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Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: US

HP Acthar

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat MS (multiple sclerosis).
  • It is used to treat infantile spasms.
  • It is used for many health problems like allergy signs, asthma, adrenal gland problems, blood problems, skin rashes, or swelling problems. This is not a list of all health problems that this drug may be used for. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your child has recently had surgery or if your child has any of these health problems: Brittle bones, fungal infection, heart failure (weak heart), herpes infection of the eye, high blood pressure, poor adrenal function, scleroderma, or ulcer disease.

If your child is breast-feeding a baby:

  • Talk with the doctor if your child is breast-feeding a baby or plans to breast-feed a baby.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • This drug may raise the chance of high blood sugar (diabetes). Talk with the doctor.
  • If your child has high blood sugar (diabetes), talk with the doctor.
  • Have your child’s blood sugar checked as you have been told by your child’s doctor.
  • Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Have your child’s blood pressure checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before your child gets any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of very bad infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • You may need to lower how much salt is in your child’s diet and give your child extra potassium. Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Alcohol may interact with this drug. Be sure your child does not drink alcohol.
  • Your child may have more chance of getting infections. Have your child wash hands often. Avoid crowds and people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • Long-term use may raise the chance of cataracts, glaucoma, or weak bones (osteoporosis). Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Your child may need to have a bone density test. Talk with the doctor.
  • Have your child’s eye pressure checked if your child is on this drug for a long time. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks. Talk with the doctor.

If your child is pregnant:

  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy. If your child is pregnant or gets pregnant while taking this drug, call the doctor right away.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
  • Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
  • Signs of a weak adrenal gland like a very bad upset stomach or throwing up, very bad dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, feeling very tired, mood changes, not hungry, or weight loss.
  • Signs of Cushing’s disease like weight gain in the upper back or belly, moon face, very bad headache, or slow healing.
  • Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Belly pain.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Mood changes.
  • Change in the way your child acts.
  • Bone or joint pain.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Seizures.
  • A fatty pad or hump between the shoulders.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • More hungry.
  • Weight gain.
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Throwing up.
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Pimples (acne).
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
For infantile spasms:
  • It is given as a shot into a muscle.
For other reasons:
  • It is given as a shot into a muscle or into the fatty part of the skin.

For all uses of this drug:

  • If you will be giving your child the shot, your child’s doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
  • Follow how to give this drug as you have been told by your child’s doctor or read the package insert.
  • Before giving the shot, let it come to room temperature. Do not heat this drug.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • Do not use if solution changes color.
  • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Do not stop giving this drug to your child all of a sudden without calling the doctor. Your child may have a greater risk of seizures. If your child needs to stop this drug, you will want to slowly stop it as told by the doctor.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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© 2018 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

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