Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Mental Health Center

Font Size

Munchausen Syndrome

How Is Munchausen Syndrome Treated? continued...

As with other factitious disorders, the primary treatment for Munchausen syndrome is psychotherapy or talk therapy (a type of counseling). Treatment usually focuses on changing the thinking and behavior of the individual (cognitive-behavioral therapy). Family therapy may also be helpful in teaching family members not to reward or reinforce the behavior of the person with the disorder.

There are no medications to treat factitious disorders themselves. Medication may be used, however, to treat any related illness, such as depression or anxiety. The use of medications must be carefully monitored in people with factitious disorders due to the risk that the drugs may be used in a harmful way.

What Is the Outlook for People With Munchausen Syndrome?

People with Munchausen syndrome are at risk for health problems (or even death) associated with hurting themselves or otherwise causing symptoms. In addition, they may suffer from reactions or health problems associated with multiple tests, procedures, and treatments; and are at high risk for substance abuse and attempts at suicide

Because many people with factitious disorders deny they are faking or causing their own symptoms and will not seek or follow treatment, recovery is dependent on a doctor or loved one identifying or suspecting the condition in the person and encouraging them to receive proper medical care for their disorder and sticking with it.

Some people with Munchausen syndrome suffer one or two brief episodes of symptoms. In most cases, however, the disorder is a chronic, or long-term, condition that can be very difficult to treat.

Can Munchausen Syndrome Be Prevented?

There is no known way to prevent Munchausen syndrome.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on May 23, 2014
1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Differences between feeling depressed or feeling blue.
lunar eclipse
Signs of mania and depression.
man screaming
Causes, symptoms, and therapies.
woman looking into fridge
When food controls you.
Woman standing in grass field barefoot, wind blowi
senior man eating a cake
woman reading medicine warnings
depressed young woman
man with arms on table
man cringing and covering ears

WebMD Special Sections