Can you take Gabapentin after a cortisone shot? (3 research studies compared the effects) 

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In this blog post, we will answer the question, “Can you take Gabapentin after a cortisone shot?”. Gabapentin is a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) analog and is used to treat a number of severe pains. 

However, Gabapentin may not be able to control unbearable pain in some people and Cortisone shots are sometimes prescribed. This blog will cover all there is to know about Gabapentin and Cortisone shots for unbearable pains. 

Can you take Gabapentin after a cortisone shot?

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Yes, it is okay to take Gabapentin after a Cortisone shot, but only if your healthcare provider recommends it. The two are not said to interact in any way. However, this does not guarantee that no interaction can ever take place. 

Every individual reacts differently when exposed to medications. A cortisone shot is associated with some complications of its own. It may not affect some people, but it can cause painful infection on the injection site in some individuals. 

Gabapentin is also considered one of the most difficult medications to deal with and may not work effectively in every other person. This is exactly why you should always stick to your doctor’s recommendations. 

There is no way to predict how your body will react in the presence of both Cortisone and Gabapentin in your body at the same time. 

What does research suggest? 

Several research studies have compared the effects of Gabapentin and Cortisone shots for the management of severe neuropathic pain. Researchers have also looked at the pros and cons associated with the combination of these two agents for the treatment and management of different types of pains. 

A 2015 study compared the effects of Corticosteroid injections with Gabapentin for the treatment and management of lumbosacral pain. The study concluded that Corticosteroid injection may be more beneficial and has a rapid onset of action because of the parenteral form of administration. 

However, there were only modest differences and nothing significant was observed. Another 2019 study indicated that a Cortisone shot is usually considered the last line of therapy when it comes to the management of severe pain.

However, the patient can be sent home with Gabapentin to manage the pain when the effect of the Cortisone shot will start to wear off. This decision, however, can depend on the condition of the patient. 

The study indicated that Gabapentin is not tolerated that well by a number of people. Although the Cortisone shot may not interfere with the effects of Gabapentin at all, it may cause side effects individually and may have nothing to do with the concomitant use. 

Another study revealed that Gabapentin can be a good addition to the prescription after getting a cortisone shot in case of nerve pain associated with a herniated disc or postoperative pains. 

These research studies have shown some positive results, but each study has warned that the consequence of the concomitant use won’t be the same for everyone. 

This is because such meds react with the basic physiological composition of each individual and we all have different sets of enzymes and different accuracy of organ functions. Some people who have some underlying diseases may not be able to tolerate Gabapentin at all. 

This indicates that you should always listen to your healthcare provider and should never deviate from the original prescription. Proper use of meds is essential for you and it is the only way to ensure the desired therapeutic outcome. 

What is the clinical significance of Cortisone shots? 

Cortisone shots are basically the shots or parenteral administration of Corticosteroid which is used to relieve pain and inflammation in different parts of the body. 

These injections are usually given right on the site of injury and they are sometimes considered the last line of therapy when other pain killers fail to work. Cortisone shots are most commonly injected in your joints, like hips, knees, elbows, wrists, shoulders, etc. 

They are only injected when prescribed by a registered healthcare professional. It is most commonly recommended for the following conditions:

Back pain

Cortisone shots can be used for the treatment and management of unbearable back pain which has not benefited from other pain killers. Back pain can be associated with a number of health conditions. 

Make sure your condition has been diagnosed properly by your healthcare provider and the Cortisone shot is your doctor’s recommended treatment option. 

Bursitis 

Cortisone shots can also be used for the pain management of bursitis. This condition occurs when bursae, which are small sacs filled with fluid, are affected. 

This can become an extremely painful condition because bursae work as a cushion for the bones, muscles, and tendons that are near your joints. When this fluid is diminished, it creates friction when you move and causes pain. 

This condition can become quite disabling as the pain makes daily life activities difficult for you. 

Osteoarthritis 

Cortisone injections can also be used for the pain management of osteoarthritis. This condition is associated with the inflammation of joints. In this condition, the fluid present in your joints, called synovial fluid, is depleted and the bones of the knee joints start rubbing together when you walk. 

This produces friction and can cause severe pain and inflammation. Osteoarthritis is extremely common among women and it usually hits them after menopause. Calcium deficiency is considered one of the biggest risk factors for this condition. 

Cortisone shots are not considered the first line of therapy and Physiotherapy is usually recommended along with an anti-inflammatory agent like an NSAID. 

If the pain becomes extremely severe and it starts affecting the quality of your life, that’s when a Cortisone shot is recommended. 

Gout

Gout is also associated with the inflammation of one type of joint in your body. It mainly affects your toes and can make walking extremely painful. This condition is usually diagnosed on the basis of physical examination and high levels of uric acid in the blood. 

Many meds are used for the management of gout like drugs used to reduce the amount of uric acid in your body, but if the pain becomes too severe, a Cortisone shot is recommended. 

What are the side effects associated with the use of Gabapentin and Cortisone shots? 

Both Gabapentin and Cortisone shots are associated with side effects of their own. They might not interact with one another, but they can cause complications solely on their own. Let’s look at the side effects of Gabapentin and Cortisone shots individually. 

Side effects of Gabapentin 

Gabapentin is associated with the following side effects:

  • Dryness of mouth 
  • Increase in body weight 
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Excessive Sleepiness or Hypersomnia 
  • Swelling in hands and feet
  • Headache
  • Vision problems 
  • Mind cloudiness
  • Excessive tiredness 
  • Involuntary jerks
  • Inability to understand surroundings 
  • Pain in joints 
  • Dementia or difficulty in remembering things
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Unsteadiness
  • Muscle twitching 
  • Constipation 
  • Back pain
  • Increased appetite 
  • Fever

Gabapentin can cause some serious side effects. These include:

  • Suicidal behavior 
  • Impaired motor coordination 
  • Thrombocytopenia or decreased levels of platelets
  • Water retention
  • Rhabdomyolysis, a condition associated with the abnormal breakdown of muscles
  • Convulsions 
  • Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body.
  • Allergic reactions associated with symptoms like redness of the skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of the chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness, etc. 

Side effects of Cortisone shots

Cortisone shots are associated with the following side effects or complications:

  • Damage to the nearby bones of the injection site
  • Damage to the cartilage 
  • Damage to the nerves at the site of injury
  • Infection of skin or joints
  • Discoloration of the skin around the site of injection 
  • Tissue necrosis
  • Unbearable heat sensation or temporary pain in the affected joint
  • Weakening and thinning of skin tissues 
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Decreased immunity 
  • A severe allergic reaction associated with symptoms like painful and bleeding blisters on the skin, inflammation, redness, appearance of abnormal patches, tightness of the chest, inability to breathe properly, and much more. 

Conclusion 

In this blog, we have discussed the concomitant use of Gabapentin and Cortisone shots. It is considered okay to take Gabapentin after a Cortisone shot, but only if your healthcare provider recommends it. The two are not said to interact in any way. 

However, this does not guarantee that no interaction can ever take place. Every individual reacts differently when exposed to medications. A cortisone shot is associated with some complications of its own. 

It may not affect some people, but it can cause painful infection on the injection site in some individuals. Make sure you only go for these treatment options if recommended by your healthcare provider. 

FAQs: gabapentin and cortisone shot 

Can you take gabapentin after a steroid injection?

Yes, it is okay to take Gabapentin after a Cortisone shot, but only if your healthcare provider recommends it. The two are not said to interact in any way. However, this does not guarantee that no interaction can ever take place. 

Every individual reacts differently when exposed to medications. Cortisone shot is associated with some complications of its own. It may not affect some people, but it can cause painful infection on the injection site in some individuals.

What should I avoid after a cortisone shot?

You need to take good care of your injection site after getting a shot of Cortisone. Skin infections are common with these shots. You should keep the area covered. 

Apply ice on it if it has inflamed or caused pain. Make sure you don’t move that joint much. If you have had the shot in your legs, make sure you stay rested. Excessive walking or doing chores may increase your pain. Taking good care of your injection site is the key to a speedy recovery. 

What should you not take before a cortisone shot?

You should not use Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, Ibuprofen, naproxen, etc, before getting a cortisone shot. This is because NSAIDs are capable of changing the platelet composition of your blood which can cause complications after the injection. It is recommended to ask your healthcare provider for all the precautions that are necessary to take before you get your Cortisone shot. 

Can I take medicine after a cortisone shot?

You should ask your healthcare provider what medicines you can and can not use after getting a Cortisone shot. If your doctor has prescribed some meds, make sure you take them just as directed. 

What is the longest you should take gabapentin?

According to a research study, you can stay on Gabapentin for 5 to 7 months. However, the time duration of your treatment is determined by your healthcare provider. This is decided according to the condition for which you have started taking this medication and the severity of this condition. It also depends on how well you can tolerate Gabapentin. If you can’t seem to tolerate this medication well then the treatment is discontinued and you’re switched to another, safer medicine. 

References 

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