Acthar Gel is a prescription medication containing naturally sourced adrenocorticotropic [ah-dree-noh-kor-tih-coh-trohp-ik] hormone (ACTH). It's a medication that works with your child's body to help it produce its own natural steroids.
While the exact way that Acthar Gel works in the body is unknown, further studies are being conducted. This information is based on laboratory data, and how it relates to patient benefits is unknown.
When your doctor prescribes Acthar Gel, you and your child may begin what is typically a 4-week treatment plan. Your child's doctor will determine the correct dose for your baby and the full length of treatment.
Your baby will likely receive the first week of treatment as an inpatient in the hospital. Then, parents or caregivers will generally take over the treatments. 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. The most common injection schedule is as follows:
- Weeks 1 and 2: Intramuscular (into a muscle) injections 2 times per day
- Weeks 3 and 4: Your doctor will provide a schedule to gradually reduce the Acthar Gel dose and number of injections
During treatment, your doctor may check your child's blood pressure regularly. He or she may ask you to make changes to the foods your child eats, such as limiting salt and adding certain supplements.