Acthar – FDA Approved Relapse Relief

Acthar is a new federally approved alternative to IV steroids, Solumedrol for MS attacks (exacerbations).

Dr. Sponsler from the Valley-Neuroscience Brain Center and QuestCor introduced the FDA approved exacerbation treatment, Acthar.

H.P. Acthar® Gel, or Acthar, is one of the first effective medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of acute exacerbations in adults with MS.

Acthar delivers proven relief of MS exacerbations by helping the body produce natural steroid hormones to reduce inflammation.

Acthar is a prescription medication containing the hormone adrenocorticotropin (“a-DRE-no-cor-ti-co-tro-pin”), also known as ACTH.

When levels of ACTH are high, cortisol is released in greater quantities.

Acthar is a highly purified preparation of ACTH in gelatin. ACTH is an acronym that stands for Adrenocorticotropic hormone. This hormone is naturally made in the anterior pituitary gland, which secretes it into the blood stream directly.

After ACTH is taken up slowly in the bloodstream and carried to the adrenal gland. ACTH stimulates the outer layer of cells of the adrenal gland (ie, the adrenal cortex) to produce steroid hormones, primarily cortisol, Cortisol  is produced as a Prohormone, which enhances the strength of the hormone that already occurs in the body which are important in the physiological response to stress. Cortisol is involved in the control of a variety of physiological processes including blood pressure, glucose metabolism, and immune responses.

Acthar is designed to provide a prolonged release of the medication after it is injected.

It was about this time in Dr. Sponsler’s presentation that he said this is too much information for the majority of patients attending the luncheon, so he moved on to other important points.

Dr. Sponsler said that Acthar might be good for patients if corticosteroids are causing undesirable side effects, or if they are not working. Also if access to intravenous therapy is not accessible to us or if we have trouble receiving medication through our veins.

He explained that the doctor will chose your dose according to your medical condition. Frequency and dose of the drug should be determined by considering the severity of your disease.

The Acthar injection can be administered subcutaneous or as intramuscular.

The recommended dose is daily 80-120 units for 2-3 weeks for acute exacerbations.

Acthar is designed to provide a prolonged release of the medication after it is injected.

Dr. Sponsler concluded the presentation with hope for the future.  Clinical trials are being fervently conducted and more help is just around the corner!

Have you heard of Acthar?  Have you or anyone you know used Acthar as relief for exacerbations?


About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.


  1. For the best part, since it received an approval from the FDA, it is reasonable to say that it is both effective and safe to use. Although it is sure a good thing that it is FDA approved I think I need to research more about it.

    • Candice,
      I love hearing you say that you’ll research this yourself! I’m going to interview my doctor this afternoon about this very subject, taking responsibility for our health! I’d love it if you’d come back and tell me what you found out and if you’ll use Acthar!

      • I can’t really use it because the condition of my body is in good health. However, I have a good friend of mine who is fighting for MS. I will not influence her to use Acthar right away, but I will let her know about it.

  2. I think this will be effective but we have to ask our health care provider if we want to change or steroids into Acthar. This is very important because every drug has its certain side effect that we should be particular with. This new medication is already out but we really need to way our options of the benefits that we can get from it.

  3. Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found this board and I find It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I am hoping to give one thing back and help others like you aided me.

    • I look forward to knowing your name! I see you have an arthritis pain relief blog. You might have tips that can help those of us with MS also. Let me know if you do!

  4. I wish there is more information posted about this medicine. How are the reviews for this medicine coming up among users (patients) and Drs. As a therapist myself, I recommend people to take care of their health whatever is your age.

    • Anthony~
      I’ve looked over you site and it is impressive! I wish with all my heart I had time to research and post all the information online! Tell me what brought you do Do you or a loved one have MS?

  5. I have used this drug three different time and it has staved off me having to use IV steroids.

  6. I have used ACTHar gel at least four different times since dx in 2010. It is the only thing that makes a noticeable difference in my symptoms.

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