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

Responses: 357


Updated January 13, 2010

From the article: Cortisone Shots
Most cortisone shots offer reduction of inflammation and dramatic pain relief. However, there are possible side effects from a cortisone injection, most commonly discomfort and facial flushing. Less common side effects include elevated blood sugar, skin pigment changes, and tendon rupture. Did you know about possible side effects of your cortisone injection? Would you have had the injection if you knew about the possible side effects?

injection in my wrist

i was never told about the side effects of this shot so now the pigmet in my wrist is gone where i recieved the shot. i will admit that it did help and luckly if i need to i can put on a watch or bracelet to cover up the spot the injection left.
—Guest michelle

knee shot

This medicine made ​​me lose my taste buds, give me allergies, fever and severe stomach pain and vomiting.
—Guest Eli

No! knee shot

When my Ortho announced he was giving me an injection, I asked "what are you injecting?" Answer: "Your knee." "You'll want to ice that for 24 hours--no heat." That was IT concerning notificaition about side effects, flushing, blood sugar, etc. Although I called the Dr. office for more info, my call was not returned and I didn't discover what was injected (synovial fluid vs cortosteroid) until I obtained my medical records a week later in preparation for changing doctors. And, since I had no idea in advance that an injection was planned, I had no opportunity to do research. I should have walked out, but was so taken off guard by the Dr.'s bad behaviour that I permitted the shot. Helped for a few days, but now 2 weeks later knee is as bad as ever.
—Guest annie


I had a cortisone shot today in my knee. Have had several others and never felt so awful. Have a serious headache and I am dizzy. Hopefully this will subside soon. Barely made it home.
—Guest jenn gin


Never ever again. Three years ago I had this shot for pain. I began becoming increasingly ill, blood pressure and blood sugar went extremely high and low uncontrollable. Also came with overall weakness , short term memory loss and confusion so severe I had to have help for everything. Was told by doctor that my symptoms were to extreme to have been caused from the shot. Recently had the shot again exact same issues even more intense can't even walk from extreme weakness.

Four day headache - not warned - but ok

I had a shot in my knee on Thursday. By Friday night I had a heavy dull headache which lasted until Tuesday night then it gradually cleared. This is the third quarterly shot but the first time I have experienced the headache and lethargy. The real bonus is my knee works. So far, worth the effort. Appreciate the information on this site - helps to know I am not unique.
—Guest Joyce

Knee Shot

I have diabetes and arthritis in the knee, the day after my injections I have elevated blood sugar, nothing I can't get back down in time, but it has always been a side affect I have experienced.
—Guest Linda H.

Yes I have a reaction

I have red flushing to May face and chest as well as breathlessness after a cortisone shot in my hip yesterday. Couldn't sleep last night either...this is my 3rd shot in 18 months and haven't had a reaction before....and no, no one warned me about this.
—Guest Penhan

Worth having one!

Cortisone shots usually take about 3 days to work. People need to give it time. A few days ago I had my 2nd one and I got a little dizzy which they say they see people everyday have this reaction. I don't think it is a big deal as I believe it is just anxiety.
—Guest Connie

Never again can I have them-rare

I had 1 in my ankle many years ago that caused more pain than what I had before the injection. About 5-6 yrs ago, I had an issue with trigger finger in my right hand. The first thing they wanted to do was cortisone injections. I wasn't thrilled. They gave me 2, one in each problem finger. I had flushing and hot flash and was nauseous with the first. Second one I got chills and felt lightheaded. Ended up having to lay down for a few minutes. It hurt a ton but they told me I could go to work. Later that night, I saw a cyst forming that was very painful. I also had red streaks in my hand. They ended up having to do surgery in my hand to cut out the infection. The dr. said he never saw that happen before. I had to wait 6 weeks to have the actual trigger finger release taken care of because of the infection. Dr. told me not to have a cortisone injection again. Every time I tell the Dr.s why they cant give me another one, I just get a weird look. Too bad. Not going thru that again

No - dr didn't tell me of any side effec

Never again. Dr. assured me that the cortisone just stayed at the site and didn't tell me of an risks or side effects. Insomnia, headache, nausea and high blood sugar not worth it. How can so many dr's I read about here not tell us there are side effects!
—Guest Karen Stewart

So Much Pain!

I got a shot yesterday in my joint just below my thumb and I cant believe the pain Ive been in! I think I'm having a FLARE. Ive had surgeries and this pain is right up there! They wouldn't give me a scrip, either! I sure hope this will be worth it!
—Guest Arlien

Educate before any treatment

Cont.... To make my long story short, I did receive my 1st cortisone shot yesterday. As i do not have any cartliage left in my kneecap to destroy. I had instant relief in my pain. But, yes, I have a headache, insomnia, & loss of appetite. But, I'll tell you this in the long run it's not a migraine, it's not ALS, & it's not Cancer. There's hope & I will live through these side effects....but, then I educate myself and have an osteopath dr I trust, and a chiropractor I know advises me as an individual & what nature can provide for my worn & torn body. It's that simple people educate yourself...don't blame others
—Guest Missy from MI


I had an injection three weeks ago and have felt really ill ever since. Pain better, but I would rather have pain than feel like this. I feel like crying, have nausea, very much reduced mobility, and just feel total rubbish. NEVER again
—Guest Marion

good usually outweighs bad

I've been having quarterly shots since about 2010. They gradually started helping for incrementally decreased periods of time however to me, at 56, even the few short weeks of increased mobility made the four days of misery after each injection worthwhile. I received two injections last night, this morning I can't put weight on EITHER knee. I'm hoping it's going to pass. Slide note: my symptoms are as many of yours: heart palpitations, fever, extreme headaches, insomnia and increased blood sugar sensitivity, for instance, when eating a meal with ANY carbs or sugars I react with intense tachycardia and anxiety which usually lasts a good three hours. This all goes away in three to four days
—Guest guest
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