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What Is Cortisone?

Cortisone injections or Corticosteroids are not pain killers. Rather they are usually administered, to help reduce and relieve inflammation that usually results in swelling-and yes- pain. Injections are used typically in arthritic conditions, and major injuries and inflammation of any kind. It is very common among athletes and orthopedic surgeons.

Is Cortisone Available In Other Forms?

Aside from injections, the medication can also be administered orally, applied topically (to the skin), it can also be inhaled, injected into tissue sites of the body, and can be given intravenously via a catheter into the veins.

Some examples of the drug include but are not limited to: Methyl-Prednisolone, Prednisone, Prednisolone, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol, Celestone, and Kenalog.

Side effects Of Cortisone

Cortisone or (Hydrocortisone) can cause a host of side effects. Some are common, and less dangerous, while others are less common and are more dangerous. As such, it is critical that you communicate anything that is unusual, especially if such symptoms persist.

Cortisone Catheter-Related Infections

Oftentimes, individuals have to be given cortisone via a catheter. In such cases, it is possible that infections can arise from the needle entry into the skin or vein. It is important to pay attention to signs of infection which could include but not limited to: Redness, swelling, rash, unpleasant odour, warmth, pus, leaking, irritation, pain, or tenderness at the site. If you experience such side effects in, or close to the IV (catheter) site, do not hesitate. Communicate this to your doctor as soon as possible.

Other severe symptoms, that should be reported to your doctor IMMEDIATELY include:

  • Dark, black, tarry stool
  • Persistent and abnormal skin rash(pustules)
  • Joint and muscle pain, weakness and stiffness
  • Eye pain, blurriness and other vision conditions
  • Bleeding of any kind that is unusual
  • Swelling in ankles, feet and lower legs

More common side effects of cortisone that should be reported to your doctor include but are not limited to:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Acne, redness, and skin bruising
  • Headaches, dizziness, restlessness
  • Anxiety, depression, and mood changes
  • Insomnia, restlessness, and sweating
  • Difficult, absent and irregular periods
  • Increased hair growth

Prevention Is Key: Precautions

If your doctor has recommended or suggested that cortisone injections for your medical condition, be sure to tell him/her if:

  • You are pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or if you are breastfeeding, and if you do get pregnant while taking cortisone, see your doctor immediately.
  • You have any fungal infection or if you recently had or will be having surgery of any kind.
  • You are allergic to sulfites-or sulfite-containing medications, or cortisone.
  • You are currently taking blood-thinners(including aspirin), Phenobarbital, arthritis medications, digoxin or water pills(diuretics)
  • You are taking hormones such as estrogens, oral contraceptives, fertility drugs or other medications, vitamin supplements, or herbs
  • You have suffered or is suffering from conditions including: heart disease or high blood pressure, tuberculosis, diabetes or abnormal thyroid conditions
  • You have HIV/AIDS, or a history of seizures, osteoporosis, gastro-intestinal and ulcers, herpetic eye infections, kidney or liver problems or a history of depression or mental illness

Be Informed-Stay Informed: Communicate With Your Doctor

In conducting your own research; be sure to especially ask your doctor as many questions as you need to, if he or she has recommended cortisone in any form. Simply put: Be an advocate for your health. Stay informed-and as always; play it safe.

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