Bacteriostatic water is water made for diluting medications especially those that are delivered via intravenous drip. It’s also used in syringes when a medication is injected into a muscle or beneath the skin. It is different from sterile or distilled water. Here are some things that people might not know about bacteriostatic water:
Some Facts About Bacteriostatic Water
Bacteriostatic water is different from water that has been simply sterilized or distilled because it contains a very dilute solution of benzyl alcohol. Benzyl alcohol is a fairly benign ingredient that is found naturally in plants and can also be synthesized in a lab. An adult human must ingest a great deal of this alcohol to become ill, but it must not be placed in the eye where it can destroy the cornea.
Benzyl alcohol is added to sterile water because it doesn’t kill the bacteria found there but just keeps it from reproducing. Doctors found out that agents that actually kill the bacteria in the water react badly with some drugs. Benzyl alcohol also allows bacteriostatic water to be used more than once which can’t be the case for water that has only been sterilized. Some bacteriostatic water uses salt instead of benzyl alcohol. Whatever ingredient is used, medical professionals usually throw bacteriostatic water out if it hasn’t been used in 28 days.
When Is Bacteriostatic Water Not Used?
Bacteriostatic water with benzyl alcohol is not used on newborns because benzyl alcohol is toxic to them. It is not used to rehydrate people or on people who are having epidural anesthesia.
People Can Drink Bacteriostatic Water
Some dietitians recommend that people drink bacteriostatic water now and then to avoid bacteria in their drinking water. This is important in places where water is contaminated or in situations where people drink from jugs or bottles that are not washed regularly. Some people do not know that when they open a bottle of water or leave water standing uncovered that bacteria can grow in the water and even on parts of the container that do not touch the water.
Bacteriostatic Water Can be Made at Home
A person can make their own bacteriostatic water at home, but it requires a bit of care. They’ll need an insulin syringe, distilled water, benzyl alcohol, sterile vials and alcohol pads for cleaning them. They will also need to measure out 99.1 percent water to 0.09 percent benzyl alcohol solution. However, if the person is wary of making their own bacteriostatic water, it can be bought online, at a pharmacy or even at a big box store.
Bacteriostatic water is safe and often necessary when it comes to delivering medicines via hypodermic needle or IV drip. It can also be ingested by people who wish to avoid bacterial infection. It’s easy to find and inexpensive.