How to fill a syringe from a vial

Written by lynndee marooney
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How to fill a syringe from a vial
Vials of medication may be mixed or may come in powder form. (Maria Toutoudaki/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Medications come in many forms: pills, capsules, tablets, inhaled vapours, liquids and injections. Injections may be administered subcutaneous, intramuscular or intradermal. Many injectable drugs used to treat hormones, blood disorders, diabetes, infertility, migraines, arthritis and many other conditions are available by prescription and are administered at home. Injections sites are typically the abdomen, upper buttocks, upper arm or upper thigh. If your medication does not come in pre-filled syringes, you will have to fill the syringe with the medication.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Syringe
  • Needles
  • Alcohol pads
  • Vial

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  1. 1

    Gather the items needed to fill the syringe. You need two alcohol pads, syringe, fill needle, injection needle and vial. Once you have the supplies ready, wash your hands.

  2. 2

    Check the vial to make sure you are taking the right medication and the right dosage. Getting in the habit of always checking the label can prevent errors.

  3. 3

    Put the fill needle onto the syringe by screwing the base of the needle onto the top of the syringe. Leave the cap on the needle. A fill needle is used to pierce through the vial and draw up the medication but is changed prior to the injection with a fresh needle that will pierce the skin.

  4. 4

    Open one alcohol pad, and wipe the top of the vial. The top of the vial will be a rubber material. Allow the alcohol to dry before drawing up the medication.

  5. 5

    Remove the cap of the needle, and draw back the syringe to the same amount of medication you will withdraw. If you will be taking 1cc of the medication, pull the plunger back to the 1cc mark. Grab the vial with the other hand. Turn the vial upside down, and pierce the needle through the rubber covering.

  6. 6

    Depress the plunger to inject the air into the vial. This creates an equal pressure and will allow you to withdraw the medication. Make sure the tip of the needle is below the level of medication, and slowly pull back the plunger until you have withdrawn 1cc of the medication. Withdraw the syringe, and place the cap over the needle.

  7. 7

    Unscrew the needle and replace with the fresh needle you will use for the actual injection. Hold the syringe upright and tap the edge of the syringe to bring any bubbles to the top of the syringe. Depress the plunger very gently and slowly to push the bubbles out of the syringe and needle.

  8. 8

    Complete the injection following the directions given by your doctor or medical provider.

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