What is cosyntropin-injectable, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Cosyntropin is a manufactured version of the body's natural adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH). ACTH is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. It stimulates the adrenal gland to release steroids including hydrocortisone and cortisone, androgens, as well as aldosterone. Cosyntropin has the same activity as ACTH. The FDA approved Cosyntropin in April 1970.

What brand names are available for cosyntropin-injectable?


Is cosyntropin-injectable available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for cosyntropin-injectable?


What are the side effects of cosyntropin-injectable?

Adverse effects associated with the use of cosyntropin include slowed heart rate, high blood pressure, edema (fluid buildup) in limbs, and rapid heartbeat. Other adverse effects include rash as well as redness at the injection site. Side effects associated with corticosteroid use are also commonly reported with cosyntropin use. There have been rare reports of anaphylactic reactions.

What is the dosage for cosyntropin-injectable?

The initial dose for adults is based on what the drug is being used for and whether it is being given intravenously or intramuscularly. For example, the intravenous dose in diagnosing adrenocortical insufficiency is 0.25 mg. Initial doses of 1 mg intramuscularly may be used when transferring from corticosteroids.

Which drugs or supplements interact with cosyntropin-injectable?

: Cosyntropin may increase the electrolyte loss during diuretic therapy.


What causes tooth decay? See Answer

Is cosyntropin-injectable safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

It is unknown whether cosyntropin is excreted in breast milk and, therefore, should be used cautiously by mothers who are nursing.

What else should I know about cosyntropin-injectable?

What preparations of cosyntropin-injectable are available?

Powder (with and without preservatives) 0.25 mg; Solution: 0.25 mg/mL in 1 mL vial

How should I keep cosyntropin-injectable stored?

Cosyntropin powder should be stored at room temperature between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). Cosyntropin solution and suspension should be stored under refrigeration between 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F) and protected from light and freezing. Infusions are stable for 12 hours at room temperature.


cosyntropin (Cortrosyn) is a drug used in diagnostic testing to determine the presence of primary versus secondary adrenocortical insufficiency. The intramuscular injection may be prescribed for other disease processes including hemolytic, ocular, endocrine, dermatologic, and collagen disorders. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to using this medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medically reviewed by John Cunha, DO

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.