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Severe Allergic and Inflammatory Eye Conditions

Acthar is a prescription medicine for people with severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory conditions affecting different parts of the eye. This can include the front part of the eye such as the cornea and iris, or the back part of the eye such as the optic nerve and retina. Acthar is injected beneath the skin or into the muscle.

Acthar is a prescription medicine for people with severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory conditions affecting different parts of the eye. This can include the front part of the eye such as the cornea and iris, or the back part of the eye such as the optic nerve and retina. Acthar is injected beneath the skin or into the muscle.

Tips for Traveling With Acthar

  1. Plan for delays. If you’ll be traveling, make sure you take enough medication with you in case of travel delays.
  2. Keep Acthar refrigerated. Acthar should be kept refrigerated (36ºF-46ºF, or 2ºC-8ºC) between uses. Acthar is a gel when refrigerated, but changes to liquid form at room temperature. Remember to only inject Acthar once it has reached room temperature; this will help make the injection more comfortable for you. Warm Acthar by rolling the vial between the palms of your hands for a few minutes. Learn more about preparing and injecting Acthar.
  3. Consider getting a cooler. Medical coolers are available for purchase. These items come in different sizes and price ranges. Also, it may help to keep an extra ice pack handy in case one gets lost or damaged.
  4. For road trips. When traveling by car, keep Acthar with you in the car. Avoid storing it in areas of the car where it may get heated. Don’t place Acthar in the glove compartment, trunk, or the front or rear dashboard. Also, don’t leave it in the car unattended on a hot day.
  5. For air travel. If you are traveling by air, always pack your medical supplies and Acthar in your carry-on luggage. This way these items are with you at all times, even in the event your luggage gets lost or damaged.

Additional tips when traveling by air:

  • Call your airline in advance. Ask if arrangements can be made to keep your medicine in a refrigerator during your flight
  • Contact the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Call the TSA at least 72 hours before your flight. If you have a medical condition, they can help you coordinate the security screening process in advance. Their toll-free helpline is 1-855-787-2227, or you can visit the TSA online

    Here are some general recommendations they offer:

    • Bring a doctor’s note and keep it with your medications. The note should:
      1. Explain that you need to use a syringe to take injections of Acthar
      2. List Acthar, syringes, and any other medications or supplies you need to manage your condition
    • Consider taking half your supplies on board in your carry-on bag and putting the other half in your checked luggage. Be sure to have a doctor’s note for both sets of medication and syringes since they will be screened separately
    • Make sure you have more than enough Acthar and syringes in case your return trip gets delayed
    • Bring prescriptions for your medication and syringes with you as well, in case you get stuck somewhere for a prolonged period
Have you been prescribed Acthar and want to talk to someone about your travel plans? ActharPACT nurses are standing by to talk you through this information, or direct you to additional information and resources. Call anytime at 1-877-546-PACT (1-877-546-7228).

*The Acthar Commercial Co-pay Program provides drug co-pay assistance of up to $25,000 per calendar year for eligible patients. This program is not for patients receiving prescription reimbursement under any federal-, state-, or government-funded insurance programs or where prohibited by law. Please see additional Terms and Conditions.

Next: Injection Videos

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

DO NOT take Acthar until you have talked to your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:

  • A skin condition called scleroderma
  • Bone density loss or osteoporosis
  • Any infections, including fungal, bacterial, or viral
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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

DO NOT take Acthar until you have talked to your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:

CLOSE
  • A skin condition called scleroderma
  • Bone density loss or osteoporosis
  • Any infections, including fungal, bacterial, or viral
  • Eye infections, such as ocular herpes simplex
  • Had recent surgery
  • Stomach ulcers or a history of stomach ulcers
  • Heart failure
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Allergies to pig-derived proteins
  • Have been given or are about to receive a live or live attenuated vaccine
  • Suspected congenital infections (in children under 2 years of age)
  • If you have been told that you have Cushing’s syndrome or Addison’s disease

Tell your doctor about any other health problems that you have. Give your doctor a complete list of medicines you are taking. Include all nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements that you are taking.

What is the most important information I should know about Acthar?

  • Never inject Acthar directly into a vein
  • Always inject Acthar beneath the skin or into the muscle
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for injecting Acthar
  • Never stop treatment suddenly unless your doctor tells you to do so
  • Try not to miss any scheduled doctor’s appointments. It is important for the doctor to monitor you while taking Acthar

Acthar and corticosteroids have similar side effects.

  • You may be more likely to get new infections. Also, old infections may become active. Tell your doctor if you see any signs of an infection. Contact your doctor at the first sign of an infection or fever. Signs of infection are fever, cough, vomiting, or diarrhea. Other signs may be flu or any open cuts or sores
  • When taking Acthar long term, your adrenal gland may produce too much of a hormone called cortisol. This can result in symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome. This may cause increased upper body fat, a rounded “moon” face, bruising easily, or muscle weakness
  • Sometimes when you stop taking Acthar long term, your body may not produce enough natural cortisol. This is called “adrenal insufficiency.” Your doctor may prescribe a steroid medicine to protect you until the adrenal gland recovers
  • You might develop high blood pressure, or retain too much fluid. As a result of this, your doctor may recommend some changes to your diet, such as eating less salt and taking certain supplements
  • Vaccines may not work well when you are on Acthar. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines are safe to use when you are taking Acthar
  • Acthar may hide symptoms of other diseases. This can make it more difficult for your doctor to make a diagnosis if something else is going on
  • Stomach or intestinal problems. Acthar may increase the risk of bleeding stomach ulcers. Tell your doctor if you have stomach pains, bloody vomit, bloody or black stools, excessive tiredness, increased thirst, difficulty breathing, or increased heart rate
  • Taking Acthar can make you feel irritable or depressed. You may also have mood swings or trouble sleeping
  • If you have other conditions, such as diabetes or muscle weakness, you may find they get worse
  • You might develop certain eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or optic nerve damage
  • Your body may develop allergies to Acthar. Signs of allergic reaction are:
    • Skin rash and itching
    • Swelling of the face, tongue, lips, or throat
    • Trouble breathing
  • Long-term Acthar use can affect growth and physical development in children. This can be reversed when Acthar is no longer needed
  • Acthar may cause osteoporosis (weak bones)
  • Acthar might harm an unborn baby. Therefore, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant

What are the most common side effects of Acthar?

The most common side effects of Acthar are similar to those of steroids. They include:

  • Fluid retention
  • High blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • Behavior and mood changes
  • Changes in appetite and weight

Specific side effects in children under 2 years of age include:

  • Increased risk of infections
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome
  • Thickening of the heart muscle (cardiac hypertrophy)
  • Weight gain

The above side effects may also be seen in adults and children over 2 years of age.

These are not all of the possible side effects of Acthar.

Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you, or that does not go away. Call your doctor or pharmacist for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA. Call 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit www.fda.gov/medwatch. You may also report side effects by calling 1-800-778-7898.

Please see full Prescribing Information.

H.P. Acthar® Gel
(repository corticotropin injection) [H P AK-thar jel]

What is H.P. Acthar Gel?

Acthar is a prescription medicine for people with severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory conditions affecting different parts of the eye. This can include the front part of the eye such as the cornea and iris, or the back part of the eye such as the optic nerve and retina.

Acthar is injected beneath the skin or into the muscle.