Side Effects of Cortisone Injection

Written by megan smith
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Cortisone is a corticosteroid that is injected into the tissues of the body to reduce inflammation due to allergies and inflammations in the joints or muscles due to injury. Side effects may result.


Short-term side effects of cortisone injections include pigmentation at the injection site, raised blood sugar in patients who have diabetes, bleeding around the injection site, weakened tendons and muscle soreness. Long-term side effects include easy bruising, weight gain, skin thinning, osteoporosis, cataracts, face puffiness and avascular necrosis, bone damage to large joints.


Mild muscle soreness or pigmentation at the injection site does not need to be reported to a doctor, while weakened tendons, bleeding around the injection site and raised blood sugar if you have diabetes should be reported immediately. Report any long-term side effects as soon as you notice them.

Allergic Reactions

In rare cases, side effects may occur due to an allergic reaction to cortisone. If you experience swelling of the face, lips or a rash on your body after taking cortisone, contact your doctor immediately.

Time Frame

If muscle soreness lasts longer than several days, contact your doctor. Other symptoms should lessen in severity after about one week. Contact your doctor if you are still experiencing side effects after one week.


Side effects may also occur due to drug interactions--do not take cortisone if you are taking phenytoin, oestrogen, blood thinners, water pills, insulin, phenobarbital or rifampicin. Consult your doctor if you are taking one of these medications.


Temporary muscle soreness can be treated with a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen every four hours. A bandage should be placed over the injection site if bleeding occurs. Report any other side effects to a doctor as soon as possible.

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