Administering a intramuscular injection

Intramuscular injections can be given in thigh of the upper outer quadrant of the buttocks.

Locate the injection area

If injecting into the thigh, the injection should be given from a sitting position.

If the injection is being given in the buttocks, it can be given lying down, or standing with your weight off of the side to be injected, locate the upper outer quadrant of your buttock. The injection is given here.


Wipe the site with alcohol. Then let dry.


Insert the needle at a 90 degree angle with a smooth dart-like motion. The needle needs to be inserted all the way levaing none of the needle visible.


Draw back on the plunger. If you are accidentally in a blood vessel, blood will appear in the syringe. If so, do not inject. Pull the needle out, dispose of everything, and start the entire process again.
If no blood appears, slowly push the plunger all the way to inject the medication, and pull the needle straight out.
Alternate sides, left or right, each time injections are given.


Apply pressure and massage the injection site gently for thirty seconds.

Never reuse needles and syringes.


Dispose of the syringe in a biohazard container such as a Sharps container – or in an unbreakable plastic container such as a laundry detergent bottle that you can seal.

Please be aware that some of these instructions may vary slightly based upon your particular situation or preference.