How to Give a Subcutaneous Injection Using a Pre-Filled Syringe

This video from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) demonstrates how patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can give a subcutaneous injection using a pre-filled syringe. Topics include gathering supplies, preparing the injection, and giving the medicine. 


How to Give a Subcutaneous Injection Using a Pre-Filled Syringe

Female: This video offers help and guidance for administering a subcutaneous injection using a prefilled syringe. Watch this video and read the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia patient-family education manual handout for more information. Do not try to inject medication until your doctor has decided you can, and you have been taught the right way to give injections by a healthcare professional.

Ty: Hi, my name is Ty and I'm here to show you how to give a subcutaneous injection, which goes under your skin and in the fat tissue.

I'm going to show you step by step how to give the medicine so you feel confident to give it at home.

Female: The first step is to gather your supplies. You'll need a safe, clean area to get your medicine ready, and you'll need the following supplies: hand sanitizer, alcohol swabs, cotton balls or gauze, a Band-Aid, ice pack, a hard, plastic container for throwing away the used syringes, and the medicine at room temperature with the syringe and needle.

The next step is preparing the injection. First wash and dry your hands really well. For some medicines, like Methotrexate, you may need to wear gloves when giving the injection, so ask your doctor about this. Read the label on the syringe every time you prepare the medicine. Check the label for: your name, the name of the medicine, the dose, the amount of medicine in the syringe, the expiration date and where to store the medicine.

Ty:  Remember, it's always OK to ask an adult for help.

Female: Pre-filled syringes come with a needle or a cap on the end of the syringe. First, if you need to attach a needle to the syringe, I like to ask an adult to help with this part. Peel open the needle without touching the uncovered end. Twist off the cap of the syringe without touching the tip. Then, twist the needle on to the end of the syringe. Do not touch the needle and keep it sterile or germ-free. Push up on the plunger until a drop of medicine appears at the top.

The last step is to check that the right amount of medicine is in the syringe and always double check this with an adult.

The next step is giving the medicine. First, wipe the site you choose with alcohol and let it dry. Then, pinch an inch of skin at the site. Hold the syringe like a pencil and quickly insert the needle through the skin. Slowly push the plunger all the way down into the syringe. Release the pinch of skin slowly, then pull the needle out of the skin. Some medicines, like Stelara, come in syringes that automatically cover the needle. You can apply pressure to the site with a cotton ball or a piece of gauze. Do not recap the needle. Throw the syringe and needle into a hard container.

Ty: You're all finished. You did a great job. You should be very proud of yourself. You can watch this video as many times as you want. Thanks for watching.

Female: Check out the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia website at for more information and contact your provider with any additional questions. 

Related Centers and Programs: Center for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Very Early Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease (VEO-IBD) Program