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Can Cortisone shots lead to flatulence, stomachache and constipation?

Answered by
Dr. Ramesh Kumar


Practicing since :1986

Answered : 2046 Questions

Posted on Mon, 15 Oct 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: Two months ago I received a cortisone shot in my left sacroiliac and two nights later I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I was constipated and the toilet was filled with blood. I called the on-call nurse at 5:00 AM. She told me if there was another drop of blood to go straight to Urgent Care. Fortunately there was not. So there was no tear in my digestive/elimination system. Probable just aggravated my internal hemmorhoids.
That was 2 months ago and I am still having problems, burping, passing gas, stomach pain, constipation.
I have had cortisone shots many times in the past with no ill effects. It has been about 4 years since my last shot. I went back to see the doctor and she said she had never heard of a cortisone shot causing constipation. I told her to look it up on Web MD, because a man had posted in 2015 that he had received a cortisone shot in his right sacroiliac and he had gotten constipated.
Can a cortisone shot cause constipation? Might it somehow numb the elimination system? These side effects seem to be wearing off as the cortisone shot wears off.
I am again feeling pain in the same sacroiliac. Also, I just went to my knee replacement surgeon and he told me I didn't need revision surgery, that the pain in my knees was cause by my sciatica. I did not realize there was a connection .
So I need another cortisone shot, but I'm afraid to get one. I suppose oblating the sciatic nerve would have the same effect OR WORSE.
Can a cortisone shot cause constipation?
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 38 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Constipation can be a side effect of any of steroids including cortisone(though rare).

Detailed Answer:


Constipation could be a side effect of any of steroid. Though its rare with shots yet it can be there. You just need to add a laxative for a few days.

Sometimes medicines used to treat sciatica also worsens constipation. Whenever a patient with haemorrhoid would overexert to pass stool it would cause rupture of small veins causing bleeding.

Most likely the patient is female and more than 50 years of age.
It just slows down the peristalytic motion of intestine hence causes constipation.

Are you taking any medication for sciatica? Pregabalin and Gabapentin used in sciatica can cause severe constipation in some cases.

Secondly, if you are having constipation post shot then you can take any over the counter laxative for a few days.

If you don't want to take a laxative to take psyllium husk (Fybrogel) two tablespoon full before going to bed. Its a bulk forming laxative and is natural.

I don't feel you need to panic too much just take the shot and a laxative for a few days.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
Follow up: Dr. Ramesh Kumar 5 hours later

Thank you for your very inciteful answer. That makes perfect sense! And yes I am female and 74 years old.

I am very encouraged by your reply. I did use some Mira-lax for a couple of days and I am eating an apple-a-day and raw vegetables, etc. Seems to be helping. If I have more problems, I think I will try some Metamucil as you suggested.

Thank you very much for your help.

God bless and take care, XXXXXXX

Oops - I'm sorry--I messed up. Please just write and say "hello" so I can get the "Close Discussion and Review Doctor" screen back.
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 9 hours later
Brief Answer:

follow up.

Detailed Answer:


Thank you so much, my dear patient.
I wish you a healthy life ahead.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Ramesh Kumar, Gastroenterologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana

The User accepted the expert's answer

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