Medication Instructions

How to Use a Vial Adapter

Article Summary

A vial adapter is a helpful device designed to simplify the process of transferring medication from a vial to a syringe. Typically, injectable medications come in vials sealed with rubber stoppers. The vial adapter attaches to the top of the medication vial, providing a convenient connection point for the syringe.

What Is a Vial Adapter?

Some injectable medications are dispensed with a vial adapter, which is a device that the user attaches to the top of the medication vial so that it’s easier to transfer medication from the vial to a syringe. The guide below will show you how to use a vial adapter.

How to Use a Vial Adapter

  1. Wash your hands well with soap and water, then dry them completely. Put on gloves if necessary.
  2. Remove the plastic cap from the medication vial and use an alcohol wipe to clean the rubber stopper.
  3. Remove the back part of the vial adapter package, making sure that the adapter stays in the front part.
  4. Using the front part of the package to handle the adapter, connect the adapter to the vial by pushing it down onto the top of the vial until the adapter snaps in place.
  5. Using a syringe without a needle attached, twist the syringe onto the top of the vial adapter.
  6. Turn the vial, the adapter and the syringe upside down and draw the liquid medication back into the syringe to the prescribed amount for one injection. Untwist the syringe from the vial.
  7. Twist a capped needle onto the syringe. Follow the injection technique described by your healthcare provider. You can also learn how to give an intramuscular injection or a penile injection on this website. Store the vial and attached adapter as indicated on the vial label or in the medication information supplied with it.

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