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It is now a well-established fact that steroids can help gain muscle mass, endurance, sports performance much faster. Early of later, every athlete feels that he or she has reached a peak, and steroids can surely help overcome that phase more quickly.
Also, steroids as variants of the naturally occurring male hormone testosterone contribute to improvement of physical appearance. And that is why the decision to take steroids is logical and self-evident.
Today there are many brands of steroids that have different mechanisms of actions and administration. Steroids can come in various forms, tablets and injections are two most common types. Further, injectable steroids may be water-based or oil-based, with each form having its upsides and downsides.
Before starting to take steroids, it is necessary to understand the difference between them.
Mostly synthetic injectable steroids are oil-based. This means that the male hormone is suspended in oil and once injected to muscles, they form a depot from where hormone is slowly released to blood. But water-based or aqueous solutions contain tiny crystals within their composition that hold the anabolic solutions.
Oil-based and water-based steroids have the same method of administration. They are injected directly into muscle tissue. Rarely subcutaneous injections are possible.
But you must remember that these solutions, both water-based or oil-based, should not be injected directly into veins or arteries. It can lead to a dangerous condition called pulmonary embolism that is a blockage of an artery in the lungs. Sometimes pulmonary embolism can cause heart attack or even death.
Generally, oil-based steroids will last longer. However, they may be more dangerous if by mistake they are injected into the vein or artery. On the other hand, water-based steroids last for shorter duration, and may not cause life-threatening complications even if they are injected directly to the bloodstream (vein or artery) by mistake.
Once injected into the muscles, they are created in such a way that they stay there for long, slowly releasing the beneficial hormones, over days or even weeks. Reason for preferring injections over tablets is the prolonged duration of action.
When we compare the injection procedure for both types of steroids, it lies in the kind of needle that you use.
Oil-based solutions are thicker and harder to inject into muscle tissue. For this reason, the needle used to administer oil-based steroids must be thicker and longer. The wrong type of needle can lead to unpleasant and undesirable consequences like pain and bruises in the tissue surrounding the injection site.
And on the contrary, the needles required to inject water-based steroids can be thinner due to the solution composition.
Water-based steroids may cause less pain and local irritation. But then as already mentioned they may act for a shorter duration and one may need to use them more frequently.
For both water and oil suspensions, the buttocks being fleshy parts in the lower rear area of human trunk is considered to be the safest and the most common site of administration.
Despite all the precautions, some unpleasant things may happen – while injecting, you can hit the sciatic nerve. When hit, this nerve can lead to discomfort of various degree. Sometimes it can cause severe damage like loss of movement and lack of sensation.
The management of sciatic nerve injection injury includes many methods like drug treatment, physiotherapy, use of assistive devices, and even surgical treatment.
To avoid this, always inject the solution into the upper outer quadrants of the buttocks.
Also, the steroids can be injected into the quads (thigh) or in the delts (shoulder/upper arm). The rule is to change the needle for each individual injection.
As water-based and oil-based steroids increase testosterone levels, they have similar side effects. Side effects are more dependent on the chemical structure of steroid instead of drug form. Moreover, steroids rarely cause any side effects in the short run, and if used with adequate knowledge (using them in cycles, using post cycle therapy, and so on).
Despite the type of steroid you choose, consider these differences to avoid unpleasant conditions and to gain the greatest effect from the solutions.