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

Responses: 351


Updated January 13, 2010

shoulder shot

Was never informed of side effects. Up all night. Pain increased over course of 12 hours. Can't move left shoulder. Will not do it again.
—Guest carolann

Had my 5 th shot today

Its already helping, and yes I would if you have dealt with arthritis pain and have not slept for days a little hot flash(menopausal type & already not sleeping) its worth it. You should have been told of the side effects but if they are not offered why would you not ask someone is injecting something into yyour body!!! I'm an RN and I would question anyone even my friend who is my doctor.
—Guest Pat

Cortisone side effects

I had a cortisone shot in my knee today. This is my four bur the last one lasted almost 2 years. My Dr. was good to tell me the side effects. This is the first time my knee has swollen afterward, but I hope it lasts. If it lasts less than a month, he told me about some other shots I can get that aren't cortisone. It is a series of 3 shots, but he said it was pricey.
—Guest Judy Hoimyr


I was told of the side effects and had to sign a release. This is my 3rd set of shots since 2007. The benefits I receive from the shots far out weight the side effects. I have arthritis in both ankles, knees, hips and back. Only I only need to get them every couple of years. They work wonderfully for me.
—Guest Goldiepel

Got one today

This afternoon I got a cortisone shot in my right shoulder for a painful shoulder/arm of 6 months ... (was waiting for it to "get better")... Anyway, I wasn't warned of any side effects either! Within a few hours I was in horrible pain and couldn't raise my arm at ALL! Luckily I found this site thru Google and I'm hoping that the pain will subside and I won't be getting any of the other side effects mentioned!!! Hair growth???!!! Really????!!!!
—Guest Lydia

headache and sleeplessnes

Got one shot in each shoulder yesterday, and the headache will not subside. Slept about 2hrs, with very upset stomach and diarrhea--generally feel terrible. Hope this is short term--Dr. did NOT mention side effects, but--the shoulder pain is gone.
—Guest Pat

skin discoloration

I did not know that there was a possibility of skin discoloration. Here I am thinking theres something severly wrong with me and now I have found out its a side effect of injection. Im reliefed its a minor issue, but never informed it was a possible side effect.
—Guest nancy

The Pain Was Excruciating!

I had a cortsione shot in my ankle once and felt no pain whatsoever so I wasn't concerned at all with receiving cortisone in my hands. I was given an injection in each wrist and told I may feel a slight tingling in the fingers. I have no problem with needles or shots, but the doc was rough with the first shot enough to make me wince outloud. The second was okay. Fifteen minutes after the injection the pain began. I was driving home alone, and the pain just got worse and worse. I had to pull over as I couldn't hold the wheel, and I couldn't see through the tears. My husband called while this was happening and I could not hold the phone in my hands to talk. He called the docs office ( I was the last patient and they were closed) and there was NO ONE ON CALL! Their message said call 911 if their's an emergency! It took a good 30 min before I could drive, and had to alternate hands on the steering wheel. It was totally excruciating and I was totally ticked I was not warned!

Female facial hair growth side effect...

I had 2 cortisone shots for lower back pain - 6 weeks ago and 4 weeks ago now. I am a 44 yo woman. My only real side effect is that I now have facial hair and hair growth on my stomach. I am absolutely horrified. No one told me in advance. I called the office and they said it was a common side effect and should last 2 weeks to 3 months. Wonderful. I NEVER would have had the shots if I'd known this could happen. I'm not even sure the shots worked...

Up for debate

I had my 1st shot in my left hip on 11/27/11. Altho I believe my ortho dr did tell me of some common side affects, the dr administering the shot advised me that I may get a stiffness in my shoulder/neck which I've had since and no matter what I do it doesnt seem to go away. The next 2 days my face was bright red. I was afraid I had a fever (infection) since no one warned me of that. Also suddenly had some minor spotting (slight pink) discharge out of the blue. Since I'm post menopausal that also freaked me out. Dr's need to let their patients know of these side affects. Was relieved to find this site to realize that these were common. Altho I don't have the extreme dull ache in my left hip anymore that I had and I've had severe allergic reactions to anti-inflammatory meds I don't think I want to do this again unless I really have to. Altho the side affects in one way are minor, it really concerns me as to what affects the drug is having on your body that you dont know about.


There seems to be a pattern. Why don't doctors notify people of possible side effects? I was not notified either.
—Guest Brandi

It helped somewhat

I had cortisone shots in both knees at the same time 4 months ago. I was not told of any side effects. I did have excruciating pain the day after the shots but felt better the next day. I had synvisc the following month. That worked for about 3 weeks. Im having pain again, in fact my right knee gaveway yesterday. I cant get the synvisc till February. Im considering repeat cortisone shots, however. Now that Im aware of the increased pain the day after, cortisone seems to be a good option to me. Im hoping the increased pain will be the ONLY side effect I get. Im not sure if I could deal with all the other ones.
—Guest Rosanne

Unsure, now..

I had two shots today, One in my knee & One in my shoulder. Approx. 4-5 hrs after these I started to experience tightness in my chest and now along with that I am feeling very 'flushed' in the face. I've had shots before and never had any problems, this is a new 'more experienced' Dr. but, now I am kinda freakin out about it which I'm sure isn't helping the chest discomfort! I took a 'muscle relaxer' about 1 hour ago to help the anxiety of it all.. Hope this pass' quickly. The Dr. just asked if I was diabetic, I said no.. and he said he was going to give me two shots..No side effect warnings, just shot me up and said 'that should help' : /

epidural shots

I had the last of three shots a week ago . I have had increased acne, vivid bad dreams. Anxiety, facial flushing, irritability, face and neck are swollen, extremely oily skin, night sweats ,plus I came down with a bad cold. I forgot the heart palpitations and headaches. Is my pain better?.No! I am done with these shots forever. My doctor told me that the only side effects would be at the site of the injection, I don't blame him, I knew I would have troubles, but didn't expect it to be so bad. The first two shots didn't bother me so much, but this one...whew, when will the side effects end?
—Guest lucky

Didn't know

I had a cortisone shot 2 1/2 weeks ago. Since that time I've had heart palpitations along with a rush to my head causing a severe headache. I've had four episodes of this. Have an appointment with doctor next week when I will ask why didn't you tell me this side effect?
—Guest Carol

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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