Injection Sites for Insulin

-The injection sites most commonly used are the abdomen, the thigh, and the buttock.

-The upper arm is an acceptable injection site but is not popular because of difficulty to access.

-The rate of absorption is fastest on the abdomen and slowest on the unexercised thigh.

-The thigh should be avoided as an injection site when exercise is going to be done, as this will increase the rate of absorption of the insulin.

-One area should be used for an injection at a particular time of day, e.g. the abdomen is the site for the morning one, and the thigh is the site for the evening injection.

-Within these areas, the injection site is to be rotated.

-It is desirable that the person use the same area for the same time of day as absorption rates can differ and this can lead to changes in control.

-The rotation within an area is essential to avoid lipohypertrophy occurring to the subcutaneous fat.

-If there is hypertrophy to an area (seen as a lump), this area should be avoided for future injections, as the absorption rate from hypertrophied tissue is not predictable.

-Soluble insulin is best given into the abdomen and NPH is best given into the thigh. The reasons are that soluble insulin should be absorbed as quickly as possible and the NPH insulin to be absorbed more slowly.


Rotate the location of the injection. And at each location, slightly change the injection spot each time you inject insulin. Avoid injecting in the exact same spot. Using the same spot every time can form bumps or pits in the skin. For example, inject your insulin in your left upper arm, then the next time in your upper thigh, then the next time in your left upper arm again but slightly lower than before.

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