Solu-Cortef Emergency Injection

This video provides step-by-step instructions on how to administer Solu-Cortef emergency injection (hydrocortisone injection), also called a "stress dose," during an emergency. The video is also available in Spanish and Arabic.


Solu-Cortef Emergency Injection

Your child’s doctor has prescribed a Solu-Cortef, also called hydrocortisone injection, to be given if your child is unable to take the hydrocortisone stress dose by mouth.

You will need to give the injection if your child vomits one time and looks very ill, vomits more than one time, is extremely weak or unresponsive.

To be prepared for an emergency, keep a Solu-Cortef Act-O-Vial with you at all times.

Giving the Solu-Cortef injection can save your child’s life.

I will now show you the steps for mixing and giving a dose of Solu-Cortef.

Wash your hands. Gather your supplies. You will need: a Solu-Cortef Act-O-Vial (this is also called hydrocortisone), a syringe with needle, alcohol pads, and a cotton ball.

The Solu-Cortef comes in a two-chambered vial called an Act-O-Vial.

The medication is in a powdered form and needs to be mixed before giving.

To mix the medication, push down on the top of the vial to release the cork.

Gently swirl the vial. Allow all the powder to dissolve. To remove the medication from the vial, remove the center cover, wipe with an alcohol pad, allow to dry.

Open the package containing syringe with needle, twist needle to tighten, remove the cap from the needle, push the needle in the center of the stopper, turn the vial upsidedown, pull back until you have the correct amount, remove air from syringe by tapping, and push out any air bubbles.

Check that you have the right amount of medication. Remove the needle from vial. Carefully replace the cap.

To give the medication, clean the outer thigh with an alcohol pad; allow to dry.

Remove the needle cap; grasp the muscle with thumb and fingers; hold syringe like a pencil or dart; quickly insert the needle into skin; push the plunger to release the medication; remove the needle from the muscle; apply pressure with cotton ball.

Immediately after giving the injection, call 911 or your child’s doctor.

Topics Covered: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Related Centers and Programs: Division of Rheumatology, Adrenal and Puberty Center , Family Learning Center, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Program, Neuroendocrine Center