What is Acthar?
H.P. Acthar® Gel, or Acthar, is a prescription medication containing the hormone adrenocorticotropin ("a-DRE-no-cor-ti-co-tro-pin"), also known as ACTH. Acthar is FDA-approved for the treatment of dermatomyositis (DM) and polymyositis (PM).
Who Could Benefit From Acthar?
Acthar is FDA-approved for use during an exacerbation or as maintenance therapy in selected cases of systemic dermatomyositis (polymyositis).
Understand Your Condition
Acthar and Dermatomyositis/ Polymyositis
Dermatomyositis (DM) and polymyositis (PM) are two types of myositis, a disorder caused by inflammation of muscle tissue. DM and PM are types of myositis included in a group of autoimmune muscle diseases that result in chronic muscle inflammation and muscle weakness. Another name used to describe the group of muscle diseases that includes DM and PM is idiopathic (that is, unknown) inflammatory myopathies. There is no cure for these conditions, but treating them is important to help keep the muscle weakness and other clinical signs of DM and PM from getting worse. Common symptoms of DM and PM include muscle weakness, muscle pain,and feeling tired. Muscle weakness may present as difficulty going up stairs, getting up from a chair, reaching your arms up over your head, or swallowing. There are other types of myositis, such as inclusion body myositis (IBM); Acthar is not approved for treatment of IBM.
In addition to worsening muscle weakness, both DM and PM may include symptoms of weight loss, symptoms of lung inflammation, such as shortness of breath or cough, and/or a low-grade fever. Patients with DM, but not PM, may have a patchy skin rash that most often occurs on the eyelids and on the skin over the muscles used to extend or straighten joints, such as knuckles, elbows, knees, and toes. DM symptoms and signs also may include a swollen area around the fingernails, hard bumps under the skin created by calcium deposits, and sensitivity to light.
When you experience worsening of disease symptoms, Acthar may be an option.
Only your healthcare provider can determine if Acthar may be right for you.