Acthar is a prescription medicine for flares or on a regular basis (maintenance) in people with systemic dermatomyositis or polymyositis (DM-PM).

Make the Most of Your Acthar Treatment

Read the information below to learn about what to do before, during, and after your Acthar treatment.

Tell your doctor if you’re taking other medications while using Acthar. Continue any current treatments as prescribed unless your doctor says otherwise.

Temperature Considerations

Acthar requires special handling. Keep it refrigerated at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) until you’re ready to use it. Do not inject Acthar directly after removing it from the refrigerator.

Before you inject, you should warm the vial of Acthar to room temperature. You can do this by rolling it between your hands or by holding it under your arm for a few minutes.

Here are some suggestions for choosing where to inject:

  • Ask your doctor or nurse which injection areas may be best for you
  • When injecting yourself, the muscle along the upper-outer thigh may be best. If someone else is injecting, the muscle in the upper arm may be best
  • You can inject into the same area more than once a week, but rotate the injection sites in that area each time, keeping 1 inch between sites

For more information about injecting Acthar, including videos and downloadable instructions, go to the Taking Acthar page.

Do not inject into:

  • The same site more than once a week
  • An area that has skin irritation or cuts
  • An area that has hardened or is sensitive to touch
  • Tattoos, warts, scars, or birthmarks
  • The stomach
  • The knee or groin area

Contact your doctor if you notice any injection site reactions, including redness, pain, and swelling.

Do not do the following with any used supplies:

  • Reuse syringes, needles, and vials
  • Throw the syringes, needles, and vials in household trash
  • Recycle syringes, needles, and vials
  • Use a clear plastic or glass container for disposal

Before ending Acthar treatment

Even if you’re feeling better, do not stop taking Acthar without consulting your doctor. If you consider ending treatment before your full course is over, be sure to talk with your doctor as well.

Your doctor will talk to you about when and how to stop treatment with Acthar. He or she may tell you how to gradually reduce the dose and frequency of injections. Do not suddenly stop taking Acthar without talking to your doctor first.

Your healthcare professional will provide instructions on how to properly dispose of used syringes, needles, and vials. If you’re unsure about disposal, bring your container of used supplies to your doctor’s office or local hospital.

It’s important for you to follow state and local laws when disposing of used supplies. Many states require you to:

  • Place used syringes, needles, and vials in a heavy plastic or metal container with a tight-fitting, puncture-resistant, and leak-proof lid. (You can also ask your pharmacist for a “sharps container” or use a laundry detergent bottle)
  • Mark “Not for Recycling” on the container
    • Reinforce the lid with heavy-duty tape
    • Store the container in a secure place out of reach of children or pets
Next:Patient Support Services

Acthar is a prescription medicine for flares or on a regular basis (maintenance) in people with systemic dermatomyositis or polymyositis (DM-PM).

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

DO NOT take Acthar until you have talked to your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:

  • A skin condition called scleroderma
  • Bone density loss or osteoporosis
  • Any infections, including fungal, bacterial, or viral
  • Eye infections, such as ocular herpes simplex
  • Had recent surgery
  • Stomach ulcers or a history of stomach ulcers
  • Heart failure
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Allergies to pig-derived proteins
  • Have been given or are about to receive a live or live attenuated vaccine
  • Suspected congenital infections (in children under 2 years of age)
  • If you have been told that you have Cushing’s syndrome or Addison’s disease

Tell your doctor about any other health problems that you have. Give your doctor a complete list of medicines you are taking. Include all nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements that you are taking.

What is the most important information I should know about Acthar?

  • Never inject Acthar directly into a vein
  • Always inject Acthar beneath the skin or into the muscle
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for injecting Acthar
  • Never stop treatment suddenly unless your doctor tells you to do so
  • Try not to miss any scheduled doctor’s appointments. It is important for the doctor to monitor you while taking Acthar

Acthar and corticosteroids have similar side effects.

  • You may be more likely to get new infections. Also, old infections may become active. Tell your doctor if you see any signs of an infection. Contact your doctor at the first sign of an infection or fever. Signs of infection are fever, cough, vomiting, or diarrhea. Other signs may be flu or any open cuts or sores
  • When taking Acthar long term, your adrenal gland may produce too much of a hormone called cortisol. This can result in symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome. This may cause increased upper body fat, a rounded “moon” face, bruising easily, or muscle weakness
  • Sometimes when you stop taking Acthar long term, your body may not produce enough natural cortisol. This is called “adrenal insufficiency.” Your doctor may prescribe a steroid medicine to protect you until the adrenal gland recovers
  • You might develop high blood pressure, or retain too much fluid. As a result of this, your doctor may recommend some changes to your diet, such as eating less salt and taking certain supplements
  • Vaccines may not work well when you are on Acthar. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines are safe to use when you are taking Acthar
  • Acthar may hide symptoms of other diseases. This can make it more difficult for your doctor to make a diagnosis if something else is going on
  • Stomach or intestinal problems. Acthar may increase the risk of bleeding stomach ulcers. Tell your doctor if you have stomach pains, bloody vomit, bloody or black stools, excessive tiredness, increased thirst, difficulty breathing, or increased heart rate
  • Taking Acthar can make you feel irritable or depressed. You may also have mood swings or trouble sleeping
  • If you have other conditions, such as diabetes or muscle weakness, you may find they get worse
  • You might develop certain eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or optic nerve damage
  • Your body may develop allergies to Acthar. Signs of allergic reaction are:
    • Skin rash and itching
    • Swelling of the face, tongue, lips, or throat
    • Trouble breathing
  • Long-term Acthar use can affect growth and physical development in children. This can be reversed when Acthar is no longer needed
  • Acthar may cause osteoporosis (weak bones)
  • Acthar might harm an unborn baby. Therefore, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant

What are the most common side effects of Acthar?

The most common side effects of Acthar are similar to those of steroids. They include:

  • Fluid retention
  • High blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • Behavior and mood changes
  • Changes in appetite and weight

Specific side effects in children under 2 years of age include:

  • Increased risk of infections
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome
  • Thickening of the heart muscle (cardiac hypertrophy)
  • Weight gain

The above side effects may also be seen in adults and children over 2 years of age.

These are not all of the possible side effects of Acthar.

Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you, or that does not go away. Call your doctor or pharmacist for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA. Call 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit www.fda.gov/medwatch. You may also report side effects by calling 1-800-778-7898.

Please see full Prescribing Information.

H.P. Acthar® Gel (repository corticotropin injection)

What is H.P. Acthar Gel?

Acthar is a prescription medicine for flares or on a regular basis (maintenance) in people with systemic dermatomyositis or polymyositis (DM-PM).

Acthar is injected beneath the skin or into the muscle.

Mallinckrodt, the “M” brand mark and the Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals logo are trademarks of a Mallinckrodt company. Other brands are trademarks of a Mallinckrodt company or their respective owners.

© 2017 Mallinckrodt. By viewing this site you agree to our Terms of Use. The product information provided in this site is intended only for residents of the United States.

ARDUS/01-05/0816/0059(1)

You are now leaving Acthar.com

Acthar.com is owned by Mallinckrodt. Mallinckrodt is only responsible for the content on this website.

CancelContinue

This information is intended for U.S. Healthcare Professionals. If you are a Healthcare Professional, click OK to continue; if not, click cancel to go back.

CancelOK

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

DO NOT take Acthar until you have talked to your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:

  • A skin condition called scleroderma
  • Bone density loss or osteoporosis
  • Any infections, including fungal, bacterial, or viral
  • Eye infections, such as ocular herpes simplex
  • Had recent surgery
  • Stomach ulcers or a history of stomach ulcers
  • Heart failure
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Allergies to pig-derived proteins
  • Have been given or are about to receive a live or live attenuated vaccine
  • Suspected congenital infections (in children under 2 years of age)
  • If you have been told that you have Cushing’s syndrome or Addison’s disease

Tell your doctor about any other health problems that you have. Give your doctor a complete list of medicines you are taking. Include all nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements that you are taking.

What is the most important information I should know about Acthar?

  • Never inject Acthar directly into a vein
  • Always inject Acthar beneath the skin or into the muscle
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for injecting Acthar
  • Never stop treatment suddenly unless your doctor tells you to do so
  • Try not to miss any scheduled doctor’s appointments. It is important for the doctor to monitor you while taking Acthar

Acthar and corticosteroids have similar side effects.

  • You may be more likely to get new infections. Also, old infections may become active. Tell your doctor if you see any signs of an infection. Contact your doctor at the first sign of an infection or fever. Signs of infection are fever, cough, vomiting, or diarrhea. Other signs may be flu or any open cuts or sores
  • When taking Acthar long term, your adrenal gland may produce too much of a hormone called cortisol. This can result in symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome. This may cause increased upper body fat, a rounded “moon” face, bruising easily, or muscle weakness
  • Sometimes when you stop taking Acthar long term, your body may not produce enough natural cortisol. This is called “adrenal insufficiency.” Your doctor may prescribe a steroid medicine to protect you until the adrenal gland recovers
  • You might develop high blood pressure, or retain too much fluid. As a result of this, your doctor may recommend some changes to your diet, such as eating less salt and taking certain supplements
  • Vaccines may not work well when you are on Acthar. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines are safe to use when you are taking Acthar
  • Acthar may hide symptoms of other diseases. This can make it more difficult for your doctor to make a diagnosis if something else is going on
  • Stomach or intestinal problems. Acthar may increase the risk of bleeding stomach ulcers. Tell your doctor if you have stomach pains, bloody vomit, bloody or black stools, excessive tiredness, increased thirst, difficulty breathing, or increased heart rate
  • Taking Acthar can make you feel irritable or depressed. You may also have mood swings or trouble sleeping
  • If you have other conditions, such as diabetes or muscle weakness, you may find they get worse
  • You might develop certain eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or optic nerve damage
  • Your body may develop allergies to Acthar. Signs of allergic reaction are:
    • Skin rash and itching
    • Swelling of the face, tongue, lips, or throat
    • Trouble breathing
  • Long-term Acthar use can affect growth and physical development in children. This can be reversed when Acthar is no longer needed
  • Acthar may cause osteoporosis (weak bones)
  • Acthar might harm an unborn baby. Therefore, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant

What are the most common side effects of Acthar?

The most common side effects of Acthar are similar to those of steroids. They include:

  • Fluid retention
  • High blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • Behavior and mood changes
  • Changes in appetite and weight

Specific side effects in children under 2 years of age include:

  • Increased risk of infections
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome
  • Thickening of the heart muscle (cardiac hypertrophy)
  • Weight gain

The above side effects may also be seen in adults and children over 2 years of age.

These are not all of the possible side effects of Acthar.

Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you, or that does not go away. Call your doctor or pharmacist for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA. Call 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit www.fda.gov/medwatch. You may also report side effects by calling 1-800-778-7898.

Please see full Prescribing Information.

H.P. Acthar® Gel (repository corticotropin injection)

What is H.P. Acthar Gel?

Acthar is a prescription medicine for flares or on a regular basis (maintenance) in people with systemic dermatomyositis or polymyositis (DM-PM).

Acthar is injected beneath the skin or into the muscle.

Mallinckrodt, the “M” brand mark and the Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals logo are trademarks of a Mallinckrodt company. Other brands are trademarks of a Mallinckrodt company or their respective owners.

© 2017 Mallinckrodt. By viewing this site you agree to our Terms of Use. The product information provided in this site is intended only for residents of the United States.

ARDUS/01-05/0816/0059(1)

You are now leaving Acthar.com

Acthar.com is owned by Mallinckrodt. Mallinckrodt is only responsible for the content on this website.

CancelContinue

This information is intended for U.S. Healthcare Professionals. If you are a Healthcare Professional, click OK to continue; if not, click cancel to go back.

CancelOK