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

Responses: 351


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? Would You Have Had a Shot

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

Cortisone Injections

I had already 3 of those injectins, never had any side effects, I was informed of possible side effects but I'm happy my pain is gone, at least for a little while about 3 months that's how long they last for me.
—Guest Lore

Some of them--still worth it.

I was told about elevated blood sugar and rare cases of irritability and headaches, but I had no idea I'd have a period that lasted nearly 2 months. I had 2 treatments and no regrets. The pain I was in beforehand was far worse than the inconvenience of 2-month spotting. I felt immediate relief.
—Guest Liz

Never again

I can only hope other woman read this and don't feel so alone,I injured my knee and after an X-ray and 30sec consult my orthodo says do you want steroid shot?i agreed hesitantly as I could barley walk on that leg hoping it would provide relief, well it took a few days then voila knee improved drastically,however the nightmare begins I have been bleeding (period bleeding) for almost two weeks straight now & I've never had abnormal periods and never over 5days with maybe 2heavy days it is showing no signs of stopping or slowing down, I am not preg or peri menopause, I finally had an epiphany, holy crap the steroid shot, sure enuff all over internet same horror stories, they sure don't warn you of this Side effect, prob won't even admit it based on stuff I've read wow...you don't realise the power of this drug until it cures your pain or wreaks havoc on your body..I'm exhausted and depressed praying this will stop and I have 10days before my gyno can see me.god help me!
—Guest Sore knee

Good So Far

I had 2 shots yesterday and already I have some relief. Was concerned this morning when my blood sugar was up and face beet red. Call to my Dr. assured me that this no doubt is from the Cortisone, and I am further assured from some letters here. Thank you, I will continue to have these in intervals as long as they work. My last injections were 9 months ago and only recently has the severe pain returned. Thanks.
—Guest norinne

What Happened?

I've had cortisone shots before, but not for several years. Had one in my knee today, and by nightfall I thought my head was going to explode! The headache was just horrific, and I spent most of the night just wandering around the house unable to sleep. Dr. asked if I was allergic to anything, but didn't warn me about the headache. Don't think I'll do this again!!
—Guest Duffersmom

shot in wrist

had an injection in wrist on Wednesday was not told of side effects did not sign any consent form and my tendon is now ruptured and can't move my thumb now have to have op to repair the ruptured tendon, not happy bunny
—Guest Claire

Would You Have Had a Shot

Did You Know About Possible Side-Effects of Cortisone?

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  3. Orthopedics
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  5. Arthritis Treatment
  6. Injections
  7. Side-Effects of Cortisone Shots - Your Experience With a Cortisone Shot

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