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What are the Side Effects of Corticosteroid Injections?

Nicole Madison
Updated: May 17, 2024

While the majority of people do not experience serious side effects of corticosteroid injections, adverse effects do occur. Among the possible side effects of these injections are discoloration of the skin at the injection site and broken blood vessels that lead to bleeding in the injection area. A person who undergoes corticosteroid injections may also suffer from soreness at the point of injection, inflammation in the area, and even shrinkage of the skin around the injection site. Some people may also experience such symptoms as flushing of the face, damage to the tendons, and increased pain after receiving an injection. Elevation of blood sugar, slight suppression of the immune system, weight gain, blood pressure changes, and even thinning of the skin may occur as well.

An individual who receives corticosteroid injections on a short-term basis may experience such side effects as bleeding from broken blood vessels in the injection area, inflammation, or soreness in the area. Some people who undergo corticosteroid injections may develop infection in the area, and a patient may also notice that his discomfort increases for the first day or two after he receives an injection. Also among the side effects of corticosteroid injections are shrinkage of fatty tissue as well as tendon damage. Additionally, some people experience a worsening of inflammation in the injection area, facial flushing, and discoloration of the skin.

Some side effects of corticosteroid injections are more long term in nature. For example, some people who receive corticosteroid injections may gain weight or notice that their faces seem puffier. Some may suffer damage to their bones or a significant increase in blood pressure. Bruising and cataracts may also develop in people who receive these injections, especially when the injections involve a higher dose or when they are administered frequently.

An individual with diabetes may be more likely to develop certain corticosteroid side effects. Corticosteroid injections could make it harder for a diabetic’s immune system to fight an infection, for instance. These injections may also lead to an elevation in blood sugar levels. Sometimes corticosteroid injections may make some of the symptoms of an infection less noticeable, putting the diabetic patient’s health at increased risk.

It is important to keep in mind that most people will not suffer from more than soreness at the injection site as a result of corticosteroid injections. Since more serious side effects are possible, however, an individual may do well to be aware of the possibilities in advance. This way, he’ll know when to call a doctor if side effects of corticosteroid injections develop.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
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Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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