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When should steroid injections not be used?

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Steroids should not be injected when there is infection in the targeted area. Actually, you should avoid steroid injections if you have any infection in your body, because they could inhibit your natural infection-fighting immune response. Also, if a joint is already severely damaged, injections are not likely to provide any benefit.

If someone has a potential bleeding problem or is taking anticoagulants (a.k.a. blood thinners), steroid injections may cause bleeding at the site. For these people, injections are given with caution.

Frequent steroid injections -- that is, more often than every three or four months -- are not recommended because of a chance of weakening tissues in the treated area.

From: Steroids to Treat Arthritis WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Medicines: A Guide for Adults." UpToDate for Patients: "Patient Information: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment." The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment." AGS Foundation for Health in Aging: "Arthritis Pain." Medline Plus: "Cushing Syndrome."




Reviewed by David Zelman on June 13, 2017

SOURCES: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Medicines: A Guide for Adults." UpToDate for Patients: "Patient Information: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment." The Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center: "Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment." AGS Foundation for Health in Aging: "Arthritis Pain." Medline Plus: "Cushing Syndrome."




Reviewed by David Zelman on June 13, 2017

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What are the side effects of steroid injections?

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