What to expect on treatment

How do I take Acthar?

Acthar is taken by injection. You can self-inject under the skin or into the muscle, or you can have a friend, family member, caregiver, doctor or nurse do it for you. You can inject at home or wherever is convenient for you.

Make sure you get no-cost training from an Acthar Home Injection Training Service (HITS) nurse before you inject.

When refrigerated, Acthar is a gel. At room temperature, it changes to liquid form, ready to inject.

Your doctor will decide what dose of Acthar is right for you. How much and how often you take Acthar will depend on the nature of your lupus condition and how you respond to Acthar. Because everyone is unique, responses to Acthar treatment can vary.

Never inject Acthar directly into a vein or take by mouth. Always take Acthar as prescribed by your doctor.

Can I take other lupus medicines while I am on Acthar?

Continue taking whatever medicines have been prescribed to you by your doctor. Make sure you tell your doctor about any other prescription or nonprescription medicines, vitamins or herbal supplements you are taking.

See how it’s done: step-by-step
self-injection videos

Watch a nurse demonstrate how to self-inject, or have others inject for you.

Be sure to take advantage of injection training at no cost to you from an Acthar HITS nurse before you self-inject.

What you need to know about Acthar

Acthar should never be injected into a vein.

You should not take Acthar if you have recently been given a vaccine or are about to take one, or you have a condition where your adrenal glands produce either too much of certain hormones (as with Cushing’s syndrome), or not enough (adrenal insufficiency).

Ask Your Doctor

Remember that your doctor is the first person you should turn to if you have any questions or need more information about your treatment.

Side effects of Acthar

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

  • Fluid retention
  • Changes in blood sugar
  • Increased 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
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome
  • Cardiac hypertrophy (thickening of the heart muscle)
  • 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 accompanying full Prescribing Information.

Who should
not take Acthar

You should not take Acthar if you have:

  • A skin condition called scleroderma
  • Bone density loss or osteoporosis
  • Any infections, including fungal, bacterial or viral
  • Eye problems, such as ocular herpes simplex
  • Had recent surgery
  • Stomach ulcers or a history of ulcers
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Allergies to pig-derived proteins
  • Been recently given a vaccine or are about to take one
  • Suspected congenital infections (in children under 2 years of age)
  • A condition where your adrenal glands produce either too much of certain hormones (as with Cushing’s syndrome), or not enough (adrenal insufficiency)

Tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions or any other health problems. Also, share with your doctor what medicines you are taking. Don’t forget to mention nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

For Your Safety...

Make sure you read and understand the Important Safety Information about Acthar—talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about treatment or side effects.

Important Safety Information

Who should  NOT take Acthar?

You should not take Acthar if you have: