Experts Say – Eating Before Injections Is Crucial


Medical professionals have urged patients to eat before receiving injections to prevent dizziness, weakness, and fainting.

In addition to the fear or phobia associated with injections, they are considered foreign bodies that require a sufficient amount of glucose in the body to prevent adverse reactions unrelated to the medication.

Experts, including a public health specialist and a senior nurse and midwife, emphasize that nurses administering intramuscular injections must inquire about the patient’s last meal before proceeding.

According to Medical News Today, injections involve a needle and syringe used to deliver liquid medications, fluids, or nutrients directly into the body through various routes, including intravenous, intramuscular, skin, or bone.

Injections can also be used to administer vaccines and other medications, typically falling under the responsibility of nurses.

However, Naijatraffic found that some hospitals fail to ask patients about their food intake before administering intramuscular injections, leading to instances of weakness, dizziness, and near-fainting.

Patients like Blessing have experienced this firsthand, highlighting the importance of healthcare professionals prioritizing this crucial step.

She added, “The doctor told me that I was going to get some medications and take three doses of injection. When the nurse called me to come in for the injection, I was not asked whether I had eaten or not but I had not eaten. Immediately after the injection, I began to feel dizzy and weak. The nurse had to quickly ask me to lie on the bed so I could rest for some time.”

Naijatraffic discovered that experts revealed that professional nurses are trained to inquire about patients’ last meal time before administering injections.

Additionally, Public Health expert Dr. Rotimi Adesanya clarified that not all medical conditions require injections, as many drugs have oral alternatives.

He further emphasized that injections are foreign substances that necessitate specific conditions, including appropriate glucose levels and positioning, before administration.

“Injections are foreign bodies and they come with several side effects. The reactions could vary from dizziness to weakness, some people may collapse and some can have itching, among others.

“To be on the safe side, because before you introduce a foreign body to someone, the position also matters. Some injections should be administered while the person is lying down. People who are frail may have to lie down to take the injection,” the doctor elaborated.

He further emphasized that patients given intramuscular injections without eating close to the time may suffer from low blood sugar, resulting in dizziness.

Adesanya noted, “Some people may have low blood pressure and blood sugar if they have not eaten before taking the injection. They will be destabilised generally. Asking a patient whether they have eaten or not is a reassurance to the nurse or doctor that the person is fit and stable to withstand the foreign agent which is about to be introduced into the person.”

The public health specialist also mentioned, “For oral drugs, there are some that should be used before eating, there are some that should be used after eating and there are those that should be taken while eating but for injections, they must eat first. The patient must eat first because a foreign body is being introduced which can destabilise the person. The fact that the person has eaten is to reassure us that the person has stamina and enough sugar in the system to withstand what will come as the effect of the injection.”

He urged patients to honestly share their last meal time when asked and to ask their nurse if it’s safe to receive the injection without eating beforehand.

Further speaking on the issue, the Lagos State Chairman of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Christianah Adeboboye, asserted, “Not everyone in white or scrub uniform in the hospital is a professional nurse.”

She highlighted that there were rules and standard practices of injection administration that every professional nurse was aware of.

“Not everyone in uniform in the hospital is a nurse. Professional nurses will always follow their standard practice rules. So, you need to verify who the hospital personnel involved in such practice and his or her qualifications,” Adeboboye stated.

The Lagos NANNM chairperson pointed out that certain injections, like insulin for diabetic patients, are best taken shortly before eating or on an empty stomach.

However, taking injections that require a specific glucose level on an empty stomach can have harmful consequences, including weakness, blurred vision, and dizziness, warned Adeboboye.

She mentioned, “For such an injection that needs some food, I mean, the injections that should not be taken on empty, if taken without food may cause some adverse reactions such as headache, blurred vision, dizziness, weakness or the patient may even collapse.”

Adeboboye emphasized that patients have the right to be informed about the medication they are receiving, its purpose, and its intended use, and they also have the right to provide consent or refuse treatment.

Shantel Chinenye Ray
Shantel Chinenye Ray
Shantel Chinenye Ray is a compassionate health Educator, a proud teacher, a poet and a content writer.✍️


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