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. 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). 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. 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.
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 Bags9 Hours of Relaxing Beach Waves at Night for SleepingDeep Steep Rosemary Mint Bubble Bath – 17 Fluid OuncesDead 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 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)Burt’s Bees Baby Bubble Bath, 12 Ounces (Pack of 3) (Packaging May Vary)