5 Advantages and Disadvantages of Intramuscular Injections

Injections are administered in different ways. The most common methods are intravenous, subcutaneous and intramuscular. Intravenous injections are administered directly into the veins, usually at the forearms or at the wrists. Subcutaneous injections are administered into the skin, just under the topmost layer into the fat. Intramuscular injections are administered into the muscles, usually at the deltoid, gluteus or thigh. All these three methods of administering injections have their share of advantages and disadvantages. Here are the intramuscular injections advantages and disadvantages.

List of Advantages of Intramuscular Injections

1. Simple and Accessible
The method is simple and very accessible. When injections cannot be administered by doctors or no one trained is around, it is difficult to administer intravenous or even the subcutaneous injections. Intramuscular injections are much easier to administer. Most people can easily access their thigh muscles. One can even access the deltoid or the gluteus muscle.

2. Unaided Administering
There are medical devices available that make administering intramuscular injections easier but one doesn’t have to use them. With some intravenous injections and subcutaneous injections, you would depend on some medical devices. You don’t need to find a vein or the exact depth of the fat inside the skin.

3. Imperative for Many
Intramuscular injections are necessary to administer some vaccines and many drugs including immunoglobulins. You cannot administer these as subcutaneous or intravenous injections. Intramuscular injections can supply a larger volume of the drug or fluid. The intake is much more since muscles have a larger capacity than the veins. Since the medicine is not directly getting into the bloodstream, there is a sustained release which can have a desired effect in certain cases. Not everyone or every condition benefits from an instant release of a medicine into the bloodstream.

List of Disadvantages of Intramuscular Injections

1. Can be Ineffective
Intramuscular injections can be futile if the exact site where it is administered is not conducive to the ready absorption of the drug. Absorption is anyway poor with intramuscular injections, especially when you compare with intravenous injections, so wrong choice of site can easily lead to wastage.

2. Side Effects
Intramuscular injections have quite a few side effects. General discomfort is quite common. One may also experience severe pain where injected, numbness and tingling are common too, swelling and redness would certainly occur if the administration was not gentle, there can be drainage at the site, bleeding is possible and there can be allergies depending on the drug as well as the person’s vulnerability to various allergens.

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.