The following list of medications will provide a very basic overview of medications that are used to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Some medications may be prescribed more commonly than
others and their names may be familiar. There can be multiple reasons that a particular medication is ordered, but generally it is chosen to meet the individual’s specific circumstances.
This list can be used to find a medication of interest to persons with CFS; however, please note that it is not intended to answer all questions or take the place of medical advice from a health care provider. Side effects and other comments listed here are very brief and non-specific in most instances. Be sure to read the Patient Product insert that is provided with medications and follow your physician’s and/or
pharmacist’s recommendations related to adverse effects, contraindications, potential food and drug interactions, dosages, precautions and other detailed information. Information can also be found in books, journals, and the
It is also of critical importance to be aware that many persons with CFS are unable to tolerate standard, “usual” doses of many types of medications. It is highly advisable to start with lowered doses and increase as tolerated to therapeutic range.
Please take medications only as prescribed. And remember that all drugs, those available by prescription or over-the-counter, have possible side effects and interactions. Vitamins, herbs, and nutritional supplements can also interfere and interact with medications. Be careful of what is mixed together!
The list is divided into symptom/treatment categories: pain, muscle relaxants, sleep aids, gastrointestinal aids, antidepressants, stimulants, immune regulators, and orthostatic intolerance (such as neurally mediated hypotension).
The Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR), 48th edition, was used to compile this listing. This manual is published annually by Medical Economics Data Production Company, Montvale, N.J. The PDR Pocket Guide to Prescription Drugs, 4th edition, published by Pocket Books, David Sifton, Editor, also served as a major resource for this list. Both books can be purchased at retail bookstores.
In addition, practicing physician Charles Lapp, M.D., Hunter-Hopkins Center, Charlotte N.C., contributed a provider’s perspective based on clinical experience with CFIDS patients.
The following Web sites contain additional medication information for consumers: