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ACTH Side Effects

Generic Name: corticotropin

Note: This document contains side effect information about corticotropin. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name ACTH.

For the Consumer

Applies to corticotropin: parenteral solution for injection

Side effects include:

Associated with long-term therapy: Bone loss, cataracts, indigestion, muscle weakness, back pain, bruising, acne, hyperpigmentation, menstrual irregularities, oral candidiasis. (See Warnings/Precautions under Cautions.)

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to corticotropin: injectable powder for injection, injectable solution


Very Common (10% or more): Hypertension

Common (1% to 10%): Cardiac hypertrophy

Frequency not reported: Fluid retention

Postmarketing reports: Necrotizing angitis (adults only), congestive heart failure[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Acne

Common (1% to 10%): Rash

Postmarketing reports: Skin thinning (adults only), facial erythema, increased sweating (adults only)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Cushingoid

Common (1% to 10%): Cushingoid

Postmarketing reports: Decreased carbohydrate tolerance (infants only), hirsutism[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea

Common (1% to 10%): Constipation, diarrhea, vomiting

Postmarketing reports: Pancreatitis (adults only), abdominal distention, ulcerative esophagitis[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Allergic responses presenting as dizziness, nausea, and shock (adult only).[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Increased appetite, decreased appetite, weight gain

Frequency not reported: Alteration in glucose tolerance

Postmarketing reports: Hypokalemic alkalosis (infants only)[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Muscle weakness, vertebral compression fractures (infants only)[Ref]

Nervous system

Very Common (10% to more): Convulsions

Common (1% to 10%): Convulsions

Postmarketing reports: Headache (adults only), vertigo (adults only), subdural hematoma, intracranial hemorrhage (adults only), reversible brain shrinkage (secondary to hypertension in infants only)[Ref]


Very Common (10% or more): Infection

Common (1% or 10%): Pyrexia, candidiasis, otitis media[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Irritability

Common (1% to 10%): Irritability

Frequency not reported: Behavioral and mood changes[Ref]


Common (1% or 10%): Nasal congestion, pneumonia, upper respiratory infections.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Acthar (corticotropin)." Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, Collegeville, PA.

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.