faceIS Logo
faceIS Social media

Infantile spasms awareness week
Latest faceIS news
What is Infantile Spasms

FDA Approved Treatment Options


ACTH (Acthar) is a prescription medication that may work by helping the body produce natural hormones such as cortisol and by having a direct effect on the brain. It is in gel form and is given as an injection into the muscle. The gel is designed to slowly release the medication into the body after it is injected.

Acthar is typically used to treat infantile spasms in infants and babies less than 2 years of age. In one clinical study, 87% of subjects who received ACTH had no spasms and no hypsarrhythmia within 2 weeks (Acthar Prescribing Information, 2010).


Seizure medication: Seizure medications (also known as anticonvulsants) are medicines that are intended to control or halt seizures. In the treatment of infantile spasms, seizure medications can include medicines such as vigabatrin, which goes by the brand name Sabril® (also approved by the FDA for the treatment of Infantile Spasms), valproate or topiramate.

Patient Assistance program

Both the makers of H.P. Acthar® Gel and Sabril® offer patient assistance programs to help families in need to make sure their child gets the necessary medicine he or she needs.
Acthar Vigabitrin

Other Treatment Options

Ketogenic Diet

This form of therapy for IS has been around since the 1920s. The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate diet with sufficient protein for growth. Recent reports show that a ketogenic diet may help to control spasms in children who don't respond to other medical therapies. For more information on the ketogenic diet, visit the Charlie Foundation.

High-dose IV immunoglobulin

This form of treatment has been used to treat a number of seizure disorders and there is some evidence that it can be effective in treating cryptogenic (unknown cause) infantile spasms. Because of the limited available data in treating IS, this treatment option is usually considered only after other medical therapies have failed.


When medication treatment options fail, cortical resection (removal of the brain abnormality) can potentially control seizures and improve developmental outcomes if a localized area of brain abnormality can be identified and safely removed without causing additional deficit.