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  • Generic Name: (corticotropin)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 10/2014
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      H.P. Acthar Gel is a medicine used to treat infantile spasms, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. H.P. Acthar Gel is also used to improve symptoms associated with certain allergic, skin, eye, lung, kidney, or joint disorders. H.P. Acthar Gel may also be used to treat other conditions, as determined by your healthcare provider. H.P. Acthar Gel is administered as intramuscular (into your muscle) or subcutaneous (just below your skin) injections.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Although the exact mechanism is unknown, H.P. Acthar Gel may help the body to produce natural hormones, thereby treating infantile spasms. H.P. Acthar Gel also works by reducing swelling, thereby reducing symptoms associated with various conditions.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: H.P. Acthar Gel has been shown to decrease infantile spasms and may relieve the symptoms of other conditions.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you use H.P. Acthar Gel exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may feel an improvement in your symptoms once you begin using H.P. Acthar Gel. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions to assess how well your symptoms are controlled.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: infections, increased blood pressure, irritability and changes in your behavior, changes in your appetite and weight, diarrhea.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Adrenal insufficiency (a disorder where the body does not make enough of certain hormones), with symptoms such as tiredness that worsens and does not go away, nausea or vomiting, dizziness or fainting, muscle weakness, irritability and depression, loss of appetite, or weight loss.

      Cushing's syndrome (a hormone disorder), with symptoms such as weight gain, especially around your upper back and midsection; slow healing of cuts, insect bites, and infections; tiredness and muscle weakness; depression, anxiety, and irritability; roundness of your face (moon face); or new or worsening high blood pressure.

      High blood sugar, with symptoms such as excessive thirst, an increase in urination, increased appetite, weakness, confusion, fruity smelling breath, or feeling sick to your stomach.

      Eye problems, such as glaucoma (high pressure in the eye), cataracts, or an infection.

      Slowed or delayed growth in children.

      H.P. Acthar Gel may also cause salt and water retention or decreased blood potassium levels in your body.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not use H.P. Acthar Gel if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or to pig-derived proteins.

      Do not use H.P. Acthar Gel if you have scleroderma (a disease that affects the immune system), osteoporosis (thin, weak bones), congestive heart failure (a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body), or high blood pressure uncontrolled with treatment.

      Do not use H.P. Acthar Gel if you have adrenal insufficiency or other adrenal gland disorders.

      Do not use H.P. Acthar Gel if you have had or currently have a peptic ulcer.

      Do not use H.P. Acthar Gel if you have any infections or have had a recent surgery.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with H.P. Acthar Gel. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have allergies to pig-derived proteins; any type of infection (including tuberculosis [a bacterial infection that affects the lungs]); diabetes; heart, kidney, thyroid, or liver problems; high blood pressure; stomach or intestinal problems (such as an ulcer); osteoporosis; psychiatric conditions (such as mood swings or personality changes); or myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by long-lasting fatigue and muscle weakness).

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Infantile Spasms

      Infants and children <2 years: You healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child based on his/her weight and height.

      Multiple Sclerosis

      Adults: The recommended dose is 80 to 120 units once a day for 2 to 3 weeks. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose depending on the severity.

      Other Conditions

      Adults and children >2 years of age: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you or your child based on the condition and the severity, and may adjust the dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

      It is important that you do not stop using this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop using this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Use H.P. Acthar Gel exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not use it more often or stop using it without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      H.P. Acthar Gel should be warmed to room temperature before using it.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not receive certain vaccines during treatment with H.P. Acthar Gel without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      No significant interactions have been reported with H.P. Acthar Gel at this time. However, always tell your healthcare provider about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      H.P. Acthar Gel may harm your unborn baby if you use it during pregnancy. The effects of H.P. Acthar Gel during breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are using H.P. Acthar Gel. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      H.P. Acthar Gel should be used under special circumstances determined by your healthcare provider. If you miss your scheduled dose, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store in the refrigerator.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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