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Readers Respond: Did You Know About Possible Side-Effects of Cortisone?

Responses: 357


Updated January 13, 2010

Knees injections

I had a shot in each knee. Have had 1 shot in right knee - first time both knees. Nausea-headache- heaviness in my chest this time. Dr. never mentioned side effect to me. Also unable to sleep. Had shot 2 days ago - hope side effects stop soon. One knee feeling better - other one not doing as well. Yes - I would have shots again - do not want knee replacement. Shots worked last time which was over 3 yrs ago..but only one shot. I felt maybe I had side effects because I had 2 shots. Thanks so much for you site. It helped reading what other had posted. It does relieve pain but we should be advised about the side effects - it wouldn't be as scary to experience them. That is where you site helped me so much. Thanks..
—Guest Guest Janice

I asked

The PA gave me my first ever injection in my hip this afternoon. It was simple, I asked about side effects before the injection. A very small amount of discomfort, but what do you expect, it's a needle going into your body. It's been 6 hours and no sign of any side effects yet.
—Guest annm45

Had 1st shot in Neck

I had my first shot two days ago, I can feel improvement in my neck which has arthritis and degenerative disc desease and has been ruining my life at 31 years old. The area still aches but I think more due to the injection itself and I already notice an increase in my range of motion. My side effects have been a constant dull headache, racing pulse, anxiety, loss of appetite, sleeplessnes. hot flashes, and a general feeling of melancholy. I do however feel better than I did yesterday when I think I had an initial flare and was very nauseous. I was warned that I would feel worse before I got better and I believe things are improving. I have more shots coming for my neck and my shoulder and the bottom line is if helps my quality of life then I can handle a few lousy side effects. It sure beats the heck out of the guilt you feel when you finish off yet another bottle of percocet.
—Guest Lyndo


seems to me if I were going to have something as important as a injection put into my body. I would take the steps to check for myself about any possible side-effects. In the day of technology that we have at our fingertips there really is no excuse for not being self informed..
—Guest april

Whether You're Aware or not

I was told of side effects. I chose to go ahead. The worst I got was the flushing and the painful bloat. But, the relief of no lower back pain keeping me awake or the shooting pains in my hip (bone on bone) is worth it. It's a minor tradeoff, but at least I cut down, if not eliminated all the pain pills

Cortizone shot response

Was the worst ever, was not told that for the next few days after the shot I would have burning hot flashes from chest up to the top of my head. I had itching all over my legs and arms and could not sleep, worse pain on my elbow, the injection site. I have had general steroid injections as well as being on prednisone, but have never experienced these side effects. Will never have another injection again!!!
—Guest Rebekah

Cortisone in many joints

I've had cortisone shots in both shoulders and knees. I have joint issues in all my joints. I first had cortisone shots because I had a frozen shoulder and I was told of the side effects. The shot hurt, but my shoulder hurt more. The shot was MORE than WORTH IT. The side effects were minimal and the shot took away a lot of the pain for 2 months of more. I had about 5 shots in that frozen shoulder. Then, I blew out my left knee. Had one cortisone shot in it. Painful, but worked great. Then, my right shoulder froze. Same deal. I've had 3 cortisone shots in it. Some side effects and painful shot, but more than worth it. Could not have dealt with the pain and kept my job and my LIFE without the shots. What you need is a GOOD orthopedic surgeon administering the shots. I'm going to have to have shots in my right knee and both hips in the near future. My orthopedic surgeon is great. We're trying to put off surgery because I'm diabetic. I think I'm going to be able to avoid shoulder surgery.

Was Informed

Had a shot in my left knee. I was given a sheet with potential side effects. Having a history of being anaphylactic to common meds, I was scared ... not of shot but of reaction. Experienced high blood sugar, headache, flushing, nausea. Scheduled for one in hip.
—Guest match31990

Side effects

Never told of side effects and now have no fat in knee and extremely thin skin. Would never get one again.
—Guest Lauz

Had shot previously so didn't research

I had a cortisone shot three years ago by the physicians assistant, and it didn't hurt, nor did I have a side effect. It also helped the pain from a torn menicus. Fast forward three years later, yesterday took another shot. This time the doctor gave it to me, and immediately I felt the needle and pain. I limped off the table, he joked...now you'll need surgery. What troubled me was the headache I had that evening. Usually I take two Excedrin and it disappears, this time it didn't. Felt like a migrane which I never get. I got frightened because I started to get anxious and my BP went up (I am hypertensive). The kicker is, I don't feel relief from the shot. I know the doctor will say "guess time for surgery", but not ready for it since tear is subtle. No, I didn't know the side effects which is very stupid since I research everything....I didn't research because I took the shot before. I don't feel I will take the shot again unless I am in agony.
—Guest Laura

helpful shot

I have had numerous cortisone shots in my knee. It has provided temporary relief from both pain and swelling. I tried synvisc for the first time and it has lasted about 5 months so far, but I am ready for another set of shots. I am not ready for knee replacement surgery and these treatments help me to postpone it. All these negative remarks seem to blame the doctor for there poor results. If you ask for relief from pain and the doc suggests something, you should be the one to ask about side effects. Due diligence is YOUR responsibility. I am grateful I got help for my pain. So far no unpleasant side effects. Just (temporary) relief.
—Guest rovin

help? yeah, right.!

I had my first and LAST cortisone injection 3 weeks ago. Doctor told me it's like magic. Really? My elbow still hurts, little less, but pain is still there, awfully itchy at night, heart palpitations. Looking for different options to treat this pain. I am sure the best way would be strengthening muscles around my forearm. Good luck to me.lol.
—Guest Biviana


I would never have had the Cortisone/Steroid injection if I had know about the tissue loss. There was no mention of this, the only side effect I was made aware of was the loss of pigmentation to the skin. The large discolouration appeared within the first two weeks, however, little did I know that over about four months I would have a whole or cavity on top of my elblow. I have lost extensive tissue and my muscle looks like it has been tugges and pulled around my arm. No fake tan will cover the pigmentation but that doesn't bother me as much as the whole in the arm. I saw the Consultant's registrar last week and he has taken photos and said it was the case he has ever seen. I am also worried because it is very sensitve now to any knock as the bone is very exposed and there is nothing to protect it. I have now been referred to the main Consultant who I should have seen anyway to if there is anything they can do.
—Guest Alyson Atkins

it worked for me!

I have had 2 epidurals for a herniated disc and they have worked for me although I hate the water retention and my period has completely stopped! I have had the heart palpitations too. Overall, though, it has really helped. My doctor warned me of all the side effects.
—Guest Ellie

More pain in ankle than in heal

I was told of the side effects years ago when I had shot in heal but had not a problem. Was asked this time if I wanted to hear them again and I said no because I had no problems before but OMG!! the cold spray hurt worse then the shot itself but when I went to drive my ankle was killing me and now 12 hours later it feels worse then before shot. My heal felt instantly better but not ankle. I have been soaking it in Epsom salt like tole and moving it around, hope tomorrow it is alot better. If it does feel better tomorrow then it was well worth it as I am a waitress and work 10 hour days.
—Guest Amy Kay
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  7. Side-Effects of Cortisone Shots - Your Experience With a Cortisone Shot

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