Corticotrophin - ACTH (Acthar - Armour; ACTH-Crookes - Crookes; Cortrophin - Organon) stimulates synthesis and release of adrenocortical steroidal hormones. In certain circumstances its use may be preferred to corticosteroid administration,1 especially in children in whom corticosteroids inhibit growth but corticotrophin restores the growth rate.2 It is difficult to compare corticosteroid and corticotrophin dosage. We have already discussed the value of corticotrophin in acute episodes of multiple sclerosis, retrobulbar neuritis,3 and facial (Bell’s) palsy4 and the choice between corticotrophin and a corticosteroid in the treatment of asthma.5 Corticotrophin is sometimes used to stimulate the adrenal gland after prolonged suppression due to administration of corticosteroids,6 but the clinical usefulness of this has been questioned.7 It is used to test adrenal function.
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