The care team has prescribed a medication for your child to give as a partial-dose injection. Learn how to give your child their medication through a partial-dose injection. If you have questions about dosing, giving the injection or anything else, please contact your child’s care team.

What is a partial-dose injection?

A partial-dose injection is when a syringe is filled with more medication than you give in one dose. For each dose, you will inject just a small amount of the medication into the subcutaneous layer of the skin (the layer of fat just under the skin), not the entire syringe. Your child’s care team will help you figure out how much medication to give for each dose.

Why does my child need a partial-dose injection for this medication?

The medication comes in a syringe with a dose meant for adults. The company that makes the medication does not have syringes measured for children. A partial-dose injection allows your child to get the medication and dose they need.

Where do I get the prescription filled?

Your child’s care team can help you figure out where to fill the prescription. This may include a pharmacy closer to your home or through a specialty pharmacy. When you get the prescription, it will include a syringe that already contains the medication. You will also receive extra needles and syringes.

How do I measure a dose?

Your doctor will tell you how much ______________________________ to give your child. To make a partial-dose injection, you will transfer the ______________________________ into an empty syringe. Then, you will use the previously empty syringe to give your child their dose of medication.

You will need to do the following to measure your child’s dose of the medication:

Prepare to give the injection

  1. Gather the following supplies that you need and place them on a clean surface:
    • One ______________________________ syringe
    • One empty (1 mL) syringe
    • One needle
    • Alcohol swab
  2. Wash and dry your hands.

Transfer the medication from one syringe to the other

  1. Remove the empty 1 mL syringe from the package. Save the package for later use.
  2. Pull the empty syringe plunger back to the 0.6 mL mark.
  3. Slide the body of the empty syringe back into the sterile package so the plunger is sticking out of the package. Set it aside for now.
  4. Remove the cap from the needle of the ____________________ syringe. Do not allow the needle to touch anything.
  5. Remove the empty 1 mL syringe from the package.
  6. Put the needle of the ____________________ syringe into the needle attachment hole of the empty syringe.
  7. Slowly push the entire contents of the ____________________ syringe into the empty syringe.
  8. Throw away the now empty ____________________ syringe into a hard plastic container with a lid (such as a sharps container or laundry detergent bottle).

Get rid of excess medication

  1. Attach the needle to the 1 mL syringe. To attach the needle, remove the needle from its package. Place the needle on top of the needle attachment hole on the syringe. Twist the needle until it is firmly in place.
  2. Hold the syringe so the needle is pointing up.
  3. Remove the needle cap.
  4. Gently push on the plunger to remove any air or air bubbles in the syringe. Continue to push the plunger to the correct line for your child’s dose. It is best to do this over a sink or paper towels to catch the excess fluid that is pushed out.
  5. Place the needle cover on a flat surface. Insert the needle into the cover without your hands touching the needle or the needle cover.
  6. You are now ready to give the _______________to your child. The care team will give you a separate handout on how to give the __________ to your child. If you are concerned that the dose or volume is not correct (for example, if you pushed too much medication out of the syringe), contact your child’s care team immediately.

How many times can I use a syringe?

You may only use a ______________________________ syringe one time. Once it has been used, it has been exposed to germs. Using needles more than once can raise your child’s risk of infection.

Rev. 5/2022. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treat any medical conditions.