What Is Bacteriostatic Water? Everything You Need to Know

What is bacteriostatic water? What are the uses of bacteriostatic water? Does bacteriostatic water kill bacteria? Read on to learn everything here.

Whether you’re in the medical field or not, you’ve probably seen a medical patient (perhaps on TV, or in the movies) hooked up to a bag of fluid. The fluids in these bags vary, from saline to glucose and beyond. One common ingredient in all these fluids, however, is bacteriostatic water.

But what is bacteriostatic water exactly? And what does it do? Keep reading to find out.


What Is Bacteriostatic Water?

To put it simply, bacteriostatic water inhibits bacteria growth. It’s made of filtered, sterile water and 0.9% benzyl alcohol. This prevents bacteria from growing in the water, making it “static” as the name suggests.

The bacteria content of the water will not change as long as it is properly maintained and handled. This lets

Bacteriostatic water isn’t always made with benzyl alcohol. Sometimes, a salt solution is used instead. This is just as effective and may be preferable to some patients depending on their condition.


Does Bacteriostatic Water Kill Bacteria?

Bacteriostatic water doesn’t kill bacteria outright, but rather prevents it from growing or thriving in the water.

This is because a bacteria-killing agent could interfere with other drugs a patient might already be on. These drugs are likely already killing the bacteria, so the bacteriostatic water doesn’t have to achieve that goal.

The benzyl-alcohol solution is only meant to inhibit germs, not kill them. The idea of bacteriostatic water is to dissolve medications, not improve upon them or act as a drug itself.


What Is Bacteriostatic Water Used For?

Bacteriostatic water has a few key uses in the medical field.

Bacteriostatic water is mainly used to dissolve medication for a patient before injecting it. It’s also used to dilute said medications. Bacteriostatic water is used more frequently than filtered, purified water because of the consistency.

You can use a bottle of bacteriostatic water more than once, as long as you’re only putting sterile equipment into it. The bacteria levels will not change thanks to the benzyl alcohol. Filtered, pure water can only be used once as the bacteria level will change with use.


How Is Bacteriostatic Water Used?

There are three basic ways bacteriostatic water is applied to inpatient care. These include:


Intramuscular Application

This method sees the solution injected directly into the muscles. This might be necessary for patients with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.


Intravenous Application

This is one of the most common application methods for bacteriostatic water solutions. It involves injection straight into the veins. There are countless conditions that require this, from heart-related issues to arthritis.


Subcutaneous Application

Subcutaneous injection involves injecting a substance right under the skin. Conditions that frequently call for subcutaneous injection include diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and people in need of fertility drugs. HCG users may also like using it.


Is Bacteriostatic Water Ever Injected Alone?

Bacteriostatic water is never injected into the bloodstream on its own. It is always used to dilute and dissolve other medications. In fact, injecting pure bacteriostatic water can kill red blood cells, giving the patient a whole new problem they heed to deal with.


Other Concerns

Bacteriostatic water should never be given to a baby under a month old. Benzyl alcohol can cause serious issues in young kids, such as encephalopathy, metabolic acidosis, and respiratory depression. Ultimately, it can result in death.

Pregnant women should also never intake bacteriostatic water. By doing this, you’re essentially giving the bacteriostatic water to the unborn baby. This can lead to birth defects and disabilities, as well as death.

You should always contact a doctor before giving anyone bacteriostatic water. It could work adversely with a medication they’re already using. Further, they could be allergic to the benzyl alcohol solution.


Does Bacteriostatic Water Have Any Side Effects?

It may seem strange, but bacteriostatic water does come with its own set of possible side effects. These include:

  • The creation of an abscess
  • Injection-site infection
  • Fever
  • Tenderness/pain
  • Blood clots/inflammation at the injection site

Most of these have nothing to do with the water itself, but the injection process. A talented medical professional will be able to avoid the majority of these, including infection, blood clots, and pain. They’ll make sure to dose you properly so you experience the absolute minimum discomfort throughout the process.


Can Bacteriostatic Water Expire?

It’s recommended that bacteriostatic water be discarded after 28 days of opening it. By this time, the benzyl alcohol may not work as well as it should. You should also store it around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.


Are There Any Non-Medical Uses for Bacteriostatic Water?

While bacteriostatic water is mainly used to dilute and dissolve medicine, it does have one other common use.

Some people like to add bacteriostatic water to their humidifiers. When used in conjunction with essential oils, some claim it cleans up the air and provides wonderful aromatherapy. If you’re looking for a new disinfectant for your humidifier, give it a go!


Can I Purchase Bacteriostatic Water for Home Use?

If you’re caring for someone at home who requires injections, you can buy bacteriostatic water without a prescription.

Bacteriostatic water is available behind-the-counter at most pharmacies. You can also purchase it online from trusted retailers. If you’re interested in buying bacteriostatic water online.


Bacteriostatic Water: A Medical Necessity

So, what is bacteriostatic water? It’s a bacteria inhibiting form of water used daily in hospitals across the globe. It allows medical workers to safely dilute and dissolve life-saving medications to all the patients who need them.

If you’re looking for a safe way to dilute or dissolve medicines, consider bacteriostatic water.

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