Health Guide

Corticotropin (By injection)

Corticotropin, Repository (kor-ti-koe-TROE-pin ree-POZ-i-tor-ee)

Treats inflammation, infantile spasms (seizures), multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and many other medical conditions.

Brand Name(s):

H.P. Acthar

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to corticotropin or pork proteins, or if you have adrenal gland problems, heart failure, a peptic ulcer, osteoporosis, scleroderma, or recent surgery.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin or into one of your muscles.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: You must use this medicine on a fixed schedule. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you miss a dose.
  • If you store this medicine at home, keep it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how corticotropin works. Tell your doctor if you are using a diuretic (water pill).
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, stomach problems (such as an ulcer), high blood pressure, thyroid disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, Cushing syndrome, myasthenia gravis, or glaucoma. Tell your doctor if you have any type of infection.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Mood or behavior changes
    • Cataracts or glaucoma (with long-term use)
    • Weak bones or osteoporosis (with long-term use)
    • High blood pressure, fluid retention, changes in salt or potassium levels in your body
    • Slow growth in children (with long-term use)
  • This medicine could cause you to get infections more easily. Tell your doctor right away if you are exposed to chicken pox, measles, or another serious infection. Tell your doctor if you had a serious infection in the past, such as tuberculosis or herpes.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Depression, unusual thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, irritability, trouble sleeping
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat, dizziness
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Seizures
  • Severe stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, red or black stools, vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds
  • Vision changes, eye pain, seeing halos around lights, headache

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Acne
  • Increased appetite
  • Round, puffy face
  • Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breasts, face, or waist

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

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