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If I got a steroid shot, what symptoms might indicate fungal meningitis?

If you have received a potentially contaminated steroid medication, seek medical attention if you have symptoms of fungal meningitis. As of this writing, infected patients have had very mild symptoms that are only slightly worse than usual. For example, many infected patients have had slight weakness, slightly worsened back pain, or even a mild headache. Patients with infections have typically developed symptoms within one to four weeks after their injection. However, shorter and longer timeframes between injection and onset of symptoms have been reported. The timeframe is still being investigated. Patients should watch vigilantly for symptoms if they were injected with potentially contaminated steroids and see a doctor if they have any of the symptoms.

Patients who have had an epidural steroid injection since May 21, 2012, and have any of the following symptoms, should talk to their doctor as soon as possible:

  • New or worsening headache
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stiff neck
  • New weakness or numbness in any part of your body
  • Slurred speech
  • Increased pain, redness or swelling at your injection site

As of October 2012, infections from steroid injections into joints other than the spine (e.g., knee, hip) have not been reported. However, the investigation is ongoing and joint infections may take longer to develop than meningitis. The timeframe is still being investigated. Patients should watch vigilantly for symptoms if they were injected with potentially contaminated steroids and see a doctor if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • increased pain
  • redness
  • warmth
  • swelling in the joint that received the injection or at the injection site

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.