Acthar Gel (ACTH) – Alternative to Steroids

http://www.mattsms.com/p/ms-knowledge-medication.html
Acthar (sometimes refereed to by the name of the hormone ACTH) is an alternative to steroids (Prednisone or Solu-Medrol) for people who react poorly to steroids or no longer respond to them when trying to treat an acute exacerbation. This drug does not effect the long term coarse of Multiple Sclerosis but helps the recovery after an acute exacerbation.

Acthar contains a high amount of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) which stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, a natural steroid that our bodies produce. Keep in mind, this drug does work over time unlike Solu-Medrol which tends to work in a matter of days.

This is a self-administered intramuscular injection that is given in the outside thigh muscle. Acthar comes in a vile, it is stored in a refrigerator, and it must be let to rise to room temperature before each injection. The amount of each injection depends on your doctor's instructions. After your injection the vile is then placed back into a refrigerator for storage.

Acthar can cause immuno-suppression just like steroids, this may reduce your ability to fight off infections. Acthar was actually available before Prednisone, it was FDA approved in 1978. Acthar costs about $27,000.00 USD (Going to keep looking into latest price) whereas SoluMedrol is about $50.00 USD a bag (You usually need 3-5 bags).

Common Side Effects:

Less Common Side Effects: