Safety in infantile spasms


Download the Parent and Caregiver Brochure:

Acthar has a safety profile that has been demonstrated over many years of use and through independent analyses of multiple studies including more than 300 patients. Ask your doctor any questions you may have about the safety of Acthar for your child.

After the first 2 weeks of treatment, your doctor will provide a schedule to gradually reduce the Acthar dose and number of injections over 2 more weeks. This is important, because it allows your child to avoid a serious complication called adrenal insufficiency, which is when your child's body doesn't produce enough of the hormone cortisol on its own.

Be prepared

Before your child begins treatment, tell your doctor about all of the medicines your baby takes, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Acthar affects your child's immune system, so before treatment with Acthar, tell the doctor if your child has:

  • An infection
  • Diabetes
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Stomach or intestinal problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Liver problems
  • Neuromuscular problems
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Exposure to someone with tuberculosis
  • A previous allergic reaction—such as hives, itching, or trouble breathing—to Acthar or pork products
  • Had recent surgery
  • Had a recent vaccination or is scheduled to receive a vaccination
  • A family member who is receiving vaccinations

While taking Acthar, keep your baby away from people who are sick or have infections. This may affect the rest of your family, especially if you have other children who are in school or daycare. You will need to be very careful about germs and illnesses. You may need to limit who can visit and spend time with the baby during treatment—even grandparents, if they aren't feeling well. Ask your doctor how long you need to take these extra precautions. And tell your doctor right away if your child develops:

  • An infection
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Other signs of illness

Most common side effects

Common side effects include:

  • Infections
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Irritability and changes in behavior
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

These are not all the possible side effects of Acthar, and you should talk to your child's doctor if your baby has any side effect that bothers them or does not go away.

Helpful Resources

Meet Acthar families

Watch others who have been through the entire process of diagnosis and treatment tell you in their own words what to expect when a child has IS.

Learn how to give Acthar

Step-by-step videos help you walk through the administration process so you can learn, and then review, at your own pace.

Treatment calendar

Keep track of your child's injection training schedule and progress.

Download your calendar