Steroid Injection

Among the possible adverse reactions or side effects of steroid injections is insomnia. Most people always think that steroid injections are the same thing as anabolic steroids, which are used illegally to increase muscle mass. Other types of steroids exists; but the main focus of this article is on the steroid injections.

What are steroid injections?

Steroid injections, also known as corticosteroid injections, are anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat different kinds of conditions, especially the treatment of infections and joint pain and the treatment of asthma crises, where steroid injections help to relieve pain and inflammation in a specific area of the body, and many people resort to getting steroid injections and injecting them into the joints, such as the ankle, elbow and hip and the knee, shoulder, spine or wrist to get rid of pain, but this type of injection may have severe damage to the general health of the human body.

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Corticosteroids may be the best effective solution in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis, which causes severe pain to patients, such as cases of rheumatoid arthritis; and can also be used in the treatment of other conditions such as back pain, gout, psoriatic arthritis as well as tendinitis.

Steroid Injection

How are steroid injections given?

Corticosteroids can only be prescribed and given by healthcare professionals or a specialist doctor in a hospital. Different ways in which a steroid injection can be given includes;

  • into a joint (an intra-articular injection)
  • into a muscle (an intramuscular injection)
  • into the spine (an epidural injection)
  • into the blood (an intravenous injection)

Other side effects of steroid injections.

Aside insomnia, other side effects of steroid injections include;

  1. Confusion
  2. Headache
  3. Nausea
  4. Vomiting
  5. Skin problems; including acne
  6. Heavy sweating
  7. Face flushing
  8. Weight gain
  9. Cartilage damage
  10. Bone death
  11. Arthritis
  12. Nerve damage
  13. Facial redness
  14. Episodes of pain and inflammation in the joint
  15. High blood sugar level
  16. Weak or torn tendons
  17. Osteoporosis
  18. Lightening of the skin color at the injection site.
Steroid Injection

How does steroid injections work?

Corticosteroids work by decreasing inflammation and reducing the activity of the immune system. Inflammation is a process in which the body’s white blood cells and chemicals can protect against infection and foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. In certain diseases, however, the body’s defense system (immune system) doesn’t function properly. This might cause inflammation to work against the body’s tissues and cause damage.

Signs of inflammation include: redness, warmth, swelling and pain.

Corticosteroids reduce the production of chemicals that cause inflammation. This helps keep tissue damage as low as possible. Corticosteroids also reduce the activity of the immune system by affecting the way white blood cells work.

There are important warnings that must be prohibited, especially for those with infection. Do not take or inject corticosteroids if the patient suffers from a fungal, bacterial or viral infection. Corticosteroids can weaken the body’s response to infection. This can be severe or fatal. The drug can also cover the symptoms of infection. In people with high blood pressure or heart problems, this medicine can increase their blood pressure and can make heart disease worse.

How does Steroid Injections cause insomnia?

Natural sleep pathways are affected by steroids. The sleep-wake cycle is primarily regulated in the hypothalamus of the brain with circadian release of melatonin from the pineal gland. Release of melatonin is highest at night, where it promotes sleep onset and continuity. Upstream, tryptophan is an amino acid that serves as a precursor to serotonin and melatonin. Corticosteroids decrease serum melatonin levels with a markedly diminished circadian rhythm secretion; thereby making it hard for you to fall and/stay asleep at night.


Arthritis Foundation. Corticosteroids. ( Accessed 1/25/2022.

Youssef J, Novosad SA, Winthrup KL. Infection Risk and Safety of Corticosteroid Use. ( Rheumatic disease clinics of North America. Feb 2016; 42(1):157-76, ix-x. doi: 10.1016/j.rdc.2015.08.004. Accessed 1/25/2022.

Puckett Y, Gabbar A, Bokhari A. Prednisone. ( StatPearls Publishing; Sept 2019. Accessed 1/24/2022.

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Corticosteroids. ( Accessed 1/24/2022.

Jennifer L. C; 2020. Steroid-Induced sleep disturbances and delirium: a focused review for critically ill patients. ( Accessed 1/25/2022.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided as an information resource only. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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