Proper subcutaneous injection technique

A subcutaneous (SC) injection is given into the tissue just under the skin. To give a SC 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. The injection site should be changed each time, and each area should only be used once per week. This will help avoid discomfort and skin reactions at the injection site. Possible sites include:
    1. back of the arm
    2. front of the thigh
    3. buttocks
    4. abdomen
  5. Using an alcohol swab, clean the small patch of skin around your chosen injection site. Wait 15-20 seconds for the alcohol to dry.
  6. Uncap the needle of the syringe and hold the syringe like a pencil. Use your other hand to gently pinch the skin around the injection site to lift it up. Quickly and firmly insert the needle into the skin at a 90-degree angle (perpendicular to the body surface). Once the needle is in, release the pinched skin. Gently push down the plunger to inject the medication. Then, remove the needle from the skin.
  7. Use a fresh alcohol swab to gently massage the area around the injection site. If the injection site is bleeding, wipe off the blood with a new alcohol swab and apply a bandage if needed. Throw out the used syringe, needle cap, and alcohol swabs in the appropriate needle disposal container. Do not throw them in the regular garbage! Do not attempt to put the needle cap back onto the needle; some people have accidentally poked themselves doing this.

If you have any questions, contact your health professional. Many MS medications have a toll-free support line or call centre staffed by registered nurses 24 hours a day. Check with your nurse or doctor to see if there is a call centre for your specific medication.

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