Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Synacthen.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
The information in this leaflet was last updated on the date listed on the final page. More recent information on the medicine may be available.
You should ensure that you speak to your pharmacist or doctor to obtain the most up-to-date information on the medicine. Those updates may contain important information about the medicine and its use of which you should be aware.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you having Synacthen against the benefits they expect it will give you.
If you have any concerns about having this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
What Synacthen is used for
Synacthen is used as a diagnostic test to find out if the adrenal glands, small glands next to the kidneys, are working as well as they should. The Synacthen test is given as a single injection into the muscle.
Synacthen is used as a test only. It is not used to treat poorly functioning adrenal glands.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Synacthen has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
Synacthen is only available with a doctor's prescription. It is not habit-forming.
Before you are given Synacthen
When you must not have it
You should not be given Synacthen if you have ever had an allergic reaction to:
- tetracosactrin, the active ingredient in Synacthen
- any of the other ingredients of Synacthen listed at the end of this leaflet
- a similar medicine called ACTH or corticotrophin
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include redness or pain at the injection site, rash, itching, hives or flushing of the skin, dizziness, nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other part of the body.
You should not be given Synacthen if you have any of the following health problems/medical conditions:
- asthma or other allergic conditions
- a viral illness or you have recently been vaccinated with a live virus
- an infection, unless you are taking antibiotics for it
- a stomach ulcer
- severe heart disease
- overactive adrenal glands (Cushing's syndrome)
- adrenocortical insufficiency (adrenal glands not working properly)
- a mental illness with disturbances in thinking, feelings and behaviour
If you are unsure whether any of the above conditions apply to you, ask your doctor before you have the Synacthen test. This medicine could make your condition worse.
Do not have Synacthen if you are pregnant. This medicine may cause a miscarriage or affect your developing baby if you have it while you are pregnant.
Do not breast-feed while the Synacthen test is being done. There is not enough information to recommend breast-feeding while you are having Synacthen.
Before you start to have it
Tell your doctor if you have asthma or allergies, including any allergies to other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives. If you have asthma or allergies, your chance of having an allergic reaction to Synacthen may be greater than normal. Your doctor can discuss this with you further.
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- high blood pressure
Your doctor may want to take special precautions if you have one of the above conditions.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
These include medicines used to treat:
- high blood pressure
It may be necessary to change the dose or in some cases to stop the medicine.
Some medicines may affect the results of the Synacthen test. These include:
- some corticosteroid medicines, including cortisone and hydrocortisone
- spironolactone, a medicine usually used to treat high blood pressure and fluid retention
- oestrogens, including the birth control pill and hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Your doctor may ask you to skip the morning dose of some medicines on the day of the Synacthen test so that the test results are not affected.
If you have not told your doctor about any of these things, tell him/her before you have the Synacthen test.
How Synacthen is given
You will be given a single injection of Synacthen into the muscle. You will have two blood samples taken, one before the dose of Synacthen and the other 30 minutes after the dose. These blood samples will show whether your adrenal glands are functioning as well as they should.
After having Synacthen
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving, operating machinery or doing jobs that require you to be alert after you have had the Synacthen test until you know how it has affected you. Although Synacthen is unlikely to have affected your reactions, make sure before you drive or do anything else that could be dangerous.
Tell your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are having the Synacthen test, even if you don't think it is connected with the medicine.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Tell your doctor or nurse immediately if you notice any of the following signs of a possible allergic reaction to Synacthen:
- redness or pain at the injection site
- rash, itching, hives or flushing of the skin
- nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
- difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other part of the body
Allergic reactions to Synacthen can happen rarely. Your doctor or nurse will watch you closely for signs of allergy during the Synacthen test and will have medicines to treat this type of reaction near at hand.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
It is possible that other side effects not listed above may happen in some people.
What it looks like
Synacthen is available in a glass ampoule containing 1 mL of liquid; one ampoule per carton. Each ampoule contains 250 micrograms of tetracosactide.
Each ampoule of Synacthen contains 250 micrograms of the active ingredient, tetracosactrin (as the hexa-acetate salt). It also contains:
- acetic acid
- sodium acetate
- sodium chloride
- water for injections
This medicine does not contain any preservative.
Synacthen is distributed in Australia by:
Link Medical Products Pty Ltd
5 Apollo Street, Warriewood, NSW 2102, Australia
Telephone: 1800 181 060
For Medical Information inquiries please contact 0011 800 44552221
®= Registered Trademark
This leaflet was prepared in September 2017
Australian Registration Number
Synacthen ampoules AUST R 11058
Published by MIMS December 2018