- What is Acthar?
- How do I prepare Acthar for use?
- How should I store Acthar?
- Who should not use Acthar?
- What are the most common side effects of Acthar?
- What is the right dose?
- If symptoms improve, can your child stop therapy?
- What are the ingredients in Acthar?
What is Acthar?
Acthar is a prescription medication containing the hormone adrenocorticotropin
("a-DRE-no-cor-tico-tro-pin") that has been used for over 50 years to treat children with infantile spasms. Acthar may work by both helping the body produce natural hormones and by having a direct effect on the brain. It is designed to slowly release the medication into the body after it is injected.
How do I prepare Acthar for use?
Acthar is ready to use. There is nothing to mix. It is important, however, that you allow the gel to become warmed to room temperature and liquefied before use. To help warm the vial, roll it between the palms of your hands for a few minutes.
How should I store Acthar?
Store Acthar in the refrigerator between 36°F-46°F (2°C-8°C). Acthar should be warmed to room temperature before using.
Who should not use Acthar?
Acthar should not be used in patients with a skin condition called scleroderma, bone density loss (osteoporosis), infection throughout the body, eye infection called ocular herpes simplex, recent surgery, history of or a current stomach ulcer, heart problems, high blood pressure, or allergy to pig-derived proteins. Tell your doctor about any health problems or medicines. If you have one of these conditions, be sure to speak with your doctor before beginning treatment with Acthar.
What are the most common side effects of Acthar?
The most common side effects of Acthar include: infections, increased blood pressure, irritability and changes in behavior, changes in appetite and weight, diarrhea, and vomiting. Other adverse reactions reported in adults and children over 2 years of age include: abdominal bloating, anxiety, asthma, chest discomfort, congestive heart failure, dizziness, shortness of breath, redness of the face, fluid retention, flushing, headache, injection site pain, tiredness, muscle weakness, nervousness, rapid heart rate and lack of energy. Tell your doctor if there is any side effect that bothers you or your child or that does not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects of Acthar. For more information, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist or call 1-800-465-9217
What is the right dose?
Your child's doctor will determine the correct dose and provide instructions on when and how often to inject Acthar.
If symptoms improve, can your child stop therapy?
It is important to complete the full course of Acthar therapy as instructed by your child's doctor. Suddenly stopping Acthar could make your child very ill. When it is decided that it is time to stop treatment with Acthar, you will be told how to reduce the dose and frequency of injections over time. It is important that you discuss stopping therapy with your child's doctor.
What are the ingredients in Acthar?
Active ingredient: adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH, corticotropin).
Inactive ingredients: 16% gelatin. Also contains 0.5% phenol, not more than 0.1% cysteine (added), sodium hydroxide and/or acetic acid to adjust pH, and water for injection, q.s.
Full information on using Acthar: Storing, Preparing, and Injecting Acthar