Does Cortrosyn (cosyntropin injection) cause side effects?

Cortrosyn (cosyntropin injection) is a manufactured version of the body’s natural adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) and has the same activity as 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. Cortrosyn is 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

Common side effects of Cortrosyn include

  • rash and redness at the injection site. 

Serious side effects of Cortrosyn include

Drug interactions of Cortrosyn include

  • diuretics, because Cortrosyn may increase the electrolyte loss during diuretic therapy. 

It is unknown if Cortrosyn can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or if it can affect reproduction capacity. Cortrosyn should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed. 

It is unknown if Cortrosyn is excreted in breast milk and should be used cautiously by mothers who are breastfeeding.

What are the importantant side effects of Cortrosyn (cosyntropin injection)?

Adverse effects associated with the use of cosyntropin include

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.

Cortrosyn (cosyntropin injection) side effects list for healthcare professionals

Since Cortrosyn (cosyntropin) for Injection is intended for diagnostic and not therapeutic use, adverse reactions other than a rare hypersensitivity reaction are not anticipated.

A rare hypersensitivity reaction usually associated with a pre-existing allergic disease and/or a previous reaction to natural ACTH is possible. Symptoms may include slight whealing with splotchy erythema at the injection site. There have been rare reports of anaphylactic reaction.

The following adverse reactions have been reported in patients after the administration of Cortrosyn and the association has been neither confirmed nor refuted:

What drugs interact with Cortrosyn (cosyntropin injection)?

Corticotropin may accentuate the electrolyte loss associated with diuretic therapy.

Summary

Cortrosyn (cosyntropin injection) is a manufactured version of the body’s natural adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) and has the same activity as ACTH. Cortrosyn is used in diagnostic testing to determine the presence of primary versus secondary adrenocortical insufficiency. Common side effects of Cortrosyn include rash and redness at the injection site. It is unknown if Cortrosyn can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or if it can affect reproduction capacity. It is unknown if Cortrosyn is excreted in breast milk and should be used cautiously by mothers who are breastfeeding.

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Medically Reviewed on 1/5/2021
References
FDA Prescribing Information

Professional side effects and drug interactions sections courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.