Prednisone or Cortisone Side Effects Lawyers in Chicago

prednisone side effectsWhen people think about dangerous drugs, they likely think of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, or other illicit substances. However, certain prescription medications can be just as dangerous and have serious side effects that do more harm than good. Prednisone and other corticosteroids, such as cortisone, are among the dangerous pharmaceuticals on the market that have a high risk of serious side effects.

If you suffered severe side effects or other medical complications from taking prednisone or cortisone, you might have options for obtaining compensation. To discuss your situation with an experienced dangerous drug attorney, you can contact Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC at 312-346-8620 to request a confidential consultation.

What Is Prednisone or Cortisone?

Prednisone and cortisone are members of the corticosteroid family, and they suppress inflammation by slowing the immune system’s activity. They are used for patients with immune-related disorders who have inflammation and swelling that affects their organs, such as their lungs, joints, and skin. Prednisone, cortisone, and other corticosteroids are prescribed to treat any of the following conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Skin rashes
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

In addition, prednisone is often prescribed to patients who have had a kidney transplant to help prevent their bodies from rejecting the new organ. Since the drug works to reduce a person’s immune system response, the medication helps minimize the chance that the recipient’s immune system will see the new kidney as a foreign mass and attack it.

Prednisone is also used for other kidney disorders, particularly those that may develop into nephrotic syndrome, where large amounts of protein leak into the urine from the blood. Proteinuria, a condition in which the blood does not contain enough protein, is a condition treated with prednisone.

Moreover, corticosteroids may also be prescribed to treat Addison’s disease, which is a rare but serious condition in which the body does not produce enough corticosteroid naturally.

Side Effects of Prednisone or Cortisone

Prednisone or cortisone can be administered in a variety of ways, and the method will depend on the condition being treated. Each delivery method also has its own side effects, and the following are ways the drugs can be delivered as well as their associated side effects:


Doctors may prescribe prednisone or cortisone in the form of tablets, capsules, or syrup. Oral administration is most common for patients with arthritis or lupus, but because the drug is taken orally, it affects the whole body. Taking prednisone or cortisone orally has the highest risk of the following side effects:

  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood swings and behavior issues
  • Fatigue
  • Memory problems, confusion, and delirium
  • Stomach issues
  • Weight gain
  • Fluid retention and swelling in your lower legs
  • A condition called “moon face” where your face becomes round

Because oral corticosteroids are usually administered over a long period of time for chronic conditions, they can potentially cause long-term debilitating conditions, such as:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Osteoporosis
  • High blood sugar and increased risk of diabetes

Prolonged use of prednisone or cortisone can also lead to an increased risk of infections, slower wound healing, bruising, fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, and nausea and vomiting.


Inhalers and nasal sprays work best for asthma patients and those with severe allergies. Like oral methods, Inhaled corticosteroids also affect the whole body, and they can lead to issues with the mouth and throat, such as:

  • Oral thrush
  • Hoarseness
  • Sore throat

They can also cause you to feel like you have a film in your mouth and affect your sense of taste. Furthermore, some researchers have suggested a link between inhaled corticosteroids and slower growth rates in children who use them for asthma.


corticosteroid injectionA physician may inject corticosteroids directly into the site of inflammation, such as a knee or elbow. Injected corticosteroids have been shown to cause the following side effects around the site of injection:

  • Intense pain
  • Loss of or change in skin color
  • Thinning of the skin

Injected corticosteroids have also been linked to causing the following in patients:

  • Facial flushing
  • High blood sugar
  • Insomnia


When prescribed for skin rashes, the drug is applied in a cream or ointment. Topical corticosteroids can produce the following side effects:

  • Skin lesions
  • Thin skin
  • Acne

Eye drops

Corticosteroids may also be administered in eye drops to patients following eye surgery or for other eye conditions. Their use has been shown to cause the following side effects:

  • Decreased vision, blurred vision, and loss of vision
  • Eye pain
  • Eye infection

Pursuing Compensation for Prednisone or Cortisone Side Effects

Drug companies are supposed to ensure their products are safe before offering them to consumers. Many drugs are safe and effective, but even if a drug is shown to cause side effects, it may still make it to market, and the company is required to list all known side effects. Sometimes, however, side effects are not discovered until the drug has been on the market for some time, and drug companies are often resistant to removing the drug from the market and reducing their profits.

Taking legal action against a pharmaceutical company for the side effects of a drug is typically complex and challenging. Drug companies have vast resources to defend against these types of lawsuits, and there are only certain instances where you can bring legal action against the drug company or the healthcare facility that administered it. These situations include:

  • The drug company knew about the dangers of the drug but failed to pull it from the market promptly
  • The company did not warn consumers about potential side effects
  • A physician prescribed the wrong amount
  • The healthcare provider administered the drug improperly

If you suffered serious side effects from taking prednisone or cortisone, or if you believe the drug was improperly prescribed or administered by your doctor or hospital, you might be entitled to compensation. You might be eligible for money to cover:

  • Medical expenses for current and future medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement or disability
  • Diminished quality of life

You don’t deserve to suffer any more than you have from the side effects of prednisone or cortisone or because of your healthcare provider’s negligence or wrongdoing in administering the medication.

Contact Us

Contact the compassionate and experienced dangerous drug attorneys of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC in Chicago today at 312-346-8620 to book a free consultation to discuss your options for obtaining compensation.

Written by Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC Last Updated : November 22, 2022