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

Responses: 491


Updated January 13, 2010

Bizarre and scary side effects

I was told the shot had no side effects but soreness at the injection site. I knew several people who has these injections with much success and no reactions. Got my injections in my bursa..it was quite painless and hours later I felt it was working. The following day I had muscle cramps in my legs, dizziness, vertigo,dehydration, anxiety etc. Dr who gave the shot denied any reactions. Primary care Dr checked me out and indeed this was what was happening. Almost a week now and better but still not right..NEVER AGAIN


I have had 3 injections of cortizone. Told the Dr. that I do not do well on cortizone but he said it was needed to calm down an inflamation in my feet which also was affecting my legs. He said there were no side effects. Each time the needle was so painful in my ankles. I became completely lethargic and the pain in my ankles and legs go worse. I was getting so many cramps. I told the office today I did not want any more shots. Not worth it. I have become very meloncholy and mild headachey. Everyone is not the same and doctors should be aware when being told that Cortizone does not work well on his patient. I have to walk with a cane part of the time.
—Guest Rosemarie Topor


I had a horrible reaction to ESIs w/Kenalog. I carefully asked about side effects in advance and was told perhaps some facial flushing. It's been 6 months since the injections and I'm still suffering from debilitating side effects, namely severe tingling and pain in all extremities and extreme fatigue - never had this before the shots and there's no doubt this was caused by the shots. To those who admonish that people w/side effects should "quit whining," do our research, and doctors are not the ones ultimately responsible: Doctors are most certainly responsible here. Many of the doctors who routinely inject this stuff are woefully uneducated about side effects, do not inform patients about possible side effects, and are overzealous and often irresponsible in their administration of these potent drugs. Doctors are the EXPERTS here, not the patients. Having gone to medical school and specifically trained to give these injections, they are fully responsible.
—Guest Samantha

Not told of any side effects

I had my first cortisone injection in my left knee today and was not told of any side effects! The DR was very rude and when i said i was nervous in case it hurt he just told me that i have had this problem for 8 years so should have built up quite a high pain tolerance, I have severe synovitis in my left knee which no one knows the reason for, i've had X RAYS, MMR, physio and a knee arthroscopy which were all clear so i think this was a last resort for them
—Guest Lisa

These shots changed my life!

I have started a huge garden, walk my dog around town and lost 40 lbs as I was now able to exercise PAIN FREE for the first time in Decades! Not 1 single side effect. I think most people that rush to the Internet looking for side effects in drugs or other treatments are subconsciousnessly putting these into their head. Blaming normal, everyday stuff on these shots. Do NOT listen to them.
—Guest fuzzy

Total Pain now

This wasn't the first time in my life that I had a cortisone shot.... but it may be my last. I have a bone spur in my foot. I became very painful. The OD gave me a cortisone shot and wow, it worked for 5 months, and then the pain returned. My MD's office PA gave me a 2nd one, and my life has been hell since. 3'x the pain now in the foot. So bad I use a cane for hrs off and on. I have a nerve that reacts (with pain) off or on the foot, and without warning. The pain is so intense, I would consider cutting off my foot! My reaction is said to be rare, only, they don't know if the pain will ever go away. Its been 6wks since the shot. In my life, I have had probably 6 cortisone shots, so I say this ... when you read the possible side effects.... one thing to consider is IF, I have a side effect, how long will I suffer from it. I did not know the side effect can be endless.


Had I known about the side effect of the contisone I would never have consented to the shot. My face is bright red, I'm hot all over and I'm sick to my stomach.
—Guest Nancy

I prefer the shot over surgery

I didn't do a very thorough research on the side effect because I had the injection done on my shoulder over 12 years ago for an injured rotator cuff and tendons. I had it done again because just about every move I made was so excruciating and the 2 months of Ibuprofen wasn't helping. The injection procedure was quick a minimal pain but the benefit was awesome. I could move my shoulder without any pain immediately and the doctor told me to not go crazy with it. Side effects dull to migraine type headache and insomnia. At first I didn't think of it since these condition are preexisting. It helped me.
—Guest John

No side-effects? New doctor!

I've seen a lot of comments stating they asked their doctor about side-effects and s/he said there were none. EVERY medication has side-effects.  I recommend that anyone who had a doctor tell them this, drop that doctor fast and find someone better. And do your homework. If you even *think* your doctor *might* give you a shot, Google it. Look into forums like this, note the assorted comments, and then look at medical sites (WebMD, Mayo Clinic, etc.).  Write down any questions or concerns you have about what you've heard/read and take them with you to your appt. Ask the doctor twice. Don't be afraid to say "Are you sure?" or ask to see the insert that comes with the medication.  Don't worry about offending your doctor, this is your LIFE we're talking about!
—Guest PatientAdvocate

never again

I had a cortisone injection for chronic hacking cough. No real change with it, but the side effects of shortness of breath, racing heart, anxiety, inability to lie down to sleep, insomnia is not worth it. Wish I had asked about side effects!!
—Guest pgermany

Am I glad I have researched first! :-)

So glad I decided to read comments on this site before having a cortizone shot. The percentage of negative comments far outweighs the positives and I think I will let nature take it's course and wait for the inflamation to settle naturally. :-)
—Guest Lyn

totally worth the pain

I had my second cortisone shot today on my L4 L5. Hurt like no other!! But I know I am on the mend. Was fully aware of the side affects because like some people on here that can't ask questions or look on the internet... I did. People! Stop blaming the doctors ! They do wanderful things and are here to helps us. I have yet to hear of a doctor that would cause intensional pain and side effects. I to aggree with "your mamma" stop blaming.g these doctors and take responsability ... I say well done to my doctor and his nurses. Because of what they have done for me I can now have a life with my beautiful children . I can do things that I yacht been able to do for 3 years.. well done doc!!!
—Guest jut


I have Dequervain's tendinitis and time ice physical therapy and topical steroids have provided a few minutes of relief at best. I got my first cortisone injection three days ago, the injection was very painful and at first the pain in my wrist was worse if anything. That night I experienced hot flashes and nausea. This morning I woke up virtually pain free for the first time in months. The side affects were completely worth it.
—Guest jack rva

Not worth it

I had a cortisone shot in my shoulder a few years ago... While the shot wasn't too painful for me, my shoulder was afterwards. It never really took the pain away, and also started my period which lasted for a month straight! I got scared so I booked an appointment with my gyno. I was told the shot is what did it! I didn't have enough sense to ask about the side effects, but I learned my lesson and always ask about everything now. Needless to say, I will never get another cortisone shot.
—Guest Ash

Knees injections

I had a shot in each knee. Have had 1 shot in right knee - first time both knees. Nausea-headache- heaviness in my chest this time. Dr. never mentioned side effect to me. Also unable to sleep. Had shot 2 days ago - hope side effects stop soon. One knee feeling better - other one not doing as well. Yes - I would have shots again - do not want knee replacement. Shots worked last time which was over 3 yrs ago..but only one shot. I felt maybe I had side effects because I had 2 shots. Thanks so much for you site. It helped reading what other had posted. It does relieve pain but we should be advised about the side effects - it wouldn't be as scary to experience them. That is where you site helped me so much. Thanks..
—Guest Guest Janice

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Did You Know About Possible Side-Effects of Cortisone?

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