Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder in which profound fatigue occurs that is not improved with rest, and can be worsened by physical or mental activity. Many nonspecific symptoms can accompany this disorder that include weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory or concentration, and insomnia. The exact cause of CFS is unknown, and diagnosis can be difficult. Treatment for CFS includes medications that may relieve specific symptoms. Pain relief may be achieved using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen or ibuprofen. Antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil), sertraline (Zoloft?), bupropion (Wellbutrin), and many others can be used to improve sleep, relieve mild generalized pain, and treat depression. Anti-anxiety medication such as alprozolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan?) may be prescribed. Modofanil (Provigil) is sometimes used to relieve daytime sleepiness. Additionally, certain dietary supplements and herbal preparations have claimed to remedy CFS. However, these products have not been properly evaluated and, in general, should be avoided.