Pronounced: In-trah-MUSS-q-ler In-JEK-shun
An intramuscular (IM) injection is a shot. The needle goes into the muscle to deliver medicine. This is usually done by a doctor or nurse. Sometimes, your doctor may teach you to inject yourself. IM injections are deeper than subcutaneous injections (given under the skin).
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Some medicines are better absorbed when given in the muscle; if taken by mouth, they may not work. Other medicines may be given in the muscle if you are unable to take them by mouth.
Some examples of medicines given using an IM injection:
Complications associated with IM injections are:
To inject yourself:
Depending on the medicine, there is usually some discomfort at the injection site. Soreness in the muscle is also common.
Tips for minimizing pain include:
Follow your doctor's instructions for general care.
Contact your doctor if any of the following occur:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Canadian Diabetes Association
Bielanowski DA. Intramuscular injection. Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health: Intramuscular Injection. BNet website. Available at: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_gGENH/is_/ai_2699003418/pg_3. Accessed June 10, 2008.
Intramuscular injection (IM). Cincinnati Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/info/medication/f-i/intramuscular-injection.htm. Updated September 2007. Accessed June 10, 2008.
Selecting, evaluating, and using sharps disposal containers website. US Health And Human Services website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/sharps1.html. Accessed October 14, 2005.
What are the different methods of drug delivery? Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center website. Available at: http://www.hopkins-arthritis.org/patient-corner/. Accessed June 10, 2008.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2012 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.
What can we help you find?close ×