Discuss the side effects of corticosteroids

Adverse effects may be associated with spinal corticosteroid injections. Fortunately, the amount of steroid used and the frequency of injection are limited. For this reason, fewer complications occur following spinal injections compared with chronic steroid use. Dose-dependent side effects of corticosteroids include nausea, facial flushing, insomnia, low-grade fever (usually < 100° F), and nonpositional headache. Corticosteroid-related immune suppression can mask an existing infection or unmask a new one. Peptic ulcer disease can be exacerbated by injection of corticosteroid. A large dose of corticosteroid can result in changes in fluid balance, electrolyte levels, and blood pressure. It is not uncommon to see elevation in blood glucose after a steroid injection. With repeat injections, the risk of osteoporosis is increased. Avascular necrosis is also a concern with use of corticosteroids. Adrenal suppression may occur following repeat injections.

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