Acthar is a prescription medicine indicated for adults with acute relapses or flares of multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies have shown H.P. Acthar Gel to be effective in speeding recovery from an MS relapse. However, there is no evidence that Acthar affects the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease.

Diet and Exercise Tips for Living With MS Relapses

The first step in managing MS relapse is to take the medications your doctor has prescribed for you. There are also several things you can do that will help enhance your overall sense of well-being.

Before you make any changes to your diet or exercise regimen, it's important to discuss them with your healthcare professional to determine what is best for you.

Watch Your Diet

Eat a wide variety of food:

  • Each day, choose from each of the five basic food groups (grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat and beans)
  • Be sure to include foods high in complex carbs (whole grains, fruit and vegetables)

Cut back on fat and cholesterol:

  • Eat low-fat dairy products
  • Eat lean cuts of meat
  • Limit your meat consumption to 3 or 4 ounces a day
  • Limit the fat you add to foods, such as butter, oils, dressings, and spreads

Reduce sugar intake:

  • Drink less canned soda and sweetened beverages
  • Drink more water
  • Replace sugar in recipes with seasonings like vanilla extract, mint, cinnamon, or ginger

Avoid too much sodium:

  • Add less than one-half teaspoon of salt per day to your food
  • Add flavor to recipes with onions, garlic, parsley, celery, basil, or rosemary

Add Moderate Exercise

When you have MS, it's important not to overstress your body. This may cause fatigue. However, there are things you can do that can help with the stiffness and fatigue that MS relapses can cause:

  • Work with a physical therapist to tailor an exercise program that's right for you
  • Think of exercise as more than running, jumping, or similar aerobic activities. Try to make stretching exercises a part of your day
  • Don't overexert yourself as this will raise your core body temperature and may make symptoms worse

Manage Your Day

Save your energy:

  • Balance periods of activity with periods of rest
  • Plan a daily or weekly schedule of activities and alternate heavy and light tasks
  • Pace yourself; rest before you become exhausted
  • Plan menus before you go to the store and take a shopping list with you
  • Use the same grocery store so you'll know where items are located
  • Set priorities: focus on things that are important and don't feel guilty about not finishing unimportant tasks

Make Your Space MS-Friendly

  • Store frequently used items within easy reach
  • Keep pots and pans near the stove; dishes and glasses should be kept near the sink and eating area
  • Keep heavy items in a permanent place on countertops
  • Use wheeled carts to transport heavy items
  • Use a pail or basket to transport cleaning supplies from room to room
  • Hang items on pegboards for easy access
  • Rearrange your office so that file cabinets, computer, etc are easily accessible

These suggestions are adapted with permission from Managing the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis by Randall T. Schapiro, MD.

Acthar is a prescription medicine indicated for adults with acute relapses or flares of multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies have shown H.P. Acthar Gel to be effective in speeding recovery from an MS relapse. However, there is no evidence that Acthar affects the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease.

Find Acthar Events in Your Community

See what Acthar events are happening near you.

See the Schedule

Learn About Home Injection Training Services

Find out how to request free home injection training by licensed nurses.

Learn More

Learn About Home Injection Training Services

Find out how to request free home injection training by licensed nurses.

Learn More

Find Acthar Events in Your Community

See what Acthar events are happening near you.

See the Schedule

Important Safety Information

Who should NOT take Acthar?

You should not take Acthar if you have:

  • A skin condition called scleroderma
  • Bone density loss or osteoporosis
  • Any infections, including fungal, bacterial, or viral
  • Eye problems, such as ocular herpes simplex
  • Had recent surgery
  • Stomach ulcers or a history of ulcers
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Allergies to pig-derived proteins
  • Been recently given a vaccine or are about to take one
  • Suspected congenital infections (in children under 2 years of age)
  • A condition where your adrenal glands produce either too much of certain hormones (as with Cushing’s syndrome), or not enough (adrenal insufficiency)

Tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions or any other health problems. Also, share with your doctor what medicines you are taking. Don’t forget to mention nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What is the most important information I should know about Acthar?

  • Never inject Acthar directly into a vein, and always take Acthar as prescribed by your doctor
  • Never stop treatment suddenly unless your doctor tells you to
  • Try not to miss any scheduled doctor’s appointments, as it is important for the doctor to monitor you while taking Acthar

Acthar can cause side effects similar to those with steroid treatments. While taking Acthar, tell your doctor right away if you have any of the symptoms listed here:

  • Increased risk of infections. You may be more likely to get new infections. Also, old infections may become active. Before and during treatment, tell your doctor if you see any signs of an infection. Contact your doctor at the first sign of an infection or fever. Signs of infection are fever, cough, vomiting, or diarrhea. Other signs may be flu or any open cuts or sores
  • Adrenal gland changes. When taking Acthar long term, your adrenal gland may produce too much of a hormone called cortisol, which may cause symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome, such as upper body fat, rounded “moon” face, bruising easily, or muscle weakness

    Sometimes when you stop taking Acthar long term, your body may not produce enough cortisol on its own. This is called “adrenal insufficiency.” Your doctor may prescribe a steroid medicine to protect you until the adrenal gland recovers

  • Increased blood pressure, body salt, and fluid levels. Your doctor may check your blood pressure while you are being treated with Acthar. He or she may recommend some changes to your diet, such as eating less salt and taking certain supplements
  • Unpredictable response to vaccines. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines are safe to use when you are taking Acthar
  • Masking other conditions. Acthar may hide symptoms of other diseases. This can make it more difficult for your doctor to make a diagnosis if something else is going on
  • Stomach or intestinal problems. Acthar may put you at increased risk for bleeding from the stomach or getting stomach ulcers. Tell your doctor if you have stomach pains, bloody vomit, bloody or black stools, excessive tiredness, increased thirst, difficulty breathing, or increased heart rate
  • Changes in mood or behavior. Taking Acthar can make you feel irritable or depressed. You may also have mood swings or trouble sleeping
  • Worsening of other medical conditions. If you have other conditions, such as diabetes or muscle weakness, you may find they get worse
  • Eye problems. It’s possible that you may develop certain eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or optic nerve damage
  • Allergic reactions. Your body may develop antibodies or become sensitive when Acthar is used long term. Signs of allergic reaction in children are:
    • Skin rash
    • Swelling of the face, tongue, lips, or throat
    • Trouble breathing
  • Problems with growth and physical development. Using Acthar long term can affect growth and physical development in children. This can be reversed when Acthar is no longer needed
  • Bone density loss. Acthar may cause osteoporosis at any age
  • Potential harm to unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant

What are the most common side effects of Acthar?

The most common side effects of Acthar are similar to those of steroids. They include:

  • Fluid retention
  • Changes in blood sugar
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Behavior and mood changes
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Specific side effects in children under 2 years of age include:

  • Increased risk of infections
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome
  • Cardiac hypertrophy (thickening of the heart muscle)
  • Weight gain

  • The above side effects may also be seen in adults and children over 2 years of age.

These are not all of the possible side effects of Acthar.

Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you, or that does not go away. Call your doctor or pharmacist for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA. Call 1-800-FDA-1088 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit www.fda.gov/medwatch. You may also report side effects by calling 1-800-778-7898. 1-800-778-7898.

Please see accompanying full Prescribing Information.

 

H.P. Acthar® Gel   [H P AK-thar jel]

(repository corticotropin injection)

What is H.P. Acthar Gel?

Acthar is a prescription medicine indicated for adults with acute relapses or flares of multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies have shown H.P. Acthar Gel to be effective in speeding recovery from an MS relapse. However, there is no evidence that Acthar affects the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease.

Acthar is injected beneath the skin or into the muscle.

 

Important Safety Information

Who should NOT take Acthar?

You should not take Acthar if you have:

  • A skin condition called scleroderma
  • Bone density loss or osteoporosis
  • Any infections, including fungal, bacterial, or viral
  • Eye problems, such as ocular herpes simplex
  • Had recent surgery
  • Stomach ulcers or a history of ulcers
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Allergies to pig-derived proteins
  • Been recently given a vaccine or are about to take one
  • Suspected congenital infections (in children under 2 years of age)
  • A condition where your adrenal glands produce either too much of certain hormones (as with Cushing’s syndrome), or not enough (adrenal insufficiency)

Tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions or any other health problems. Also, share with your doctor what medicines you are taking. Don’t forget to mention nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What is the most important information I should know about Acthar?

  • Never inject Acthar directly into a vein, and always take Acthar as prescribed by your doctor
  • Never stop treatment suddenly unless your doctor tells you to
  • Try not to miss any scheduled doctor’s appointments, as it is important for the doctor to monitor you while taking Acthar

Acthar can cause side effects similar to those with steroid treatments. While taking Acthar, tell your doctor right away if you have any of the symptoms listed here:

  • Increased risk of infections. You may be more likely to get new infections. Also, old infections may become active. Before and during treatment, tell your doctor if you see any signs of an infection. Contact your doctor at the first sign of an infection or fever. Signs of infection are fever, cough, vomiting, or diarrhea. Other signs may be flu or any open cuts or sores
  • Adrenal gland changes. When taking Acthar long term, your adrenal gland may produce too much of a hormone called cortisol, which may cause symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome, such as upper body fat, rounded “moon” face, bruising easily, or muscle weakness

    Sometimes when you stop taking Acthar long term, your body may not produce enough cortisol on its own. This is called “adrenal insufficiency.” Your doctor may prescribe a steroid medicine to protect you until the adrenal gland recovers

  • Increased blood pressure, body salt, and fluid levels. Your doctor may check your blood pressure while you are being treated with Acthar. He or she may recommend some changes to your diet, such as eating less salt and taking certain supplements
  • Unpredictable response to vaccines. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines are safe to use when you are taking Acthar
  • Masking other conditions. Acthar may hide symptoms of other diseases. This can make it more difficult for your doctor to make a diagnosis if something else is going on
  • Stomach or intestinal problems. Acthar may put you at increased risk for bleeding from the stomach or getting stomach ulcers. Tell your doctor if you have stomach pains, bloody vomit, bloody or black stools, excessive tiredness, increased thirst, difficulty breathing, or increased heart rate
  • Changes in mood or behavior. Taking Acthar can make you feel irritable or depressed. You may also have mood swings or trouble sleeping
  • Worsening of other medical conditions. If you have other conditions, such as diabetes or muscle weakness, you may find they get worse
  • Eye problems. It’s possible that you may develop certain eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or optic nerve damage
  • Allergic reactions. Your body may develop antibodies or become sensitive when Acthar is used long term. Signs of allergic reaction in children are:
    • Skin rash
    • Swelling of the face, tongue, lips, or throat
    • Trouble breathing
  • Problems with growth and physical development. Using Acthar long term can affect growth and physical development in children. This can be reversed when Acthar is no longer needed
  • Bone density loss. Acthar may cause osteoporosis at any age
  • Potential harm to unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant

What are the most common side effects of Acthar?

The most common side effects of Acthar are similar to those of steroids. They include:

  • Fluid retention
  • Changes in blood sugar
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Behavior and mood changes
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Specific side effects in children under 2 years of age include:

  • Increased risk of infections
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Irritability
  • Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome
  • Cardiac hypertrophy (thickening of the heart muscle)
  • Weight gain

  • The above side effects may also be seen in adults and children over 2 years of age.

These are not all of the possible side effects of Acthar.

Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you, or that does not go away. Call your doctor or pharmacist for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA. Call 1-800-FDA-1088 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit www.fda.gov/medwatch. You may also report side effects by calling 1-800-778-7898. 1-800-778-7898.

Please see accompanying full Prescribing Information.

 

H.P. Acthar® Gel   [H P AK-thar jel]

(repository corticotropin injection)

What is H.P. Acthar Gel?

Acthar is a prescription medicine indicated for adults with acute relapses or flares of multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies have shown H.P. Acthar Gel to be effective in speeding recovery from an MS relapse. However, there is no evidence that Acthar affects the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease.

Acthar is injected beneath the skin or into the muscle.