This in-depth guide on Bacteriostatic water for injections was crafted by the research team at Peptides.org – the premier source for all information about research peptides, SARMs, and more.
Researchers and medical practitioners alike cite bacteriostatic water as their preferred solvent for injecting therapeutic substances. Made with an organic preservative agent, bacteriostatic water is valued for its reduced risk of contamination, great solubility, and long shelf life.
This definitive guide will review the key info on bacteriostatic water for research use, including its specific applications, composition, and handling requirements. The similarities and differences between bacteriostatic water and sterile water will also be discussed.
We will close with our expert recommendation for buying premium bacteriostatic water online!
Read on to discover all you need to know about bacteriostatic water for injections!
What is Bacteriostatic Water?
Bacteriostatic water is a sterile and non-pyrogenic solution designed for use in parenteral injections. It is made of sterile water and 0.9% benzyl alcohol, a natural preservative that halts the growth of bacteria to combat contamination. Its primary use is to dilute or dissolve substances for aqueous injection via intramuscular, intradermal, subcutaneous, and intravenous routes. With an average pH of 5.7 (4.5-7), it is manufactured and sold generically as Bacteriostatic Water for Injections, USP [1, 2].
The preservative in bacteriostatic water inhibits bacterial growth without killing bacteria. Therefore, the aseptic technique is required when handling this solvent to maintain its sterility. Aseptic measures include the use of sterile needles when accessing the solution, as well as proper storage.
When handled accordingly, bacteriostatic water may be stored and safely used within 28 days of opening. After 28 days, the benzyl alcohol is subject to degradation, increasing the likelihood of contamination. However, unopened vials of bacteriostatic water can remain sterile for several years [1, 2].
As a sanitary and convenient solvent, bacteriostatic water is favored among researchers and medical practitioners. Now, we will dive into its primary applications and the best handling practices as proscribed by experts.
What is Bacteriostatic Water Used For?
Bacteriostatic water serves to dissolve or dilute substances that require aqueous suspension for delivery via injection. Due to its organic preservative content (0.9% benzyl alcohol), solutions made with bacteriostatic water can be used for multiple doses without contamination .
When handled following the aseptic technique, a vial of bacteriostatic water remains sterile for approximately four weeks after opening. Solutions made with bacteriostatic water accordingly have extended shelf lives and a reduced risk of contamination in comparison to other solvents. Because the injection of contaminants increases the likelihood of infection, the use of bacteriostatic water is considered a prime safety measure in clinical settings .
Beyond safety and convenience, the pharmacodynamics of this solvent add to its popularity among researchers and medical practitioners. It provides great solubility for most substances and interacts minimally with the majority of medications. Plus, it maintains a favorable safety profile when correctly handled .
The specific applications of bacteriostatic water are :
- To dilute liquid substances for injection.
- To dissolve powdered substances for aqueous injection.
Qualified researchers often use bacteriostatic water for the reconstitution of experimental substances, namely :
- Peptides (lyophilized powder)
- Research chemicals
It is suited to these injection routes, contingent on the solute, the condition of the subject, and target rates of diffusion and metabolization :
- Subcutaneous injection
- Intravenous injection
- Intradermal injection
- Intramuscular injection
Handlers are advised to follow all manufacturer indications and precautions. Bacteriostatic water is contraindicated for use in certain populations, including neonates and subjects with benzyl alcohol allergies.
Further, it is not safe for use in spinal injections or administration without a solvent, respectively linked with neurotoxicity and hemolysis. Adverse reactions are uncommon and may include fever, injection site irritation, or venous thrombosis. If these occur, discontinue use and seek medical attention [4, 5, 6].
Bacteriostatic Water For Injection | A-Z Guide
Qualified researchers most often choose bacteriostatic water as their preferred sterile solvent when working with various therapeutic substances for injection. In this capacity, the primary experimental solutes are peptides and hormones.
Here, we will explore why bacteriostatic water is best suited to injecting these beneficial compounds, as well as guidelines for proper use.
Bacteriostatic Water for Peptide Injections
Peptide therapeutics is an emerging pharmaceutical field that involves the administration of peptides and peptide-based drugs in a range of clinical contexts. Studies have shown numerous benefits of synthetic peptides, including the treatment of inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as cognitive health. Peptides in most cases present positive safety profiles and multiple therapeutic outcomes .
The primary mode of peptide delivery is via injection. This is the most bioavailable route due to the relatively low stability of most peptides in gastric juices and nasal mucosa. Peptides for injection are typically sold in the form of lyophilized powder for safe storage and transport. As such, they are to be reconstituted using sterile solvents before injection [8, 9].
In most cases, bacteriostatic water is the optimal solvent when reconstituting peptides for injection. The pharmacodynamics of the organic preservative agent provide optimal solubility without damage to the peptides, as well as reduced risk of contamination. Solutions made with bacteriostatic water can be accessed for multiple doses to facilitate various courses of therapy. Aseptic handling methods and proper storage procedures must be used .
In rare cases, a stronger solvent may be required to dissolve a peptide powder. While there are several other solvents to choose from, specialists recommend against sodium chloride water when reconstituting peptides for injection due to its tendency to create residues .
The standard method for reconstituting lyophilized peptides and other compounds intended for aqueous injection is the following :
- Assemble the necessary materials. These include bacteriostatic water, a sterile syringe, alcohol wipes, and a vial of peptides in lyophilized powder form.
- Use the alcohol wipes to clean all supplies, including the lids of the vials that the syringe will pierce.
- Using the sterile syringe, withdraw the needed amount of bacteriostatic water. This may vary but is usually about 1mL.
- Insert the sterile syringe through the lid of the peptide vial and gradually release the bacteriostatic water so that the powder thoroughly dissolves. Allowing the solvent to trickle down the side of the vial is useful to achieve a slow drip.
- Do not stir or agitate the vial to accelerate the mixing process, as this may harm the contents. Sonication can be used if it is available. When the solution is ready, it will be clear.
- If the powder does not thoroughly dissolve after some time, a stronger solvent is likely required. Make sure to choose a sterile solvent.
- Exact storage and dosage guidelines may vary with the solute. Researchers should thoroughly read all product literature.
Bacteriostatic Water for HGH Injections
an growth hormone (HGH), also called somatotropin, is produced in the pituitary gland. This hormone is vital to healthy growth and development from birth and is of ongoing importance in numerous physiological functions through adulthood. These include the regulation of cardiometabolic processes, as well as physical composition and bone density [12, 13].
Low levels of HGH are associated with many unpleasant symptoms, such as fatigue, excess body fat, muscle weakness, and cardiovascular risk. Pathologically low HGH levels may be diagnosed as growth hormone deficiency (GHD), known to cause impaired growth in children and various problems into adulthood. Hormone replacement therapy using exogenous HGH is a common method to address low levels of this hormone. HGH injections have many therapeutic outcomes, such as improved physical performance and body composition, as well as the treatment of GHD in diverse populations [12, 13].
For use in hormone therapy, HGH is available with a prescription and is occasionally available in lyophilized powder form, requiring reconstitution for aqueous injection. Medical practitioners recommend bacteriostatic water as the best solvent for HGH injections due to its reduced risk of contamination and the convenience of multi-dose vials. Having ready-made solutions on hand is advantageous to keep up with the daily dosage requirements. As with most peptides, bacteriostatic water also provides great solubility without compromising the purity of the HGH molecules .
The procedure for HGH reconstitution with bacteriostatic water mirrors the process described above. HGH solutions are delivered via subcutaneous injection into fatty areas of the body, such as the waist, abdomen, and thigh. For proper storage measures, consult the accompanying product literature. HGH is not to be used without a prescription and must be handled using the aseptic technique .
Bacteriostatic Water for HCG Injections
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is also popular in hormone therapies. The polypeptide hormone affects fertility in both men and women. It is produced in the human placenta and is nearly identical to the pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH). In males, it has an androgenic effect, while in females it is involved in the ovulatory process as well as implantation [15, 16, 17].
HCG therapy entails the subcutaneous injection of exogenous HCG to increase male and female fertility. It is also indicated in the treatment of male hypogonadism and prepubertal hormonal imbalance, commonly prescribed as a complement to testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). While ongoing research suggests further benefits, these are the uses currently under the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HCG is strictly available on a prescription basis .
Supplied in lyophilized powder form, HCG must be reconstituted before injection. HCG prescriptions often include bacteriostatic water , the preferred solvent due to its safety and provision of multi-dose vials. The correct method of HCG reconstitution is identical to the process described above. For exact storage and dosage guidelines, always consult the manufacturer's indications. Use only as directed by medical professionals .
While bacteriostatic water may sometimes be available under prescription for medical use, qualified researchers can legally purchase it over the counter for educational purposes. Prescription Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, USP is strictly for use in parenteral injections as directed by a doctor. In all cases, it should be purchased from a legitimate source and handled using aseptic techniques according to safety guidelines .
When purchased for investigational purposes, bacteriostatic water is strictly to be handled by qualified researchers. These individuals must have ample experience in the topic of study, deep knowledge of all technical and safety procedures, as well as familiarity with the latest relevant peer-reviewed literature. Great care and attention to detail should be applied when handling all substances. Handlers must be able to analyze data sets and modify research methods accordingly.
A legitimate retailer of bacteriostatic water for research purposes should adhere to these measures:
- Product advertising and indications should not qualify the item for human consumption or medical use. It must be designated for research use only.
- The vendor must not provide medical guarantees as to the use of the item.
- If purchased online, the vendor’s page should secure all client data using SSL encryption technology.
- The retailer should be staffed with customer support agents available to quickly address all client questions and concerns.
- Complete disclaimers, terms, and conditions must be provided according to legal standards.
When purchased by qualified individuals from trusted retailers, bacteriostatic water is safely available for research use.
Bacteriostatic water does not require refrigeration and should be stored at 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit away from direct light. A cabinet or closet is ideal. Handlers should be careful not to place items on top of bacteriostatic water vials. Damage to the vial could compromise the contents and lead to contamination. The storage requirements are subject to change when bacteriostatic water is mixed with a solute. Researchers should store reconstituted solutions according to manufacturer guidelines. Whether sealed or opened, bacteriostatic water should never be used past the expiration date .
Bacteriostatic Water vs. Sterile Water
Bacteriostatic water and sterile water are both classed as sterile solutions for use in injections. Like bacteriostatic water, sterile water is a popular solvent in research and medical contexts. While these substances are related, they differ in some important regards. Here, we will discuss these points of similarity and difference and, most importantly, the reasons why these solvents are not considered interchangeable [1, 18].
Sterile Water Facts
Sterile water is made of aseptic water that has been distilled and purified according to certain procedures. It has no preservative additives and an average pH of 5.5 (5.0-7.0). Available as a medical solvent or diluent under the label Sterile Water for Injection, USP, it is intended for parenteral injections. Because it is preservative-free, sterile water cannot be safely stored after opening. Therefore, it is marketed in single-use vials .
The notable similarities between bacteriostatic water and sterile water are as follows [1, 18]:
- Both non-pyrogenic and sterile solutions, bacteriostatic water and sterile water are commonly found in medical and research contexts.
- Both are similarly applied to dissolve compounds or dilute substances for aqueous injection.
- They are both fit for reconstituting peptides and hormones in lyophilized powder form.
- Both are utilized in intravenous, subcutaneous, intradermal, and intramuscular injection routes.
- Neither is to be injected without a well-mixed solute. Injection alone can cause hemolysis.
- Both are contraindicated for use in spinal injections due to the risk of neurotoxic effects.
- Both are available as pharmaceutical-grade products according to US Pharmacopeia (USP) standards.
Here are the key differences between bacteriostatic water and sterile water [1, 18]:
- Their chemical properties and compositions differ. While sterile water is additive-free with an average pH of 5.5, bacteriostatic water contains a preservative agent (0.9% benzyl alcohol) and has an average pH of 5.7.
- Without a preservative component, sterile water risks contamination after opening and is therefore available in single-dose packaging. In contrast, bacteriostatic water remains viable after opening due to its bacteriostat content and is used to prepare multi-dose solutions that can be safely stored for subsequent access.
- Bacteriostatic water solutions have extended shelf lives for greater convenience.
- According to FDA guidelines, these solvents may interact differently with some drugs and as such are not considered universally interchangeable. Handlers should always refer to product literature to determine the appropriate solvent.
- Bacteriostatic water is not to be used in subjects with benzyl alcohol intolerance or in newborns.
- The process of manufacturing bacteriostatic water is simpler. It is therefore more widely available.
- In most instances, bacteriostatic water offers better solubility due to its alcohol content.
This comparison illustrates the superiority of bacteriostatic water overall. It is longer-lasting, more sanitary, and altogether more suitable for use in therapeutic injections unless otherwise indicated by a medical professional.
Where to Buy Bacteriostatic Water Online?
For the safe reconstitution of peptides and hormones, it is important to have sterile syringes and alcohol wipes in addition to high-quality bacteriostatic water. Researchers may be unsure of where to source the best bacteriostatic water and accompanying items.
Wondering where to buy the best research supplies?
Securing all necessary materials for your research can certainly present a challenge, particularly when shopping online. The web is full of questionable retailers and sub-par items with little to no adherence to control standards. Buying low-quality lab supplies can lead not only to ineffective research but also to dangerous side effects.
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This online retailer is popular among leading scientists due to its comprehensive research kits that provide complete sets of lab essentials. Rather than spending long hours and extra cash shopping for supplies from different sources, savvy researchers enjoy door-to-door delivery of all requisite items for safe reconstitution and injection.
The starter kit is replete with:
- 3 vials of Bacteriostatic Water (30mL)
- 100 Insulin Syringes (0.5 cc/mL x 29g x ½)
- 200 Alcohol Prep Pads
- 1 Sterile Empty Glass Vial (10mL)
- 10 Large Needles + Syringes Combo (3cc x 21g x 1)
Fully stock up with the premium set:
- 5 vials of Bacteriostatic Water (30mL)
- 200 Insulin Syringes (0.5 cc/mL x 29g x ½)
- 200 Alcohol Prep Pads
- 2 Sterile Empty Glass Vials (10mL)
- 20 Large Needles + Syringes Combo (3cc x 21g x 1)
The catalog also features bulk packs of high-grade bacteriostatic water so that you can have a lasting supply!
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Bacteriostatic Water Injections | Summary
Bacteriostatic water is indispensable for researchers and clinicians interested in peptide and hormone injections. Prized for its efficient dissolution of most therapeutic substances, bacteriostatic water contains an organic preservative agent (0.9% benzyl alcohol) that prevents contamination to increase the safety and shelf life of parenteral preparations.
Solutions made with bacteriostatic water can be safely stored for up to four weeks after reconstitution, allowing researchers to conveniently prepare multi-dose vials.
In contrast, sterile water solutions must be discarded after one use and are more prone to contamination. Sealed bacteriostatic water vials can remain viable for years with proper storage, ensuring a healthy supply. With myriad benefits and a great safety profile, bacteriostatic water is a must-have for qualified researchers.
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- Izutsu, Ki. (2018). Applications of Freezing and Freeze-Drying in Pharmaceutical Formulations. In: Iwaya-Inoue, M., Sakurai, M., Uemura, M. (eds) Survival Strategies in Extreme Cold and Desiccation. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol 1081. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-1244-1_20
- Affairs Oof R. Lyophilization of Parenteral (7/93) [Internet]. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA; [cited 2023Feb]. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/inspections-compliance-enforcement-and-criminal-investigations/inspection-guides/lyophilization-parenteral-793
- Kang, L., Li, X., & Lu, F. (2021). The effects of sodium chloride on proteins aggregation, conformation and gel properties of pork myofibrillar protein Running Head: Relationship aggregation, conformation and gel properties. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 58(6), 2258-2264. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-020-04736-4
- Activase (alteplase) for Injection - Food and Drug Administration [Internet]. [cited 2023Feb]. Available from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2015/103172s5203lbl.pdf
- Crist DM, Peake GT, Egan PA, Waters DL. Body composition response to exogenous GH during training in highly conditioned adults. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1988 Aug;65(2):579-84. doi: 10.1152/jappl.19188.8.131.529. PMID: 3170408.
- Grumbach MM, Bin-Abbas BS, Kaplan SL. The growth hormone cascade: progress and long-term results of growth hormone treatment in growth hormone deficiency. Horm Res.
- Reference ID: 3597784 - accessdata.fda.gov [Internet]. [cited 2023Feb]. Available from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2014/019734s023lbl.pdf
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- Human chorionic gonadotropin, HCG injection [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2022 [cited 2022Aug18]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/18559-human-chorionic-gonadotropin-hcg-injection
- Kim ED, Crosnoe L, Bar-Chama N, Khera M, Lipshultz LI. The treatment of hypogonadism in men of reproductive age. Fertil Steril. 2013 Mar 1;99(3):718-24. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.10.052. Epub 2012 Dec 7. PMID: 23219010.
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