Cortisone Shots: The Little Shot of Horrors (awful side effects)


Do cortisone shots have side effects? I firmly believe they do!

While I was recovering from my neck surgery, I was told to not bend over, but instead to bend at the knees. I listened to the doctors orders, but unfortunately I then hurt my knee from bending so much. Β  I saw a different doctor for my knee and we both suspected a torn meniscus. An MRI revealed that nothing was torn, but that there were several other issues going on in there and that a cortisone shot was the best option to reduce the pain.

Last week I went in to have the cortisone shot. The doctor applied something to “freeze” the skin (it felt like dry ice – super cold), and then injected an anesthetic, which stung just a little bit, then gave me the cortisone shot. I have to admit that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be; I had envisioned a long needle weaving around the inside of my knee, but honestly, it was very tolerable.


I left the office feeling relieved that it was over, but about two hours after I got home I began to feel “funny”. Not haha funny, but really strange. I got extremely hot…then really cold. Then hot, cold, hot, cold. I took my jacket off, put it on, took it off, etc. every 10 minutes or so, for the rest of the day. I was flushed, sweaty and clammy . I felt extremely shaky, like I feel when I haven’t eaten in awhile, so I imagine my normally perfect blood pressure was elevated (by how much, I don’t know). Β I probably should have called the doctor but I kept thinking these horrible effects would wear off shortly.

I grew concerned and starting searching the internet to see if others experienced these same symptoms. I was actually shocked at what I read. There were so many people that had posted on message boards and medical sites, talking about these same symptoms. I also learned that the cortisone shots increase your blood sugar, which obviously can be very dangerous for those who are pre-diabetic or those who have full-blown diabetes. My blood sugar runs just a little bit high, and I assume that is why I felt so crappy.

It’s all in the legs

That night, I went to bed as usual, but I did not sleep at all. Not even a wink. I was having the same hot and cold flashes as I did earlier, the jitters coupled with a rapid heartbeat, and the leg where I had the cortisone shot was jumping uncontrollably. Β I have had severe Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) since I was a child, and it is typically kept under control with medication. Apparently the shot triggered something in that leg because I was kicking and flailing all night long. I didn’t fall asleep until 6 a.m. It was awful.

cortisone shots,side effects,epidural,injection,blood sugar,increased

So here we are, one week later, and I am still having these symptoms (though they are not quite as severe as the first couple of days). I get really shaky (out of the blue), break out in a sweat while I am doing absolutely nothing, and just generally feel really crappy. I plan on calling the doctor tomorrow, as I want to know exactly what he gave me (name, dose, etc.), and ask why I wasn’t warned about these side effects. While reading other’s posts online, many of them said that their doctors told them these symptoms aren’t due to cortisone injections. I beg to differ, and call HOGWASH.

Is it possible I am allergic to cortisone? I can’t help but wonder since other people have had none of these side effects. Do cortisone shots cause shakiness and heart racing? They did for me, and I want to get to the bottom of this.

One thing for sure is that I will never, ever, have another cortisone shot. If you are planning on having one, I would definitely reconsider, or at least do your research first. If you are diabetic, I hope you’ll think twice.

Have you ever had these or other side effects of cortisone shots?

Update! A reader suggested using Magnesium to reduce/eliminate the side effects. She said it helped her. Thanks Debbie!

*Note – please do check with a doctor before using supplements.

Here are a few ideas to help you relax and hopefully help you sleep while you are suffering with the side effects of Cortisone shots.

Relaxing Herb Tea 20 BagsRelaxing Herb Tea 20 Bags9 Hours of Relaxing Beach Waves at Night for Sleeping9 Hours of Relaxing Beach Waves at Night for SleepingDeep Steep Rosemary Mint Bubble Bath - 17 Fluid OuncesDeep Steep Rosemary Mint Bubble Bath – 17 Fluid OuncesDead Sea Essentials by Ahava 3 Piece Bubble Bath Trio, 3.8 Fluid OunceDead Sea Essentials by Ahava 3 Piece Bubble Bath Trio, 3.8 Fluid OunceBath Pillow Luxury Spa with Suction Cups - Extra Firm and Best Quality - Supports Your Neck & Head Perfectly - Fits All Hot Tub, Whirlpool, Jacuzzi & Standard Tubs - Great Valentine's Day Gifts!Bath Pillow Luxury Spa with Suction Cups – Extra Firm and Best Quality – Supports Your Neck & Head Perfectly – Fits All Hot Tub, Whirlpool, Jacuzzi & Standard Tubs – Great Valentine’s Day Gifts!Bath Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Eucalyptus Spearmint 10 oz Body Wash Foam BathBath Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Eucalyptus Spearmint 10 oz Body Wash Foam BathDr. Teal's Foaming Bath, Eucalyptus Spearmint, 68 Fluid Ounce (34oz per bottle)Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath, Eucalyptus Spearmint, 68 Fluid Ounce (34oz per bottle)Burt's Bees Baby Bubble Bath, 12 Ounces (Pack of 3) (Packaging May Vary)Burt’s Bees Baby Bubble Bath, 12 Ounces (Pack of 3) (Packaging May Vary)



About Author

Jennifer Regan is the owner/editor-in-chief of Eighty MPH Mom, a family-friendly blog. She is active in Brand Ambassadorships and campaigns, and is active in social media, helping brands promote!


  1. Not the same, but I had awful symptoms from a Tubal that the dr. said was not related, and when I looked it up on Google…same thing as you, I saw where tons of people had the same awful symptoms after the same procedure.

    I ‘m sorry about the side effects of your shot. It’s nice that you’re sharing it for others to read!

    • This is the second time to have kenalog 40 im injection, it last a bout a the first weeks weired hot feelings on my left leg, by the fourth week reall bed hot flushes..I’m 44 years old, I thought I was starting menapause..I go and get a second shot because I’m supposed to get 1 every month for 3 months for hair loss..After second shot severe hot flushes…hot and cold at the same time..Also im getting weired sansations on my legs, mostly left leg.. I hope this goes way, bcs I read that kenalog shots can cause neuropathy and that’s how my legs feel..

  2. Oh Jennifer! I haven’t e-mailed you in awhile or google+’d you in months! It can elevate your blood sugar, make you feel moody, feel the temperature swings (went through that earlier in the week with a lumbar epidural! Kind of like hot flashes more to me!), hungry, cause increased hair growth especially in places that you don’t want it, the list goes on. I’m glad that I saw the blog post today. Sorry to hear that you’re having some effects from the shot.

    • Hello Barb! Yes – all of those things! It is just awful. I do always feel hungry too, and super moody. I’m sorry you went through these side effects too. Why don’t they tell people about these?

      • Hi Jennifer, I don’t know if you’re still doing this blog or forum. I saw your headline when I googled ‘side effects of cortisone for diabetics’ or something like that. Pretty sure I put dizziness in search as well. I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 42 years. I’ve had several cortisone shots over the years. Learned the hard way how it affects blood sugars after having spinal epidural from an ortho. Sugar was over 500 & I was never warned. I suffer from chronic joint, muscle & bone pain throughout my body. I have lousy insurance after losing my job. I was referred to a rheumatologist abt 2 months ago. I swore I had to have RA. She did 2 sets of Bloodwork. First one came back with “positive ANA”. After second labs, she talked so quickly & in circles. Basically said 42 years of diabetes has caused major inflammation throughout my body & decided to start treating me with cortisone shots. I told her abt my diabetes & she said she knew to be careful. First 2 in wrists, spaced few weeks apart, weren’t too bad. I monitored my sugars & took extra insulin. At last visit on April 4th, she was going to inject my palm for one of several trigger fingers. I told her my knee cap has been killing me. Why I even went back to this nut case is beyond me. It’s like “pin the shot on which body part today”. Anyway she used ultrasound & said major inflammation in knee tendons & injected my right knee. I spent 3 days with blood sugars over 600. Ended up in ER where I was given a bag of saline, had Bloodwork done & results back in 15 min. That NEVER happens. I told doc abt cortisone shot, my racing heart, heartburn, headache & terrible dizziness. Told him I HAD a mild heart attack in ’87 due to diabetes. No tests or scans ordered. He blamed it all on dehydration from high sugars & kicked me out of ER within 2 hours. i had also called rheuma b4 that & asked what I rec’d. Also reported high sugars & other horrible side effects. As you can expect, she said none were linked to cortisone shot. AND she even outright lied saying cortisone doesn’t raise blood sugars. We’d discussed that at 1st appt!! Yes, she’s Russian with a thick accent but practicing in NJ where English is spoken! I have been ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE & FEEL LIKE I’M DYING FOR LAST 3 weeks. I cannot walk straight due to the dizziness; almost passed out this morn taking clothes from dryer. My heart is still racing. Yest I checked my BP on my mom’s portable device. BP was fine but resting heart rate was 110 after standing still up against a wall for an hour talking to a friend who stopped by my mom’s (I live with & do my best to care for my 87 y/o mom with dementia during the week, 24 hours a day). When the dizziness hits (different times each day), I take 2 baby aspirins just in case. Then there’s the constant heartburn/burping that Pepcid is not helping. During 1st week after knee shot, I felt burning from throat down into esophagus. Also felt like a boulder was stuck in that area as well. I need to get to a cardiologist but can’t afford it. I’m wondering when all these side effects will go away. I pray to God they DO! I can’t live like this. I’m waiting for a stroke, heart attack or something really bad to strike me down and no doctor will concede to the fact that cortisone caused the radical change in my body. I think I’m going to try taking magnesium. God bless you for your post. I know I’m not alone from all the others who’ve posted same effects on the Internet. I canceled the additional appts the rheuma set up for more shots. No more steroids. I’d been hoping to find a proper dx & treatment for my pain, but I guess I’ll continue to live with it as long as I can. I’m 52 now but feel 102.

        • Hello! I am so sorry to hear about the horrible side effects you suffered too! Mine didn’t last as long as yours – I cannot even imagine. What makes me so mad is that pretty much every doctor says they don’t have side effects! I call BS. Obviously there are plenty of us who felt fine (minus pain) before we got the shots, then similar symptoms after. It’s not a coincidence. If you are diabetic especially, I would think they would CLOSELY monitor you. I don’t even have diabetes, but my blood sugar was just crazy.

          I hope you will feel better soon. It makes me so mad that ER just sent you home. Why will nobody in the medical field take this seriously?

          • Kathryn Tracey on

            Thank you for your reply, Jennifer. It’s now 4/27 & I’m still suffering the side effects. Almost one month. Walking around with my deceased Dad’s cane due to the dizziness & still burping out loud horribly while taking Pepcid & Tums. My pain doc told me “go to the ER if you’re still dizzy”. Big help, huh? My clinic doc called me a medical mystery on Tuesday but believes I’m not making this stuff up. He basically said steroids do bad things to the body & provide temporary relief, if any. He believes I’m still dehydrated & recommended drinking a lot of water which I’m doing. The request for a pet scan has been forgotten abt. I’m going to meet with hopefully a new primary care doc Monday. Not sure I mentioned this previously, but my 2 insulins have been increased. Thankfully pretty much back in range. Every night I pray to wake up & feel “normal”. Guess my pain will remain forever without any new treatments. I literally felt like I was going to die these past weeks from side effects. I so appreciate your concern & response. Be well & take care.

  3. I have never had a cortisone shot before, and this is so terrible about the side affects from getting this treatment. I am never going to get one after reading about all of your symptoms and that they are not going away. I guess before any treatment we are going to be given, we need to look up what the side affects are and see if it is worth the risk. I hope you get better!!! Thanks for posting this important information.

    • I just had one for my shoulder friday (it’s now Tuesday) and I have been going through terrible restlessness from head to toe! I also have had increased back and leg pain as well as cold sweats and weakness. I will never have another shot again! That all over restlessness is horrid. I cannot sit still. As he injected a lot of kenalog into my shoulder I suspect I am in for at least another few rough days! They should really list extreme restlessness as one of the main side effects along with cold sweats and hot & cold flashes.
      I am scheduled to have steroid injections in my back but that will not be happening! I consider what we have gone through to be a sever side effect!

      • I had one for my shoulder august 2015. It’s still going good November 2016. But I did have the most horrid side effects for about a week. I will go again if I need to as it has been so good not being in pain.

        • I got 2 shots today and I am in bed with my heart beating out of my chest, I have been feeling moody and weird since I had it and didn’t realize why I was feeling this way. My knees does feel better but is this worth it, I was thinking about going to the ER, having heart burn, headache, and dizziness. I’m praying that this will pass!

  4. It’s very frustrating when you KNOW something is going on with your body and your doctor doesn’t believe you. While I haven’t had experience with cortisone shots, I have definitely had that experience of telling my doctor something and having him treat me like I was nuts. I hope you feel better soon!

  5. I had them in both of my heels I have nasty bone spurs and it hurt like crap for a second and then went away .. I have to say I have not had those symptoms thank goodness that sounds just awful I am sorry you had to deal with that..My mom has had the shots and never had that either..I have pain back in my heels that shot only lasted a year and I am not going back I will deal with the pain have for 10 years now and I will take Ibuprofen if I have to..Hope you feel better..

  6. wow, that is scary. i’m so sorry you had to go through that. medical stuff like that can stress the heck out of you when you don’t know what’s going on. i’ve never had cortisone, so have nothing to add to that, but i have had an allergic reaction to a drug and the side effects were totally unlike yours – i felt fine, but red hives started in a small area then spread all over my body and itched like crazy. luckily, a phone call to a nurse told me to go to the emergency room immediately as it would next go to my throat, swell it shut and cut off my breathing….so off i went and they kept me for three days to reduce the hives. I had never had an allergic reaction before and was only calling the nurse on what i could do for the itching and she literally ended up saving my life. that was fifteen years ago and i haven’t taken a prescription drug or even an otc drug since and i doubt that i will again unless it’s a life or death situation….and you know what, i’ve been fine, my body heals itself, maybe a little slower, but without the risk that i might have with drugs. i wish you the best of luck with your knee and hope your symptoms subside soon.

  7. No, this is not an allergic reaction. These symptoms will go away. Cortisone injections will not make anyone a diabetic. As the drug wears off, blood sugars will return to baseline. The jitteriness sucks, but that too will get better. Hopefully when these very common side effects go away you will notice some lasting relief from your knee pain.

    Also, steroids are a common treatment for severe allergic reactions.

    I have seen some wild mood swings and major jitters/impulsivity in the brain surgery patients i used to take care of in the ICU. I, myself, have had to take steroids for sinus infections from time to time… had hot flashes, insomnia, jitters, high heart rate etc…. it’s not fun, but it is easier to deal with when you are expecting those symptoms.

    Hang in there, it will get better

    • Thanks! Yes, I do think it would have been easier to handle if I had known to expect this. Nobody said anything about these possible side effects though, and that is what is disturbing. They are very slowly wearing off, but I will still never have a cortisone injection again!

    • How long does the jitterness and insomnia last? The first time I had the injections in my knees, no side effects. Yesterday had second time and I was up all nite,hot flashes,heart racing and just felt terrible. I have no more pain but the side effects are almost worse. Thank you
      Joy Montiel

      • I have had “steroid rage” with kenalog before and my pain dr gave me kenalog by mistake…my blood pressure is extremely high and hot flashes i feel like crap…i have to get a lymph note removed and they may not do it because of my blood pressure..and the dr applygzed but wtf..its all over my chart… so irritated!!!

  8. Well I just spent 29 min trying to post here. Wrote a post and my phone lost connection so I lost it πŸ™

    Long story short, been up all night with these symptoms I wasn’t told about πŸ™ after having a steroid shot in my hip for OA. All the possible symptoms they mentioned, had none of those. They never mentioned any of what I’ve been going through since i got home πŸ™

    • I am SO sorry to hear you went through this too! They didn’t tell me anything either, and I guess that was what was so upsetting. I finally had my regular doctor put in my files that I am allergic to cortisone, since I NEVER want that to happen again. I hope your symptoms will disappear soon πŸ™

  9. I first had cortisone injections about 3 months ago for oa and I really need my knees replaced. No side effects. The pain was only helped for about six weeks. I just went back and got them again. This time, much different Last night, about eight hours after the injections, although my body was cold, around my neck and shoulders, sweaty and clammy, went to bed, uncomfortable feeling. Heart not racing butting beating faster than normal. Woke up a couple of times. This morning I felt ok. But about 6 hour after I woke up, I started with the flushing in my face. Very uncomfortable. Just an uneasy feeling some feeling of chilling. I called the doctor and was told it is called the CORTISONE FLUSH and should go away Ina couple days. I don’t know if I will have the shots again. I hope this goes away soon. If not. Is there anything that can be done?

    • I don’t know if anything can be done or not. I did have my regular doctor put in my records that I was allergic to that particular cortisone. I still don’t think I will have them ever again. I am sorry you had a bad experience too – it really feels awful!

  10. I am glad I saw this and other threads about these nasty cortisone side effects. I had an injection in my shoulder about 2 weeks ago and I am still suffering from it. I am a Type 1 Diabetic and it has sent my blood sugars spinning out of control. I have to check it constantly because it is all over the map. It went all the way up to 400. I am able to get it back down to normal but then it just randomly spikes again. I am livid at the Orthopedist who gave me this injection. He said I “might have a high blood sugar” afterward. He made it sound like it was only a chance and would be temporary. I also experienced the trouble sleeping, and flu like symptoms of a fevered feeling and nausea. I also experienced my legs trembling. I don’t care how safe the Orthos say it is, I see too much evidence to the contrary. I am trying to spread the word.

    • Oh my gosh – I am so sorry to hear you had issues with your cortisone shot too! I don’t know why they don’t warn people (or why we didn’t hear about this before?). I will never get one again – no way, no how.

  11. I had cortisone shots in my facet joints in my lower back almost 2 weeks ago. That first night was pretty miserable. From my waist down my legs were so achy all night. For the last week and a half I’ve had tons of hot flashes! It’s miserable! They seem to be diminishing slightly. All this for nothing as the shots did not seem to help my back pain πŸ™ I had shots in my heel years ago and don’t recall having the side affects that I experienced recently.

  12. So I had a shot last Monday and I am having side effects ,the Weds after I woke up to a beet red face and felt a little strange. I took some benadryl which helped ,now a week and a half later I hot flashing most of the day and at times I feel slightly dizzy ,sort of disconnected a little. My question is ho long before normal returns? I will not be getting another shot anytime soon! Thank you

  13. I had a cortisone shop in my hip today. It was excruciatingly painful it hurts to move my leg. Out of nowhere about an hour ago my heart started pounding and racing and started feeling like I was going to have a heart attack. I am only 34 with a small child and started freaking out. My heart is still pounding like crazy so I am laying down.

  14. Hi! This thread has been a great source. I had my first injection yesterday and since then, I’ve felt as if I have the flu. I didn’t get to sleep until 2am and upon waking up I felt nauseated, have chills and simply feel crappy. My temperature is normal so I’m guessing it’s a side effect. The orthopedic Dr office said it was not common to feel like this and urged me to see my primary care physician. I’m hoping it’s just the effects of the shot and nothing else. Blah! πŸ™‚ thanks for the info, everyone!

  15. I had terrible side effects from them. I will never have those shots again. Those shots sent me to the emergency room with a heart rate of 190 bpm’s that wouldn’t slow down on it’s own. I was given an IV with something that slowed my heart rate down. The shots also caused me to have a menstrual cycle for a month straight, severe hot flashes. The shots thew my hormones off. It was pure hell for months. Later I learned from a naturopathic doctor that the shots stressed my adrenals and etc. I felt like I was dying. He was able to straighten everything out and get me feeling better. The medical doctors told me I was crazy and denied that the shots had anything to with any of those problems that arose. It took me over a year to recuperate. I will never get them again.

    • Wow – that is HORRIBLE! It makes me so mad that the doctors act like we are crazy when we tell them about the side effects. Yours sound so severe. I hate to think what my BP was…but I know it was high. And I was so shaky – I didn’t sleep a wink that night. I don’t blame you and I will NEVER get another cortisone shot!

    • Hi
      I have had the same reaction after shots in both shoulders. It is three months late rand I am still having problems.wish I would have seen your post first. Hope you feel better.

  16. I was told I have fibromyalgia yesterday and immediately offered “cortisone” shots in my neck and down towards my shoulders as that was most swollen apparently. So I agreed. Awake all night pain at site, hot, cold, sweaty flashes off and on. Now the second day I’ve had much the same but now 24hrs later I’m shaking, my legs are jello. I feel horrible. I know I didn’t help. But I’m calling the Dr tomorrow if this continues, I hope it doesn’t worsen.

  17. Just had another epidural yesterday. Woke up with the beet red face and could not sleep. Appetite is insane. Feeling speedy.
    Always get the same symptoms. it is not an allergic reaction. It is a side effect of the steroid. Don’t panic it will subside. Mine lasts for a good week. Doctors don’t have a dam clue. But again don’t panic. Try Benadryl at night. Desperate for back pain relief drives me to get these shots. They never work. Can’t give up hope. Trying to avoid back surgery.

    • Oh you poor thing! Those are horrible side effects. I agree, doctors are clueless, but they should at least warn us that this might happen. Benadryl is a great idea! I hope you can avoid back surgery too πŸ™

  18. I had a cortisone shot in my knee at 2:40pm in the afternoon yesterday around 7:30pm I started feeling very strange.. Real bad headache and sweating like crazy.. Now it’s 1:50 in the morning and I ache everywhere!!! Can’t sleep so I thought I would look up side affects so glad I read all of these comments I will not be getting another shot!!

  19. I have had what I thought was contact dermatitis for almost a month from a detergent I switched to that irritated my skin. Red itchy bumps all over my arms, hands, back, and legs. It made me very sensitive to any and all products! I’m in school for aesthetics so everyday got worse as we were trying new creams, cleansers, etc. I hate doctors and medicine I never go seek medical help, but it wasn’t going away and eventually spread up to my chest neck and face and my face got swollen. Seeing my eyelids all puffy scared me enough to go to an urgent care last Thursday (today is Tuesday of the following week). The doctor (which I still disagree with his diagnosis so I won’t even get into that) decided to give me a steroid shot. I wasn’t excited about it but nothing was making my reaction better so I gave in. It reduced the swelling in my face but my skin is still itchy and reacting to everything. Ever since the day of the shot I haven’t felt good at all! My heart is beating heavy, fast, just irregular in general and it scares the living hell out of me!! I know my body I know it has to be the steroid because something isn’t right, either that or I’m dying…but it amazes me in all of my research that this symptom (along with others I’m feeling) doctors try and say isn’t a side effect of steroids… Yet I find all of these forums and blogs with real people saying they’ve experienced them all! My mom even asked her pharmacist and he told her no way is it from the steroid… I call bulls***

    It scares the hell out of me because if it isn’t the steroid then why is my heart rate so irregular that it scares me to fall asleep because my breathing isn’t even normal from it?

    Never ever again will I get a steroid shot! When will this ever go away it’s been almost a week!!

    Glad to know I’m not the only one feeling this way. In all of my research I know that they are not good for your body… And now the symptoms I’m experiencing I will never ever put myself through this again.

    • I don’t understand why doctors won’t tell us about the side effects either! Mine didn’t last a week though – maybe it’s time to check in with the doctor again, or urgent care?

  20. I got a shot of cortisone in my left knee today at 10:30 I am. Around 7:30 p.m. I started feeling shaky jittery weak. Tried going to sleep around 10 p.m. my heart is racing terribly fast shaky clammy hot and cold flashes nauseous. It is now 2:20 a.m. and I have to get up and go to work at 5 a.m. I do work in a hospital and I do intend to check in employee health in the morning. Orthopedic never mentioned any type of side effect at all. She did repeatedly asked me if I was diabetic or was taking Blood thinners. I am not. I feel terrible and scared.

    • I definitely feel for you. I was really scared too, especially because I wasn’t expecting these unpleasant side effects. They never asked me if I was diabetic or not (I am not), but it should be a standard question. I hope you feel better soon!

  21. Theresa Minnix on

    I had a steroid shot yesterday in my knee. I was doing ok until 8:00 pm. It felt like all hell broke loose in my body… Couldn’t sit, lay down, eat. I wanted to jump through my skin and scream. I finally laid down about 9:00. Well that was a big mistake. My legs felt like I had been hit or ran over my a truck. Up and downs went getting out of bed for the next 6+ hours. Taking zerteck because I sneezed so much, I took liquid calcium and magnesium pills to help with the pain in my legs. My heart was going so quick that I was concerned that I could have a heart attic. I took two Benadryl, an Ativan, Cymbalta. I took everything and anything I knew that would help me sleep. NOTHING WORKED. I called the dr today and they said it was probably not the shot and maybe a virus. I call BS! My face turned cherry red and it was so hot little pimples started I was praying it would not blister. It was on both sides of my face and my neck area. I, up again tonight very fidgety and uncomfortable with how I feel. I can’t sit in one spot I can’t lay down. I have taken two Benadryl and clonazapham and now just tylenol. I needed the shot, BUT NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT WHAT MY BODY WAS GOING TO DO. When dows this side affect end? I need sleep!!!!

  22. I had cortisone in both my knees at 1pm today, it is now 10 pm. My legs feel heavy, I am shaky, my blood sugars are at 16. I am an overly nervous person who suffers from anxiety and depression. My heart rate is at 94, this is not high but it is to me, mine is usually low 60s. It has given me some relief reading how these shots have affected others. Hope we all feel better.☺

  23. I too had a facet block today at 10 am. Felt quite good until 7 pm and noticed my blood sugar is higher than normal (9.2) and my heart rate is 119!!! I normally have a high pulse for which I take a beta blocker so I have self medicated with half a tablet to lower it. Also have been clammy and have a thumping headache. Interesting as absolutely no mention was made to me either of these side effects. The only advice was to take it very easy for 48 hours which I am doing. Dreading going to bed.

  24. received cortisone shot monday. by wednesday having head pain, shakey, heart racing somewhat, back pain.
    thursday had the runs about 20 times, at night upper stomach bloated terribly and bad back pain. now have not gone to bathroom in 2 days.
    i had diverticulitis of which i had a colon resection. I now read that the shot could be harmful to someone who has this.
    presently (sun) still had bloating, back pain, head pain, and pain down into my ears, slightly hard to swallow.
    Anyone had the runs like i did???

  25. Second time getting steroid shot in my back. 1st time heart raced, rage over small things. Pain got better for about a week. I want back to the zdrand he wanted to do it a but this time gave me something to calm me for the week that I had the rage. First day back to work,heart racing,out of breath so with as slow schedule I go home take a pill and it knocks me out.just hoping I don’t want to scream at anyone over stupid things. Plus my son is getting married and I don’t want to ruin it.

  26. Decadron injection Friday afternoon for possible strep throat. Almost immediate relief, it was euphoric. However super hyper like I had a caffeine IV. Up a full 24 hours before getting 6 hours of sleep. Up 15 hours that Saturday only to sleep the entire day Sunday (13 hours). Still feel jittery/tired. How long will this last? I have work and final exams this week. Can’t concentrate

  27. I also have had similar reaction. Its awful unless someone could live in anothers body while it is happening, i dont think they really understand how bad it is. I had a very good dr whose was very careful as i bad reacted before. He himself was bit doubtful about doing it. Told me he would give me a different type of cortisone compared with before. He also said that its not the cortisone you are reacting to its the fillers they use in the injection. Thats why i reacted to this one also.

  28. I can’t believe I’m just running across the site! A cortisone injection in my knee started a cascade of ever worsening side effects. After draining the fluid causing the excruciating swelling and pain, I had a follow up appointment for the cortisone. I spiked a fever of 103.1 by the time I arrived home from the doctor’s office. Unfortunately, this occurred during a period of time that I was attempting to get some relief from fibromyalgia and chronic migraine which included some new medications. I think it’s important to state that we all need to remember how different every person’s situation truly impacts these side effects. Regardless, I did not sleep more than a couple of hours (if any) for 2 weeks. I began suffering from the terrible effects of sleep deprivation as well. I was shaking, confused, unable to focus, and began having vision and memory issues. To this day I have no memory for the months of November and December of 2014. I sincerely believe that the changes in my other medications most definitely played a roll in my nightmare, however, the cortisone injection was most certainly the catalyst. I remember vividly the writing on the brochure, “the cortisone is injected locally so it will not enter the bloodstream and will not affect you systemically”. Uuummmmm, whatever.

  29. I just got a cortisone cervical epidural yesterday. Found this when searching side effects. I too have the elevated blood pressure, hot flushes and racing heart. The pounding in my head is the worst. Every time I stand up it feels like my head is going to explode with each pound. I have a history of high BP so took an extra BP pill. Also got the increased hunger but today I’m reluctant to even sit up to get anything to eat.just generally feeling crappy. I knew the raised BP and blood sugar was a risk but I didn’t expect such severe side effects.

  30. I too had these shots on both my knees this morning few hours later I start having anxiety shallow breathing and elevated heart beats despite stating having tachycardia issues , i asked the physician if there is any side effect and her answer was no , I have taken cortisone for my sinus never and had non of these symptoms anyway I extend my appreciation to these wonderful posts as they gave me the sense of relief knowing I am not a lone and alothers went through the same ordeal

  31. Jane Mewhinney on

    Had a cortisone shot for knee pain on May have 11th… the shot itself hurt like hell I felt everything. Since then I have had face flushing, pain, can’t sleep. Was told I should feel better in 24-48 hrs… it was “cortisone flare”. Today I add jitters. My hands shake like crazy sometimes my whole torso. Still have knee pain. I don’t know how much more I can take.

  32. Had 4mg Dexamethasone injected into the soft tissue of my foot for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Within 2 hours I was hot, dizzy and over the next five days remained dizzy with nausea. Called my doc and he said it must be a virus since he didn’t inject an artery or muscle. A coincidence. He prescribed anti nausea meds. I called my primary and am seeing her tomorrow.

  33. Got my fourth one today in less than a year… it’s been hours and my heart has been skipping beats for a couple hours….can’t calm down….ugh! Took a beta blocker, hope this gets better.

  34. Hello,

    I had a Kenalog 40mg injection on Tuesday May 10th for a shoulder injury. I felt a little off with bad thoughts and being moody and not felt like eating but was still able to function for the first 7 days. Then out of the blue on the 8th day Bam! I was hit with severe anxiety, heart burn, night sweats, insomnia, depression, high BP, face flushing, dry mouth and I’ve lost about 10 lbs since I got the shot because I can’t eat that much. I also get these waves through out the day where my heart is pounding but is beating really slow and I just feel strange. I also have had to cancel a trip to New Orleans and take some days off of work because of this. It’s now day 11 and I feel a bit better. I went and saw my family Dr. And she said that I must of had a bad reaction to it and I should feel much better in a week or so. What makes me mad is I asked the Ortho if there were any side effects before he gave this to me and he said no. I will never take this poison again.

  35. I get so frustrated with doctors acting like we don’t know our own body! I’ve had 3 bad back surgeries with no relief and they don’t seem to really care to figure out why I’m in chronic pain everyday. On Tues I received a cortisone injection for my shoulder, didn’t hurt, felt fine until the next day. Face and body felt on fire with rash all over body. My heart is racing, feeling depressed and can’t sleep because of the overheating inside my body. It’s been 5 days so I hope and pray the worse is over. I think from now on I will ask more questions and make sure the doctor will take the time to listen to my concerns. I will never have another one again!

    • Just wanted to check back and and let you know its been 4 weeks for me and I feel much better now. Im eating again and back to working out. Been sleeping much better and anxiety has subsided. Have a tiny bit of depression/brain fog but its much better. Don’t be discourage and just ride it out. Weeks two and three were the worst for me.

  36. I to am having jitters or shaking issues.
    There is no more pain in my knees however even after the physical therapy my knees feel tired & swollen. I was not told of any possible side effects, but I never had any of these issues until after the cortisone shots in my knees.
    The first 48 hours were very painful & I felt sick, but that eventually went away.
    I am concerned that I should have explored other options.

  37. Cortisone shot to cervical column yesterday at 1:30 p.m.... It is now 4:23 a.m. I am wide awake on

    It is now 4:24 a.m and I Wide Awake because my heart is racing and giving irregular heart beats. Very unsettling because I know that if I called the advice nurse at Kaiser they will say for me to come in and get checked out… However I don’t believe it’s anything serious and I don’t want to be a nuisance… Also I have to go into work for 3 p.m. today and I cannot afford to miss any more days off work… jittery and cannot sleep… Also was given a medication Versed and Fentanyl prior to procedure… I wonder if the combination of this medications has me awake at this time the morning… Anyway thanks for letting me vent.

    • You are very welcome – and it just might have been a combination. I would definitely check with your doctor though and maybe have them put a notation in your file that you are allergic to that particular type of cortisone. That’s what I did.

  38. I Just read all of y’all’s reviews and I’m scared to death I just got my Cortizone shot today one in each heal . And her completely when he put it in but I didn’t have any problems like no side effects afterwards I have a right heel spur and I have a small tear on my plantar fasciitis on my left foot but all this didn’t happen until I started working out doing UFC fitness I was a couch potato before I was experiencing such bad he’ll problems and achy feet every night I thought this would help but I pray it doesn’t get as bad as some of ya’lls . I feel so much pain for all of you πŸ™

  39. I had a steroid injection yesterday, and it has helped with hip pain. My surprise came at bedtime when I had insomnia. Usually, I sleep with no issue. I also had heartburn which I never have. This A.M., flushing in the face hit like a brick and won’t go away. I was given a short acting and a long acting injection which was painless.
    Will these symptoms subside? I never expected this reaction since I previously have had shoulder and knee injections.

  40. David Jackson on

    I just had a cortisone shot in each shoulder today and I am still awake with a lot of shakiness and weakness throughout my body. So glad I found this thread. I guess we’re not alone.

  41. I had an injection into my left sciatic joint for sciatica, a week later in my right sciatic joint. A few weeks after that I spent about 4 days admitted in the hospital, as I went in from symptoms: severe dizziness like vertigo, hot/numbing flashes (kind of like when your arm starts to go to sleep and feels cold and numb then gets warm when you move), nausea, throbbing head ache, and confusion (brain fog) just all out lethargic feeling. They had a neurologist see me in the ER who admitted me for a TIA (a warning stroke). They did CT scans that showed no evidence of this and they released me after a few days of observation. After this I started my menstrual 4 days late (late, not later), it was extremely clotty… All clots. I bled for 32 days and I’ve been extremely normal for 5 years prior to this. My Dr put me on a 6 week leave (medical disability), in which time I was fired for not being at work. No Dr. could figure out what my problem was. My husband even asked my GP ‘The only thing that has been different is that she got those back injections, could this be the issue?’ Oh no, that couldn’t cause this. I got them done again last month… Started late again, still bleeding, feel like I have restless leg syndrome but all over my body, can’t sleep at night, lethargic during the day, throbbing headache, extremely fast heart rate, anxiety. Sciatica pain is gone, but certainly not worth having these kind of symptoms for months. Will never get them again!

  42. I had a shot yesterday at noon. Based on my observations(estimates) It looked to be about 12cc of cortisone and about 6cc of lidocaine prior to it. My ankles have been in pain for years and I finally got around to doing something about it. An MRI showed an OCD(small ship fracture) which probably happened when I broke it 6 years ago. It finally progressed to the point I needed to do something about it. Limping every day was just getting unacceptable. I was actually happy to get the shot. However, in an already swollen area the addition of about a half ounce more fluid is quite a bit and I was in a bit of pain the rest of the day. It felt like one of my worse “normal” days of swelling. However, after I got home in the evening from work and put ice on it and put it up on my recliner, the swelling went down. However, I did notice that I seemed hotter than normal. It wasn’t feverous, though I didn’t take my temperature, I just felt like the house was too hot(which admittedly does happen to me all the time). I think I can attribute the extra heat to the shot, but that is probably just my body’s reaction to a foreign substance entering my body. This morning my ankles do feel much better than they have in a long time and the heat does seem to be mostly gone. Just figured I’m weigh in with more anecdotal evidence.

  43. After years of wrist pain I developed a cyst that was painful for months. Terrified of injections, I opted for the cortisone shots though as my dr said it was my only option. Three hours later I was weak, shaky, short of breath, had a rapid heartbeat and my heart was pounding. I called my doctor’s office and they told me the dr said it was probably anxiety because of my fear of injections and to eat and lay down. Of course I knew better since within minutes of the injection I was fine, anxiety – wise, ate a full meal thirty minutes later, rode an hour home and felt uneasy like I needed to lie down. It’s been four hours and I, too am researching online possible side effects of cortisone shots. My heart rate and weakness feels like it’s gone down some but I’m still feeling short of breath and shaky. My heart rate was 122 when I checked it at the three hour mark and onset of this. It went down to 104 an hour later. While texting this message my dr just called me himself and kept pushing the anxiety/adrenaline issue. He assured me it couldn’t be a side effect as he’d done hundreds of these and never heard of it. Yet here is a whole feed of comments of folks with the same symptoms. Go figure. He did suggest that maybe it was the lidocaine he used first. Could be, but regardless, my symptoms are real, bothersome, even a bit scary and I won’t do cortisone injections again.

  44. Wow, this is EXACTLY how I have been feeling! It’s like the flu on crack I swear! And it took me awhile to figure out it was the shots bc it didn’t start right away. Got Bilateral Sacroiliac injections along with 4 shots of cortisteroids in my lower back on Tuesday Aug 2, and I started feeling not so good Friday the 5th. By Sunday all hell had broken loose! This profuse SWEATING then chills, fever,headache,INSOMNIA,nausea, all over achy,bad taste,depression, anxious,shaky,angry..did I leave anything out?? I am a very sickly person anyway, so when it all started with the hot flashes I thought I had the flu, then it progressively got worse. And since people aren’t INFORMED of any of this, it took me days to put 2 and 2 together and do some research. It’s now 8 days after my injections and Its still horrible! I know there isn’t anything dr.s can do so I gotta wait it out but OMG I dont know how much more I can take! I’m a single Mama so no help, I’ve been confined to bed/couch now for days. What I also want people to be aware of is that these injections are NOT the same as Epidural injections, its totally different, I had those as well and didnt react like this. People need to be informed of this, as we know the dr.s won’t tell us, guess we have to be the voice. How LONG can this go on?? Been 8 days of HELL, I can’t take much more.

  45. When I first starting taking steroids for asthma I did a lot of reading up on these drugs. A lot of info is on websites like webmd and the mayo clinic. I’m writing this now at 2:08 am because I had cortisone shots in my knees this morning and am wide awake. And ate everything in the house. My previous experiences side effects are insomnia. Appetite And hot flashes. It takes about 3-4 days to settle down. but it is nice to be able to walk without being in excruciating pain.

    • Christine Pohl on

      Omg I am only on day 3…..ugh hot flashes are driving me nuts. Considering putting float on pool and sleeping in it.

  46. Christine Pohl on

    I am no stranger to cortisone injections. Especially in my knees. I think this is the worse ever though. Maybe because I haven’t had them in a while. I am used to feeling blah afterwards, but I was nauseous, by late evening I had a migraine. Day 2 crazy hot flashes and I woke up like I was ready to vomit. I had a appointment but I felt so blah I canceled it. I am heat intolerant so it just is horrible. Last night I considered taking my temperature because I was really over heating. Took a cool shower helped for a bit then I felt like I was melting.

    Today so far the hot flashes. Not thrilled.

    I have background with cortisone for years now. Mainly my knees but, a few years ago I decided to get the epidural steroid shots in my back. I was desperate for pain relief L-5/L-6,L-7 disks are degenerated, add sciatica to the mix. First shot wasn’t too bad mild headache, some nausea and very tired. 2nd was bad. Had horrendous headache when I woke up. I let the nurses know, they thought maybe a reaction to the numbing meds. When I got home I took a nap, woke up feeling my head would explode and so tired. I called the doctors office they told me I needed to stay in bed and drink lots of caffeine. I reminded them of my heart issues about drinking caffeine. They stated this was my best bet and if it didn’t help I was going to have to go to the ER, which I was going to try to avoid. In retrospect I should have went. The third injection was due next, still only having moderate relief I decided, against my better judgment to have the 3rd one. It made no difference and the pain has gotten worse, I gained over 75lbs. To which on steroids is hard to lose. My back is in worse condition then where I started. I can still feel pain in the spot of the injections.

    Cortisone has many dangers not just injected ones. I found a site awhile back a doctor wrote and I wish I could remember the name. But, I printed it out and took it to my neurologist and he told me yes it is all true. Should have went to him before I had those back injections.

    • I feel so bad for you…that it didn’t even take care of the pain. I will have to read up on all cortisones to see if I can find out what that doctor was talking about. Scary!

  47. yes i too (had two levels cervical spine nerve root with cortisone a few years ago and this time around having the facet joints done at different levels, but still cervical spine) have many of the same issues post procedure . Usually awake for the first two nights.. then if they haven’t started already.. the hot flushes ,, shivers , shakes cold sweats .. feeling like a really bad drug withdrawal or the start of a bad flu.. ravenous carb cravings . Though usually 5 days after the shot im back to “normal” … Its a stimulant so insomnia is most often noted .. not good for someone with narcolepsy like myself … and it does lower the immune system so if there is anything low grade in your system at the time of the shot … your body will go into overdrive to fight it off. Its very rare to have an actual histaminic reaction but a sensitivity or intolerance … im not sure about .. either way for me its about 5 days of torture of varying symptoms .. pretty much climbing the wall … feeling like a perimenopausal crack addict

      • this time around i though it had got away with a more mild reaction… however 8 days later as another person commented “like the flu on crack” without the head cold or chest symptoms . Though my thoughts are… firstly is it an immune reaction to the procedure, not the cortisone.. or/and a rebound effect because cortisone lowers the immune system … so once it leaves the system the immune system goes into overdrive … in regards to the later any low grade viral/bacterial ect infection at the time of the procedure would have a chance to take hold.. so i wonder which, or if all these factors play a part in how one’s body reacts or responds … having one autoimmune condition, i can only assume with me my responses may be affected . I don’t get any wheezing, itching ,runny nose, sneezing so im inclined to think as i mentioned prior that it’s not a histamine allergic-type reaction (also because of the delay in symptoms) Regardless i have had all these symptoms after each cortisone nerve block that i have had . Which i will be having another and hopefully my last in 3 days time… so if my response is the same again its definitely causative and not coincidental .. I am lucky to know that despite it being uncommon my after effects are not suffered by me alone … its nice to know one has validation even if others ( in the medical field) treat you as paranoid and neurotic

  48. I had an injection in L-5, then 1 month later a cortisone injection in my neck. 4 days after the injection, I suffered SEVERE insomnia’ I was up almost 40 hours straight.. I could not understand it, I usually hibernate like a bear, I sleep quite well. Then I developed severe tremors, POUNDING heartbeat, rapid heart rate alternating with a very slow heart rate. My vision became blurred, I felt foggy, could not focus. I was at the point I could not even drive. THEN, I developed diarrhea for 2 weeks, it still comes & goes & it’s been a month now. I dropped 14 lbs in less than 2 weeks. I had panic attacks, & symptoms like restless leg syndrome. I would have like “a zinging through my body, it was HORRIBLE!! I felt fatigued & weak. I was in & out of the ER 3 times for the symptoms. I was diagnosed as “anxiety & palpitations.” My PCP even said it was anxiety. The ortho Dr who ordered the injections said, after I went to him about the symptoms, “Do you have a history of anxiety?” I was humiliated! I wanted to slap him. Before that block, I was HEALTHY, working out with a trainer, doing exercises a 30 something year old person would do. I was holding my own quite well. I went twice to one ER, RMC, & the experience was HORRIBLE! I felt as though they thought I was a “fruit loop”. The 3rd time, I did some thinking. I don’t know why I did not think of it earlier. I went to the ER where I had worked as a Trauma Nurse for 20 years, & retired. I will PROUDLY say it was Denver General ER, now known as Denver Health. I was desperate & at the end of my rope. I was frightened!!! I had NEVER had problems like this, I was always healthy. I don’t think I was in that ER 15 minutes when the ER Dr said, (after I told her I had 2 blocks 1 month of each other & told her there was a correlation from when I got the block & symptoms) “you are having a severe adverse reaction to the block. 2 neurologists saw me 30 minutes of each other & said, “This is a severe adverse reaction to the steroid injections.” I was treated WELL in that ER. I was not made to feel like a “fruit loop”, like at the other ER. I was told it might take another month to wear off. It had already been 21 days. Also 2 employees came to me & shared their experiences with me. One was placed on a psych ward, for 1 week, before they realized it was an adverse reaction to the steroid injection. The other employee shared his story, & it was AWFUL what he went through. If you ever have a severe adverse reaction to a steroid injection, & can’t figure out what is going on, GET A NEUROLOGIST!! Dr’s who orders these injections play your symptoms off like it is YOU, & that you have an “anxiety” problem, even though you tell him until you are exhausted, that you’ve NEVER had a history of anxiety & you are healthy. They don’t want it known that the injections THEY ordered caused the horrendous symptoms, so they put it off on YOU. The same applies to the PCPs also, because they aren’t that familiar with what steroid injections can do. I am waiting for these horrible symptoms to resolve. I hear it is a SLOW process, with some, but it eventually wears off. I am scared out of my mind, because I suffer from disc disease, I am ALWAYS having herniations. Do you really think I want to go through this again? I’d just rather have surgery, than to go through this hell again, & I mean it is HELL!!!!!

  49. I went to an ER clinic on Sunday after being extremely dizzy all day Saturday for no apparent reason. The doctor stated I had fluid behind my ears and suggested that I had a sinus issue. Although I had not had any noticeable drainage or ear problems. She gave me a steroid shot and told me to take an over the counter allergy medication. Also, my blood pressure was elevated a little. Now my blood pressure is even higher, my face is on fire and I am still somewhat dizzy (not as bad as Saturday). I take other medication and am concerned about taking it while still having these symptoms. Out of desperation, I am trying to find out if these are normal symptoms of the steroid shot. And from all the accounts above, they are. I appreciate your blog – at least I have a little peace knowing these are “sort” of normal. Now, just hoping that the shot and over the counter medication will take care of the dizziness.

  50. Jackie Clinton on

    I have shots every 4 months in my knees, Can’t eat any carbs for5-6 days ,blood sugar shoots up immediately, I up my metformin to 1500 twice a day for those days. Shaky ,stress , flushing in face, I asked the doctor about the racing heart, guess it was the novicain included in the shots. After that he gave to me without it.
    I do get palpitations from blood sugar increase.
    Exhausted feeling and tired again high blood sugar.
    I have lymphedema, and my legs swelled horribly, but within a week all the swelling disappeared.
    The shots are for osteoporosis arthritis , knees are bone on bone ,it also is an extra benefit to me though the doctor doesn’t know why.
    So every four months ,I suffer through it .
    I hope you’re side effects go away quickly.

  51. Like so many others here, I too am in the midst of dealing with a bad experience with a steroid shot. I had lots of swelling in my neck/sinuses that was causing pain/pressure. The doctor told the nurse to give me a steroid shot. Before she did, I asked if there were any side effects. Her answer, “None that I know of….well, some people feel energized.” So, we proceeded. “Energized”….oh brother. I felt nauseated off an on for the first 24 hours, then great that next day and then the shakiness and jitters took over…..very disturbing. It is very helpful (and gives me hope) to read other’s experiences on this thread. It makes me persevere and know that there will be an end to this! Thank you, Jennifer for starting this.

  52. Beth zalotockyj on

    Thank you so much for this information Jennifer, I thought I was going mad! I have fibromyalgia, scoliosis and osteoarthritis, and a tendency to develop all the wonderful stuff that can come with these conditions, like bursitis and tendonitis. I had a double cortisone shot into my right shoulder bursa yesterday at 11.30am, and by 4pm I had total body shakiness, racing and thumping heart, incredible weakness in my arms and legs, and the whole right side of my body was a mass of tingling nerve pain. When I got to bed, the pain worsened considerably, and then spread to the upper right side of my body too. To cap it all off, my right leg went off with restless leg syndrome- something I’ve had before, but mercifully only for a short time, because it literally almost killed me from utter despair when it combined with chronic pain and Fibro. So no sleep last night!
    It’s 8am the next day and I’m still shaking, jittery, full of tingling pain in my right side and utterly exhausted…but the first thing I’m going to do today is ring the treating doctor and ask him why on earth he didn’t warn me! And I’m never having one again. Thanks so much again for easing my mind about this Jennifer- when you’re already dealing with serious chronic illnesses, symptoms like that can be truly terrifying.

    • You are so very welcome. Your experience sounds just like mine (although I don’t have the other chronic conditions.). I do have serious RLS and between that and the effects of the shot, I was miserable! I would love if you can let me know what your doctor said – they all seem to deny that there are side effects!

  53. I had steroid injections almost 4 weeks ago in my SI Joint. I have had 6 back surgeries in the last 13 yrs. I have had injections before, but they have never helped. The latest injections haven’t helped either. However, since the injections, I have been experiencing “Profuse Sweating” all over. Like I said, my injections were almost 4 weeks ago and the sweating shows no sign of letting up. I contacted the Anesthesiologist who administered the injections and he said he had NEVER heard of this side effect ? I also developed severe high blood pressure. I went to my GP who put me on Blood Pressure Medicine. I had a hysterectomy at age 31. I am now 57 and the sweating and other related symptoms are worse than any Menapausal Symptoms, I experienced years ago. I also have had heart racing, severe leg cramps occurring at night (I’ve started taking Potassium Supplements to help with this). I’ve read where some people with similar “side effects” have successfully take Benadryl (I am allergic to antihistamines, so this won’t help me). I am beyond desperate !! My scalp and hair are “sopping wet” just from sitting and typing this ? I recently started taking Evening Primrose Oil 1000 mgs-3 times a day (recommended by another patient with the extreme “sweating” side effect-not seeing any relief from this either). I’m open to ANY suggestions along with any research available ??? Can’t handle this much longer…..HELP !!!!!

  54. Anne Narramore on

    I got a steroid injection in my right knee two weeks ago. I am getting ready to have my right knee replaced, but a different doctor replaced the left knee two years ago and put in the wrong size of knee, causing Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in my entire left leg. This is my 3rd orthopedic doctor I’ve gone to, so I can get my right knee done. He told me he wanted to see if the steroid shot would help the pain in the right knee, and if it didn’t, he didn’t think the replacement would work. I got the shot, and I was alone and out of town, so got in my car to drive home and had a horrible reaction right then, like I couldn’t think straight and was very shaky, instant headache. I sat there for awhile and then drove home. Should have just go back in. I has the same reactions so many of you have talked about, flushed, hot face, no sleep, heart racing, twitching, irritated, nauseous etc. This kept getting worse over the weekend. I called the doctor on Monday and the shot was on a Thursday, but the symptoms were getting worse. The nurse talked to the doctor and he did say it was a reaction to the steroid shot. They told me to take Benadryl and anti-inflammatories, which I already take. They did suggest if it didn’t get better to go to the ER. It has been 2 weeks and I’m still experiencing a lot of the side effects, but they are gradually getting better. My blood pressure definitely went up, also. It’s been good to read your verifications. This morning, I developed a rash on my right leg from the injection site to my ankle. Since it’s only on that leg, I know it must be from the injection. I will never have another of those shots. At least my doctor acknowledged that some people do react exactly like so many of us have. Since the shot did help the pain, I’m setting up the surgery, but for all of you, I know for a fact it is the shot that caused the reaction. I’m gradually getting better, but it’s been a tough 2 weeks.

    • What a horrible experience you had! BUT at least your doctor did acknowledge that there could be a reaction. I don’t understand why other doctors won’t just say so? It seems there are SO many of us that have had these terrible reactions. Thank you for sharing!

  55. Its been a little over 5 months since I had my shot and everything seems to be getting back to normal. I had a few weeks there where my hair started thinning and falling out but it seems to be getting back to normal now. If you see my post from May I too had insomnia, depression, anxiety, racing heart then really slow heart beats, flushing, High BP, lost weight and felt like I was in a fog.
    I also went to the ER and was told I must of had a bad reaction to the shot. So if you are experiencing any of this from these shots just know it will get better. After about a month I started feeling a little bit better each day then the hair loss hit about 8 weeks in. I would say 5 months out now I feel like myself again and my hair seems to be growing back and feels thicker. This stuff was straight up poison to my system.

  56. wow! I just read over the comments… I had epidural injections on 10/12..I didn’t feel much different right after, yet a few days later I started experiencing extreme hot flashes, sweating, racing heart, jitteriness, and worst of all insomnia. I haven’t been able to sleep at all for over a week now and it is catching up to me. I already have spinal issues and lots of pain, but I never thought that the injections were the culprit. I had them years ago, but did not experience any of these things. My arms feel very restless and I can’t keep them still. I am constantly rubbing them because they ache so badly. Benedryl unfortunately does not make me sleepy, but I don’t know what else to try to help me get some much needed rest and sleep. My heart rate has been staying up in 120 area – so at night when I lay down I can feel how fast it is racing. I have tried breathing exercises but that isn’t working to help me get to sleep. I have tossed and turn for nights now. I just want this to end so I can get back to feeling more like myself. My doctor has called me a few times, but I didn’t mention this to her thinking that maybe something else was going on – now I think otherwise. I will definitely be telling her about my symptoms and that I didn’t have this before I had the injections.

    • Good idea. I had my doctor write in my chart what type of cortisone it is, and that I am allergic to it. I will never do ANY kind of cortisone shots again! Hope you are feeling better…

  57. I have had four cortisone shots this year; two in the right knee, one just yesterday in the left; I get the shakiness and heart racing too and bad insomnia that lasts 2 days along with my A1C rising 2 times (I’m in the prediabetic range) yet last time it didn’t go up; hot feelings, moodiness, tired yet wired, flushing in my face and neck, some other things; I take benadryl, meditate, magnesium which I have taken for years and herbal calming teas, some calming music and wish I had the herb motherwort as that helps the heart rate go down and calming; some of the symptoms are like when my Graves disease was active before diagnosis in 2010 and was actually worse and I was on oral natural steriod HC (for adrenals) and could not sleep and had racing heart and moodiness, feeling hot. So after two injections which are all so needed for the knee pain (looking at right knee replacement later 2017) I’m learning to deal with it yet not fun and miserable for about 2-3 days; the nurse yesterday said sure these things could happen; yet the first two injections no one told me of side effects and until I called my doctor and said what is going on! I hate that tired yet wired feeling and just feeling like I’m wide awake at night; I had to sleep in today as I’m a fall asleep at 9:30-10 PM person so I also watch some TV which also believe it or not relaxes me; my heart rate was going up to 120 bpm; with Graves it went up to 130140 bpm and sometimes 150 bpm mostly middle of the night when the thyroid gland is most active; yet that was a whole other story (which I could have potentially had a thyroid storm and die since in 2010 the doctor did not help me much until he tested me and I waited 4 months before treatment) and after destroying my gland the heart rate is down significantly 4 years now; I prefer now knee surgery even though surgery is not the best thing either recovering; yet not being able to walk without extreme pain and forget pain meds as all that stuff makes me sick so only the shots help somewhat; they like giving shots first to put off the surgery. I’m in my late 50s and most I know around my town only get the knee surgery 60s, 70s or 80s. it sure is a scary experience with these shots yet this time around I’m so much more aware and just doing what I can to deal with it. I hope only one more night of insomnia. It must stink for those who have these effects much longer and more intense symptoms. . In my travels with my health issues at least, it seem every drug has side effects some worse than others and these cortisone injections side effects can be miserable at least to me unfortunately. Best of luck Jennifer and all!

  58. Thank you Jennifer! I want to add to my long comment above that this time around, the fourth cortisone shot left knee instead of right (three different times this year), my side effects symptoms are worse than ever; digestive issues and the insomnia and heart racing is not going away like it did after only two days in past. Don’t know if doctor used more of the liquid cortisone to help the left knee; it gets very frustrating because I just had one in my right knee about a month ago and the pain is already starting to come back; so far it has worked better with the left knee yet it is too early to tell how long it will last! I’m wondering now if the more cortisone shots a person has the worse the side effects are? I’m dealing with it sort of yet makes me wonder if shots are really effective in the first place and worth the post shot side effects if the pain is not resolved that well anyway? Only the doctor and insurance putting off the much need knee replacement I need on each knee. I meant to say I appreciate your sharing this blog as realizing weighing the risks vs. benefits and thinking now of long term effects too; it is feeling a lot like when I was on HC (hydrocortisone) for my adrenals issues due to Graves pre and post treatment and I just cannot wait until this is out of my system and back to sleeping the 8 hours I normally do; the shakiness was worse this time too. Sometimes seems there is no easy solution! Thanks again!

  59. Just had a cortisone shot in my knee yesterday and my heart started racing a couple hours afterward. My average heart rate when I wake up is 67 but it was 106 this morning. Hopefully it slows down soon.

  60. Had a cortisone shot in my ankle, to break up calcium and scar tissue. Told my Dr. that I had cortisone several years ago and described all the symptoms to him that everyone here is talking about. He said I should be alright as it’s not a big dose. Well I have been awake for over 24 hours after numerous attempts to sleep. I called the Dr to see if I could get something to help me sleep or relax. Haven’t heard back yet and it is late on Friday afternoon. Guess I’m screwed for now. I hope newcomers to cortisone will research sites like this. Why would Dr’s not tell people about these horrible symptoms. I’d love to inject my Dr with a shot like this so he could stay up with me and watch the horrible shows on tv at 3am

    • I agree! They do not warn us at all about the side effects. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t, so we could make an educated choice for OUR health. It really is frustrating. I hope you feel better soon!

  61. thanks so much for your post jennifer. my husband had a cortisone shot yest in back for his pain from a herniated disk, and now more than 24 hrs later he is still cant stand up for more than a few minutes before feeling shaky and week and running back to bed. you said you were still getting bouts of shakiness a week later, did this eventually go away and if so how long did it take? i am very worried about him and he is getting worried as has to return to work next week and cant have episodes like this as it would be very dangerous where he works.

    • Hi Laura,

      I honestly cannot remember now how long it took for the shakiness to stop, but I think it was about a week or a little more. I would suggest calling the doctor and see what they say – they may not want him to be at work!

  62. Hello, I just found your website at 4:43 a.m., just hours after receiving an injection in my right ankle for an injury that just hasn’t been healing correctly. I’m very athletic and active and have been road cycling for the past few months while hoping to nurse this ankle back to health from a running injury. Cycling wasn’t making it worse, just not healing it like I’d hoped.

    My injection was at 10:30 a.m. and the increased heart rate started asking 8:30 p.m.
    I’m have a faster than normal heart rate (for me, it’s on the upper 80s) because my resting heart rate is normally 62 bpm. not feeling the flush others described I hope this goes away……insomnia going asking with it. Ugh!!!!

  63. .
    Anyway I found an answer try MAGNESIUM it took my anxiety away almost straight away!! Have been sufferring for 6 weeks and felt like i was going crazy

  64. I had injections in my knees and from knees to feet, my legs feel like ice and can’t seem to get them warm. One of my knees that was bothering me a little is bothering me a LOT now. Hope this all passes quick. I don’t like it.

  65. Robert Richman on

    I am crawling out of my skin in a delayed reaction 5 days after only feeling tired and otherwise ok following a 4 point multi injection lumbar epidural in an effort to relieve referred pain throughout the lower right side of my body from the waist down. The nerves in my body now feel as though they’re on the outside, with so much pent up anxiety inside making me feel like I want to throw a Buick through a plate glass window, much like “The Incredible Hulk” after turning green and going into his rage. How long will this last?! I’m tempted to double my dose of Klonipin for fear of having a severe panic attack!

  66. I had a shot in my thumb joint on 1st March. It wasnt until about a week later I started to feel weak, mainly my legs. I felt like I was shaking inside and having twitches and just feeling weird. I went to my doctor about a month later and told him my symtoms. I didnt even think it was the shot I had so didnt mention it even though he asked me if I took protein power or injected. I said to him Ive never taken steriods lol. I was so concerned I had MS or Parkinsons. The doctor couldnt have looked at my records to check. He did a few strength and balance tests and I had blood tests. All came back clear apart from I was low on vitimin D3. The vitimin d3 is helping but I still feel weak now and again and still twitch at times. MS is still in the back of my mind but im hoping the shot will soon be out of my system for good.

    • I certainly hope so too! It really is an awful feeling, especially when the heart is racing and you’re shaking. I couldn’t believe how horrible I felt after the shot. NEVER again! I hope you will feel better soon!

Leave A Reply

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)