Proper intramuscular injection technique

Are you using an MS medication that is given by intramuscular injection? Review your intramuscular injection technique with our step-by-step guide.

An intramuscular (IM) injection is given into a muscle. To give an IM injection:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Assemble all the materials you will need in a clean area.
  3. Prepare the medication for injection using the instructions given to you by your healthcare professional.
  4. Choose an injection site. Possible sites include the upper arm or thigh. Do not use the same injection site too often.
  5. Use a fresh alcohol swab to clean the small patch of skin around your chosen injection site. Wait 15-20 seconds for the alcohol to dry.
  6. Remove the needle cap and hold the syringe like a pencil. Use the other hand to stretch the skin tight around the injection site. Quickly and firmly insert the needle into the skin at a 90-degree angle (perpendicular to the body surface). You will probably feel some resistance as the needle goes through the skin and subcutaneous (under skin) tissue into the muscle. Once the needle is all the way in, release the stretched skin. Slowly push the plunger until all the medication has been injected.
  7. Pull the needle straight out while holding a gauze pad near the needle. Apply pressure with the pad.
  8. If the injection site is bleeding, use a fresh swab to wipe the area. Bandage the area if needed.
  9. Throw out the used needle in the puncture-resistant container (not in the regular household garbage). The syringe should be put in the trash. Do not use a syringe or needle more than once.

Talk to your healthcare professional if you have any questions. Check with your nurse or doctor to see if there is a toll-free support line for your specific medication.

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