Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Medications
Medicines do not cure
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). But they can help relieve
Over-the-counter medicines include:
Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs:
Over-the-counter drugs include acetaminophen (for
example, Tylenol), ibuprofen (for example, Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (for example, Aleve). They sometimes relieve frequent or severe joint and
muscle pain, headaches, and fevers. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Talk to your doctor if your pain is not relieved by nonprescription medicine.
Prescription medicines include:
Anticonvulsants, also called antiseizure medicines. This type of drug, such as gabapentin and pregabalin, is sometimes prescribed for pain and sleep problems. It seems to work best when used for nerve pain.
Antidepressant medicine is prescribed by a doctor to ease depression and anxiety,
improve your ability to concentrate, and help you sleep better.
Narcotic medicine, such as tramadol, codeine or morphine, is sometimes prescribed by a doctor for pain
that is not relieved by over-the-counter drugs. A narcotic is generally reserved for
the most severe cases. Because of the risk of addiction, it is used only for a short time.
What to think about
Some research has studied the
corticosteroids (such as hydrocortisone and
fludrocortisone) to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Studies have shown
that these medicines don't 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
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 feel depressed,
talk to your doctor and get treatment.