Subcutaneous or intramuscular? Confronting a parenteral administration dilemma

Medsurg Nurs. 2005 Apr;14(2):93-8; quiz 99.


Advantages of intramuscular (IM) or subcutaneous (SC) routes of injection are debated. For years, nurses have administered injections to their patients based on the directions and recommendations of the drug manufacturers. Are the recommendations provided by the manufacturers really the best, or do they simply continue the methods used in clinical trials? Is a treatment--this drug, this dose, this route of administration--the ideal one for this patient? Nurses must always ask these questions as they provide patient care and act as the patient advocate to the rest of the health care team.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intramuscular* / adverse effects
  • Injections, Intramuscular* / nursing
  • Injections, Subcutaneous* / adverse effects
  • Injections, Subcutaneous* / nursing
  • Pharmacokinetics