Safety in infantile spasms


Download the Parent and Caregiver Brochure:

Acthar Gel has a safety profile that has been well established 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 Gel for your child.

After typically the first 2 weeks of treatment, your doctor will provide a schedule to gradually reduce the Acthar Gel dose and number of injections, usually over 2 more weeks. This is important, because it helps 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.

Always follow your doctor's instructions about where to give the injection, how much to give, how often, and when to give Acthar Gel to your child.

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 Gel affects your child's immune system, so before treatment with Acthar Gel, 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 Gel 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 Gel, 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 Gel, 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

Acthar Hub

See the many ways the Acthar Hub can help you get Acthar Gel for your child with IS.

Step-by-step injection guide

Download this informative injection guide to keep handy during your child’s injections.

Download your guide

Treatment calendar

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

Download your calendar