Intradermal Injection (Test for Drug Sensitivity)


To introduce drugs, bacteria or their toxins and other organic preparations to test whether the body is sensitive to the preparation to be injected.

Site of Injection:

Inner aspect of forearm or upper arm

Points to Remember:

  1. A positive test consists of a wheal formation with redness which appears in 10-15 minutes.
  2. Precaution in all patients being injected with penicillin for the first or second time even if the sensitivity test is negative.
  3. Watch patient for at least 30 minutes after the injection for signs of reaction. At all times the following must be available for emergency treatment of penicillin anaphylaxis or generalized reactions:
    • Epinephrine Hcl 1:10 00 for immediate IM
    • I.V. antihistaminics
    • 50/0 Dextrose in Water 1 liter and venosel.


  • Hype tray:
  • Alcohol sponge
  • Sterile tuberculin syringe
  • 2 sterile needles gauge 25-27
  • Drug to be tested diluted to the strength which will be injected to the patient


  1. Prepare the drug in the same manner as for hypodermic injection.
  2. Explain to the patient. Make him comfortable. Support forearm on a firm surface.
  3. Cleanse the skin area about 3 inches (diameter) on the inner aspect of the forearm midway between the wrist, and the elbow with alcohol sponge. (Preferably swab with other, and allow to dry.)
  4. Insert the needle, into the skin as superficially as possible by the needle only as far as the level edge to be sure that the injection is intradermal.
  5. Inject the solution enough to make a wheal or circumscribed elevation of the skin. Inject no more than 0.1 cc.
  6. Withdraw the needle gently, do not press. Do not cleanse or massage site of injection.
  7. Wait for 10-15 minutes. Evaluate results.


Record drug, time injected, reaction observed, and usually by whom it was evaluated.

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