A No-Nonsense Guide to Needle Sizes for Syringes

Figuring out the right needle size for your syringe can be confusing. Whether you’ve been prescribed insulin, fertility drugs, B12 shots, or other medicine to take at home, self-administering medication can feel like a huge responsibility. 

In addition to learning how to safely inject yourself with the medication, you’ll need to know how to buy the correct needle sizes for your syringes. Your nurse should walk you through how to administer shots at home and select the right needle sizes. However, it can help to familiarize yourself with needle sizes for syringes so you can avoid issues when it’s time to replace them. 

Read this guide to learn about needle sizes for syringes. 

Understanding Syringe Sizes 

Medical establishments label syringes based on how much liquid they can hold. There are two main ways to measure syringe size:

  1. Measure in milliliters (mL) for liquid volume
  2. Measure in cubic centimeters (cc) for solid volume

It’s important to note that one mL is equal to one CC.

You’ll need to choose a syringe size that can hold the dosage you’ve been prescribed. For example, if you need to give yourself 2 cc of medication, you’ll want to purchase a syringe that holds exactly 2 cc (or slightly more). 

If you purchase a syringe that only holds 1 cc, you’ll need to inject yourself more than once, causing yourself extra pain for no reason. On the other hand, if you purchase a huge syringe that holds 10 cc, you’ll have a harder time figuring out the cc markings, and you may end up giving yourself too much or little of your medication. 

Understanding Needle Sizes 

It’s important to understand that needle sizes are different than syringe sizes. Needle packages are labeled with a number, followed by the letter ‘G’, followed by another number. 

The first number indicates the needle’s gauge. The higher the number, the thinner the needle. The second number indicates the needle’s length in inches. For example, a 21 G 1 needle will have a gauge of 21 and a length of one inch. 

If you only need to inject yourself with a small amount of medication, it’s best to use a thin, high-gauge needle, as this will be less painful. If you need to administer a large amount of medicine, a wider needle with a lower gauge is better. 

While this will cause a bit more pain, you’ll be able to administer the medication faster. 

When deciding on the needle length, you’ll want to consider your size. For example, a small child will need a shorter needle than an adult. Body fat also plays a role in needle size, as a thin person may be fine with a one-inch needle, whereas a bigger person might need a 1.5-inch needle. You can go here to order your needles and syringes online. 

Needle Sizes for Syringes: Time to Choose Your Size 

The needle size you need for your syringe will depend on the size of your medication dosage, your size, pain level, and how much body fat you have. If you’re confused about needle sizes, you can always speak to your pharmacy or healthcare provider. 

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