Most people have steroid injections without any side effects. They can be a little uncomfortable at the time of injection, but many people feel that this is not as bad as they feared. Occasionally people notice a flare-up in their joint pain within the first 24 hours after an injection. This usually settles by itself within a couple of days, but taking simple painkillers like paracetamol will help. The risk of side effects is greatest with the stronger mixtures — methylprednisolone and triamcinolone.
Injections can occasionally cause some thinning or changes in the colour of the skin at the injection site, particularly with the stronger ones. Very rarely you may get an infection in the joint at the time of an injection. If your joint becomes more painful and hot you should see your doctor immediately, especially if you feel unwell. People are often concerned about the possibility of other steroid-related side effects such as weight gain.
One of the advantages of steroid injections compared to tablets is that often the dose can be kept low. This means that these other side effects are very rare unless injections are given frequently, more than a few times per year. This may be more likely if you have a history of mood disturbance. If you've had a steroid injection into a joint or muscle, your healthcare professional may give you a steroid card for you to carry around.
This will have details of the treatment you've had. Steroid injections can stop the body producing natural hormones, which can be dangerous if you get ill, have an accident or need an operation. There is evidence that this can be a risk for up to one month after just one steroid injection. If you've had three steroid injections over the course of 12 months, this risk could last for a further 12 months. Keeping the card with you will help any other doctor who treats you to manage your care correctly.
If you have any questions or concerns about this, talk to the healthcare professional who prescribed your steroids. You can take other medicines with steroid injections. This is because of the risk of bleeding into the joint. You should mention that you take anticoagulants to the person giving the injection. You may be advised to adjust your warfarin dose before having the steroid injection.
This is how they reduce inflammation. Some vaccines work by giving you a very small dose of a particular disease, so that you then become immune to it. Having at least two alcohol-free days a week is good for your health. Current guidelines state that steroids are not harmful in pregnancy or breastfeeding. Steroid injections. Download steroid injections information booklet.
Print this page. What are steroid injections and how are they used? Related information. Common examples of steroid injections are: hydrocortisone hi-dro-cor-tee-zone triamcinolone try-am-sin-o-lone methylprednisolone meth-al-pred-niss-o-lone. How quick the treatment works, and how long it lasts will also depend on your condition.
How is it taken? Depending on where the pain and inflammation is, steroids can be injected: directly into an inflamed joint, this is known as an intra-articular injection into the soft tissue close to the joint, which is called a peri-articular injection into a muscle, which is called an intra-muscular injection. Is there anything else I need to know before I have a steroid injection? Side-effects and risks.
Carrying a steroid card. Can I take other medicines along with steroid injections? There's concern that repeated cortisone shots might damage the cartilage within a joint. So doctors typically limit the number of cortisone shots into a joint. In general, you shouldn't get cortisone injections more often than every six weeks and usually not more than three or four times a year. If you take blood thinners, you might need to stop taking them for several days before your cortisone shot to reduce bleeding or bruising risk.
Some dietary supplements also have a blood-thinning effect. Ask your doctor what medications and supplements you should avoid before your cortisone shot. Tell your doctor if you've had a temperature of Your doctor might ask you to change into a gown. You'll then be positioned so that your doctor can easily insert the needle. The area around the injection site is cleaned.
Your doctor might also apply an anesthetic spray to numb the area where the needle will be inserted. In some cases, your doctor might use ultrasound or a type of X-ray called fluoroscopy to watch the needle's progress inside your body — so as to place it in the right spot. You'll likely feel some pressure when the needle is inserted. Let your doctor know if you have a lot of discomfort. The medication is then released into the injection site.
Typically, cortisone shots include a corticosteroid medication to relieve pain and inflammation over time and an anesthetic to provide immediate pain relief. Some people have redness and a feeling of warmth of the chest and face after a cortisone shot. If you have diabetes, a cortisone shot might temporarily increase your blood sugar levels. Results of cortisone shots typically depend on the reason for the treatment. Cortisone shots commonly cause a temporary flare in pain and inflammation for up to 48 hours after the injection.
After that, your pain and inflammation of the affected joint should decrease, and can last up to several months. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. Overview Cortisone shots are injections that can help relieve pain and inflammation in a specific area of your body. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter.