Canterbury DHB


Subcutaneous Administration of Medications

If oral medication is not tolerated or unable to be given, consider regular or intermittent subcutaneous injections (via an Insuflon™ or Saf-t-intima™) or a subcutaneous infusion.

See Giving Subcutaneous Bolus Medication For Symptom Management In Palliative Care.


Doses – as per individual drug profiles.

Compatibilities as per Syringe Driver Compatibility Chart.

In This Section

Continuous Infusions

Subcutaneous Bolus Medications

Sample Subcutaneous Syringe Driver Prescription

Syringe Driver Compatibility Chart

Discharge Checklists for Subcutaneous Infusions

Continuous Infusions

Subcutaneous infusions are commonly used in palliative care, either in patients who are unable to take or tolerate oral medications, or during the terminal phase. If starting an infusion, consider which drugs are best included, as it can be a good way of reducing the tablet burden.


Subcutaneous Bolus Medications

Note: Cyclizine must not be given as a subcutaneous bolus – it must be given in an infusion as it causes skin irritation and abscess formation.

About this Canterbury DHB document (4151):

Document Owner:

Kate Grundy (see Who's Who)

Issue Date:

February 2016

Next Review:

February 2018


Note: Only the electronic version is controlled. Once printed, this is no longer a controlled document. Disclaimer

Topic Code: 4151