Antidepressants do not cure CFS. They may relieve symptoms
such as fatigue, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, and pain. But they
will not affect the course of the illness or the speed of recovery.
It is possible that the main title of the report Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
When these medicines are used to treat CFS, they may be given
in lower doses than the amounts used to treat depression.
choice of medicine may depend on the symptoms that are most bothersome, because
each medicine has somewhat different side effects. For example:
If you have trouble sleeping, you may need a
medicine to take at bedtime that causes drowsiness.
If you have
trouble concentrating on daily tasks, you may need a medicine to take during
the day that can help with concentration and clear thinking.
If depression has been diagnosed along with CFS,
antidepressants may be used to treat depression as well.
FDA advisories. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
A warning on the antidepressants Paxil and Paxil
CR (paroxetine) and birth defects. Some studies have shown that women who took
Paxil during their first 12 weeks of pregnancy have a slightly higher chance of
having a baby with birth defects.1
An advisory on antidepressant
medicines and the risk of suicide. The FDA does not recommend that people stop
using these medicines. Instead, a person taking antidepressants should be
watched for warning signs of suicide. This is especially important at the
beginning of treatment or when doses are changed.
Do not suddenly stop taking antidepressants. These medicines
must be gradually tapered off under your doctor's supervision.