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

Responses: 344


Updated January 13, 2010

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

If I Had Know...NO!

Cortisone is not worth the possible side effects. In the course of 25 yrs I have had 4 injections in my right elbow. The last one 8 months ago. It was about 6 weeks later I noticed a brown rough patch on my elbow that would not wash off.Then a month later the spot was gone but the pigmentation was also gone and the start of a divot was happening.In the past three months it has progressed and is traveling up the backside of my arm. My doctor said she has never seen anything like that happen and took a picture to show her colleges and a pain management specialist. Never have they seen that kind of reaction and she is now trying to make sure all her T's are crossed and I's dotted....I am worried that it will continue to progress and lose the ability to use my arm.
—Guest Terry

side effects

don't know if i'll do it again, or not... i've had 2 epidurals with flouroscopy between my C2-C3 - did wonders, but really messed with my blood sugars for the next 3-4 days. they say no more epidurals for 3 more months, but the positive effects have already worn off. epidurals were worth it! i've also had cortisone shots (both shoulders) for rotator cuff tears & frozen shoulder: had more crazy blood sugars and hot flashes, but the last set of shots did nothing for the pain. probably won't bother with these again. if you possibly can, DO YOUR RESEARCH "Before The Needle"! read up to see if cortisone is a likely treatment for your problem _before_ you let anyone stick syringes in you.
—Guest jan w

there are other options

I didn't read through all of the comments but I am wondering how many people tried other options such as massage or physio before going for something that provides short term results. If you seek out a skilled and educated massage therapist even you might be able to resolve the pain quite rapidly. Also, Osteopaths (a profession that is well known in Europe and Australia and on the rise in Canada) are a great option!
—Guest RMT Wilson

Diabetes side effects

I clearly check diabetes on my medical history forms. I was told the injection site would be sore the next morning, but nothing else. I did have hot flashes but nothing unbearable. HOWEVER, it shot my blood sugar #s up. I knew I wasn't feeling good but couldn't put my finger on what was wrong until I took my reading. I'm not saying I wouldn't get the shot because of this, but it would have been nice if the doctor would have warned me so I could adjust my eating and keep a closer watch on my numbers.
—Guest Terri

Shoulder Shots

I received two shots in the right shoulder yesterday. The Shots did not hurt to receive. I was warned of general side effects like soreness and the possibility of infection and signed a acknowledgement of such. However, I now have a frozen shoulder that will not move, I have no appetite, a headache that will not go away, and generally fell a bit not right none of which I was warned. Initially the only reaction I had was a heaviness to the joint and a bit of facial flushing. I am not too happy with the shoulder not moving and being incredibly sore ( a flare I believe) so will wait another day before returning to Doc. If pain does not go away, I will NEVER have cortisone again. So far it is not good for me.
—Guest karen

Epidural for Back Pain

I had an epidural procedure on Feb 7th due to injuries stemming from a car accident. My doctor did discuss possible side effects and I also did additional research via Google. So far so good and I feel about 75% better...almost immediately even after the numbness wore off. I am curious though as to whether or not anyone has experienced severe charley horses (major cramping) in legs, back and hands? I have a call in to check on this but that is the only thing I have noticed since the procedure in addition to sleeplessness in the night. Good luck everyone!
—Guest Carole

side effect

after injuring the lower knuckel on my left hand. It bothered me some but i could use it. I went to a hand specialist, with xrays ,he put a shot into the palm (without asking) it was very painfull. After 6 month's it it still hurts at the injection site,and i can't straighten my thumb.It seems like tendon damage. I will get another opinion.
—Guest daniel volpe

Couldn't sleep after Cortisone injection

Had my first cortisone injection on friday, yes it hurt but was bearable. Yes i did some research before hand on the side effects, and asked the Dr, i was told nothing from my doctor when i asked about side effects, he said _ yes you will have some slight pain in your shoulder but that should be about it... Well it wasn't. I can not sleep at night, the past 2 nights i have avg about 3 hours sleep. Wide awake & full of life?? Anyway the injection did help, but this lack of sleep is a bit worrying. On the up side, my shoulder feels much better after having the injection. - just wish i could get a good nights sleep :)
—Guest Sharyn


I got a cortisone shot 2 days ago in my left shoulder and now I'm hurting so much more than before,(a torn rotator cuff is painful as it is) there's a knot where the injection was and it's hot and tender to the touch. I didn't know I was getting this shot or I would of done some research on it before to know what I was up against. Only thing asked at the ortho office was if I had diabetes, nothing was mentioned about side effects :( I'm debating on going to my primary right now bc my shoulder hurts so bad! I will never get another cortisone injection EVER!!
—Guest Jen

multiple symptoms - NEVER AGAIN

I asked my doc about any side effects - she said no. I also said I have chrons, have been on prednisone & it wrecked my body and made me crazy so I can't do this. She said it stays local, it will not affect you. Within a day to a week I had severe dry mouth, trouble swallowing because of it (dry mouth got a little better but hasn't gone away 2 weeks later), night sweats every night since, nightmares, hot flashes, red face, chills, fast heart/pounding heart beat, feel like I'm on some bad speed trip, irritable, everything too bright, too loud, ear fullness/slight ringing, panic attacks and general anxiety. Pain where she stuck me to this day (2 weeks). I will re-post when this calms down. I have no idea how long it will last. She gave me one shot in the arm on 1/23 and three more in the neck/back (!!) 1/30. She was just willy nilly poking me with it. NEVER EVER AGAIN. EVER. I know she was trying to help but I am so angry with her right now. how about a sheet with side effects?
—Guest kimi

common sense

almost all of theese responses state that the doctor didnt tell me about side effects... take some responseability for your own stupidity of not asking or doing some research prior to sighning paperwork to let the doctor perfor the procedure. i have had three midline epidural injections and have three more to go. after setting a appointment i made a list of info i researched myself and then asked the doctor PRIOR to having my procedures. Common sence and self responsability go along way.
—Guest mwilliams

No Side effects??? Not true.

So I had my second round of shots today. The first time, a few months back, I had four shots. I didn't have any side effects until the day after. I had a cortisone flare which is when the cortisone crystalizes. Today I had a total of 8 injections in my foot. I am in so much pain that I am in tears. My whole body has flushed. I have aches and pains through out my whole body. My head is killing me. I was told that there were NO SIDE EFFECTS.
—Guest it hurts!

As expected and a bit more

After 9 months of frozen shoulder pain that only became worse after physio, accupuncture, exercise and pain killers, I changed doctors. The new one suggested cortisone shots but clearly stated that they only have a 50/50 chance of success. He went over all possible side effects including infection, pain, skin discolouration, unset stomach, etc and sent me on my way with a prescription to fill. I returned a week later and he gave me two painless shots. The pain started about 20 minutes after the injections and was slightly more painful than my worst days but cleared up in about a day. My shoulder was only archy for a few days following. It is now 10 days later and mobility has increased dramatically, daily pain is gone and I have been able to sleep a full night for the first time in 9 months! I will do it again if the pain returns.
—Guest MCZ

Would You Have Had a Shot

Did You Know About Possible Side-Effects of Cortisone?

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  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Orthopedics
  4. Arthritis
  5. Arthritis Treatment
  6. Injections
  7. Side-Effects of Cortisone Shots - Your Experience With a Cortisone Shot

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