Common Brand Name(s): Acthar HP
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication is used to treat a certain type of seizure in children (infantile spasms). This medication is also used to treat conditions such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, lupus, eye conditions, skin/kidney/lung diseases, and immune system disorders. It decreases your immune system's response to various diseases to reduce symptoms such as swelling, pain, and allergic-type reactions. Corticotropin is a hormone.
How To Use
If you are using this medication to treat infantile spasms, read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using corticotropin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is usually given by injection into a muscle or under the skin, as directed by your doctor. For infantile spasms, this medication should be given by injection into a muscle. The dosage is based on your body size, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often than prescribed without consulting your doctor. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
If you are using this medication at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. To warm the medication before use, remove the medication from the refrigerator and roll the vial in your hands for a few minutes. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition gets worse.
Vomiting, diarrhea, trouble sleeping, appetite changes, or pain/redness/swelling at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
This medication may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as fever, chills, sore throat that doesn't go away, cough, white patches in the mouth).
This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- puffy face
- unusual weight gain
- slow wound healing
- thinning skin
- bone pain
- menstrual period changes
- mental/mood changes (such as mood swings, depression, agitation)
- easy bruising/bleeding
- increased thirst/urination
- vision problems
- swelling ankles/feet/hands
- fast/slow/irregular heartbeat
This drug may rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) bleeding from the stomach or intestines. If you notice any of the following unlikely but serious side effects, get medical help right away:
- stomach/abdominal pain that doesn't go away
- black stools
- vomit that looks like coffee grounds
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using corticotropin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to pork products; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- adrenal gland problems
- brittle bones (osteoporosis)
- current/ past infections (such as those caused by tuberculosis, threadworm, herpes, fungus)
- stomach/intestinal problems (such as diverticulitis, ulcer, ulcerative colitis)
- heart problems (such as congestive heart failure, recent heart attack)
- high blood pressure
- eye diseases (such as cataracts, glaucoma, herpes infection of the eye)
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- mental/mood conditions (such as psychosis, anxiety, depression)
- a certain skin/connective tissue disease (scleroderma)
- thyroid problems
This medicine may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol while using this medicine may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcoholic beverages. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Corticotropin can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
This medication may cause vaccines to not work as well. Live vaccines may cause serious problems (such as infection) if given while you are using this medication. Do not have immunizations, vaccinations, or skin tests without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
Using this medication for a long time can make it more difficult for your body to respond to physical stress. Before having surgery or emergency treatment, or if you get a serious illness/injury, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have used this medication within the past 12 months. Tell your doctor right away if you develop unusual/extreme tiredness or weight loss. If you will be using this medication for a long time, carry a warning card or medical ID bracelet that identifies your use of this medication.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially brittle bones (osteoporosis). Talk to your doctor about ways to prevent osteoporosis. See also Notes section.
This medication may slow down a child's growth if used for a long time. Consult the doctor or pharmacist for more details. See the doctor regularly so your child's height and growth can be checked.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as blood sugar/mineral levels, blood pressure, eye exams, bone density tests, height/weight measurements) should be done while you are using this medication. Consult your doctor for more details.
Lifestyle changes that help reduce the risk of bone loss (osteoporosis) during long-term treatment include increasing weight-bearing exercise, stopping smoking, limiting alcohol, and eating well-balanced meals that contain adequate calcium and vitamin D. Consult your doctor for specific advice.
It is important to get each dose of this medication as scheduled. If you miss a dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist right away for a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in the refrigerator. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised November 2019.
Copyright(c) 2019 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.