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Corticotropin (Porcine) Gel for injection

It is used as a diagnostic aid to test the adrenal glands

Generic Name: corticotropin  |  Brand Name: Acthar

Brand Names: Acthar, Acthar Gel, H.P.

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

What is this medicine?

CORTICOTROPIN (kawr ti koh TROH pin) is a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. It is used as a diagnostic aid to test the adrenal glands. It is used in children less than 2 years old to treat infantile spasms. It is also used to treat problems of the eyes, joints, lungs, nervous system, skin, thyroid, and others.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • adrenal gland disease
  • heart failure
  • high blood pressure
  • infection;
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • osteoporosis
  • peptic ulcer
  • recent surgery
  • scleroderma
  • thyroid disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to corticotropin, corticosteroids, pork proteins, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

In a diagnostic procedure, this medicine is for injection into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

For other treatments, this medicine is for injection into a muscle or under the skin. You will be taught how to prepare and give this medicine. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one.

If you are using this medicine to treat infantile spasms, a special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 1 month for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

In a diagnostic procedure, this does not apply.

For other treatments, if you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • mifepristone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • diuretics
  • ritodrine
  • vaccines

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor for regular check ups. Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

If you are taking this medicine for a long time, carry an identification card with your name, address, the type and dose of your medicine, and your doctor's name and address.

Stay away from people who are sick. Tell your doctor or health care professional if you are exposed to anyone with measles or chickenpox, or if you develop sores or blisters that do not heal properly.

Do not receive any vaccinations as you may get a strong reaction. Avoid people who have recently taken oral polio vaccine.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your doctor or health care professional that you have received this medicine within the last twelve months.


Last Updated: October 29, 2010
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