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Cortrosyn

Generic Name: cosyntropin (KOE sin TROE pin)
Brand Name: Cortrosyn

Medically reviewed on Jul 26, 2018

What is Cortrosyn?

Cortrosyn is a man-made form of a hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH is a hormone that is normally produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. ACTH stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones help your body respond to stress and also support many systems of the body including circulation, metabolism, immunity, and the nervous system.

Cortrosyn is used as part of a medical test called an ACTH stimulation test. This test can help your doctor diagnose adrenal gland disorders such as Addison's disease, Cushing syndrome, or hypopituitarism (failure of the pituitary gland to produce hormones correctly).

Cortrosyn may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Before you receive Cortrosyn, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions or allergies, and all the medicines you are using.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with Cortrosyn if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood); or

  • an allergic reaction during any prior ACTH stimulation test.

It is not known whether Cortrosyn will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How is Cortrosyn given?

Cortrosyn is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Before you receive Cortrosyn, your blood will be drawn to measure your "baseline" level of certain hormones.

Your blood will be drawn again 30 to 60 minutes after Cortrosyn was injected, to measure your hormone levels and compare them to the baseline levels. This will help your doctor determine if your pituitary and adrenal functions are normal.

You may need additional medical tests to help your doctor diagnose your condition and determine how best to treat it.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Because you will receive Cortrosyn in a clinical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since Cortrosyn is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid after receiving Cortrosyn?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Cortrosyn side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers right away if you have redness, swelling, or hives where the medicine was injected.

Common side effects may include:

  • an allergic reaction;

  • fast or slow heartbeats;

  • increased blood pressure;

  • rash; or

  • swelling in your hands or feet.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Cortrosyn?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines, especially a diuretic or "water pill."

Other drugs may affect Cortrosyn, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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