After 2 weeks of treatment, Acthar should be gradually tapered, decreasing the dose to help avoid adrenal insufficiency. The FDA approved Acthar for IS with the following recommended taper schedule1:
30 U/m2 in the morning for 3 days; 15 U/m2 in the morning for 3 days; 10 U/m2 in the morning for 3 days; and 10 U/m2 every other morning for 6 days.
The symptoms of adrenal insufficiency in infants treated for infantile spasms can be difficult to identify. The symptoms are non-specific and may include anorexia, fatigue, lethargy, weakness, excessive weight loss, hypotension and abdominal pain. It is critical that parents and caregivers be made aware of the possibility of adrenal insufficiency when discontinuing H.P. Acthar Gel and should be instructed to observe for, and be able to recognize, these symptoms.