Skip to main content
More Search Options
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. IM injections 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 how to give an IM injection in the upper arm. Injections in the upper arm are also called deltoid injections.
Name of my medication: ___________________________
Amount per injection: ____________________________
Times per day: _______________________________
Use the upper arm site only if other larger sites cannot be used.
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after all IM injections.
Prepare your medication as you were shown by your doctor or nurse.
Make an imaginary box on your upper arm:
Find the knobby edge of your upper arm, where your arm meets your shoulder. Two finger-widths down from this bony area is the top of the box.
Find the bottom border of the box by drawing an imaginary line across your arm from the crease of your armpit in front, to the crease of your armpit in back.
Find the side borders by dividing the area into three vertical slices. The middle slice is where you will inject the medication.
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 1 ml (or cc) of medication in this site. If the prescribed dose is more than 1 ml, choose a different site in which to inject the medication.
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:
Needle that breaks off in the injection site
Medication injected into the wrong area
Problems that keep you from giving yourself the injection
Bleeding or pain at the injection site that won't stop
Rash or swelling at the injection site
Shortness of breath
Fever above 101.0°F