08. Sterilizing Injectable AAS

Anabolic steroid products made by licensed drug manufacturers have an expectation of sterility. This is assured by the rigid government regulations applied to these companies. Unfortunately, there is no such expectation for counterfeit and underground steroid products. Most are assembled under conditions that are not sterile. On many occasions, independent laboratory tests have found bacterial contamination in products of illicit origin. There also appears to be a slightly higher prevalence of abscess infection and other injection-site complications with underground steroids, further underlying cause for concern. Given this risk, it is often advisable to attempt sterilization before using an injectable steroid of unknown quality.

Heat Sterilization

The simplest method to clear a steroid solution of microorganisms is to heat sterilize it. The typical way to accomplish this is to place the steroid vial in an oven for 30 minutes (bake at 120°C/250°F). You should leave a needle sticking through the rubber top to equalize the pressure inside the vial, or it may break. Note that a higher temperature and duration are typically used for complete dry heat sterilization, but this is not practical for our purposes due to the potential degradation of vial components, and possibly even the drug components. Still, the recommended 30 minutes at 120°C/250°F should kill most bacteria, and can be regarded as a viable harm reduction strategy.

Some people prefer to use the top of the stove for heat sterilization, and submerge their anabolic steroid vials in a pot of boiling water (100°C/212°F). The vial is kept in the boiling water for approximately 20-30 minutes. While this temperature is sufficient for killing many forms of bacteria and other microorganisms, it is generally not considered the best method of sterilization. A higher temperature should be used. It can also be difficult to control the temperature if the vial rests on the bottom of the pot, which is in direct contact with the burner or heat source. Given these problems, it is preferred to attempt heat sterilization in an oven, as discussed above.

Note that trenbolone appears to break down at fairly low heating temperatures. Its degradation increases with temperature and duration. Some degradation may be notable even at 100°C/212°F. As such, trenbolone products should be heat sterilized under slightly different conditions than those recommended above. This typically involves baking the vial in an oven for two hours at 80°C/175°F. Again, an unattached needle should be placed in the rubber stopper to equalize pressure.

Syringe Filtration

Another way to attempt sterilization of a steroid solution is to use a filter. A filter is a device that uses a membrane with tiny holes to prevent particles from passing through. The smaller the holes are, the more effective the filter. For this method a disposable syringe filter is used. These are usually found in .45-micron and .22-micron micropour sizes. The .22-micron filter is preferred, as it allows for the removal of almost all forms of bacteria. A .45-micron filter is also acceptable, though more likely to pass certain strains of diminutive bacteria. Syringe filters can be ordered through many mail-order suppliers, which can be located through online search engines without much difficulty.sdadfs

.22 micron Millipore syringe filter

The procedure for using a syringe filter is fairly simple. First, make sure you have all of the necessary equipment: a syringe, two needles (minimum), a sterile syringe filter, and a new sealed sterile vial. If you are attempting to sterilize a standard 10 ml vial, it may be preferable to use a syringe large enough to draw the full solution. This will reduce the exposure of your product to air. If drawing more than 3 mL at a time, you will want an extra needle to use for equalizing the pressure (you should leave it in the rubber while drawing from the vial). Be careful not to touch critical surfaces (the exposed needle, rubber stopper) while filtering.

Begin by drawing the steroid solution into the syringe. When you are done, remove the needle and attach your newly unwrapped syringe filter. Attach a new needle to the end of the filter, and inject the solution into the new sterile vial. The sterile vial and new needle are very important, as using the original components would only expose the product to bacteria again. Use enough pressure to empty the syringe into the vial. Be careful, as too much pressure can break the bindings or filter. The process is slow, especially with a larger syringe or small .22- micron filter. Provided great care was taken not to contaminate the steroid during the process, the resulting solution should be free of bacteria.

Also, these sterilization methods are applicable to oil-based steroids only. Heat sterilization (as outlined here) tends to cause the rapid evaporation of solvents/antimicrobial agents in water-based steroids. The suspended (instead of dissolved) nature of the particles also makes them likely to jam a syringe filter. Previous testing suggests there is a high prevalence of bacteria in counterfeit and underground water-based steroids. Given this, it is generally advised to only use water-based steroids if they have been dispensed through legitimate supply channels.

Syringe filtration of steroid solution. Use of new (sterile) vial reduces chance of recontamination.

Limitations

It is important to emphasize that when applied in an uncontrolled environment such as a house or apartment, there is always the possibility that you may inadvertently contaminate your own product when attempting to filter it. You should always use sterile gloves and clean hard surfaces with alcohol or bleach before working on them. A mask is also a very good idea. Note also, these sterilization techniques help only with contamination by microorganisms. They do nothing to address other potential health concerns such as the presence of heavy metals or unlisted chemicals/drugs.

Many forms of bacteria also produce endotoxins or pyrogens, which would remain in solution even after filtration or heat sterilization. Thus, you can notice fever or other adverse reaction even with no viable bacteria being left in the solution. An additional issue (though very unlikely) is that certain microorganisms (including some viruses and bacteria) are either small enough or hardy enough to remain viable after these sterilization techniques. The safety methods described here are highly effective, but not necessarily complete. For the highest level of safety, it is always recommended to limit your use to legitimate pharmaceutical products.

References

Wlliam Llewellyn (2011) - Anabolics

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