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

Responses: 491


Updated January 13, 2010

Knew what to Expect

Had a shot in shoulder today for rotator cuff injury. The injection site hurts, but as a nursing student, I'm aware of the possible side effects of injecting a catabolic steroid into my body. I would recommend research to all those considering a shot. Weigh your options and make an educated decision.
—Guest jrfc

Just had shot

I just had a cortisone shot for Plantar fasciitis. I'm not sure if it's working. Hearing about how painful the shot was going to be, I decided to do it anyhow. I would like to walk without pain. To my surprise, it didn't hurt very bad. The doctor was careful to "freeze" the area first with a spray, then injected me with lidocaine, the cortizone, then marcaine. Great cocktail I guess, because after the initial minor "pinch" of the injection, I was home free. Now I just hope it kicks in. Right now, I'm not feeling relief.
—Guest Kristi

10 days later, back to the doc

Had cortisone shot in right hip ten days ago, promptly passed out, then nauseous for hours. Glad to see I wasn't alone. Original symptoms had somewhat abated, but are now back and I spent the weekend hobbling around. Next recommended treatment was hip replacement, may be getting a second opinion. Had read about the flare and didn't experience much of that. Neither doc nor techs at the hospital told me about side effects, I had researched them on my own. They acted surprised and a little put out that I had fainted!
—Guest GuestSue

NO!Caution! Research ALL Poss. Side Eff

Yes, learn about cotisone-resistance 4 sure 1st! The 1st time, I had a doctor who listened and had great expertise as he was a board-certified physiatrist. Injection site was coccyx for severe tailbone pain. Shot lasted approx. 4 mos. By then, was seeing an 'integrative medicine' doc - 'jack of all trades; master of none', and not good either, I will add. HE decided (without telling me WHAT he was doing!) to give an injection on each side of my butt cheeks! It not only hurt like hell, it was not at all effective. I could barely drive home afterwards! Also, upon becoming resistant to those glucocorticoid injections he gave me for what he diagnosed as "SI joint dysfunction", I have developed Cushing's Syndrome. I am now worse than before! If only I had had a true picture of what was really going on with my body I would have NEVER gotten ANY injections! I'm now dealing with early osteoporosis as well. Cort. takes approx. 4 mos. to let body return to homeostasis levels.
—Guest LisaTX


I had my second shot today in my left knee. My first shot was in my right knee 9in months ago. I had no side effects the first time. This time I have had sweats, heart palpitationa, anxiety and insomnia. I do not blame my dr. I don't think he is aware of side effects. The official web sites do not mention the side effects mentioned here. What I am experiencing is very real. So let's ignore the know-it-alls. I will call my dr. Tomorrow.
—Guest askmom

never again

Worse than the pain I had to begin with. Been bleeding for 14 days, crying for no reason, nausea and ect. Had shots done to relieve sciatic pain. This was 3 weeks ago. Diddnt help. Had a cortisone flare that lasted 2 of the weeks. Been sleeping with ice packs on my lower back. If I had known of all side effects would have never had it done. When I. Confronted doc who did them he told me I had an anxiety problem
—Guest stina

Didn't have a chance to be informed

I've had pain in my knee from Army overuse 27 years ago. Recently decided to get it tended to as the pain was intermittently sharp and the knee collapsed with any changing of the ground level. Upon initial consultation, PA surmised it was a meniscus tear, and after MRI, and since I'd had it for so long, straight to surgery to clean it out. His words "Cortisone shots would be the first idea but you've had this for too long to mess with it." When having the MRI results explained, he stated the technician wasn't sure what he was looking at - it wasn't a meniscus tear that they could obviously see - but they could see a sac/mass of fluid behind the kneecap. Then, all of a sudden, we were right back at cortison injection. I argued but finally relented. I had no chance to do the research that I'd normally do. I had the injection 24 hours ago. I'm in excruciating pain in the knee in places I've not had pain in before; also facial flushing. I'll think twice before doing it again.
—Guest Olivia

cortisone shot

I am a 59 year old remodeler--almost every thing I got hurts.If it wasn't for these shots It would be extremely hard to work--I just had one in my shoulder yesterday I feel like I am on fire but it goes away quickly within 24 hours. This isn't the first shot I've had and it won't be the last--by the way, my shoulder was killing me, and now I have no pain . All medications have side effects. Thank god for modern medicine.
—Guest Mark

1st Cortisone shot

First time I've had a cortisone shot. After enduring a swollen and painful knee for several months, I was okay trying something less invasive, like a shot. Doc said about 1% of folks have a reaction so they add a little freezing which seems to mitigate this. The shot followed an aspiration so was a little swollen for 24 hours but no pain. Told to go easy for 72 hours. Got up the second day without pain for the first time in months. I'll do it again in a heartbeat.
—Guest Deb


My back went out on Wednesday, today is Friday. Went to the Dr today and got a steroid shot. Great thing, my back feels 100% better, (got the shot at around 11 am). Come around 7 pm, 8 hours later, my back still feels great, but I started feeling a pressure on my chest and a huge lump I'm my throat, kind of like heartburn, and really gassy, like I had drunk too much pop. Now I am unable to sleep. The pressure feeling is not ad bad, but I'm having a mild panic attack. I am prone to them anyway, so I know what to look for, but don't enjoy it one bit. All I want to do is sleep! I've got to go to work tomorrow. I know someone said stop complaining, but I think the main reason we come on here and talk about this is for support. For me, the best way for me to talk myself down from a panic attack is to read about someone else going thru the same thing. So, you other posters have made me feel better, and I hope I can do the same for someone else. ;)
—Guest bad back

never again!!

First shot yr ago did nothing, two others did pretty good, never told bout side effects, had shot yesterday been in severe pain ever since. Dr didn't act like he even knew bout cortisone flare! IDIOTS!!!! Bad when u have to research and diagnose your own symptoms. What the heck are they getting paid so much for? Most patients know as much or more than the doc they're seeing, except for a few who truly care about their patients and not just filling their wallets and covering their butts!!
—Guest kwinpain

Well worth it!

I have been suffering from plantar fascitis for about 1 year before i was able to get to a podiatrist. My doctor was awesome is explaining everything about this condition and all the possible ways of treating this. I opted with the cortisone shot. Best thing ever! Not only with custom inserts and this shot i am now pain free in all activities! This is priceless too me and a well worth-it risk to take.
—Guest T

I am thankful for the shot

I have had tennis elbow for 9 months now. It is in my dominating right arm. I work in a frame shop which requires me to use my hands, arms, and carry heavy things. Without the shot I couldn't continue to work. My side effects were that I had no use of my hand or arm for a few hours. It was dead and tight. But after that I was free from pain and I could pick up stuff again. Well worth the pain of the injection. I go to an orthro doctor, he is the one who gives the injections. I have complete confidence in his work. I will leave with this. The shot is extremely painful and it did leave me like I had use of my hand and arm. But I was pain free for over a month. It is worth the day of discomfort.
—Guest Shanon

Pain Free

I have had several Cortisone shots in my foot. I suffer for a few days, but boy pain free for about 9 months. Its worth it to me and yes my doctor told me about side effects but when living with pain every second of the day it was well worth it.
—Guest Canadian

side effects worth the freedom from pain

I have 3 herniated discs (c4-c7) and have been in constant pain for a month. Pain became a barrier to PT (and ANY activity). Had a cortisone/lidocaine shot last week and one today and feel incredible. My dr told me about flushing and temp hyperactivity and also that lidocaine in the cervical spine could make me lightheaded. I did experience flushing (my whole body was hot), anxiety/insomnia for less than 24 hrs after each shot (falls under hyperactivity I think) and slight nausea. And yes VERY lightheaded after first shot but I also hadn't eaten for a few hours (my doc recomended not coming on an empty stomach next time which worked). But I feel free for the first time in a long time: done feelingirritable from pain, feeling out of shape bc I can't exercise, and missing out on events bc I'm in too much pain to go out. I will say I'm pretty sensitive to drugs too (ie novicaine makes me HIGH and lasts forever!!) Was a great solution for me and worth exploring for others.
—Guest NeckpaininNYC

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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