Potential lawsuits are now being investigated for people who were injured after receiving epidural steroid injections for the treatment of pain. According to a recent warning from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), injectable corticosteroids have been linked to loss of vision, stroke, paralysis and death in some patients. Steroid pain medications that may increase the risk of these complications include methylprednisolone, hydrocortisone, triamcinolone, betamethasone, and dexamethasone.
FDA Warning: Risk of Severe Neurologic Problems with Epidural Steroid Injections
On April 23, 2014, the FDA issued a warning which stated that injections of corticosteroid drugs into the epidural space of the spine may cause adverse health complications including vision loss, stroke, paralysis, and even death. These medications are administered for the treatment of chronic pain in the neck, back, arms and legs. Corticosteroids may not be safe when administered via the epidural route, and have not been approved by the FDA for this purpose.
As a result of these problems, the agency is requiring that the following injectable steroid drugs have their warning labels updated:
‘Safety Use Initiative’ Raises Awareness About Corticosteroid Risk
To increase the medical community’s awareness of the dangers posed by epidural corticosteroid injections, FDA’s ‘Safe Use Initiative’ organized a panel of experts to discuss techniques that may help reduce preventable harm. The panel’s recommendations will be issued when they are complete. FDA will convene an Advisory Committee meeting later this year to weigh the benefits and risks of epidural corticosteroid injections, and to determine if further action is warranted.
FDA is advising epidural steroid injection recipients to discuss these issues at length with their doctor, along with the risks and benefits of alternative treatments. If you received an injection and are now experiencing unexplained negative symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Tainted Steroid Injections Linked to 2012 Meningitis Outbreak
In 2012, a rare and unprecedented fungal meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated methylprednisolone acetate injections killed 48 people and injured more than 700 others. The tainted drugs were manufactured by the New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Mass. The contamination was identified during routine testing conducted at NECC’s processing facility.