How to Prepare and Inject Dexamethasone
This is a hand-out about how to prepare and
Please review the steps every few months
so that you are ready if an injection is
When to give injectable stress dosing
ξ Whenever your child cannot take
hydrocortisone by mouth
ξ Whenever your child vomits more
ξ Whenever your child is weak,
unconscious or cannot wake up
Whenever your child is severely injured, or
appears very ill (pale, sweaty, slow to
In these situations, give the injection of
medicine FIRST and then call
Phone number ___________
Emergency number 911
If your child is
ξ 3 years old and older: give all of the
medicine (1 ml)
ξ Less than 3 years old: give half the
medicine (0.5 ml)
ξ Only give the amount prescribed by
your doctor or nurse.
Storage and Replacement
Keep stress dosing supplies together and
ready to use (example: in a small plastic
Supplies you will need:
-vial(s) of Dexamethasone
-syringes and needles
ξ Unused vials: Store at room
temperature (less than 86º F)
in a dark, dry area.
ξ Opened vials: After the vial
is opened, label the vial with
the date and time. Once
opened, the solution is good
for only 3 days. Keep it at
ξ Expiration dates: Vials of
expiration dates. Be sure to
check these dates. Call for a
new prescription if the date is
How to Prepare a Dose of Dexamethasone
ξ 1 vial of Dexamethasone solution,
ξ alcohol wipe,
ξ 3ml syringe
ξ ____ inch needle
Steps to get Injection Ready
1. Wash your hands.
2. Remove the plastic tab on the top of the
3. Wipe the top of rubber stopper with an
4. Connect the needle and syringe. To
draw air into syringe, pull plunger of the
syringe down to the ____ml mark.
Remove the needle cap and insert needle
straight through the center of the stopper
until you see the needle tip. Inject air
into the vial. Do not remove the
5. Turn the vial and syringe upside down.
Keeping the tip of the needle inside the
liquid medicine, draw up ____ml of
medicine into the syringe.
6. Remove the needle and syringe from the
vial. If you notice any large air bubbles
in the syringe, point the needle upright
and carefully press on plunger until the
air space is gone. You are now ready to
inject the Dexamethasone.
How to Inject
1. Pick an injection site on the thigh (see
2. Clean the site with an alcohol wipe.
3. Hold syringe like a dart at a 90º angle to
4. With your other hand, hold the muscle
firmly at the site.
5. Insert the needle straight into the skin
with a quick firm motion.
6. Slowly push down on plunger until the
syringe is empty.
7. Remove the needle quickly (at the same
angle it was inserted). Apply gentle
pressure to site with alcohol wipe, cotton
ball, or gauze. The site may bleed a bit.
8. Throw out the needle and syringe in a
puncture proof container (like a liquid
detergent bottle or Sharps container).
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for
You is #6540
*For more information, see “Guidelines for
the Child Who Is Cortisol Dependent”,
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911.Copyright © 12/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
& Clinics Authority. All Rights Reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5909