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Medications for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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by Scholten A
 
The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included. Ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications only as recommended by your doctor, and according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
Many people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) appear particularly sensitive to drugs, especially those that affect the central nervous system. For this reason, your doctor may begin with very low doses. The dose will be gradually increased as necessary.

Prescription Medications

  • Doxepin (Sinequan)
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon, Limbitrol, Triavil)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Trazodone (Desyrel)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Flurazepam (Dalmane)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Triazolam (Halcion)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Temazepam (Restoril)
  • Oxazepam (Serax)
  • Clorazepate (Tranxene)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)

Over-the-Counter Medications

Prescription Medications

Special Considerations

Whenever you are taking a prescription medication, take the following precautions:
  • Take your medication as directed. Do not change the amount or the schedule.
  • Do not stop taking them without talking to your doctor.
  • Do not share them.
  • Know what the results and side effects. Report them to your doctor.
  • Some drugs can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to a doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one drug. This includes over-the-counter medication and herb or dietary supplements.
  • Plan ahead for refills so you don’t run out.
When to Contact Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if you have any questions about your medication, any side effects that are troublesome, or if you feel that the medication is not working after the allotted time period.
 

References


Antidepressant use in children, adolescents, and adults. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/UCM096273. Updated August 12, 2010. Accessed December 13, 2013.


Chronic fatigue syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 3, 2013. Accessed December 13, 2013.


Chronic fatigue syndrome treatment. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/treatment.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed December 13, 2013.


Craig T, Kakumanu S. Chronic fatigue syndrome: evaluation and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2002;65:1083-1090. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0315/p1083.html.


Devanur LD, Kerr JR. Chronic fatigue syndrome. J Clin Virol. 2006;37:139-150.


Management of CFS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/management/index.html. Updated May 14, 2012. Accessed December 13, 2013.


Prins JB, van der Meer JW, et al. Chronic fatigue syndrome. Lancet. 2006;367:346-355.


2/18/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Serretti A, Mandelli L. Antidepressants and body weight: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis. J Clin Psychiatry. 2010;71(10):1259-1272.

 

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