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

Responses: 357


Updated January 13, 2010

Iliopsoas Bursitis cortisone shot

Personally and I can only speak for myself, the cortisone shot worked great for me and had no side effects what so ever. I suffered a grade 1 strain in my iliopsoas belly muscle along with iliopsoas bursitis that lasted for about 5 months, rested, iced it and did physical therapy and nothing worked. Finally after reading all the bad reviews i went to get the shot a little nervous to be honest. I think the key is to go to ur TRUSTED doctor, mine told me about the possible side effects, whic he told me 90% of the time occurs when over dosing the cortisone or a bad hand and we agreed on the shot as last resort after resting it and doing pt. I got it a week ago and it worked great, no side effects at all. He told me to rest it 7-10 days before going back to playing soccer, since the cortisone weakens tendons it is risky to apply force. I say find out the facts about it, only use it if other methods (rest, ice, pt) dont give u relief and go to a dr you TRUST and KNOW.
—Guest Jim

Shot in Shoulder and both knees

The Dr. Froze the skin prior to the injection which hurt a bit but was over quickly. Not a single word about side effects. It is now 5:30 am I have not been able to sleep. I also feel moments of dizziness. My should has more mobility and my knees are alternating between feeling better and then worse.
—Guest Karen Ritter

Spinal Epidurals 3x's a year for 11 yrs.

After multiple lumbar surgeries leaving spine in worse condition, I included Cortisone epidurals to help relieve pain. Although they are painful and get worse before better, they gave me a reduced level of pain for 1-3 months. For me, symptoms were minor : increased appetite, thirst, and sleeplessness, and lasted only a few days to a week. However, the last injection left me with severe hot flashes and flushing. It is constant and I'm now on day 4. Dr. told me Cortisone effects hormones and this would be temporary. Since I live in high pain, it is still worth it for me. I'm not happy about these side effects, but you need to decide if your pain is bad enough to take the injection. It does help with inflammation and I'm so thankful for those reduced pain days.
—Guest Kelly

First Shot

I had my first shot today, wish the doctor had told me about the side effects, like some of you I wasnt told anything would be wrong. I didnt even make it home and my stomach was in nots. I ended up pulling over on the side of the highway to throw-up. I have the feeling of light headedness ever since. The pain of the shot was BAD!! I am glad that i choose my hip instead of my shoulder, I dont think that I am going back.

Would definitely do it again

I had a cortisone shot yesterday in my knee. Was not told anything except, "I can give you a shot that will help that." Since I am a retired nurse I knw what it was, but confirmed this by asking, "Cortisone?" positive reply. Today my pain is much less severe or maybe I am just so tired and sleepy that I can't feel it. I was awake ALL night. But a little insomnia is not bad compared to the pain I had before.
—Guest Mae

going crazy

I had these shots on my shoulder before I had surgery for torn ligaments and muscles ...Dr.started me on them again I have asked him everytime about side effects he always says there are none...I thought I was going crazy until I read all of these ...I'm 21 years old and was wondering why I am having hot flashes and way bad stumic pains...I'm sure my boyfriends ready to freak out on me do to my horrible mood swings...I had this shot a week ago from today and it seems its getting worse...none stop throwing up all day and bad diahriah ....I'm suppose to get another shot in my same shoulder next month I don't no if it is worth it due to all of this and have to take more of my pain pills.....
—Guest chelsie

A life saver for me.

I have had terible pain in my schoulders, both, for years. Have had P.T. with no releif. Could not sleep on my side, would spazm. No work, no working out. Was beginning to think I would suffer from now on. Had my first set of shot 20 months ago and now every 6 months. I am now a different man. All activaties now are great. The Dr. is very clean and careful. Skin frozen first and immediate relief. I looked on line for info on cortisone ( As most smart people would) and asked the right questions ( as most smart people do). Never do a treatment uninformed. Thats just dumb. I am now on my 3rd set of injections. I am hoping they will continue this for me as the treatment for me is just amazing.
—Guest Steven

knee pain cortisone shot

I knew about side effects of the shot. I have had some previously with no side effects. This time I had one for each knee at the same time. The next day I felt like my face & arms were sunburned. Probably due to double the shots. BUT, I would definately get another shot (one at a time, tho). It's little to put up with considering the awful pain prior.
—Guest margie

Cortisone shot made pain worse next day

I had some moderate sudden shoulder pain and the doctor gave me a cortisone shot and the next morning the pain is 10 times worse! I even asked him if there were any side effects and he said basically no. I had heat on it but called the Drs. office and they said ice is better. It is already about 10% better.
—Guest art

Did not know about any side effects

Had a shoulder injection one week go. Apart from not being able to sleep for two nights, so far so good. No other side effects

Insulin Inhibiter

I am a very physically active 71 y/o extremely well controled insulin dependent diabetic of 40 yrs with 3 total hip replacements. My 16 y/o socket is now painful and revision being contemplated. My two Orthopaedists conferred and I accepted a hip cortisone injection. NO suggestion of any downside was suggested other than it might not be effective. Immediately thereafter, my blood glucose started started climbing and "normal corrective insulin quantities" had little to no effect! Despite best efforts with testing BG and insulin delivery every few hours, BG's stall in high 2 to 3 hundreds. My last two HgA1c's were 6.2 and 6.4! The hip discomfort persists with no change! Had I been alerted to this cortisone side effect potential I definitely would have refused it. All also know that I am overly responsive to assorted "meds."

Knee shots once or twice a year.

My knees tend to fill with fluid once or twice a year. I've been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and have fingers and toes that tend to flare up occassionally. I have the fluid drained from my knees when they swell up, and my doctor then gives me a dose of cortizone. I've never felt any side effects, and I always feel so much better once it's done. I don't want to have to take the arthritis medication until I just can't stand the pain, and my doctor said that this was a good alternative as long as it was only happening once or twice a year.
—Guest Bronco

Cortisone injection for bursitis

Had a shot in my shoulder yesterday for bursitis. Needle not too painful as it was done under ultrasound. Did not sleep one minute last night. Turned the t/v back on at 3pm and at 9am still feel wade awake. Does the sleeplessness last long. Dr. gave me no information on any side effects. Hope it cures the bursitis.

Second chance

OMG! I have had epidural cortisone injections twice now in my lower back since July. The most recent time I had two shots - one to each side. By the time I got to a pain management physician my life and lifestyle were limited to very little physical activity and no workouts at the gym at all. I had serious and sometimes acute pain every single day. These injections breathed life into me again. I am not perfect, but I didn't expect that. I have had zero side effects. My experience has been amazing and the relief pain both times was absolutely immediate. I could not possibly complain.
—Guest Doree

Knee Injection

I've had approximately 8 cortisone injections in my knees and have never been told about the side affects that I experienced on a couple of occasions. One being very severe pain and knee locked in the bent position while grocery shopping, following the procedure. The severe pain and stuck position lasted about 24 hours. On another more recent cortisone injection the knee was so much pain following the procedure, that I couldn't bare any weight on it or try to bend it without excruciating pain. Other times I've left the doctor's office, following a knee fluid aspiration and cortisone injection and went straight to work and performed a physically demanding job on my feet for 9.5 hrs, with minimal pain. I have to continue to receive the injections in order to function now since my knees or so bad, but if possible, plan to be off work for a day or so, following, just in case of a reaction. Different doctors say that I have to wait 3 months between injections. They only last 6 weeks for me.
—Guest Delores
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