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      Treating refractory dermatomyositis or polymyositis with adrenocorticotropic hormone gel: a retrospective case series

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          Abstract

          Background

          Effective and tolerable treatment options for patients with dermatomyositis and polymyositis are limited. This retrospective case review describes treatment with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) gel in five patients who experienced a disease exacerbation and either failed or were unable to tolerate the side effects of previous therapy with steroids, intravenous immunoglobulins, and steroid-sparing drugs.

          Methods

          Patients received ACTH gel subcutaneous injections of 80 U (1 mL) twice weekly (four patients) or once weekly (one patient) over the course of 12 weeks for short-term treatment of symptom exacerbations. Manual muscle testing using the Medical Research Council scale was assessed at baseline and at 3 months.

          Results

          Improvement was seen in all patients, including improved muscle strength, decreased pain, and resolution of skin involvement. All patients tolerated the treatment well, and no significant side effects occurred.

          Conclusion

          The treatment of dermatomyositis and polymyositis is an approved use for ACTH gel, and these anecdotal reports would suggest consideration of ACTH gel as a therapeutic option. Further investigation is warranted.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Drug Des Devel Ther
          Drug Des Devel Ther
          Drug Design, Development and Therapy
          Dove Medical Press
          1177-8881
          2012
          11 June 2012
          : 6
          : 133-139
          Affiliations
          Phoenix Neurological Associates, Phoenix, AZ, USA
          Author notes
          Correspondence: Todd Levine, Phoenix Neurological Associates, 5090 N 40 Street, Suite 250, Phoenix, AZ 85018, USA, Tel +1 602 258 3354, Fax +1 602 258 3368, Email levine865@ 123456aol.com
          Article
          dddt-6-133
          10.2147/DDDT.S33110
          3392138
          22787386
          © 2012 Levine, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd

          This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

          Categories
          Case Series

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