Bacteriostatic Water (bacteriostatic water for injection) is sterile water containing 0.9% benzyl alcohol that is used to dilute or dissolve medications; the container can be reentered multiple times (usually by a sterile needle) and the benzyl alcohol suppresses or stops the growth of most potentially contaminating bacteria.
Bacteriostatic Water is available generically and has the same name. The Bacteriostatic Water can be used in diluting drugs that can subsequently be administered by intravenous, intramuscular, or subcutaneous injection.
There are few side effects of Bacteriostatic Water, if any, in adults and if they occur, it they may be related to contamination, particulate matter or the drug that is being dissolved (see below). Side effects that may occur after drugs are added to Bacteriostatic Water include fever, abscess formation, venous thrombosis or phlebitis, tissue death, and infections.