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A member of our team will call you back within one business day.
Your doctor has prescribed a medication that must be given by intramuscular (IM) injection. IM injections use a needle and syringe to deliver medication to large muscles in your body. They are usually given in the buttock, thigh, hip, or upper arm.
You were shown how to perform an IM injection in the hospital. If you did not receive an instruction sheet covering those general steps, ask for one. This sheet reminds you or your caregiver how to give an IM injection in the thigh area. Injections in the thigh area are also called vastus lateralis injections.
Name of your medication:
Amount per injection:
Times per day:
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after all IM injections.
Prepare your medication as you were shown by your doctor or nurse.
Think of your thigh as a large rectangle. Once you have identified the four sides, you may give an IM injection in several spots inside the imaginary rectangle.
Place the palm of your hand against the front of the thigh where it meets the groin. (If injecting into your right thigh, use your right hand. If injecting into your left thigh, use your left hand.) The area just below your hand is the top of the rectangle.
Next, place your palm over the top of your knee. The area just above your hand is the bottom of the rectangle.
Next, draw an imaginary line down the center of the top of your thigh. This is one of the sides of the rectangle.
Draw another imaginary line along the outside of your thigh. This is the other side of the rectangle.
Now imagine a line going down the center of your rectangle (vertically from your groin to your knee, not across from side to side). Anywhere along this line is the best place to give the injection.
Prepare the site as you were shown by your doctor or nurse. See the general instruction sheet on giving yourself an IM injection. If you did not receive this sheet, ask for one.
Stretch the skin tight.
Hold the syringe like a dart. Insert the needle at a right (90°) angle to your skin.
Give no more than 3 ml (or cc) of medication in this site. If the prescribed dose is more than 3 ml, you may need to split the medication and give two injections in different sites.
Dispose of the materials as you were shown by your doctor or nurse.
Wash your hands.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:
Problems that keep you from giving yourself the injection
Needle that breaks off in the injection site
Medication injected into the wrong area
Bleeding at the injection site that won’t stop
Severe pain, rash, or swelling at the injection site
Shortness of breath
Fever of 100.4°F or higher, or chills