How to Inject Anabolic Steroids

How to Inject Anabolic Steroids

How to Inject Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids are a group of organic substances that boost anabolism of the body, that is, they favor the constructing part of the metabolism. They resemble testosterone or dihydro-testosterone, which is the male sex hormone and is concerned with the development of secondary sexual characteristics in males. They increase protein synthesis and protein accumulation thereby increasing the muscle mass of the person.

Choosing proper injection equipment

This involves selection of appropriate syringe. The choice of syringe depends on the fineness of its needle and on the length of the needle. Fineness of the needle, in other words, means the diameter of the needle. Diameter is measured in ‘gauge’, the larger the gauge, the finer the needle. Required Gauge is determined by the type of abnormality in the person, the vehicle of steroid, that is, whether it is water-based or oil-based and on the amount of steroid to be injected. It is better to choose a syringe that can inject both water and oil-based steroids. This is more cost-effective.

Length of the needle is determined by the muscles in which steroids have to be injected. For example, injection of steroids into the small muscles like detailed uses a smaller long needle while injection in buttocks uses a longer needle.

Importance of hygiene

Maintaining proper hygiene is extremely important, otherwise contamination will introduce bacteria and other microorganisms into the blood stream and will lead to painful conditions like abscess and even sepsis under extreme conditions. Following points should be taken into consideration:

  1. It is better to use a disposable syringe, as non-disposable ones have to be looked after properly to prevent contamination. Use a new syringe every time. Do not share the syringes with anyone.
  2. Use a spirit swab to wipe the injection site. Sweep the area in linear strokes, circular strokes infect the injection site by bringing bacteria from the periphery. Poke in the needle before the spirit dries.
  3. It is better to choose that part of the body that is usually kept covered. This prevents the site from being exposed to the environmental pathogens.

Type of injection

Injections are of various types depending upon the injection site. For example, injections injected in the veins are called intravenous injections; injections into subarachnoid space are called intrathecal injections and so on. Steroid injections can be injected only in the muscles and so these are intramuscular or IM injections.
Popular Injection sites
Steroid injections are usually injected in the following muscle groups:

  1. Buttocks, into upper and outer quadrant
  2. Thighs - into their lateral or posterior aspect
  3. Shoulder muscle called deltoid muscle
  4. Back of the lower leg called calf muscles
  5. Chest - into the pectoral muscles
  6. Lower back or into the Latissimus Dorsi muscle
  7. Biceps that is the muscles of the arms (front)
  8. Triceps that is the muscles of the back of the arms

Prerequisites of the Injection:

  1. Take a shower. If a shower is not possible, wash hands repeatedly with soap and water at least thrice. Do not dry them, as the towel is likely to re-infect them.
  2. If you are using a multiple use vial, wipe the stopper with alcohol swab.
  3. Inject the air into the vial. Volume of air should be equal to the amount of steroid you intend to inject. Injection of air is helpful, as it will allow easy withdrawal of the drug into the syringe.

Steps of Injection:

  1. Tilt the vial upside down, plunge in the syringe and fill it.
  2. The container is pointing the needle upwards. Now place the cover on this needle, unscrew it and replace it with a new sterile and capped needle.
  3. Wipe the injection site with alcohol swab.
  4. Relax the muscle, if possible.
  5. Stretch the skin between your thumb and forefinger. It is easier to inject through the taut skin.
  6. Hold the needle perpendicular to the long axis of the muscle and plunge the needle into the muscle swiftly. Make sure the whole needle penetrates. Use the needle of desired length; otherwise, the needle might not be long enough to reach the muscles beneath the skin and adipose tissue.
  7. Pull the plunger backwards to make sure that you have not penetrated a blood vessel. If the blood fills the cylinder, remove the syringe and inject it at some other site.
  8. Press the plunger slowly to inject the anabolic steroid at low pressure.
  9. After the syringe is empty, remove the needle quickly and press the area of prick with an alcohol swab. Massage with the swab slightly afterwards to soothe any pain the patient is feeling.
  10. Apply a small bandage to the area to prevent it from contamination. Dispose the needle.

Conditions in which steroid injections are used:

  1. In hypogonadal males to boost development of secondary sexual characteristics after puberty.
  2. In children with growth retardation. In such children, anabolic steroids in the form of growth hormone are injected. This ensures that the growth and development of the body take place at a rapid and almost normal pace.
  3. In patients of AIDS who have decreased lean body mass. Injection of steroid increases their muscle mass and improves their strength.
  4. In patients of Aplastic and hypoplastic anemias. Steroids boost bone marrow and increase the number of blood cells being produced by it.
  5. Family planning programs also make use of steroids. They are used as hormonal contraceptives and they allow safe coitus.

Adverse effects of Steroid Injections:

  1. Pain at injection site
  2. Decreased potency of the immune system and therefore increased susceptibility to infections.
  3. Testosterone stimulates sebaceous glands. This leads to increased serum on the skin and hence increased bacterial growth leading to acne.
  4. Liver damage with prolonged use
  5. Careful administration in children with retarded growth is required. This is because at high doses, anabolic steroids will case epiphyseal cartilages to fuse and the overall height of the person will be less. It has however been shown that growth rate is only slowed by steroids and that the genetically determined height is achieved eventually.