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Jonathan Cluett, M.D.

Symptoms of Meningitis From Contaminated Cortisone

By November 11, 2012

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The recent problem of infections caused by contaminated cortisone injections has many patients concerned.  Most of the contaminated cortisone has been linked to patients who have received epidural steroid injections.  Many patients receive these shots, and many are concerned to know if they could be victims of the contaminated medication.  Patients who had these epidural injections contracted fungal meningitis from the medication contaminated with fungus.

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine found most patients experienced symptoms about 18 days after their injections.  Common symptoms included:

  • Headache
  • Worsening back pain
  • Neurologic symptoms (leg pain, numbness, weakness)
  • Nausea
  • Neck stiffness

Given these medications have been recalled, it is unlikely that the current outbreak will lead to new cases yet to develop.  However, these symptoms should prompt immediate medical attention.

Sources: "Fungal Infections Associated with Contaminated Methylprednisolone in Tennessee"

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