Subcutaneous injection

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An insulin pump with a subcutaneous injection site.

A subcutaneous injection is administered as a bolus into the subcutis,[1] the layer of skin directly below the dermis and epidermis, collectively referred to as the cutis. Subcutaneous injections are highly effective in administering vaccines and medications such as insulin, morphine, diacetylmorphine and goserelin. Subcutaneous, as opposed to intravenous, injection of recreational drugs is referred to as "skin popping". Subcutaneous administration may be abbreviated as SC, SQ, sub-cu, sub-Q, SubQ, or subcut. Subcut is the preferred abbreviation for patient safety.[2]

Subcutaneous insulin injections in diabetes mellitus[edit]

A person with Type I diabetes mellitus typically injects insulin subcutaneously. Places on the body where people can inject insulin most easily are:[3]

  • The outer area of the upper arm.
  • Just above and below the waist, except the area right around the navel (a 2-inch circle).
  • The upper area of the buttock, just behind the hip bone.
  • The front of the thigh, midway to the outer side, 4 inches below the top of the thigh to 4 inches above the knee.

The injection should be given under the skin.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "subcutaneous injection" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ "ISMP’s List of Error-Prone Abbreviations, Symbols,and Dose Designations" (PDF). 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Insulin Administration". Diabetes Care 25 (suppl 1): s112–s115. January 2002. doi:10.2337/diacare.25.2007.s112.