Subcutaneous Injection (SC Injection)

Definition - What does Subcutaneous Injection (SC Injection) mean?

Subcutaneous injection (SC, SQ) is a route of drug administration where a needle is injected into the fat tissue below the skin. The main sites of administration include the outer area of the upper arm, abdomen (about 2 inches from the navel), front thigh, upper back, and upper buttock.

The other two types of injection are intramuscular (into the muscle) and intradermal (into the top layer of skin). SC injections may take relatively longer for the body to absorb than intramuscular injections. However, direct tissue irritation is avoided because SC injections are administered in fat tissue. SC injections hold up to 2 milliliters of volume.

FertilitySmarts explains Subcutaneous Injection (SC Injection)

The needle during SC administration is pointed at a 90 degree to the injection site. First the area is cleaned and the skin is pinched slightly to provide a fold of about 1.5 inches. Once injected the needle should be left in for at least 10 seconds to ensure drug delivery.

Sometimes this administration route can cause redness, swelling, bruising, or pain. Occasionally bumps or abscesses may form and should be reported to the physician. To prevent these side effects it is customary to rotate injection sites, keep the injection sites clean, and to allow the medication to become room temperature prior to injection.

Fertility medications that are administered SC include:

  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Human menopausal gonadotropins (hMG)
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)
  • GnRH analogs (Lupron, Zoladex)
  • GnRH antagonists (Ganirelix, Cetrorelix
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