Giving subcutaneous chemotherapy shots at home (1530)

Key points below

What is a Subcutaneous (Sub Q) shot?

Some medicines need to be given as a shot (injection). The shot your child needs is called subcutaneous, or Sub Q. This means under the skin and into the fat. 

What supplies do I need?

Steps to Follow

1. Decide where you will give the shot. Rotate the spot each time. Good places to give the shot are the:

2. One hour before giving the shot, put the numbing cream on where you will give the shot (if you will use it). Cover it with a piece of plastic wrap.
3. 30 minutes before you give the shot, give your child medicine to help stop nausea.
4. Remove the covering and wipe off the numbing cream (if used).
5. Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
6. Put on a pair of clean gloves.
7. Attach the needle to the syringe.
8. Clean the area getting the shot with an alcohol wipe. Let it dry for 15 seconds.
9. Loosely pinch the area where you will give the shot. You may need another person to help if your child can not hold still. 
10. With the other hand, hold the syringe like a pencil.
11. Quickly and firmly, push the needle into the skin.
12. Push the plunger all the way down, so the medicine goes in.
13. Let go of the skin. Then take the needle out.
14. Hold a piece of gauze over the area where you removed the needle.
15. Put the syringe and needle in the needle disposal box.  Do not put them into the garbage.
16. Remove the gauze and cover the spot with a band-aid.
17. Return the medicine to a safe place out of reach of children.
18. Write down the time and where your child received the shot (like, left arm or right arm). This is so you can remember to give the next shot in a different spot.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child:

  • Has an allergic reaction after getting the medicine such as a rash or trouble breathing.  Call 9-1-1 right away if this happens.
  • Gets hot and red on the site where you gave the shot.
  • Has been given the wrong dose of medicine.
  • Has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.