Medically reviewed on July 4, 2018
Uses of HP Acthar:
- It is used to treat MS (multiple sclerosis).
- It is used to treat infantile spasms.
- It is used for many health problems like allergy signs, asthma, adrenal gland problems, blood problems, skin rashes, or swelling problems. This is not a list of all health problems that HP Acthar (corticotropin) may be used for. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take HP Acthar?
- If you have an allergy to corticotropin, pork, or any other part of HP Acthar (corticotropin).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have recently had surgery or if you have any of these health problems: Brittle bones, fungal infection, heart failure (weak heart), herpes infection of the eye, high blood pressure, poor adrenal function, scleroderma, or ulcer disease.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with HP Acthar (corticotropin).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take HP Acthar (corticotropin) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take HP Acthar?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take HP Acthar (corticotropin). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- This medicine may raise the chance of high blood sugar (diabetes). Talk with the doctor.
- If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with your doctor.
- Check your blood sugar as you have been told by your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- Have your blood pressure checked. Talk with your doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with HP Acthar (corticotropin) may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
- You may need to lower how much salt is in your diet and take extra potassium. Talk with your doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- Long-term use may raise the chance of cataracts or glaucoma. Talk with the doctor.
- Have your eye pressure checked if you are on HP Acthar (corticotropin) for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may cause weak bones (osteoporosis) with long-term use. Talk with your doctor to see if you have a higher chance of weak bones or if you have any questions.
- Have a bone density test as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking HP Acthar (corticotropin), call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (HP Acthar) best taken?
Use HP Acthar (corticotropin) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
For infantile spasms:
- It is given as a shot into a muscle.
- If you will be giving your child the shot, your child's doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- Follow how to give HP Acthar (corticotropin) as you have been told by your child's doctor or read the package insert.
For other reasons:
- It is given as a shot into a muscle or into the fatty part of the skin.
- If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
For all uses of HP Acthar (corticotropin):
- Before giving the shot, let it come to room temperature. Do not heat HP Acthar (corticotropin).
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
- Do not use if solution changes color.
- Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Do not stop taking HP Acthar (corticotropin) all of a sudden without calling your doctor. You may have a greater risk of side effects. If you need to stop HP Acthar (corticotropin), you will want to slowly stop it as ordered by your doctor.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Signs of a weak adrenal gland like a very bad upset stomach or throwing up, very bad dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, feeling very tired, mood changes, not hungry, or weight loss.
- Signs of Cushing's disease like weight gain in the upper back or belly, moon face, very bad headache, or slow healing.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Belly pain.
- Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
- Change in eyesight.
- Low mood (depression).
- Mood changes.
- Change in the way you act.
- Bone or joint pain.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- A fatty pad or hump between the shoulders.
What are some other side effects of HP Acthar?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Not able to sleep.
- More hungry.
- Weight gain.
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Throwing up.
- Stuffy nose.
- Pimples (acne).
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out HP Acthar?
- Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about HP Acthar (corticotropin), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about H.P. Acthar Gel (corticotropin)
- H.P. Acthar Gel Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 4 Reviews
- Drug class: corticotropin