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Can stimulant medications ease chronic fatigue syndrome?

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Some people are prescribed stimulants, like the ones used to treat ADHD. These medicines help ease fatigue and problems with memory and concentration. But they are tricky for chronic fatigue syndrome. They give you energy and focus, which could cause you to get stuck in a cycle of overdoing it and then “crashing.” That would make your condition worse.

Since people with ME/CFS are very sensitive to any medicines that affect the brain, some people experience irritation and agitation taking stimulants, in conventional doses. They should be prescribe in low doses, by doctors who frequently prescribe them and know how to handle the side effects.

If you and your doctor decide to try a stimulant, there are a lot to choose from. She will help you pick the best one for you.

SOURCES:

CDC: “Chronic fatigue syndrome.”

FDA: “Side effects of sleep drugs.”

Allen, P. , April 2008. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health

Consumer Reports: “Sleeping pills for insomnia: Which ones work best?”

National Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Foundation: “The Importance of Orthostatic Intolerance in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

Clinicaltrials.gov, U.S. National Institutes of Health.

 

Reviewed by Anthony L Komaroff on December 4, 2018

SOURCES:

CDC: “Chronic fatigue syndrome.”

FDA: “Side effects of sleep drugs.”

Allen, P. , April 2008. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health

Consumer Reports: “Sleeping pills for insomnia: Which ones work best?”

National Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Foundation: “The Importance of Orthostatic Intolerance in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”

Clinicaltrials.gov, U.S. National Institutes of Health.

 

Reviewed by Anthony L Komaroff on December 4, 2018

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What do you do if chronic fatigue syndrome causes muscle and joint pain?

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