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Definition of Subcu

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

SubQ: Abbreviation for subcutaneous.

Subcutaneous means under the skin. It implies just under the skin.

With a subcutaneous injection, a needle is inserted just under the skin. A drug (for example, insulin) can then be delivered into the subcutaneous tissues. After the injection, the drug moves into small blood vessels and the bloodstream. The subcutaneous route is used with many protein and polypeptide drugs such as insulin which, if given by mouth, would be broken down and digested in the intestinal tract.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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