Many abusers who inject anabolic steroids may use nonsterile injection techniques or share contaminated needles with other abusers. In addition, some steroid preparations are manufactured illegally under nonsterile conditions. These factors put abusers at risk for acquiring lifethreatening viral infections, such as HIV and hepatitis B and C. Abusers also can develop endocarditis, a bacterial infection that causes a potentially fatal inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. Bacterial infections also can cause pain and abscess formation at injection sites.
There has been no prior regular surveillance for adverse events following epidural steroid injections; however, infection is a known, although likely rare, risk that has been documented in the medical literature. Although CDC has received reports of illness in patients who have received the medications listed in the table above, including some patients who had evidence of meningeal inflammation, CDC and public health officials have no reports of laboratory-confirmed bacterial or fungal meningitis, spinal, or paraspinal infections caused by these products. The available epidemiological and laboratory data do not, at this time, support evidence of an outbreak of infections linked to usage of non-methylprednisolone NECC products.