Tips for Subcutaneous Injections

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It can be a little daunting to stick yourself with a needle when you get a new medication that requires it. After sticking myself for years, I've picked up a few tricks to make it easier. While this is largely written with subcutaneous injection in mind, a few tricks probably still work for intramuscular injection (I just can't guarentee anything- try at your own risk!).

Location matters (and some spots are less painful than you'd expect).

Tattoos, fat, weird spots, rotation

Angle matters (but you'll need to experiment).
Speed matters (more experimentation? You bet!).
What to do if you've got very little fat to inject into.
How to pinch the skin on the back of your arm.
The easiest way to get liquid out of a vial.
Oranges are perfect practice fodder (use saline or water, not your meds!).
Different needle sizes exist, but sometimes smaller needles hurt more.

Needles come in all sorts of different lengths. Some are massive. Others are so tiny that you wonder if they'll stab you at all. It can be really tempting to grab the smallest size you can find, and I do think it's a good idea to try the tiny sizes just to see if they work for you. Sometimes, though, they wind up hurting more than longer needles do. I'm not sure why this is, but I've noticed it personally and have met quite a few other folks that agreed. If tiny needles are painful, then see if a slightly longer size hurts less.

How to tell if you've injected too shallow, and what to do about that.
Spring-loaded autoinjectors are miracle workers for needlephobes.
Needle clippers are much more portable than sharps containers (and they're cheap!).
You can stab yourself through clothing if needed.
If you hit a bad spot, then it's okay to pull out and try again.
Sharps containers and how to get rid of them.

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