ACTHAR Side Effects by Likelihood and Severity

COMMON side effects

If experienced, these tend to have a Severe expression i

  • an infection
  • high blood pressure

If experienced, these tend to have a Less Severe expression i

  • a hormone disorder where the body produces high levels of cortisol called Cushing's syndrome
  • water retention
  • mood changes
  • behavioral problems
  • hirsutism, a condition of hair growth on parts of the body normally without hair
  • acne
  • weight gain
  • increased hunger
  • diarrhea
  • irritability

INFREQUENT side effects

If experienced, these tend to have a Severe expression i

  • insufficiency of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland
  • low amount of calcium in the blood
  • an increased sodium level in the blood
  • low amount of potassium in the blood
  • high blood sugar

If experienced, these tend to have a Less Severe expression i

  • stuffy nose
  • constipation
  • a skin rash

RARE side effects

If experienced, these tend to have a Severe expression i

  • alkalosis
  • pseudotumor cerebri, a condition with high fluid pressure in the brain
  • glaucoma, an increased pressure in the eye
  • clouding of the lens of the eye called cataracts
  • chronic heart failure
  • subdural intracranial hemorrhage
  • bleeding within the skull
  • inflammation of the blood vessels
  • stomach or intestinal ulcer
  • bleeding of the stomach or intestines
  • decreased calcification or density of bone
  • an abscess
  • seizures
  • a condition where the body is unable to maintain adequate blood flow called shock
  • impaired wound healing
  • pancreatitis
  • portions of the bone in the upper arm to die
  • bone necrosis of the femoral head

If experienced, these tend to have a Less Severe expression i

  • an extreme sense of wellbeing called euphoria
  • optic disk edema
  • bruising under the skin
  • a problem with menstrual periods
  • erythema or skin redness
  • thin fragile skin
  • darkening of the skin
  • muscle weakness
  • sensation of spinning or whirling
  • dizziness
  • difficulty sleeping
  • fever
  • excessive sweating
  • temporary redness of face and neck
  • small reddish-purplish pin-point sized spots on skin
  • decreased appetite
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal bloating
  • reactions at the site of the injection
  • bulging of the eyes

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.