Home >  News >  April, 2014

Epidural Steroid Injections Under Scrutiny

FDA warns against rare but serious pain management complications.

Published: April 30, 2014

Pain management practitioners have been injecting corticosteroids into the epidural space of the spine for decades to reduce swelling and inflammation, but this practice has on occasion caused serious neurological complications, including vision loss, stroke, paralysis and even death, warns the Food and Drug Administration.

In a recent safety warning, the agency notes that the effectiveness and safety of treating neck and back pain through epidurally administered hydrocortisone, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone or other corticosteroids has not been established, and that it has not approved them for this use.

The FDA is requiring the drugs' labeling to include descriptions of these risks. The agency has convened panels of experts to recommend injection techniques that could prevent harm and to discuss whether further examination and action on the risks of epidural corticosteroid injection is necessary.

David Bernard


Also in the News...

Researchers Target the 7 Deadliest and Most Expensive Emergency Surgeries
FDA Panel: Synthetic Cartilage Implant for Big Toe Should Be Approved
No One Recognizes Retained Objects, But Judge Won't Toss Negligence Case
Big Companies Offering Big Perk to Employees: Free Surgery
TJC Defends Its Pain Management Standards
Dissatisfied Patients? One Hospital System is Giving Them Refunds
5 Patients Sue Surgeon Who Allegedly Sexually Assaulted Them

New to Outpatient Surgery Magazine?
Sign-up to continue reading this article.
Register Now
Have an account? Please log in:
Email Address:
  Remember my login on this computer

advertiser banner

Other Articles That May Interest You

6 Patient Safety Enhancers

Give your staff the tools they need to prevent harm.

How Did "Never Events" Become Routine?

Ineffective time outs cause 4 wrong-sites within 40 days at this Iowa health system.

The Constant Quest for Zero

Q&A with Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, FCCM, the anesthesiologist and critical care physician who's dedicated to improving patient safety.