For those who suffer from Relapsing and Recurring Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS), those relapses can be especially dreadful. Whether it is eyesight-related, difficulty with motor skills, extreme weakness or fatigue, numbness, difficulty walking, urinary and bowel problems, difficulty with memory, trouble speaking or many other exacerbations that manifest themselves in their own inimitable way, now there is an alternative to steroids.
If you have ever had difficulty with the side effects of steroids, if you have been treated with steroids, and they did not help, or if you have trouble receiving intravenous medications through your veins, you are not alone. Acthar is not a steroid, and is a self-injectable drug (either subcutaneous or intramuscular).
H.P. Acthar® Gel is one of the first medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of MS relapses in adults. It has been used over thirty years as an alternative to steroids. Acthar is not a steroid and works differently to assist your immune system to treat a relapse. It actually helps your body produce its own natural steroid hormones; cortisol, corticosterone and aldosterone.
The main ingredient in Acthar is ACTH, that has been shown to have similar effectiveness to steroids and effectively speeds up recovery from relapses. ACTH has a well-established safety profile. Common side effects of Acthar are similar to those seen with steroid medicines and may include fluid retention, change in glucose tolerance, increased blood pressure, behavior or mood changes, increased, appetite or weight gain.
Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is the manufacturer of Acthar and offers support services, help with copay assistance and home injection training services, and even live events.