands thoroughly with soap
- Always clean the injection site with an alcohol swab or appropriate cleansing solution
- Prepare the needle and syringe as per instructions provided above ( Double-check the dose/amount)
- Always inject the medication with the force of the plunger, never push the entire device in at the same time
Once these steps have been done, you’re ready to follow the general procedure to self administer the shot.
- Choose your injection site using appropriate landmarks.
- Wash hands and clean injection site with alcohol swab.
- Prepare the needle and injection dose ( Check that you have drawn up the correct dose ( amount)
- Grasp one to two inches of skin and fatty tissue at the injection site with the thumb and index finger of your non-dominant hand. Pinch up the skin. Ensure that you’re not also grasping any muscle tissue.
- Quickly insert the needle all the way into the pinched area of skin. Typically, most people will be able to pinch up approximately 2 inches of skin and will comfortably insert the needle at a 90-degree angle. Those with little body fat may only be able to grasp 1 inch of skin. In this case insert the needle at a 45-degree angle.
- With the needle inserted, release the skin and inject the medication by pushing down on the plunger. Continue until all the medication is inserted.
- Remove the needle at the same angle it was inserted and discard of appropriately.
- Put pressure on the injection site with a gauze swab.
Tips: If you’re extra squeamish, use ice to numb the location site before injecting. You can also apply the gauze pad to the injection site prior to removing the needle to prevent pulling on the skin.
How to Administer a Subcutaneous Injection (Infographic)
- Choose your injection site using appropriate landmarks
2. Wash hands and clean injection site with alcohol swab
3. Prepare the needle and injection dose/amount
4. Grasp the skin at your chosen injection site using the thumb and index finger of the hand that is not holding the needle. Pinch up the skin
- Quickly insert the needle all the way into the pinched area of skin:
a. At 90 degree angle if 2 inches of skin has been grasped
b. At 45 degree angle if only 1 inch of skin can be grasped
6. With the needle inserted, release the skin and inject the medication by pushing down on the plunger. Continue until all the medication is inserted.
7. Remove the needle at the same angle it was inserted and discard of appropriately
8. Put pressure on the injection site with a gauze swab
Disposal of Needles and Syringes
Needles and syringes should never be disposed of in the trash or in the recycle bin. They are products that are subject to the unique disposal laws of the state that you live in.
Use a bio-hazard container to properly dispose of your needles and syringes. If you don’t have one, first seek out a metal or hard container that is considered a non-recyclable product.
If this is not available to you, you may use a hard container with a secure lid or a plastic bottle with a lid to insert the used needles and syringes into. Ensure you then label these with “non-recyclable” to not mix it up with recyclable items.
Risks of Sub Q Injections
To inject subcutaneously presents very few risks when done correctly under medical supervision.
Any complications that occur are typically due to allergy reactions to the medication used and/or improper application of the injection. These could produce symptoms and side effects such as:
- Tissue damage
- Nerve damage
If you experience any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to contact your health care provider.
If you develop any signs of allergic reaction after the injection is given (shortness of breath, rash, swelling of the face, lips or mouth) immediately contact emergency services.