AskDefine | Define subcutaneously

Dictionary Definition

subcutaneously adv : below the skin; "inject subcutaneously"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. In a manner under the cutaneous layer of the skin.
    The injection was given subcutaneously, which should have hurt less than intramuscularly but still hurt plenty.

Extensive Definition

The subcutaneous tissue or subcutis is the layer of tissue directly underlying the cutis. It is mainly composed of adipose tissue. Its physiological function includes insulation and storage of nutrients.


Subcutaneous injections are given by injecting a fluid or a solid pellet into the subcutis. It is used to administer a variety of medical treatments. Subcutaneous injections of fluid are used to administer vaccines and medications. A pellet may be injected to deliver long-lasting doses of medication such as goserelin. Subcutaneous injections provide slow and constant absorption and are one of the parenteral routes of administration.

See also

subcutaneously in German: Subkutis
subcutaneously in Dutch: Subcutis
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