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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Medications

Medicines do not cure chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS): they only help relieve symptoms. They may not greatly speed up your return to full activity. But when medicines are used properly, they can help you feel better.

Medication choices

Over-the-counter medicines include:

Prescription medicines include:

What to think about

Some research has studied the use of corticosteroids (such as hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone) to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Studies have shown that these medicines do not work very well to treat CFS. And the side effects can be serious. Unless corticosteroids can be shown to have a greater benefit for people with CFS over a longer period of time, the side effects associated with long-term corticosteroid therapy outweigh the benefits from their use in most cases.1

Depression often becomes a part of chronic fatigue syndrome and can make your symptoms worse. Like any medical illness, depression needs to be treated. If you have CFS and are depressed, tell your doctor how you feel. Antidepressants and counseling can help you keep a good attitude, which has been shown to be a great benefit to people who have CFS.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 18, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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