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

Responses: 351


Updated January 13, 2010


I had a shot in my right heel 2 years ago and it still is pain free. My left heel has been a problem. One shot didn't work and then the second shot worked. Pain returned in 5 months...I got another shot 2 weeks ago and it didn't work. I'm going for another one today...the promise of pain relief is too good not to try it again. Without it, I'm limping and in excruciating pain and worn out from tolerating the pain. We are human beings, not machines...sometimes we have to experiment...it's not always the doctors fault if our bodies don't respond perfectly. My doctor did go over possibilities of flare and stretches and prevention techniques.
—Guest Susan

Nothing is ever guaranteed

I have had cortisone injections in my wrists, shoulder and hips. I have always felt great relief for all of them. Maybe not immediately but long term. I was somewhat informed by my Doctor, but the responsibility I have as an active participant in my own well being is to inform myself even further. I have had the flushing, sweats, headache, sleeplessness. But sometimes the treatment is painful also. Patients have to make educated decisions and asking alot of questions of your Doctor should help. If your Doc doesn't help, I would find a new Doctor.
—Guest Gina

cortisone shot in lower back

I have headache, flushing face and heartburn, but I knew this would be part of the price to pay to get the injection. Any medicine we put into our bodies are gonna have a side effect. Next time do your homework, ask the simple question to your doctor.
—Guest Loren

Can cortisone injections weaken tendon

I have been advised to have cortisone injections in my shoulder for an impingement and frozen shoulder. Another orthopaedic surgeon told me that it was a bad choice as cortisone can cause brittle ligaments or can cause the tendons to tear? Who should I believe?
—Guest Carin de Jager


I have carpal tunnel, tennis elbow and bursitis all on my left arm. Yesterday I went for the third set of steroid injections. I'm pretty sure they are my last. I was so desperate for pain relief that I didn't even ask about side effects. Obviously, they weren't bad enough for me to not come back. I took a day off work before a holiday weekend because I knew it would be a couple of days before I felt I could be of any use. I'm not menopausal, but if the face flushing after the injections is any indication of what's to come, I'm going to need a portable fan to carry around! I know this too shall pass but it won't come soon enough...

hip shot

I asked dr. but he said only if I was diabetic should I be concerned, and it may take 24-48 hrs. to feel any relief. He said I should be okay, since the shot was "localized". Was told nothing about intense heat or facial flushing, restlessness, nervousness or mood swings. It is 2 days now, how long does this take to go away? Thank god I am off of work this week, would noy be able to function! Called and told me to take Benadryl, that may be making me more shaky. Drs. should be required to hand out consent forms when giving cortisone shots.,explaining the side effects, so you can make an "informed" decision! Dentists, radiologists do, these can be serious if you have a physical job. When I called, they said these effects were rare. If they are so rare, then why do most of the replies seen here have similar effects? Are these doctors just so rushed, or are they possibly getting a fee from the companies that make the cortisone? Don't know if I would have another ,need to recover.

Uninformed Cortisone Shot

I had my first cortisone shot aobut 7 weeks ago. My doctor told me nothing except it mgiht help with my pain, and do I want try it? Sure, I replied. I had a 2 year old in my lap when he gave me the shot and no warning of the pain. I held back screams but moaned in pain and just about squeezed the baby to death trying to bear the pain of the shot itself. After the shot in my big toe knuckle I seemed fine for about 2 hours. Suddenly the pain kicked in!!! The pain grew intensley worse ... worse than post-op with no pain killers in my system! My foot swelled up 2x its size and I was unable to walk. Eventually got prescriptions for pain (codene) and swelling. At the time, I had out-of-state guests in my home and had a big hiking day planned at at a local tourist attraction. I had to cancel all plans for 2 days and just lay on the couch unable to walk. Too swollen to fit my shoes, also. My doctor NEVER informed my of ANY side effects!!! Shame on him!
—Guest Ashely McM

knee injection

I had an injection in my knee for arthritis. I knew of some side effects, but not the ones I had. My face looked sunburned the next day, also had terrible heartburn, and constipation. I also have trouble sleeping, just don't feel tired. Would I do it again, yes my knee feels almost normal after months of pain. The relief far outweighs the side effects, for me anyway.
—Guest Rose

side effects killing me

Had spinal injections, L4,L5,S1 11 hours ago and I'm have a horrendous headache along with nausea so bad I feel as though i may throw up any second. Glad I found this site to learn that some of you have shared these same side effects and i know it will go away soon. My doctor told me nothing about side effects, instructions of what/what not to do when i get home. BE SURE YOU GET ALL THIS INFO BEFORE HAND. And he wants to do this again in 2 weeks! I don't know if I can bare this headache again....but my sciatic nerve pain is so severe that I probably will. Praying that i'm rid of that in a day or two.
—Guest deb r.

Knee Injection

I was scared to death of getting a shot in my knee. However, it was nothing like I had built up in my mind. The needle was small. It was over with very quickly. The orthopedic doctor's assistant was very skilled. She used the same scar hole where my knee scope was previously done. I had instant relief. Absolutely NO side effects. The only problem is that the heavenly painless feeling lasted for just 3 short weeks. I plan to do it again and am glad I did not read the horrible experiences posted here b-4 my first shot.
—Guest Fonda

Never again

Had a cortisone shot for a sinus infection-haven't slept for 3 days & still wide awake.I'm so tired that I don't know what to do.I also had headaches & diarhea. As for the nurse's response, I did not know what meds that dr. would give me so I couldn't check for side effects, nor did I think of side effects like this.I know that their time is limited but some don't really care. 'm on lots of other meds but seems like he would have taken this into consideration because that may be the reason some people get these side effects. I hope that if you ever get one, that you have good results. So look at our side of it, nurse. My daughter is also a nurse but was out of town & when I told her about not going to sleep, she told me it was probably the cortisone. So study up & warn your patients about this medication. Will never have another.
—Guest Joyce

Read up-there's plenty of info!

Have just had ultrasound and cortisone inj into shoulder joint for Bursitis this morning.YES i was told of side effects and also what would happen afterwards, e.g. arm would ache few days when local wore off etc etc... But i also used my commonsense to look up all the info online!!! It's definately worth abit of pain of a needle to rid the 5mths of agony have endured.
—Guest Joby


Had an injection in the top of my arm yesterday for bursitis. Hasn't been 24 hrs yet. Asked if there was any side effects, responded no, just told would feel severe discomfort after and would get gradually worse over the day, correct. Had no sleep whatsover could not sleep on my left side the pain was so intense. Hd to prop myself up all night with pillows my arm is so stiff cannot move it without the pain being unbearable. Haven't to do any heavy lifting this week and he said the pain would gradually disperse over the days if i just rest. Good job i'm not at work this week. The muscular skeletal specialist reassured me that once my arm stops being as painful and stiff i can have physio and my bursitis will be gone along with the bad pain i am experiencing in the muscle in my arm, in my oppinion the severe pain i am experiencing at the moment [have had no side effects so far so good] is worth it if it cures my painful muscular pain. would certainly have the injection again.
—Guest Lorraine


I'm I the only one here that is scared at the fact the doctor never informed any of us of the side affects ???? Knowing now what I know I will NEVER do it again thanks doc didn't know you 15 minutes with me you couldn't fill me in on this ......
—Guest shell

cortisone shots

I am writing this (1st time) because I want to help others. I had my first cortisone shot for a rotator cuff injury this past wednesday. It is sunday. I was NOT told of ANY side effects. It's been 4 days and these are my symptons (which if I knew ahead of time I never would have had the shot). Right off the bat a terrible headache, followed by vaginal and rectal bleeding and diaharrea. I also had cramping, and a gassy stomach. I have NOT slept in 3 days! and my hormones are out of wack (cold, hot flashes, night sweats which I NEVER had going through menopause!). I have heartburn, neauseated, and irritable. How long is this going to go on? Since today is sunday I will have to wait until tomorrow to speak to my Dr. The thing I was most concerned about was the bleeding so I'm praying that is associated with the cortisone shot. If I don't get some relief soon, I don't know what I'm going to do. Should have down my "homework"-shame on me!!!!!

Would You Have Had a Shot

Did You Know About Possible Side-Effects of Cortisone?

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  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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