Some people prefer to use steroids pills. But probably most sportsmen choose steroid injections due to their great effectiveness. In this article, we will tell you about injectable steroid drugs, injection sites, and side effects. Well, let’s start.
What is steroid injection?
There are 2 types of steroids. These are oral meds and injections. The oral method of using steroids is more convenient, but the decomposition time of artificial testosterone in the body is shorter than in that in case of the use of the injection method.
The injection method is the administration of anabolic steroids intramuscularly, that is, through an injection. Many people think that the drugs may be administered intravenously, but it’s not true. Meds that have got into the body through this method are slowly absorbed into the blood, therefore they are very slowly excreted from the body. They can be detected even within 3 months after use.
If you take into account abovementioned features, steroids in injections are better absorbed than oral forms. Therefore, those athletes who take steroids quite a long time, choose the injection method of administration. But even this method can lead to various side effects, which we will discuss below.
There are many injectable anabolics on the market. Among them are Boldenone, different testosterone esters, Deca Durabolin, Sustanon, and others. Often they are available over the counter but they are RX drugs in their nature.
Steroid injection sites – where to give an injection?
There are many discussions on choosing proper steroid injection sites. We can unequivocally say that all anabolic steroids need to be injected intramuscularly only, they should never be injected into a vein (this is very dangerous and can even lead to death). And the safest place for intramuscular injection is the gluteus muscle. This site will be the right choice for any injection with anabolic steroids.
Of course, you can do an intramuscular injection in the thigh, shoulder, or triceps. But it can be a very difficult task exposing some risks. If you don’t have experience, then it’s better not to risk and give injection in the gluteal muscle. You can do this by yourself, but it’s better to ask your friend or girlfriend. There is nothing complicated in this procedure.
It is advisable to do every next injection with steroids in different buttocks, this will allow the drug not to accumulate in one place. If you feel that over time infiltrates are formed on the places of old injections (which we will discuss below) then it is desirable to suspend further injections of anabolics and to do massage. This is how you can speed up the resorption of these formations.
It should be noted that corticosteroid injections may be given in places that are different from those of giving anabolics injections.
Steroid injection side effects & complications – definition of terms
Contrary to popular belief, complications and side effects are not the same things. A side effect is the effect that can occur with a certain probability, it is studied and expected. It can be pain, hemorrhage, bruises, and swelling at the injection site. As a rule, side effects disappear on their own.
Complications, however, require immediate medical attention and special treatment. The most common complications are abscesses, sepsis, nerve damage, etc. The bad news is that no one has immune from complications. They have existed since the time when needles and syringes were invented. And the good news is that for many centuries the problem of complications from injecting intervention has allowed doctors to thoroughly study them and create effective methods of treatment.
Pain after steroid injection – a frequent side effect
Pain is a frequent side effect after injections. If a person knows how to inject properly, the occurrence of painful sensations is reduced to a minimum. Pain may appear if the needle enters a vessel or nerve end.
The following factors may lead to the development of pain after steroid injection:
1. High viscosity and low temperature of the injected solution. Muscle tissue poorly absorbs cold oil solutions (which have high viscosity). With the introduction of cold oil solutions, a sharp local spasm occurs and this causes a drastic reduction in blood circulation in vessels, resulting in pain.
2. Incorrect site selection for injection. When the drug is injected into the wrong place, the probability of the needle getting into the fatty or nerve tissue, the intermuscular membrane, the periosteum, or the blood vessel, increases. In addition to infiltrates’ formation, this can lead even to embolism of vessels and necrosis of adjacent tissues, not to mention pain.
3. Involuntary contraction of muscles during the procedure. Involuntary muscle contraction during injection can lead to either a needle break or an internal trauma, causing pain. Such a trauma, depending on the size, can cause extensive hematoma with the formation of a suspension from the injected solution and blood. This will seriously worsen the process of the drug absorption.
4. Use of an inadequate medical instrument (blunt or short needle). When using a blunt needle during injection, the needle does not move apart the muscle fibers, but tears them, leading to pain and intramuscular hemorrhages with the formation of hematomas. A short needle does not penetrate into the muscle tissue, and the drug is injected into the subcutaneous fat, which causes the appearance of infiltrates at the site of administration of the drug.
So the cost of your ignorance of the rules of the injection can be your health.
Other steroid injection side effects & complications
Other steroid injection side effects include hemorrhage and erythema. Hemorrhage is one of the most common side effects. The probability of hemorrhage and formation of hematomas rises with the depth of penetration into the tissue. On the surface of the skin the vessels are not as large as in the deeper layers. Erythema is a strong reddening on the skin, caused by the expansion of capillaries. Its appearance in cases of injections of certain drugs may be a sign of an allergic reaction. Also, side effects of injection itself and its active agent should be distinguished. For example, active steroid substances may lead to high cholesterol in the blood, testosterone deficiency, and other adverse effects. Injectable corticosteroids used in particular to treat low cortisol symptoms lead to normal cortisol levels but side effects are also possible. Among them are increasing blood pressure, increasing blood glucose rates, increasing calcium release & osteoporosis, slowing down tissue regeneration processes, exacerbation of peptic ulcer, and lowering resistance to infections.
So let’s move on to the issue of complications after injections.
Here is the list of possible complications after steroid injection:
1. Allergy. It is a frequent complication. Theoretically, any drug can cause an allergic reaction. The allergy may be manifested in the form of runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and swelling. The most serious manifestation of an allergy is anaphylactic shock, which, if the doctor acts improperly, can lead to a fatal outcome.
2. Infiltration. Among the most frequent complications is infiltration, the formation of tumor-like creations at the injection sites, which were mentioned above. In rare cases, they can disappear by their own, but were commend not to rely on this probability and call a specialist. Without timely treatment, an abscess can develop.
3. Necrosis. Necrosis is one of the most common complications during injection procedures. The reasons of it may be different: from insufficient disinfection to the administration of excessive amounts of the drug under the skin.
4. Abscess. This complication has much in common with infiltration, including similar causes of development. However, in case an abscess there is a purulent inflammation, which should be surgically removed. In case of infiltration, medication treatment is possible.
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