Post-(IM) Injection Inflammation

Posted by dr_p_n_arthur on Sat, Dec 18, 2021  
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Pain is the frequent complaint we often hear from majority of the expressive patients who are supposed to take injections. Fear of white-coat begins from there in pediatric & younger population. Even current pandemic Covid vaccination drive pain & discomfort played a fear factor in some of the sensitive population.

After any injection, local swelling and irritation (inflammatory reaction) can occur at the site of point of contact. This reaction can occur right away or can be delayed or even prolonged for 2-3weeks.

Possible causes                 

1. Reaction the needle

2. Reaction to the medicine 

3. Can be both of the above. 

Symptoms of post-injection inflammation (Cardinal signs - Rubor,Tumor, Calor,Dolor)

1. Pain. 

2. Erythema (redness)

3. Warmth.                  

4. Itching

5. Possible bleeding/discharge/hard lump/ scar formation. (specifically in delayed response)


Most of the inflammation is mild and fades away on its own in hours to days. However treatment depends on the cause and reaction stage. 

Conservative - cold/ice pack application to reduce swelling, pain, irritation. 

Anti-inflammatory & topical Analgesics can help relieve severe pain & swelling. Antihistamines for any allergic reaction & in adverse cases for absecess might require I & D coupled with antibiotic treatment. 

Using proper administration technique can help to minimize injection-site reactions.


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