T Nation


Hi Everyone,
FYI- I’m an RN and I just posted a description of how to inject yourself safely under the “Injection Question” that Bateman posted on Oct 30. Any questions, comments or concerns let me know.

Thanks, Virago, that was very useful information for a lot of people, and
certainly a little more “reproducible”
than the divining rod method I use personally! :slight_smile:

However, I plan to stick with my method, since
it allows a lot more freedom in terms of location, which is important with daily injections.

Incidentally, a difference between self-injection of an oil steroid and the
medical practice, is that injection should
be far slower than what a nurse or doctor
has the patience for. No, of course you
don’t kill anybody with the speed commonly
used, but there aren’t any superconduits in
the muscle to carry away 3 cc of oil within
seconds. Either a cavity is forced open at
the injection site to accomodate the oil,
or the injection is slow enough to be no
faster than the rate of seepage between
muscle fibers, which is quite slow: about
1 cc per 30 seconds at the absolute fastest,
in my opinion. So a 3 cc injection really
should be no faster than a minute and a half,
which actually seems like quite a long time
to be pressing on a syringe (no wonder doctors
don’t have the patience.)

Another difference is that medical practitioners rarely if ever use 1/2 inch 29 gauge
to inject an oil solution, but if you only
need 1 cc, this is absolutely the way to go.

What about Biceps, how do you avoid bruising etc. ?

Bill- a one inch needle is needed for deep IM injection. However, if you are going to use the “divining rod” method I would think you would have less chance of hitting a nerve with 1/2 inch depth. A 29 gauge needle is very small and due to the viscosity of oily solutions would take at least a minute to inject anyway! It must take that long to draw it from the vial also. I would suggest you use a larger gauge to draw up the med then switch to a smaller gauge for injection.Also since oily injections are painful and irritating to the tissues, you might want to dilute the injectate with equal parts of sterile 0.9% normal saline(comes in 10cc bottles) as long as the total injected amount does not exceed 3cc’s in one site. Just always remember to aspirate before injecting ANYTHING so you know you have not hit a vein.

Virago: Thanks for adding your input. Maybe everyone will listen since you know what you are talking about. Now, my question is this: what do you think about using a 25 gauge 1 1/2 length needle for oil and water-based injections in the glutes and quads? Thanks for the advice!

Biceps are not used as an injection site. The muscles are too small(two muscles overlapping at that site),and contains the brachial artery, vein and many nerves that communicate with the hand. The bruising is probably because you went through a vein.When you pull the needle out it bleeds into the muscle causing a bruise. Don’t use the bicep- if you ask because you are injecting synthol(dangerous,dumb product I’m cringing as I write this) I would say use a short needle.
The deltiod muscle is used for injection, its a bit more painful than the larger muscles (its smaller and used in most daily activities) so I wouldn’t inject more than 2cc’s,the needle could probably be 1/2in.And pinch the muscle up .
Next question- a 25g needle is on the small side but should be OK. 1 1/2in is good for a large muscle with some fat over it, the idea being to go through the fat layer and into the middle of the muscle which is more vascular than fat,so the medication should be distributed faster. If the muscle you are using has very little fat, push your 1 1/2in needle in only 1in, aspirate (pull back on the plunger),look for blood in the syringe if the solution is clear,inject.
All of you guys should clean the site with alcohol, or preferably betadine before injecting.

Not for synthol ack! for localised growth effects from aas

Virago, I must take some exception to your “authoritatively” disputing what I say with
regards to 1/2 inch needles being sufficient
for IM injection of 1 mL of oil solution,
and with regard to the suitability, if you
know what you are doing, of using the biceps.

You are speaking in THEORY. You have not done
these things. All you know is that no doctor
ever told you to do that, and you don’t know
any nurses who do. And you have some theory
as to why it cannot work or should not be done.

Experience trumps theory. You are simply
wrong on these points.

Oh, and also, Virago, your suggestion
of mixing in some saline is not warranted. Please, you can and do contribute
valuable information, but not when making
guesses and advising people with guesses.

Also I think you missed my point that the relatively slow injection possible with 29 gauge (about 30 seconds, not the one minute that you are
guessing) is actually an advantage not a disadvantage.

Bill, apparently you thought that I was “disputing” using 1/2in needles. What I said was 1in was needed for deep muscle injection.There are several ways to consider this. If your BF% is high, you need a longer needle to pass through the fat layers to deliver the medication to the muscle.If it is low,a shorter needle would suffice. A 1/2in needle would work and is less likely to hit a nerve if you are using sites that might be closer to nerves than others. Ideally a 1in needle should be used esp with a large muscle so the medication is delivered deep into the muscle where it is less irritating and should be distributed faster.

“Some Doctor” does not tell RN’s where to give injections.It is NOT a theory. there are physical reasons (as I explained) as to why this is a dangerous site for intramuscular injection. We give SUBCUTANEOUS injections in this area and intravenous lines are started in the bicep.I have been doing this for 15 yrs.I have given thousands of injections in as many places as you can think of-burn victims are tough. IF you MUST use this site for localized growth, I would suggest a insulin needle.

I did not miss your point about the 29G needle it is a good idea to use as it forces you to inject slowly.Using a larger needle to draw up the med is simply easier.
Why would diluting with oily solutions with saline be “Not Warranted”? many of the meds we give are oil based. This is standard practice-it saves the site from too much irritation so it can be used more frequently and is generally less painful.
You are right Mr Roberts,as far as AAS is concerned you are the expert.With injections,my experience trumps yours.

I certainly didn’t mean for this to become a pissing contest,just wanted people to know the various risks. Virago.

What is the exact difference between SC, IM, deep IM, is it simply absorbtion rate?

Virago, it still stands, you don’t have
experience using insulin needles for IM
injection into biceps. Not having experience
you think there would be a problem but there
is not. In fact it is less problematic than
the deltoids which you recommended in favor
of the biceps: there’s much less problem with
“bruising” from nicking blood vessels.

In fact I learned this technique from an MD.
It isn’t some crazy idea I came up with,
it is by no means untested, it is by no means
not already widely used in bodybuilding: in
short, the original recommendations I gave
are fine and it is only theory – a theory
contradicted by broad experience – that
it is a problem.

Ditto for the idea of mixing saline with
the oil. It simply is not necessary with
the method I stated, and since it reduces
the already-small injection volume of 1 mL,
it is only going to increase the number of
injections needed, which is not convenient.
As for reducing irritation, you seem to be
assuming that all AAS are necessarily irritating or painful on injection. This is
not so. Both the steroid and the oil itself
are completely painless and non-irritating
(except in rare cases where a person may
be allergic to proteins in the vegetable oil.)
Where irritation or pain does occur, it is
from additives to the injections as stabilizers
or antimicrobials. I mean, anyone who wants
to try it can do so, but basically no one
who uses AAS does this or sees the need. It
was a guess that it might be a good idea with
AAS and should have been presented as a guess
rather than a recommendation, IMO.

I do want to emphasize and repeat my original statement, Virago, that your original post
was very informative and no doubt helpful
for a lot of people. The dispute over whether
you were correct to object to my statements regarding insulin needle injections doesn’t change that. Many of your posts are very helpful.

Mike, SC or subcutaneous is just below the skin where there is a layer of fat on top of the muscle.It it has a slower absorption rate because fat is less vascular than skin or muscle.Insulin for example is given SC so that the blood sugar does not drop rapidly. Insulin needles are SC and 1cc, as are TB needles. If you are muscular and have a low BF% an insulin needle will get into the muscle but not very deeply and the more cc’s you inject the more likely it is some of the solution will end up between the muscle and fat layer absorbing slowly, possibly causing an abcess. So when I say deep IM I am talking about a needle that will deliver the medication nearly 1in into the muscle.On the other hand if you are going to use the bicep,which I have with insulin needles, intending SC injection, I would still use an insulin needle because if you inject IM deeply into that area you are more likely to hit a nerve than you are to get an abcess from a shorter insulin syringe. I realize that it is difficult for you guys to get ahold of anything besides insulin syringes,so in men, who generally have very little BF in the quad area- that would be your best bet, remember to clean the area,keep it 3cc’s or less and aspirate first.

The big advantages of insulin syringes is not simply availability – in many states including mine all syringes are available without prescription – but rather that the fine needle
gives no scarring and no damage, and the slow
injection of a mere 1 cc seems to cause no
damage to the muscle. In contrast, repeated
injections with 23 gauges can accumulate
scar tissue, and the large bolus of the injection (usually injected too rapidly, but
that’s another issue) seems somewhat traumatic if not actually damaging to muscle.

Furthermore, there is a local aesthetic increase in size in the muscle receiving the
injection, in the case of the insulin needle
injections. I attribute this to the vegetable oil component, not the steroid. It’s worth
about half an inch on the arms even with quite
moderate use, about the 3 or 4 mL per arm
per week level. Unlike Synthol you don’t get
any weirdness to the appearance. You also don’t get anywhere near as much total effect,
but that’s fine (to me anyway.) It reverses
in a couple or a few months of disuse. And
no, I would not recommend injecting vegetable oil specifically to obtain this effect, nor
would I recommend injecting unusually large
amounts to magnify the effect. Small muscles
should not have large amounts of oil pumped into them in my opinion.

But the relatively
small amounts that you are injecting anyway when using injectable steroids might as well
be put to aesthetic use.

And there’s the fact that the injections
are completely painless!

When I inject into my Bi’s with an insulin rigg I am VERY sore the next day!
(Worst than any big rig pain I have ever gotton)
Is this something you get used to?

Whether there is soreness depends entirely
on whether the preparation contains additives
which cause the soreness. The oil and the
steroid themselves are painless.

It is true that if an injection is one of
those which causes muscle soreness, it’s more
bothersome in the biceps than in, for example,
the glutes.

Why manufacturers care so little as to make
injections which cause unnecessary soreness,
I cannot imagine.

Here is something you guys might find helpful if you don’t already commonly do this-its called the Z track. Clean the site, and before you inject pull the skin sideways so it slides over the muscle and hold it there. Inject and then release the skin and it will cover the punctured part of the muscle thus preventing leakage of the med back onto the surface of the skin and it is supposedly less painful. When you self inject you could use the side of the hand to move the skin aside. This can be used at any site.

Leakage back out of the site isn’t an issue
when injection rate is appropriately slow,
since there is no buildup of a forced cavity
of pressurized oil at the injection site.
However, at the rates of injection commonly
used by doctors, nurses, and impatient
bodybuilders, indeed this seepage sometimes
occurs. The best solution is to inject at
a rate no faster than the oil can seep between
the muscle fibers, so there is no formation
of this forced cavity in the first place.

At least with an insulin needle, there’s no
injection pain per se, so saving of pain would
not be an issue. As No_Abs mentioned, some
preparations are themselves painful to the
muscle itself (more precisely, probably:
to nerves in the area) but this method
couldn’t be expected to reduce this problem
since it is not from the injection process

So the best solution to the seepage problem
is simply to inject at a rate commensurate
with the body’s ability to accept the oil.

Ok then, it seems to take ages to draw up 3cc’s of Primo through a 23 guage needle, so is it ok to take the plunger out of the syringe and pour the oil into the back of the syringe, replace the plunger, tap and expel the air? By the way I slowed down the injection time to 1min/cc and felt no soreness/discomfort at all at any time after.