Did you know that there are more than 320 million cubic miles of water on the planet? If the earth was the size of a basketball, all the water on the planet would form a sphere about the size of a ping pong ball.
We use water in almost every aspect of our lives. We drink it, wash with it, put fires out with it. It’s also a crucial part of medicine.
We’ve all seen the doctor call for fluids on medical dramas. These are usually bags of saline solution; water mixed with salt. Water is also used to dilute medications for injections.
There are two main options in this case: sterile water or bacteriostatic water. Read on as we take a look at the benefits of bacteriostatic water for injections.
What is Bacteriostatic Water?
As the name suggests, bacteriostatic water is water that prevents the growth of bacteria.
It is sterile water that contains an additive—usually 0.9% benzyl alcohol—that prevents the growth of the most harmful bacteria. This provides bacteriostatic water with a number of benefits that make it a common choice when diluting medications for injection.
The Benefits of Bacteriostatic Water for Injections
There are many benefits of using bacteriostatic water for injections. Here are some of the most important.
You can only use sterile water once before it needs discarding. Once a vial of sterile water is pierced, it is no longer sterile and you cannot use any remaining water.
Since bacteriostatic water includes additives that stop the growth of bacteria, it is possible to use bacteriostatic water multiple times. This is why containers of bacteriostatic water usually come in much larger sizes than sterile water.
Side Effects Are Rare
Since bacteriostatic water is just water plus one additive, side effects from the water itself are incredibly rare.
If side effects do occur, these are usually due to the medication dissolved in the bacteriostatic water, rather than from the water itself.
Can Be Stored
We have already seen that bacteriostatic water can be re-used, and it can also be stored for long periods, too.
Most bacteriostatic water is good for up to 28 days before it needs to be discarded. This makes it a much more versatile option.
Bacteriostatic water is cheap to produce. Since it can be stored for long periods and re-used multiple times, there’s also far less waste than with sterile water
This makes bacteriostatic water a cost-effective option.
Use Bacteriostatic Water As Advised
As you can see, there are a number of benefits to using bacteriostatic water for injections, but it’s not suitable in every case.
Most medications will state clearly whether they are more suitable for dilution in sterile or bacteriostatic water. It’s always best to follow the recommendations.
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