H.P. Acthar (Page 2 of 5)

5.3 Elevated Blood Pressure, Salt and Water Retention and Hypokalemia

H.P. Acthar Gel can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium and calcium. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. Caution should be used in the treatment of patients with hypertension, congestive heart failure, or renal insufficiency.

5.4 Vaccination

Administration of live or live attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of H.P. Acthar Gel. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered; however, the response to such vaccines can not be predicted. Other immunization procedures should be undertaken with caution in patients who are receiving H.P. Acthar Gel, especially when high doses are administered, because of the possible hazards of neurological complications and lack of antibody response.

5.5 Masking Symptoms of Other Diseases

H.P. Acthar Gel often acts by masking symptoms of other diseases/disorders without altering the course of the other disease/disorder. Patients should be monitored carefully during and for a period following discontinuation of therapy for signs of infection, abnormal cardiac function, hypertension, hyperglycemia, change in body weight and fecal blood loss.

5.6 Gastrointestinal Perforation and Bleeding

H.P. Acthar Gel can cause GI bleeding and gastric ulcer. There is also an increased risk for perforation in patients with certain gastrointestinal disorders. Signs of gastrointestinal perforation, such as peritoneal irritation, may be masked by the therapy. Use caution where there is the possibility of impending perforation, abscess or other pyogenic infections, diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, and active or latent peptic ulcer.

5.7 Behavioral and Mood Disturbances

Use of H.P. Acthar Gel may be associated with central nervous system effects ranging from euphoria, insomnia, irritability (especially in infants), mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression, to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated.

5.8 Comorbid Diseases

Patients with a comorbid disease may have that disease worsened. Caution should be used when prescribing H.P. Acthar Gel in patients with diabetes and myasthenia gravis.

5.9 Ophthalmic Effects

Prolonged use of H.P. Acthar Gel may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to fungi and viruses.

5.10 Immunogenicity Potential

H.P. Acthar Gel is immunogenic. Limited available data suggest that a patient may develop antibodies to H.P. Acthar Gel after chronic administration and loss of endogenous ACTH and H.P. Acthar Gel activity. Prolonged administration of H.P. Acthar Gel may increase the risk of hypersensitivity reactions. Sensitivity to porcine protein should be considered before starting therapy and during the course of treatment should symptoms arise.

5.11 Use in Patients with Hypothyroidism or Liver Cirrhosis

There is an enhanced effect in patients with hypothyroidism and in those with cirrhosis of the liver.

5.12 Negative Effects on Growth and Physical Development

Long-term use of H.P. Acthar Gel may have negative effects on growth and physical development in children. Changes in appetite are seen with H.P. Acthar Gel therapy, with the effects becoming more frequent as the dose or treatment period increases. These effects are reversible once H.P. Acthar Gel therapy is stopped. Growth and physical development of pediatric patients on prolonged therapy should be carefully monitored.

5.13 Decrease in Bone Density

Decrease in bone formation and an increase in bone resorption both through an effect on calcium regulation (i.e. decreasing absorption and increasing excretion) and inhibition of osteoblast function may occur. These, together with a decrease in the protein matrix of the bone (secondary to an increase in protein catabolism) and reduced sex hormone production, may lead to inhibition of bone growth in children and adolescents and to the development of osteoporosis at any age. Special consideration should be given to patients at increased risk of osteoporosis (i.e. , postmenopausal women) before initiating therapy, and bone density should be monitored in patients on long term therapy.

5.14 Use in Pregnancy

H.P. Acthar Gel has been shown to have an embryocidal effect. Apprise women of potential harm to the fetus. [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1) ]


Please refer to Adverse Reactions in Infants and Children Under 2 Years of Age (Section 6.1.1) for consideration when treating patients with Infantile Spasms. The adverse reactions presented in Section 6.2 are primarily provided for consideration in use in adults and in children over 2 years of age, but these adverse reactions should also be considered when treating infants and children under 2 years of age.

H.P. Acthar Gel causes the release of endogenous cortisol from the adrenal gland. Therefore all the adverse effects known to occur with elevated cortisol may occur with H.P. Acthar Gel administration as well. Common adverse reactions include fluid retention, alteration in glucose tolerance, elevation in blood pressure, behavioral and mood changes, increased appetite and weight gain.

6.1 Clinical Studies Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug, and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

6.1.1 Adverse Reactions in Infants and Children Under 2 Years of Age

While the types of adverse reactions seen in infants and children under age 2 treated for infantile spasms are similar to those seen in older patients, their frequency and severity may be different due to the very young age of the infant, the underlying disorder, the duration of therapy and the dosage regimen. Below is a summary of adverse reactions specifically tabulated from source data derived from retrospective chart reviews and clinical trials in children under 2 years of age treated for infantile spasms. The number of patients in controlled trials at the recommended dose was too few to provide meaningful incidence rates or to permit a meaningful comparison to the control groups.

TABLE: Incidence (%) of Treatment Emergent Adverse Events Occurring in = 2% of H.P. Acthar Gel (repository corticotropin injection) Infants and Children under 2 years of Age
System Organ Class Recommended75 U/m2 bidn=122, (%) 150 U/m2 qdn=37 (%)
1 Specific infections that occurred at =2% were candidiasis, otitis media, pneumonia and upper respiratory tract infections.
2 In the treatment of Infantile Spasms, other types of seizures/convulsions may occur because some patients with infantile spasms progress to other forms of seizures (for example, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome). Additionally the spasms sometimes mask other seizures and once the spasms resolve after treatment, the other seizures may become visible.
Cardiac disorders
Cardiac Hypertrophy30
Endocrine disorders
Gastrointestinal disorders
General disorders and administration site conditions
Infections and infestations
Infection1 2046
Weight gain13
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
Increased appetite05
Decreased appetite33
Nervous system disorders
Convulsion2 123
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders
Nasal Congestion15
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Vascular disorders

All MedLibrary.org resources are included in as near-original form as possible, meaning that the information from the original provider has been rendered here with only typographical or stylistic modifications and not with any substantive alterations of content, meaning or intent.

This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only, in accordance with our Terms of Use, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner or other qualified health professional.

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2020. All Rights Reserved.