FDA Advisory Panel Votes on Epidural Steroid Shots for Pain
(HealthDay News) — An expert advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided on Tuesday not to recommend the agency issue a strong warning against the general use of steroid injections for neck or back pain; however, there is concern regarding transforaminal cervical injections with particulate steroids.
The injections are commonly used to treat neck and back pain, but they have never been approved for this use by the FDA, and whether their risks outweigh their benefits has long been a matter of debate.
Tuesday's vote, from the FDA's Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee, essentially leaves the continued use of steroid injections for back pain largely unchanged.
As reported by The New York Times, the panel of experts said that only in one type of procedure -- transforaminal cervical injections with particulate steroids -- could the risks of the shots possibly outweigh a benefit. Those types of injections could raise the odds of arterial occlusion, and have already been abandoned by most doctors, the Times reported.