(1994; 115 pages) [French] [Spanish]
Annex 4. The use of injections
There are two main reasons to prescribe an injection. The first is because a fast effect is needed, and the second is because the injection is the only dosage form available that has the required effect. A prescriber should know how to give injections, not only for emergency and other situations where it might be necessary, but also because it will sometimes be necessary to instruct other health workers (e.g. a nurse) or the patients themselves.
Many injections are prescribed which are unnecessarily dangerous and inconvenient. Nearly always they are much more expensive than tablets, capsules and other dosage forms. For every injection the prescriber should strike a balance between the medical need on the one hand and the risk of side effects, inconvenience and cost on the other.
When a drug is injected certain effects are expected, and also some side effects. The person giving the injection must know what these effects are, and must also know how to react if something goes wrong. This means that if you do not give the injection yourself you must make sure that it is done by someone who is qualified.
A prescriber is also responsible for how waste is disposed of after the injection. The needle and sometimes the syringe are contaminated waste and special measures are needed for their disposal. A patient who injects at home must also be aware of this problem.