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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Health Center

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Medications

Medicines do not cure chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). But they can help relieve your symptoms.

Medication choices

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:

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 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 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 feel depressed, talk to your doctor and get treatment .

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
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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