Patient Comments: Cortisone Injection - Side Effects


What side effects (if any) did you experience with your cortisone injection? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Rachel, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I had cortisone injections in both knees at the same time last week (arthritis in my knee caps). Since then, I've finished/re-started my period in the space of two days and my head feels so dizzy and foggy! If these are the side effects of these injections, I am not having any more, I'll wait for my knee replacement surgery instead!

Comment from: constant pain, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 10

After my fourth series of cortisone injections in the facet joints in my neck, I had incredible pains in my entire back region. I could not sleep but at the same time was profoundly exhausted as well as achy and missed an entire week of work. I had a fever and constant hot flashes. The pain extended from my thighs, up my spine and into my head, resulting in a spitting headache. And I still have the same neck and shoulder pain. USD 600.00 down the drain. Never again.

Comment from: Thanatologist, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 01

When I get my cortisone injection my shoulder aches for a day or so and then the pain is gone for the next 3 months. Miracle drug.

Comment from: Dianne 7000, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 28

Two weeks ago I had a cortisone injection in my right hip for very painful bursitis. One week later I have been waking up every single morning between 4:00 am and 7:30 am to awful calf cramps, sometimes in both legs at the same time! I'm taking magnesium/calcium supplements and drinking lots of water in hopes of stopping this but it's not working. My hip is feeling somewhat better but it's certainly not worth these horrible cramps!

Comment from: tennisbum, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: September 19

I had cortisone injection in my hip. Five days later, I'm suffering from increased pain, dizziness, and vertigo. Maybe the shot is kicking in.

Comment from: Linda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 13

I got a cortisone shot two weeks ago for shoulder pain due to torn rotator cuff. There was one night of sleeplessness and feeling weird. I had hot flashes during the day. Now I've started having a period again and I went through menopause 5 years ago! I'm also very bloated. I will not take another shot. I'll go back to my previous pain management regimen and have now begun physical therapy. I hope to avoid surgery because I can't miss several weeks of teaching right now.

Comment from: nanad, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 07

I had cortisone shot 3 days ago my sugar went to 404 and I have been so weak and sleepy ever since. I woke up this morning, my arms got so weak and I am limping. I have to concentrate hard on everything, there is no pain in my back though. But where has my strength gone! I also have cold sweats and nausea.

Comment from: been there done that, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I have been getting cortisone shots every three months for four years in my left sacroiliac joint. The symptoms I've had are sweating, hot flushes of the upper body, painful red/purple face on one side of face that required cold packs for about twelve hours, insomnia, heart racing, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Soreness and swelling at the injection site required ice packs for several days. I had cramping and crawling feeling in arms and legs. These have happened separately and in groups and several times all together. The shots have always worked for the pain though.

Comment from: Mary, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 16

I have had many cortisone injections since an injury in 1999 and have never felt bad until the one I received yesterday. It was an anterior approach right hip injection. I am burning up without any fever, my face is bright red, I am very nauseous, it hurts to eat and I have a very bad head ache. These side effects are terrible. The injection otherwise has help to get rid of my pain. So I would say a day or two of side effects is worth the relief from the pain that I have been dealing with since 1999.

Comment from: LSMom, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

I had a cortisone shot in my knee in March of this year. This was the first time I ever experienced side effects other than the flare a few hours after the shot. My heart raced, my face was hot all the time, I had a headache, my blood pressure was up and my blood sugar was up (not diabetic). The knee pain was rough for the first 24 hours, but got better after that. The other side effects I mentioned took about 4 days to completely fade. Now fast forward to yesterday when I got another cortisone shot in the same knee. I got the shot in the morning and felt ok, just a little soreness in the knee and upper thigh. Last night was a whole different story. My heart rate was up, couldn't sleep, headache, face felt hot, felt jittery, knee/thigh soreness. I woke up this morning feeling the same way. I am hoping that this goes away soon! I should mention that the shot was for patella fat pad impingement.

Get a Grip on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: Lucy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

I also suffer from side effects after steroid shots. My left side of my body swells, I have severe muscle cramps, headaches, etc. I also found out I have severe magnesium loss. On my own I researched and found out I needed large amounts of water every day. Then I take magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, as well as leg cramp pills with quinine, this helps the most! Doctors won't admit that there are six effects to the steroid shots! But since I find a huge amount of pain relief from them, I will put up with the side effects! Pain killers hardly touch the joint pain at all! So for me it's put up or shut up! Good luck to all you other pain sufferers! Maybe someone else has something more to add about what to use!

Comment from: sweety reedy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 24

My cortisone shot was in my hip. The shot was pretty much painless. I was not told that I could possibly have insomnia. I did not sleep all night. I surprisingly did have a lot of energy the next day. I was also not told to take it easy, and so I rode my bike on a nice ride the next day. The next day or so I ended up with pain in front of my leg in the groin area which did go away. The cortisone shot has helped greatly. I do have a small amount of pain but am mostly happy that I can sleep with no pain.

Comment from: Nikki Now, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

I received a series of 3 cortisone injections to my low back, left hip and 1 in my right big toe in a span of 3 months. I have bulging discs and bursitis in my hips along with arthritis in my toes. Usually the side effects go away after 10 days. But this time, the symptoms lingered for about 3 months and were severe. I was experiencing sleepless nights, racing heart, night sweats and headaches. During the day, I suffered from severe anxiety, headaches, extreme irritability, gas and severe nausea. It was awful. I finally went to an acupuncturist which helped a lot. Also, I'm on pain medication and I thought I was experiencing tolerance from the medications and I thought I having withdrawal symptoms. I will not get these injections ever again. When I told the doctor, she didn't want to acknowledge these side effects from the injections.

Comment from: Midnyte, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 05

I am 62 and always enjoyed perfect health. After a visit to my kids, and a lot of shopping and waling, I came home with some soreness in the back of my knee. Then my knee swelled up and started locking up. I finally went to the doctor and he ordered an x-ray. Nothing showed up. I returned after a week and was prescribed Celebrex for 10 days, with not much improvement. I returned to the doctor and he sent me to a specialist, who said he could see mild osteoarthritis in my right knee, and he gave me a cortisone shot. It didn't hurt, and just felt like some pressure. Nothing much changed at first, but suddenly I started having severe locking and cracking, and I could hardly walk. Then my right elbow started to hurt, and I could not turn my arm and the wrist was weak and sore. My neck was always a bit crack prone, but it locked up and I couldn't turn my head, and the pain in my shoulder in the other arm started. I had frozen shoulder before in the other arm, but never in the left one! Then my left thumb joint swelled up and was actually purple and so sore it felt like it was broken. One morning my wedding ring finger felt tight, so I took my ring off, and good thing because it swelled right up and was sore. Then (yes, there is more) my other knee started catching and cracking, but was not as sore as the first one. However then I got up and had severe swelling in the calf of the left knee, and was scared of a clot. I elevated my foot as much as possible and it helped. Now I am so sore all over that I have no strength to grab or walk much and I was always walking with my dog before! All this happened within one month. I am trying to get back to see my regular doctor but we lost one doctor and it is hard to get in to see him. I wonder if anyone else has had this sort of reaction. I didn't have any flashes or that other stuff. I feel like a cripple and not sure where this is going!

Comment from: atrocks, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I had a cortisone injection in my right hip less than a week ago and since then have had hot flashes and difficulty sleeping for the past week but it is improving. My stomach is upset and I feel bloated and burp a lot. I noticed others had gastrointestinal symptoms too. I also feel a bit dizzy and out of it.

Comment from: Lucy Lou, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I had a cortisone injection to my right hip this morning at 10.30 am. By 5 pm I had a raging headache. I am not one that gets a headache. I have drunk heaps of water and taken paracetamol with 30 mg of codeine. At 10 pm my headache has eased. My hip is throbbing, however! I was advised it may take up to 10 days to work! Fingers crossed!

Comment from: Sherry, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 24

I had a cortisone injection in my right knee. I have had severe pain for months. It has been two hours now and I feel great relief. I have no side effects, so I am delighted I had it done. This my second time. It helped a lot.

Comment from: Merbat, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 19

Monday I had a shot of cortisone in each knee. I have osteoarthritis in my knees, and have been overusing them, as my husband was recently diagnosed with cancer, and could not do much. A few hours later the pain and stiffness started, and my left knee (the bad one) felt like it would give out, I had to hold on to sit down. Then after sitting and working for 5 hours I got up and my lower legs and feet were very swollen; everything felt stiff like my skin might break apart like a sausage. Getting on the scale I also saw I had gained 5 pounds in one day! Today (Wednesday) my face was very red, cheeks swollen, and legs are still swollen. Then I had diarrhea, and I have history of inflammatory bowel. I would never have another set of these. Calling the nurse she got back to me and said it will go away. Why was I never warned of any side effects! I had had two previous shots, but only on the left knee, one at a time. Stress, pain, inflammation, and fear; I was/am feeling anxious, and fearful, never again. I have inflammation, redness, and swelling.

Get a Grip on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: emagindat, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 08

I got a cortisone shot in my knee 2 days ago for arthritis pain and within minutes my knee started feeling better. However, the next day my face was red and hot to the touch and I felt like I was coming down with a cold. The other symptoms went away by last night but the face is still red; bring in the clowns!

Comment from: Trish, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 08

I had a hip cortisone injection today and now at 9:00 at night I'm feeling really hot like hot flashes! I have had 3 back injections and found it was the same way with those! Just wondering if anyone else had experienced this. Maybe it is a side effect of the shot! I haven't read of this side effect anywhere.

Comment from: KB, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 02

I had a cortisone shot a week and a half ago and have been suffering from headaches and anxiety since then. My pain has improved, so that's good. I've had cortisone shots before and not had this reaction.

Comment from: Jane, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 28

I got a cortisone injection to my right knee yesterday morning. By afternoon I had developed a headache that is still present this morning. I couldn't sleep last night and this morning my face is very flushed.

Comment from: mr.C, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 25

I had a cortisone shot yesterday for shoulder bursitis. After sleeping for about an hour and a half I woke up with the worst pain I can remember having. My shoulder hurt and that is why I got the shot. I don't think I will ever get one again. The pain is so extreme that I haven't been able to go back to sleep since. It's been 36 hours so far. I hope the pain goes away soon. I feel like a zombie now. At least I was able to sleep before. Exercise caution getting this shot please!

Comment from: chonch, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 25

After I got the cortisone injection in my elbow, I felt a little sore but nothing really bad. I went to sleep that night and at 3 am I got the hiccups for 5 hours. I couldn't sleep. I went to work where I had the hiccups for about an hour and it went away all by itself. Four days later my elbow is bright red like a tomato and it is very sore.

Comment from: Jonerz, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

After receiving cortisone injections in my wrist/hand to treat de Quervain's tenosynovitis I noticed several months later I began developing small dark purplish bruises on that same wrist/hand without any significant bumping around the area. I had the injections almost 7 months ago and continue to get these bruises. I don't get these splotches anywhere else on my body so I assume they are directly related to the injections.

Comment from: frank, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 07

Every time I get cortisone injection in my knee I get hiccups the next day, I wonder if it ever happens to others.

Comment from: Teresa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 30

I got a cortisone injection two days ago in my knee. Yesterday, my cheeks became hot and bright red, hot 101 degree hot. I feel tired, but am sleeping horrible. This is my first reaction like this. Hope it gets better soon.

Comment from: YvonneBG, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 24

I received a cortisone Injection in my wrist in January 2016. Ever since the injection I occasionally get large purple/red spots (bruising) in the general area of my injection. I do not hit my wrist or anything, these can be caused by something as simple as my sleeve rubbing against the skin. Currently I have some blotchy redness in the same general area of the injection (over a year later) with some sensitivity.

Comment from: casandra, Female (Patient) Published: March 13

I had a cortisone injection on my knee. My cheeks are red so it is obvious my blood pressure must be high. Also I could not sleep. I have tried to drink a lot of water to see if it leaves my system but two days now and no change.

Get a Grip on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: DLH, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

I had a cortisone shot in my left knee. Only side effects were a sleepless night and headache. The knee feels better.

Comment from: Betz, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 09

I had cortisone shot in each hip on a Monday afternoon at approximately 2:30 pm. I felt a little extra tired on Tuesday night at around 10 pm but stayed up until midnight anyway because I don't sleep well. I went in to the bathroom to take night time medicines and saw in the mirror the right side of my face was all red, very swollen and hot. My ear was also hot and red. It's now noon on Wednesday and the redness isn't as pronounced bit it is still very warm and I feel yucky.

Comment from: SwedishGal, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 10

It is 12 hours since cortisone injection to battle my flare of ulcerative colitis. I am sweating profusely and my brain is in overdrive. I feel super focused and alert, almost like a heightened sense of awareness. I don't think I will be able to sleep at all, and this was also the case during my previous treatment with cortisone.

Comment from: hotflashanne, 65-74 (Patient) Published: December 27

I had a caudal cortisone injection five days ago. I was very much hyped up for two days and sweated the entire time. On the fourth day I was just sitting and the worst hot flash ever came over me. I felt like my upper body was on fire. I also had fatigue which was pretty bad the third day. I like to mention that I am way beyond the menopause years so sweating and hot flashes were not from that. I still have some back and leg pain. Not sure if I will have any more cortisone shots. I have had a number of them in the past in knee and shoulders but only got a little flushed and hyped up for a few days. Not understanding this shot reaction at all.

Comment from: JaCassdy54, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 15

I had cortisone injection in my right knee after a year of severe pain and severe ongoing swelling with any activity. I tried Synvisc with zero results. A couple of hours after, I began getting a severe headache which turned into a migraine. And 24 hours later my head still aches. I had, like no other, major acid reflux and haven't been able to eat. I haven't slept. Anxious. I hope tomorrow will be a better day. This was my first injection.

Comment from: Kimbearmom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 04

I got a cortisone shot for bursitis in my left hip. It hit a nerve or something and I jerked badly. This morning I am so sore and stiff I can hardly walk! I don't know what happened. It's supposed to help! This is not my first shot. I have had them in foot and other hip but never like this!

Comment from: southerngirly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 29

I had a cortisone injection in the knee and elbow same day, yesterday. Last night I had a headache and broke out in a sweat all night long, and did not sleep. I am feeling very fatigued and still have a headache along with flushed red face. It could be due to having two instead of one.

Comment from: Amanda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 29

I had a cortisone shot in left knee on Friday, September 16, 2016. By Monday morning, September 19, 2016, I was vomiting and had a severe, severe migraine like I have never had in my entire life. I missed work for 2 days, had to see 2 doctors, and lost pay from work since we do not have sick days. The first doctor on Monday almost called 911 due to my condition. I lost a lot of work and money. I also lost a sense of safety. I don't know how long this poison will stay in my system or if I have long term problems that I will have to deal with later. By the way, my knee was already hurting, less than a week later. So not worth the torture I had to endure or lost hours from work.

Comment from: Torino, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 14

I had a cortisone shot to my right knee about a week and a half ago. The pain was significantly relieved almost immediately but I noticed a couple of days after the injection that both my blood pressure and glucose levels went up sky high and have continued to stay up since then.

Comment from: San, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 06

I had a cortisone injection into my facet joint in my spine about 16 hours ago and I have no pain but insomnia, hot flushes, sneezing, my body pulsating like mad and heart racing. I'm remaining positive and I am sure it will be worth it all.

Get a Grip on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: marylynn, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

I was given a cortisone injection in my hand yesterday after being diagnosed with a trigger finger on my middle finger of my left hand. The side effects have been much worse than the pain in my hand! I have been diabetic for 44 years and my blood sugars shot up, and I experienced nausea, lethargy, dizziness, sleeplessness, mood swings and a very rapid and hard heartbeat. I could not function today and wanted to cry all day from the emotional shift. No more cortisone for me!

Comment from: Akutchi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 04

I had my first cortisone injection 2 days ago in my right knee. This morning I woke up to a red and warm left arm that went across my back and chest to my right arm. My left shoulder aches a bit and my fingers were tingly. I took a Benadryl and it is helping. The doctor says the milky substance that is part of the shot may be causing it.

Comment from: AmyLouWho, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

I had my first cortisone injection in my right shoulder yesterday. The pain relief was relatively fast! However, I woke up at 2 am violently vomiting, with no flu symptoms, no temperature or body aches. I emptied my stomach and was fine, was able to go back to sleep. I have a headache and a sour stomach today.

Comment from: Ginger, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

I had cortisone injections in both knees this morning at 8:30 EST 7/23/2016, and developed a severe headache which I still have at 12:20 AM 7/24/2016. I have taken ibuprofen, Tylenol, Advil, and nothing is working.

Comment from: Jenny j, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 19

I have had a total of 5 sterilized cortisone injections either in my hands or my spine. The last three have given me symptoms; red flush to cheeks and nose, extreme fatigue, stomach pains (pressure in upper abdomen and general bloating), pain at site of procedure. The most recent was in L4 L5 lumbar region, and it was a lengthy procedure, very painful. Following three weeks have been bad enough for me to decide I am no longer going down the route of steroid treatment. I hope this helps other patients.

Comment from: CMP, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

Two days ago I received a corticosteroid fluoroscopic injection in my left hip. Yesterday morning, I woke up to feeling flu-like symptoms: hotness, nausea, tiredness, lack of appetite. This morning, I woke to a splitting headache which did not subside all day, even with ibuprofen (the only pain reliever that helps me). Now, I can't sleep. On the plus side, my hip pain is just about gone. The injection itself was not painful, but the Novacaine shots (4 of them) were. The injection site is still sore, but my joint pain is much better. Hope it lasts.

Comment from: Robin, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 12

I am experiencing labored breathing after my cortisone shot. Also, I want to eat everything in the house.

Comment from: trusty1, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 12

I got 2 cortisone shots, and the next day I not only experienced flushing but also got a bad case of the hiccups. I understand the flushing for which I used Benadryl, which is fairly normal, but the hiccups recurred several times during the day after treatment. They were pretty severe. I used packs of sugar to relieve them. The hiccups actually started during the night after the injections.

Comment from: Liz, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 11

I have had multiple cortisone shots for trigger fingers, in both hands. I experienced numerous hot flashes, night sweats, indigestion, and insomnia within the first 24 hours. I did not suffer any of these side effects when I received injections previously. Hopefully these are side effects that will go away over the next few days. I am unsure if I will take this route again with injections or if I will just opt for surgery when they begin locking again.

Comment from: linda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 01

I had a cortisone injection yesterday for a neuroma in my foot. I did not sleep well last night, my cheeks are bright red and warm and I have a headache. My foot is still sore so I don't think it has kicked in yet.

Comment from: jean, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 28

I have many environmental and medical allergies, so I'm reluctant to try anything new. But about 6 months ago I began to have excruciating pain in my neck and left arm, like an almost constant electrical shock going all the way down to my fingertips; probably a pinched nerve, according to tests. I had tried an epidural steroid shot many years ago for my long-standing back pain, with little relief, but this pain was level 10, so I got an almost painless cortisone shot in my cervical spine. It was quite miraculous, stopping the shock-like pain the very day of the injection, and my only side effect was a short-lived headache and minor raising of my glucose levels (which subside about a week after each shot). I got a 2nd shot for the residual pain in my arm, again, great results. Decided to try it for my lower back, since that pain has gotten worse over the years, and not much pain relief, but I think the shot is responsible for the lessening of my many recurring leg and foot cramps, which are probably/apparently caused by my back issues. So, I hope to be able to get more shots as needed; when the pain gets to be unbearable, these injections can be a lifesaver!

Get a Grip on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: ShirleyT, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 23

I had a fluoroscopy-guided cortisone injection into my right hip joint yesterday. The procedure itself was not too bad, as the doctor used lidocaine to numb the injection site which was at the front, near my pelvic bone. The procedure took about 15 minutes start to finish. I felt fine until I got up. I felt dizzy, and tipsy, as if I had a few drinks. I sat down, then I had the sensation my tongue was swelling, but it wasn't. That only lasted about 20 minutes. I felt very thirsty. I then began to feel very cold, shivering. I was brought a blanket and sat under that for 30 minutes. I noticed that when I got dressed I had pain running from about the injection site into my groin when I tried lifting my leg. I needed assistance walking to the car and from the car into my home. On the 30 minute drive home, (I had a driver), there were several times I felt like bursting out in tears, not from pain, just like emotion, though I am not really a crier. When I got home I took a 3 hour nap and all of the symptoms described above disappeared. I did feel sort of weak, groggy and out of it the rest of the day, and after about 6 hours was feeling some pain in the hip and at the injection site. The doctor said that was a possibility, and I could ice it and take ibuprofen, as it could take 24 to 48 hours for the steroid to take effect. Today the grogginess and weakness are gone, and I feel a little tenderness at the injection site, and a little pain in the hip area. I took another ibuprofen and applied an ice pack. So far, the pain is not as bad as it was prior to the shot.

Comment from: BeyondTired, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I have severe and chronic back pain since 2001. Several years ago I went through the whole rigmarole of steroid shots under x-ray in the hip and spine. Nothing worked and after many years of medications I gave up hope of finding a pain reliever. In April of 2016 I was in so much pain I went to another pain doctor and had two sacroiliac (SI) joint injections two weeks apart. After each cortisone injection I experienced severe upper stomach pains. The first lasted 3 days and the second lasted 7 days. My doctor says he has never heard of these shots causing stomach problems and wants me to continue with spinal injections which I am not inspired to do.

Comment from: Anntanns1, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 06

I've been getting facet joint injections in L4/5 and L4-S1 every 6 months for a decade now. I have a pain free lower back and no side effects from those cortisone injections. Recently I needed to start injections in my knees (osteoarthritis). Usually they are painless injections, and the knees are pain free the next day. This last injection caused a severe leg cramp that won't go away. No other side effects, just this really painful muscle contraction. I take 750 mg Osteo Bi-flex daily, and am in good health otherwise.

Comment from: hotshot, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: June 06

I got a cortisone injection for severe knee pain. The doctor said it might be a couple of days before I noticed any relief. By the time I walked out to my car, I was almost pain free. And this is wild! I have a very poor sense of smell. Today, the day after the shot, I am smelling more odors than I have in a long, long time. I wonder if there is a cause effect thing happening here.

Comment from: AmyC, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 24

I received a cortisone shot in my knee yesterday. Today I woke up with bad headache and my cheeks were extremely red. My knee is feeling a little better, but I heard it takes a few days for the medicine to kick in! Hopefully the red cheeks will go away soon.

Comment from: BB, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 19

One month ago I had an SI (sacroiliac) joint cortisone injection for therapeutic and diagnostic reasons due to hip, leg, lower back, and groin pain. Since then I have flushing, sweating, and some nausea. It did not relieve my pain so my orthopedist ordered an MRI which showed herniation at L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels. In 2 days I am scheduled for injections in the above joints. If successful, he will schedule a nerve ablation. If not, he'll schedule a nerve block. I hope something works because I have been out of work on leave for 2 months so far. I am a therapist in a nursing and rehabilitation facility and we have no light duty.

Comment from: Sàndy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I suffered severe muscle weakness, severe headaches, increased pain, vomiting, randomly collapsing, mood swings, and was unable to work for over a week after cortisone injection, where before I was able to tolerate pain and able to work.

Comment from: tigger, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 28

Years ago I had a cortisone injection in my shoulder, had no side effects and it fixed the issue. Three and a half months ago I got two cortisone injections, one in each thumb for bone on bone arthritis. The first few hours I was in severe pain, which got better and disappeared. But then all the other weird things started happening. My blood pressure (BP) spiked and my head felt like it was going to blow off. The BP has finally started going down but it would spike to the point that I could feel it. My sugar number was a bit high in a recent physical. Gastric nightmares with gurgling, bloating, gas, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, I came down with the flu, ended up in the emergency room because my potassium levels dropped very low. The first month or so I suffered almost daily panic attacks, something that hadn't happened in a few years, and insomnia. I had a constant low level of anxiety. It did take the thumb pain from a daily 10 down to a daily 3. But I'll never do it again. I'm still suffering with many of the above symptoms.

Get a Grip on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: Rachel, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

I had a steroid shot in my shoulder for bursitis pain and the next 2 mornings my cheeks were flushed although I felt fine. I had trouble getting to sleep last night which is very unusual for me.

Comment from: grannymag, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I had a cortisone injection in my shoulder. I am a diabetic on a pump. I have been fairly well controlled for 50 years but my blood sugar went through the roof beyond 30 and I could not get it down in spite of increasing doses of insulin. Eventually I had to go to Accident and Emergency as it was the weekend. I was told it was a reaction to the injection. By then I was dehydrated, feeling very dizzy, and had palpitations. My mouth was also extremely painful. My shoulder is much better.

Comment from: weasel, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 19

I had been suffering from debilitating rashes on chest and back, as well as others spots. Pimply things behind my ears and on the back of my head, so super itchy I couldn't sleep. I saw my primary doctor and we tried a couple different things. Nothing worked. I was sure I had dermatomyositis, because all my symptoms matched what I was able to find out. Long story short, I was referred to dermatologist, who said I was wrong, all I had was dermatitis that had taken over my body due to dry skin and scratching. He injected my arm with a cortisone shot. Since then I have been really kind of sick. Cramping in bowel, urinal pain, needing to urinate constantly (when nothing was there to really expel), heart racing, feeling flu-ish (temperature was 99.7), lightheaded, and spaced out. I get chills, and need to be under blanket. I'm hoping this will subside soon (shot was 6 days ago), but if this is what I get for a cortisone injection, I may just say no next time.

Comment from: jean, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

Western medicine does not recognize a yeast overgrowth. I mean when it gets in the blood it is much more serious than a vaginal infection. After my 1st cortisone shot, I felt sick for about 10 days. The steroids affect the adrenal glands, make one's blood sugar go up/down. I have a life-long problem with Candida or yeast. I have had to be on Diflucan (systemic antifungal) for 3 months. No sugar, no simple carbohydrates, etc. I itched all over. My current woman doctor has been supportive, but you may not find a doctor who even believes candidiasis exists. Every drug has some side effect unfortunately. Do some research and good luck!

Comment from: casamarina, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I got my first cortisone injection on Wednesday and on Thursday it started hurting even more than it should. The injection was for my shoulder. Yesterday it was a bit sore and today there were bruises and a blister on the spot where I had the injection. I went back to the doctor who had no idea. I then went to Accident and Emergency who told me that injection was given incorrectly and have given me penicillin to take. I am still in pain.

Comment from: Lynne P, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

I have rheumatoid arthritis and had a cortisone injection in my left knee. My sugar reading was high this morning, I woke up about 4 times to go to the bathroom and I have a severe headache. But, with all of that, I do not have pain in my knee. I would do it again.

Comment from: Lea, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 06

I had my first cortisone shots yesterday in left side of neck and left shoulder capsule. I found the injections painful but not as painful as the pain and muscle spasms I have. I did not sleep well last night. Not unusual for me as I have insomnia. My worry today is my blood pressure which is too high at 197 over 105. I had headache this morning and nausea.

Comment from: Kel, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 04

I had my first cortisone injection for pain associated with hip dysplasia. The shot itself was very painful! By the end of the day I have terrible hot flashes and sweating. My cheeks are hot and red. My stomach is off, slightly nauseous, and I have a rotten headache. And at this point, my hip doesn't feel any better than it did prior to the shot.

Comment from: mijdaeh, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 01

I received a cortisone shot in my knee yesterday. I noticed an increase in heart rate and was unable to sleep last night. However, the knee is much improved today.

Comment from: Jah, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 28

I had right basal joint replacement (thumb). They gave a shot during surgery in the incision for pain. The next day my face was hot and flushed for about 24 hours, no fever though. At the follow up visit 6 weeks later I had a cortisone shot in my left hand basal joint to hold it over until I can have surgery on it and the evening/next day I had a very flushed and hot face again. The shot was the only thing that was the same.

Get a Grip on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: PatW, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I am not sure if this is a side effect or not, but the last 2 times I have gotten cortisone injections I have suffered from awful headaches. I have had this one since right after the procedure at 10 am yesterday. It has now been over 24 hours. I have taken my pain pill, and tried Tylenol. I had to hold my head all through the night.

Comment from: San, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 01

I was diagnosed with a herniated disk on L 5. I had two cortisone injections. It helped the immediate severe pain but after a month I have severe pain in both hips and left foot. I am unable to walk normally and have constant pain. I wonder if this is avascular necrosis.

Comment from: mj, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 23

I had a lower back cortisone injection and the very next day my right hip was so painful I could barely put weight on it. It took 3 weeks for the soreness to go away and the back pain it was intended to treat remained the same and is now worse.

Comment from: Miracle77, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 17

I have injured knees from near-fatal car wreck. Orthopedic doctor gave me a cortisone injection. I never had the chicken pox, but grew up with brothers that did. I was going through very stressful time, so, the steroid shot with the chicken pox fact and stress fact perpetrated the shingles! Wow, what a knock down! I am thankful the blisters only popped out on 3 inch area of forehead and top of skull, really just like welts that were super painful, but the worst part is you get knocked down with flu symptoms; no energy, fever, and achy. It usually takes 6 to 8 weeks, or sometimes more, to cure. Natural things like elderberry, echinacea, vitamins D3 plus K2 (7 HP), turmeric, lysine (amino acid to boost your immune system really helped), and Skullcap (liquid) to calm nerves are helpful. I called my doctor and nurse, they did not know to question patients if they were giving a steroid shot!

Comment from: Sidney, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 11

I had a shoulder injection of cortisone. It has been effective at reducing swelling and pain. However, it has given me hiccups which have continued for days, interfering with sleep and normal activities.

Comment from: Ethel, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: February 09

I had a shoulder cortisone injection two days ago. My face ears and nose are red and I have a headache and facial pain. This is the first time I have ever had a reaction. The pills give me red cheeks but not as bad as this.

Comment from: Concerened, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 08

I have bursitis in my right hip. I've been receiving cortisone injections for the moderate to severe pain from the same doctor for six years and they've always worked but each time the relief doesn't last as long as the previous shot. The last shot only lasted 5 months so I received a new one last Tuesday on 2/2/16. It worked at first but 3 hours later I was experiencing intense burning shooting pain and it kept getting worse. I took Advil to help relieve the pain and inflammation but it didn't work. I went to the emergency room that night and they gave me a shot of morphine and 2 Valium so I could sleep and a prescription of Norco. My doctor has no answer as to what happened. I was laid up all day the next day and the pain was excruciating even with taking Norco every 6 hours. Two days later the pain is finally subsiding. I'm wondering what caused that adverse reaction. Maybe I'll never know.

Comment from: vegdwk, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I told my doctor that I had bad reaction to prednisone. He said the cortisone shots stay in the knee and do not travel. They sure do! I had the worst headache ever, I could not sleep, could not breath, had mood swings, paranoia, and heart racing, When I called my doctor they said they never heard of any reactions to cortisone.

Comment from: Suzy-Q, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

I tore the meniscus in my right knee and left knee is bone on bone so I had a cortisone injection in each knee. My face flushed, thought heart would pound out of my chest, and these effects lasted 3 days. My knees felt better for about 3 weeks. Then right knee popped and I screamed at the pain, and right knee is back to hurting and I can only do stairs one foot at a time. Guess I will consider surgery next, no more cortisone for me.

Comment from: Suezette, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 31

As a result of getting the cortisone injections for a surgical scar in the anterior area of my neck, the tendons have weakened giving me a sagging cow's neck appearance.

Get a Grip on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: cutie, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: December 22

I had cortisone shot many times on both feet different times but for the big toe due to gout. It always has helped tremendously. Yesterday I had a shot for gout, and had night sweats and flushed cheeks for the very first time. Nothing serious, but the shot helps. Rather than taking all those pills so the attack can subside in the end I take a shot.

Comment from: vegdwk, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I got an injection in my right knee and this is 5 hours later. I have a bad headache. I do have in intolerance to methylprednisolone so I wonder if this is a reaction.

Comment from: Chris, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 15

I had a cortisone injection for very painful bursitis in my upper thigh. It did definitely reduce the pain. But it did affect my sleep, I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep. It also increased my pulse rate.

Comment from: corrine, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 07

I had a week of cortisone injections and since having them my face has bloated. I have stopped all tablet forms and not taken any more injections. I wonder how long it will take for this bloating to go down.

Comment from: Ironpen47, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

I had a cortisone injection in my arthritic left knee. About 3 hours after the injection I had a headache that lasted about 8 hours. Tylenol did not help. Then I went to bed and was itching and scratching. I got up in the morning and looked in the mirror, I was bright red on my upper arms and lower legs. Seems I had an unusual allergic reaction to the shot. I took Benadryl and after a day it cleared up. I am feeling much better, and my knee is much less sore. So a bit of a price to pay for relief, but right now it is worth it!

Comment from: Lisa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

My life has been terrible ever since I received my cortisone injection in my tailbone. This was given to me 3 years ago and I have been in horrible pain ever since that day. I now have to be under the care of a pain manager as I cannot sit for more than 10 minutes at a time, the only time I get any relief is when I sleep. I am only 51 years of age and every day I hope to just die so I can get out of this misery that I am living in. I don't suggest anyone to get this injection, I now feel as if someone took a bar and hammered it upwards from my tailbone up into my lower back.

Comment from: Techgirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 27

I went to the (emergency room) ER for the first time ever this past Saturday with pain that I thought was a kidney stone. After test, it showed I had a cyst on my right ovary. On Monday, I still had lots of pain and my gynecologist sent me back to the ER for re-evaluation. This time a leaking cyst on my right ovary. White blood count was up and running fever off and on. I was sent home with pain medicines and told it would resolve itself. I have to work and I was in the bed for 4 days. Finally I went back to work where I stood on my feet for 9 hours and when I got home I was miserable plus my fever had shot back up. Can't they surgically remove a cyst! I don't get paid if I don't work!

Comment from: Thunderdome621, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: October 21

Before yesterday, I'd only one knee surgery back in 2005 due to a fall while running the bases playing in a father/son baseball game. I tore my meniscus and partially tore my PCL (posterior cruciate ligament). Over the years the pain increased, so I would get cortisone shots 2 to 3 times a year. They yielded some relief, but not much. In July, 2015, an MRI revealed a badly torn meniscus, cyst and a large effusion in the knee. I just had surgery yesterday 10/15/15 on the knee. The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) was fiery red, and the meniscus tear was trimmed. What was shocking to me was the pictures that the doctor showed me of the crystal deposits from the cortisone shots. He got those out as well, but said that they were causing some of the pain, along with an inflamed ACL and meniscus tear. The reason I'm writing on this forum is to make people aware of the buildup that can occur over time from multiple cortisone shots. The unfortunate thing is they lead to gouty arthritis, pain, and the only way I'm aware of to get rid of them is through surgery. You may want to think twice about multiple cortisone injections; especially if they aren't providing relief. Good Luck to everyone.

Comment from: Tippy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 14

I had 2 cortisone injections in my neck last year, the pain was off the charts for the next 5 days then died down. It never took all the pain away but did help. Side effects were what felt like heart palpitations, severe nausea, insomnia, and pain started in my left big toe. When I told the doctor what was happening he said they have nothing to do with the shots, I don't think that's true. I don't know why my big toe would suddenly start hurting but it did and still does. Just 3 weeks ago in shear desperation I decided to have a shot in my right shoulder, I have had off the charts severe pain for over 4 years. The doctor put 2 injections in my shoulder and this time I've only felt a little sick, plus he did tell me you can experience side effects, flare up, etc., and listed them all. I appreciate him doing that instead of making you think you're nuts imagining side effects.

Get a Grip on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: FLUSH FACE, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 12

I have had cortisone injections in my thumb for several years, and sometimes I get the one sided face flush. But this time I had my total face on fire, with a feeling of sinus infection and achy teeth and cheeks. The only different thing was that I got a flu shot the day before, so perhaps there was an interaction. It was very hurtful and annoying on this first day. I had a slight headache as well, but my thumbs are fab!

Comment from: KER33, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 05

I received a series of cortisone injections in my neck for pain. Since the injections about 2 weeks ago I have had a headache and I randomly will feel palpitations. My face also broke out with acne. So far these injections have done no good for me. They have only caused other issues.

Comment from: Dee Bee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 09

I had a cortisone injection in my hip. I had flushing for about 4 days, and increase in hot flashes in the last month. I have headaches, sometimes flipping into migraines, which increases over typical frequency. Heart rate between 100 and 110 for about 36 hours after injection, fine since. Hip feels better, continued improvement as the month has progressed.

Comment from: MiMi, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I received a cortisone injection in my hip yesterday at 11:00 am. By 1:00, my face was red and appeared swollen (so said my friends), and by 4:00, I was shaking. I had insomnia (slept less than 1 hour all night), but the good side is that the pain is much less, and today I can walk without a limp or weakness. So, perhaps a good trade-off.

Comment from: LaurieJ, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: August 31

I have had tinnitus since childhood. First I had meningitis, then constant ear infections; I now have 3 distinct sounds, crickets, ringing and static sound, which are worse in my left ear. My tinnitus 'clicks' when I am getting an ear infection. These noises have gotten worse over past several months and I was just diagnosed with a pineal gland tumor. I have tried every medicine and yes, some dubious snake oil cures, to no avail.

Comment from: WPW, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 28

I'm 53 and I'm an avid golfer. I've been having some left shoulder pain and stiffness. My doctor put me on some anti-inflammatory medication but the side effects were not worth it (stomach). Doctor suggested cortisone injection and on July 13 I had a shot in my shoulder. The pain lessened. I had been doing physiotherapy for 9 weeks before and after the shot. However I was at work and had to hop up over a small counter top. My life has been a severe painful nightmare since then. The pain I've been experiencing since that day is unbearable. I was not told that cortisone weakens the tendons in and around the area of the injection. The doctor gives me strong pain killers but they have side effects that I'm looking forward to. Never again will I ever have another injection. It's a joke; they tell you things after not before. Had I been fully informed I would not have done it. For6 weeks no golf, and the condition I'm in right now I'm scared that I may never ever be able to play the game that I love.

Comment from: 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 25

My daughter had a cortisone shot in her wrist a few years ago. She did experience worsening pain for two days but the third day it started subsiding and after the third she was pain free for a couple weeks, but then the pain came back worse, and her skin started thinning, changing color, and her wrist started looking strange. A month post the shot her wrist looked like an anorexic 85 year old's rather than a healthy 14 year old's! It hurt, it kept her up at night and her skin burned. After a year or so the coloring came back, as did the muscles and whatever is in your wrist. When asked if she would do it for her current tendonitis/bursitis she said no way; never! Having said that, my father had many cortisone shots in his back which helped him immensely! Go figure!

Comment from: scubarry, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 11

I got a cortisone shot to relieve pain in my thumb. In the past I've lost my voice when taking cortisone orally, it usually lasts a day or 2 after I stop with cortisone pills. I lost my voice on June 24th after receiving my cortisone shot on the 23rd. It's now 6 plus weeks and still no voice. The shot did relieve the pain and has allowed me to get sleep at night.

Comment from: angelad3, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 11

I was diagnosed with impingement in shoulder and nerve and bursitis. The doctor gave me a cortisone shot and it has been a week and my pain is worse, sore shoulder and muscle, facial flushing, headache, difficulty sleeping, and nerve pain. My dad had rheumatoid arthritis and would get cortisone shots in his joints and eventually had total knee, hip, and shoulder replacements. I was told by physiotherapist shots are not good for me, I unfortunately did not experience any relief.

Get a Grip on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Comment from: erin, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 28

I had a cortisone injection in my left shoulder approximately 3 weeks ago. For the first few days, I felt extremely sleepy. By day 3, I developed burning pain in my right (opposite of injected!) arm and right side of my neck, dizzy spells, excruciating muscle cramps in my legs, and anxiety attacks/racing heart. I missed one entire week of work due to extreme fatigue and inability to stand for more than an hour without dizziness. After that, I continued to feel out of sorts for another week or so (anxious, low energy, not like myself, difficulty concentrating). The symptoms have slowly improved over the course of 3 weeks. My orthopedic doctor did not feel the symptoms were related to the injection, but my primary care doctor said they were steroid side effects. I would never ever have another steroid injection. It did not help my original pain, and the side effects were scary and disabling for me.

Comment from: Shar, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 21

Four days ago I fell down wooden stairs landing on my tailbone. The pain was extreme and immediate. I started blacking out but somehow managed to drag myself up the stairs and into the recovery position. My phone was nearby, but I had trouble ringing the emergency services as I kept blacking out. When I did, I just lay there till they came. They tried to get me to sit up which was impossible and took me to hospital where x-rays showed a badly broken coccyx. Strong painkillers were administered and I was told it would take two months to recover from it. Because I live alone they kept me in overnight. Friends and neighbors have been wonderful, bringing food, walking the dog, and vacuuming. I feel very lucky that the fracture wasn't centimeters higher up which could have meant loss of the use of my legs.

Comment from: older & wiser, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 13

I received a cortisone injection for knee bone-on-bone osteoarthritis/bone spurs. I have history of hiatal hernia/GERD. On the day following injection, I experienced chest pressure, feeling of fullness in upper abdomen, hunger but feeling of nausea with belching. I went to the emergency room and diagnosis was gastritis, most likely due to cortisone injection. I stayed on bland diet and it resolved within 4 days. I am very annoyed at my physician for not giving me a heads-up. Why take a 3 page history from a patient, then ignore a known diagnosis of hiatal hernia/GERD when cortisone is a known aggravating medication if one has GI issues!

Comment from: Maureen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

On July 7th I had a corticosteroid injection in my left ankle as the result of a break. While the needle itself was not painful, the serum had a strange 'pressure' feel to it. I felt great immediately following the injection but as I was driving home (less than 10 minutes away) I started to feel a burning sensation in the ankle where the serum was released. I was told that it would get worse at first and that I may experience numbness but it will subside in a few days.

Get a Grip on Rheumatoid Arthritis
FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Arthritis Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.