A guide for injecting steroids into a muscle*
- Ensure the room you are injecting in is clean and any work surfaces are sterile.
- Wash your hands and use an alcohol wipe to clean the skin where you are going to inject. Swab the skin, in one direction only, to ensure you are not wiping bacteria up and down the area.
- Insert the green needle onto the syringe and draw the steroid up into the syringe.
- Remove the green needle and place in a sharps bin (these can be provided free of charge in the shop on pinsandneedlespro.co.uk or in any Blackpool Needle Exchange).
- Insert the blue needle onto the syringe ready for injection.
- Remove any excess air from the syringe.
- Insert the needle into the desired muscle (see below ‘Where on the Body to Inject).
- Pull back the plunger on the syringe slightly, if blood appears, withdraw the needle, replace with a new blue needle and re-inject.
- Depress the syringe plunger slowly to ensure the steroid does not ‘pool’ in the body.
- Place all of your equipment in a sharps bin. Again, these can be supplied free of charge in the shop on pinsandneedlespro.co.uk or at any Blackpool Needle Exchange.
- Once the sharps bin is full, it can be taken for safe disposal to any Blackpool Needle Exchange or to 102 Dickson Road, Blackpool, FY1 2BU.
Where on the Body to Inject*
It is recommended that you inject the steroid either into the buttocks or into the thigh, as this is where the muscles are largest.
If injecting into the buttock, you are looking to inject in the upper, outer part of the buttock.
If injecting into the thigh, it is preferable to inject in the middle of the outer part of the thigh, at the side.
*This is a guide only and does not replace guidance from a qualified medical professional. Should you be in any doubt, or something does not feel right, your skin becomes sore, red, warm, itchy or you notice anything unusual, please visit a medical professional for advice. Unfortunately we cannot be held responsible should you incur any injury whilst following this guidance.
Blood Borne Viruses (Hepatitis and HIV)
Steroid users have a risk of contracting a blood borne virus if they are sharing equipment or needles. It is important that you use your own equipment and do not share. If you are worried you may have shared equipment in the past, you can obtain a free Dry Blood Spot Test for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV at 102 Dickson Road, Blackpool, FY1 2BU. The test is a quick finger prick test, there are no large needles involved, your finger prick blood sample will be sent to a Public Health Laboratory where the results will come back within 2 weeks. All tests are confidential. Should anything come back as reactive on the test, trained staff will refer you for treatment and can support you through this.
Disposing of Used Equipment
It is important to dispose of any equipment in a safe manner, to reduce the spread of blood borne viruses and reduce harm to anyone that might come into contact with the used equipment. Sharps bins are free of charge in the shop and can be disposed of at any Blackpool Needle Exchange or at 102 Dickson Road, Blackpool, FY1 2BU.
Steroid Side Effects
Possible side effects of injecting steroids include, but are not limited to:
- Abscesses at the injection site
- Gynaecomastia (the development of breast tissue in men)
- Aggression and Mood Changes
- Hair loss or baldness
- Water retention
- Liver damage, particularly when using alcohol or other drugs on top of steroids
- Shrinking testicles, which can also lead to reduced testosterone and reduced sperm production/infertility
Should you be worried about any side effects you are experiencing, please visit your GP.