Discharge Instructions: Using an Autoinjector

Your healthcare provider has prescribed a medicine that you will need to inject through your skin. This is done with an autoinjector. It is a small device with a hidden needle. The needle is activated by a spring. This makes giving yourself a shot easy. It also makes it easy for someone else to give you a shot if you can’t. Use any site on the side of your thigh. There is no need to look for the best injection site or to give the shot in the buttocks or arm. Be sure your family members and friends know this.

Hands removing cap from auto-injector.

Hand pressing auto-injector to side of thigh.

Activate the autoinjector by removing the cap

Jab the autoinjector into the side of the thigh

Home care

Inject your medicine as often as advised by your healthcare provider. Follow any instructions from your provider about the medicine. To give yourself a shot:

  • Remove the safety cap from the autoinjector. This activates it.

  • Point the tip of the autoinjector at the side of your thigh. Jab it against your thigh for 10 seconds. This pushes the needle into the thigh muscle and gives you a dose of medicine.

  • Dispose of the autoinjector as instructed.

  • If your autoinjector is for emergency medicine (such as epinephrine for an allergic reaction), call 911 and get to the nearest emergency department. Don't drive yourself.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

Call 911

Call 911 right away if you have any of the following signs of severe allergic reaction:

  • Racing pulse

  • Wheezing or trouble breathing

  • Vomiting

  • Swollen lips, tongue, or throat

  • Itchy, blotchy skin or hives

  • Pale, cool, damp skin

  • Confusion

  • Drowsiness, fainting, or loss of consciousness