Side effects from epidural steroid injections

September 15, 2015
Berlin Medical History Museum

An (ESI) is a combination of a corticosteroid with a local anesthetic pain relief medicine. Corticosteroids are strong anti-inflammatory medicines. Relieving swelling and can take pressure off nerves and other soft tissues, which can relieve pain. The local anesthetic medicine helps give you immediate pain relief. Corticosteroid medicines take longer to have an effect.

Within the , an ESI is injected into the space around the spinal cord and nerve roots (epidural space).

ESIs sometimes are used to treat pain and from pressure on spinal nerve roots. ESI is usually not tried unless symptoms caused by lumbar have not responded to other nonsurgical treatment.

Imaging tests, such as or computed tomography scans, are usually done before you are given the injection. These tests are used to identify the exact location where nerve roots are being squeezed. During the injection, an X-ray machine (fluoroscope) is often used to guide placement of the needle.

Why It Is Used

An epidural steroid injection (ESI) may be tried when other nonsurgical treatments have failed to relieve severe from lumbar spinal stenosis.

The corticosteroids in an ESI may help provide relief from leg pain by reducing swelling and . Local anesthetics help relieve pain but do not reduce inflammation. Lidocaine can also help relieve pain quickly, before the corticosteroid has taken effect.

How Well It Works

Lumbar spinal stenosis may that radiates from the lower spine to the hips or down the legs. Epidural injections (ESIs) are used for leg pain rather than from lumbar spinal stenosis.

Steroid injections may help relieve pain for a short time (2 to 3 weeks) in some people. Experts do not know how well injections work over longer periods of time.

These injections may relieve symptoms and reduce inflammation but do not cure .

Side Effects

All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.

Here are some important things to think about:

  • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
  • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
  • If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Call911or other emergency services right away if you have:

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Pain and swelling around the injection site that lasts more than 2 days.

One common side effect of this medicine is pain and swelling the first day or two after the injection. It may help to apply ice at home for 15 to 20 minutes.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

Source: www.webmd.com
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