Adrenocorticotrophic Hormone (Acthar®, H.P. Acthar Gel®)
Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (Acthar®, H.P. Acthar Gel®) is also called corticotropin or systemic corticotropin. It belongs to a group of proteins in your body called melanocortins. It regulates the function of your adrenal cortex and influences your body’s secretion of steroid hormones. An ACTH injection is given to relieve a severe flare of inflammation in gout. It’s a subcutaneous injection of a dose of 25 to 40 international units (IU).
Side Effects of Adrenocorticotrophic Hormone
Corticotropin or ACTH injections are relatively safe when used for gout treatment. Possible side effects of this drug when injected at this dosage include hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), hypokalemia (low potassium in your blood) and edema (swelling), as well as increased infection risk, ulcers, mood changes, insomnia, acne, dry skin, thinning skin, bruising, poor wound healing, sweating, headaches, dizziness and upset stomach.
Call your doctor immediately if you notice any of these side effects:
- Vision problems
- Rapid weight gain
- Shortness of breath
- Severe depression or thoughts of suicide
- Bloody or tar-like stool
- Coughing up blood
- Severe pain in your upper abdomen
- Signs of very high blood pressure (ringing in your ears, dizziness, headache, chest pain, uneven heartbeat, etc.)