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Bacteriostatic Water

Bacteriostatic water for Injection is a sterile diluent that contains 0.9% (9 mg/mL) benzyl alcohol (BnOH) added as a bacteriostatic preservative, which is used for diluting drugs that are to be injected intravenously (IV), subcutaneously (SC), or intramuscularly (IM). Bacteriostatic Water is a preparation designed solely for parenteral use only after addition of drugs that require dilution or must be dissolved in an aqueous vehicle prior to injection. Bacteriostatic Water is supplied in a multiple-dose container from which repeated withdrawals may be made, over the course of several weeks, without concern for bacterial growth.

  • Supplied as a sterile, multiple-dose, non-pyrogenic water for injection.
  • Contains 0.9% (9 mg/mL) of benzyl alcohol added as a bacteriostatic preservative.
  • Packaged in a specially fabricated semi-rigid vial formulated of ethylene and propylene.
  • Solutions containing benzyl alcohol should not be used in neonates.

Shelf Life & Expiration Date

Once opened, bacteriostatic water should be used within 4 weeks (28 days) and then discarded after this period of time as per the manufacturer. The expiration date is 18 months from the date of manufacture and serves as the date after which Hospira can no longer guarantee that the water is safe to use.

Safety & Adverse Effects

Bacteriostatic water is safe for IV, IM, and SC injection of diluted medications and hormones in adults of all ages. Although adverse reactions to intravenous, intramuscular or subcutaneous injection of 0.9% benzyl alcohol are not known to occur in man, experimental studies of small volume parenteral preparations containing 0.9% benzyl alcohol in several species of animals have indicated that an estimated intravenous dose up to 30 mL may be safely given to an adult without toxic effects. Administration of an estimated 9 mL to a 6 kg infant or neonate is potentially capable of producing blood pressure changes.


Bacteriostatic water is not safe for use in neonates and should not be used for epidural or spinal injections in any person. Fluid replacement with bacteriostatic water is also contraindicated. It should be used only in small quantities. Not all drugs and injectable substances are compatible with bacteriostatic water. Users of bacteriostatic water should pay close attention to warnings and contraindications on manufacturer packaging. Generally speaking, the vast majority of products are compatible with benzyl alcohol. Users should check drug packing for contraindications to specific bacteriostatic agents (e.g. parabens, sulphites, etc.). Do not use Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, USP for intravenous injection unless the osmolar concentration of additives results in an approximate isotonic admixture.

Bacteriostatic Water for Injection
Brand Hospira
Unit Size 30mL / vial
Exp. Date 06/2018
NDC # 0409-3977-03