Anyone Have Side Effects Months After Cervical ESI?

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New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/11/2012 12:54 AM (GMT -6)   

After having different types of steroids used for swelling and pain, I have finally realized just how sensitive I am to ANY type of steroids. The side effects for me are just horrible. They include severe anxiety, facial flushing, moodiness, feeling very spacy, poor short term memory, irregular menstrual cycle, poor appetite, etc. I am 5 months post cervial ESI and STILL experiencing these side effects. They have lessened somewhat, but still a problem for me.

My first negative experience was with oral Decadron in 2010 for reconstructive jaw surgery. I had a fairly small dose to my knowledge, however, it took an entire month for me to recover from side effects. I figured I was having issues because my mouth was wired shut for that month.....anyone would have anxiety. But all the above mentioned side effects were so bad. Sure being wired shut made me anxious, but I now know, it was for sure the steroid.

Fast forward to August of 2011. I was put on a medrol pack for pinched nerves in my neck. I did ok with that. September was put on Prednisone for the same neck issue, 60 mg per day and after 3 days had to stop because the side effects were awful.....same side effects mentioned above. Took me a week and a half to recover. October, had a cortisone injection in my knee, did ok. December 7th, had the cervical ESI. about 5 days after, I basically freaked out. The anxiety was SO bad, along with headaches, body aches, boiling hot to freezing cold, you name it. And surprisingly, the dr who did the injection had never heard of such a reaction.

Since December, I have been to so many doctors all of which have had no answers. I can only blame the overload of steroids. I am extremely sensitive to meds, caffeine, etc. I was hoping that someone has maybe heard of this type of reaction and more importantly, does anyone know how long this can last? I have searched for months for answers and nothing. I have to say, the epidural did help with the pain and still is, but I would much rather have the pain than these miserable side effects. I keep hoping once the pain completely returns, maybe the side effects will go away. All I know is I will NEVER have another injection.

Thanks to anyone who may be able to provide some insight to this issue.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16794
   Posted 5/11/2012 8:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi TJ and welcome to the chronic pain forum. Although, I have not had an ESI, I have had everything in between injections wise. Steroids are something many have a love hate relationship with, I was one of those people. It can be a wonderful for pain reliever but the side effects can be overwhelming and what you described that happened to you is so typical of them.

I am not so sure steroids are the complete culprit especially after having them at different times and tolerating them. It would seem there would be reactions every time not sporadic. The dosages you gave are not really off of the grid. This is probably why the drs are not able to give an answer as to what is causing this to happen.

I wish I could offer up something to point you in the right direction but I just don't think the steroids are the problem, but I am not a dr either, just someone with lots of experience with steroids. I do hope someone can give you some answers to this problem.

Take care....Susie
Moderator, Chronic Pain Forum & Psoriasis Forum

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 5/11/2012 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi TJ I agree with straydog on what she said, I do have a few  questions for you,  you said ("Fast forward to August of 2011. I was put on a medrol pack for pinched nerves in my neck. I did ok with that. September was put on Prednisone for the same neck issue, 60 mg per day and after 3 days had to stop because the side effects were awful ")  60 mg of Prednisone a day is a fairly hefty dose, and  do I understand it right that after 3 days you just stopped taking it?? That can have some pretty nasty side  affects doing that! As you must be slowly weaned down off of them, because other wise you body might develop issues with going back to producing the steroid on its own. Have you seen an endocrinologist, that would be my suggestion, to you, if anybody could get to the  bottom of your problems, I think that would be the one to do it. Something to think about.
Straydog is right in saying that steroids are a love hate, double edged sword type of medication, they really do do miracles but they can have some horrendous side affects! Ido hope you can get these situation resolved!
Good Luck to you
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/12/2012 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   

Thank you both for the replys. Yes-I was on 60 mg right off the bat and felt so terrible, I did stop cold turkey. Like I said-I did not realize how much of an issue I have with steroids until I started putting it all together. I am by no means an expert, in fact I am/was quite new to steroids but I just feel like being on some sort of steroid month after month was too much for my body. Looking back, i am not so sure I fully recovered from the side effects each month before I had more steroids. Not sure if perhaps my adrenal glands are suffering. I am still quite unclear how an ESI actually works. I have heard its slow releasing, so if that's the case, how long does it stay in the body? Is it possible to have the same type of side effects from injected steroids that one could typically get from oral?

I have seen 3 endo's, a neurologist, a psychiatrist, 2 gynos in addition to my PCP several times all of which have not offered much help. I'm a bit frustrated to say the least. I have had so much blood work done and once again, no answers. I am grateful but annoyed nothing has shown up. To be honest, the only universal suggestion is to try an antidepressant. I am terrified of that as well because the last thing I want is more side effects. I do not feel depressed per se, but after 5 months of searching, yes, I am a bit down. I have 2 small children so to feel so crummy is hard. I still manage to exercise everyday but its hard! I have also tried acupuncture but have not noticed a difference.

Thanks again for the input. It is much appreciated.

New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/12/2012 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I also forgot to mention-I do believe I had some side effects from the medrol, just much more tolerable. My big issues were when I took Decadron orally, Prednisone orally, and the injection, which was Celestone.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 179
   Posted 5/12/2012 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tj,

I haven't had a cervical ESI however have had so many facet injections that I feel like a pin cushion.

The the only thing that gets me with the steroids is high blood sugar, feel extra hungry, cranky and short tempered and I almost bet I could fry and egg on my skin. That being said everyone responds differently to them.

I've been on prednisone so many times for my asthma that I think I might own stock. They generally put me on 60mg per day for 5 days with no taper.

Now don't quote me on this, but my doc had told me virtually the medrol dose pack and prednisone are the same thing. 4mg of medrol is the same as 5mg of prednisone.

Bri in ohio
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 5/12/2012 5:01 PM (GMT -6)   
 Hi TJ,
I know exactly what you mean. about 5 years ago I experience hives for no
known reasons. Dr put me on a Medrol pack had no side effects at all.
After one week hives came back. Went back to Dr he put me on prednisone
next. 70mg for 3 days tapering down to nothing after 21days. Became deathly sick was in bed for aweek. Chills, nausea, aches and pains I thought I was dying. When I got down to about 40mg aday things started to get  better.Scared to death of the stuff

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 5/12/2012 6:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I hope your feeling better soon, you have been thru a lot.
Don't just blame it on the steroids could be the dye in the steroid used,
that might have contributed to you reaction. And the next step is to
go thru the pain of allergy testing to see if your reaction was to the dyes
used or the preservatives or tthe steroid. It's heck to have a reaction
and then not know what specific caused it. Next time you get injections
Ask for the dye free and preservative free and then see if you can rule out
that, however the red moon face and off cycles are the common
side effects, but the other part of your reaction you need to write down
and go over it with you doctor at the next visit. My reaction to steriods
is a severe burning and the preservatives or dye are to blame, so sometimes
when I get the injections now they also give me benadryl. Many well wishes to you
and keep us posted.

Post Edited (Chartreux) : 5/12/2012 8:22:53 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 5/12/2012 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
medrol dose packand prednisone are not the same, the ingredants are close, but I've been told
by allergists and pharmacies they are not the same...I've had allergic reaction to medrol and not to prednisone.
please this is just a side not and I do not intend harm or an arguement...and hope you do have a low pain day.

well wishes to all...
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 179
   Posted 5/12/2012 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   
LOL, No problem Chartreux.

I was just going on what my doc had said. I was too darn lazy this morning to go and actually look it up.
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