Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Common Questions About Giving Yourself Shots

Common Questions About Giving Yourself Shots

Overview

How do I get rid of an air bubble in the syringe?

Here is what to do if you notice an air bubble in the syringe.

  1. Hold the syringe so the needle points up.
  2. Tap the barrel a few times to move the air bubble to the top.
  3. Slide the plunger enough to push the air out before you give the shot.
  4. Make sure you have a full dose in the syringe.

    You may need to add a small amount of medicine to the syringe to get a full dose.

Injecting a small air bubble into the skin or a muscle is usually harmless. But it might mean you aren't getting the full dose of medicine, because the air takes up space in the syringe.

What if I break or bend a needle?

Here is what to do if you bend or break a needle while giving yourself a shot.

  1. Carefully remove the needle if you can.

    Dispose of the needle in a safe way (in a hard plastic, metal, or "sharps" container with a lid).

  2. If no medicine went in, you can give yourself another shot.

    If some medicine went in, check with your doctor before you give yourself another shot.

  3. If you're bleeding after you remove the needle, apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding.

    Clean the wound with soap and water, and cover it with a bandage, if needed, to protect it.

If you can't remove the needle, or if a broken part of the needle didn't come out, you need medical attention. A doctor will help remove the needle.

What if I see blood in the syringe?

If you see blood in the syringe, it means you might have hit a blood vessel. This usually isn't harmful. If you see blood in the bottom of the syringe (hub) before you push in the plunger:

  1. Remove the needle without giving the medicine.
  2. Dispose of the needle in a safe way.

    Use a hard plastic, metal, or "sharps" container with a lid.

  3. Use a new needle to give the shot.

    You can put a new needle on the syringe and then give the injection in a new spot.

What about infections?

To help prevent infection when giving yourself a shot, always wash your hands, clean the injection site, and keep your needles sterile.

If you notice signs of infection, call your doctor. These signs include:

  • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness around the injection site.
  • Red streaks leading from the site.
  • Pus draining from the site.
  • A fever.

How do I rotate injection sites?

Your doctor or nurse will show you where you can inject your medicine. Keep track of where on your body you inject your medicine. You may want to note the site and the date on a diagram of your body. Give your next shot in another area, or at least an inch away from your last shot.

Is bruising okay?

Bruising means you might have hit a small blood vessel. This usually isn't harmful. If you have a bruise, use other areas for your shots until the bruise heals.

What if I don't like needles?

Many people don't like needles, but they learn to use them because it's important for their health. You can learn how to give yourself shots.

See if someone at home can help you with your shot. A nurse can also help you feel more comfortable giving yourself shots by helping you practice what you need to do. The nurse may show you how to practice on a firm fruit like an orange and can help you learn the best technique. Learning about the process of giving yourself shots can help.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details