Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Synacthen Depot. It does not contain
all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you or
your child having Synacthen Depot against the benefits they expect it will provide.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine.
You may need to read it again.
What Synacthen Depot is used for
Synacthen Depot has two very different uses:
It is used in people with multiple sclerosis who are experiencing a worsening of their
It is used in young children to treat some types of seizure (fit), such as infantile
Synacthen Depot works by causing the adrenal glands to increase the production of
natural "steroid" hormones that can help to reduce the symptoms of certain diseases.
This medicine is not suitable for newborn babies, especially if they are premature,
because it contains benzyl alcohol, which can cause severe side effects in very young
babies. It must also be used with caution in children up to 3 years of age.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Synacthen Depot has been prescribed.
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
Synacthen Depot is available only with a doctor's prescription. It is not habit forming.
Before you have Synacthen Depot
When you must not have it
Do not have Synacthen Depot if you have an allergy to:
tetracosactide (tetracosactrin), the active ingredient in Synacthen Depot
any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
a similar medicine called ACTH or corticotrophin
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
redness or pain at the injection site
rash, itching, hives or flushing of the skin
nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
Do not have Synacthen Depot if you have any of the following health problems/medical
a viral illness or you have recently been vaccinated with a live virus vaccine
an infection, unless you are taking antibiotics for it
a stomach ulcer
severe heart disease
abnormal functioning of your adrenal glands
a mental illness with disturbances in thinking, feelings and behaviour
If you are unsure whether any of the above conditions apply to you, your doctor can
provide more information.
Do not have Synacthen Depot if you are pregnant.
It may affect your developing baby or cause a miscarriage if you have it during pregnancy.
Do not breast-feed if you are having Synacthen Depot.
There is not enough information to recommend breast-feeding while you are having this
Do not have Synacthen Depot after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging
is torn or shows signs of tampering.
In that case, return it to your pharmacist.
If you are not sure whether you should have this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to have it
Tell your doctor if you have asthma or allergies to other medicines, foods, dyes or
Your chance of having an allergic reaction to Synacthen Depot may be greater than
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
high blood pressure
an inflammation of the bowel (e.g. ulcerative colitis or diverticulitis)
recent bowel surgery
blockage of a blood vessel by a clot (thromboembolism)
weak brittle bones (osteoporosis)
myasthenia gravis, a condition which causes extreme muscle weakness
an underactive thyroid gland
cirrhosis of the liver
an eye infection caused by herpes simplex virus
an infection caused by an amoeba
If you are unsure about any of the above conditions, your doctor can provide more
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any
that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food
Some medicines and Synacthen Depot may interfere with each other. These include medicines
used to treat:
high blood pressure
It may be necessary to change the dose or in some cases stop the medicine while you
are being treated with Synacthen Depot.
If you have not told your doctor about any of these things, tell him/her before you
have Synacthen Depot.
How Synacthen Depot is given
How much is given
For multiple sclerosis: the starting dose is usually a single daily injection of 1mg
but it may be given twice a day in severe cases. Once the condition has improved,
the number of injections can usually be reduced to one every 2 or 3 days or even once
For seizures in children: the starting dose is usually a single daily injection ranging
from 0.25 to 1mg, depending on the age of the child. Once the condition has improved,
the number of injections can usually be reduced to one every 2 to 8 days.
How long treatment lasts
Synacthen Depot will not cure your condition but it may relieve some of the symptoms.
The injections can be continued for as long as they provide a benefit. When treatment
is stopped, it will usually be done gradually to help maintain the normal function
of your adrenal glands.
While you are having Synacthen Depot
Things you must do
If you become pregnant while having this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
This medicine must not be used during pregnancy.
Keep all of your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked.
Your doctor will check for unwanted side effects. Some side effects such as change
in blood pressure and in levels of sugar and other elements in the blood may only
be found by doing regular tests. time to time to make sure the medicine is working
and to prevent unwanted side effects. Children may need to have their heart checked
and their growth monitored during long-term treatment.
If you suffer an injury requiring medical attention or are going to have surgery either
during treatment with Synacthen Depot or within 1 year after treatment has stopped,
tell the doctor, surgeon or anaesthetist about this medicine.
Prolonged treatment with Synacthen Depot may make your adrenal glands less able to
cope with the stress to your body caused by an injury or surgery.
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist
that you are having Synacthen Depot.
Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who treats you that you are having
Things you must not do
Do not have any vaccinations without first checking with your doctor.
This medicine can change your response to vaccines and may prevent you from being
successfully vaccinated against some diseases.
Do not take Synacthen Depot to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells
Do not give your medicine to anyone else, even if they seem to have the same condition
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery or doing jobs that require you to be alert
until you know how Synacthen Depot affects you.
This medicine may cause headache and vertigo (spinning sensation) in some people.
Make sure you know how it affects you before you drive or do anything else that could
If you are being treated for diabetes, be careful to check your blood sugar regularly
and report any problems to your doctor.
Synacthen Depot may change how well your diabetes is controlled. The dose of your
diabetes medicines may need to be changed.
Be careful to avoid close contact with anyone who has an infectious disease.
This medicine may make you more susceptible to infections than usual and these infections
may be more serious.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you
are having Synacthen Depot.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time
they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.
Side effects can often be relieved by reducing the dose given at each injection or
increasing the time between injections.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience
any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
During the injection of Synacthen Depot, tell your doctor immediately if you notice
any of the following signs of a possible allergic reaction:
redness of pain at the injection site
rash, itching, hives or flushing of the skin
nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
swelling of the face, lips, tongue or any other parts of the body
Allergic reactions can happen rarely, usually within 30 minutes after the injection.
During this period, your doctor or nurse will watch you closely for signs of allergy
and will have medicines to treat this type of reaction near at hand.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms at any time
severe pain or tenderness in the stomach, which may be accompanied by nausea (feeling
sick) and vomiting
vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
pain and ulceration along the food pipe leading from the throat to the stomach
pain in the eye or difficulty seeing
sudden severe headache, sudden loss of coordination, slurred speech, numbness in the
arm or leg, pain in the calves, thighs or chest
shortness of breath and swelling of the legs or ankles due to fluid build up
rapid change in mood from extreme happiness to depression, personality changes or
other disturbances in thinking, feelings and behaviour
any infectious abscesses or wounds other than of a very minor nature
difficulty urinating or passing little or no urine
Tell your doctor if any of the following happen and they worry you:
spinning sensation (vertigo)
feeling of bloating in the abdomen
changes to the skin such as thinning, darkening in colour, acne, stretch marks, red
or purple pin head spots or bruising
red or moon-shaped face
excessive hair growth
changes in menstrual period
Tell your doctor if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.
After using Synacthen Depot
If you are storing Synacthen Depot at home, keep it in the fridge. Make sure that
young people cannot reach it.
If your doctor stops your treatment with Synacthen Depot or you find that the expiry
date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any medicine you have left over.
What it looks like
Synacthen Depot is available in a glass ampoule containing 1 mL of milky white liquid;
one ampoule per carton.
Each ampoule of Synacthen Depot contains 1 mg of the active ingredient, tetracosactide
(tetracosactrin) (in a zinc phosphate complex). It also contains;
sodium phosphate dibasic
water for injections
Synacthen Depot is supplied in Australia by:
Clinect Pty Ltd
120-132 Atlantic Drive
Keysborough VIC 3173
Free Call Australia: 1800 899 005
® = Registered Trademark
This leaflet was prepared in March 2020.
Australian Registration number
Synacthen Depot AUST R 11060