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Chronic fatigue syndrome: is there a role for non-antidepressant pharmacotherapy?

Van Houdenhove, B; Pae, CU; Luyten, P; (2010) Chronic fatigue syndrome: is there a role for non-antidepressant pharmacotherapy? EXPERT OPIN PHARMACO , 11 (2) 215 - 223. 10.1517/14656560903487744.

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Abstract

Importance of the field: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a prevalent but poorly understood condition mainly characterized by debilitating, persistent or recurrent fatigue; increased physical and mental fatigability; cognitive impairment and widespread musculoskeletal pain. Despite intensive treatment research, the role of pharmacotherapy in the illness remains uncertain.Areas covered in this review: An updated review is given of pharmacotherapy in CFS, with a focus on non-antidepressant, controlled drug trials performed between 1988 and August 2009.What the reader will gain: Antiviral, immunological and antibiotic therapies, although sometimes associated with symptom amelioration, can be more harmful than beneficial in CFS. Stimulants seem to benefit some CFS patients but their long-term effects is uncertain. Although antidepressants are not curative for the illness, they might be useful for some symptomatic aspects and co-morbid anxiety and depression. There is little or no evidence that CFS patients benefit from other pharmacological agents (e.g., steroids) or from dietary supplements and complementary medicine products. Future research into treatment should take specific subgroups into account and should target immunological aspects of the illness as well as the complex relationships between CFS, stress and depression.Take home message: Pharmacotherapy can currently not be considered first-line treatment in CFS and should always be used in a context of self-management and rehabilitation.

Type: Article
Title: Chronic fatigue syndrome: is there a role for non-antidepressant pharmacotherapy?
DOI: 10.1517/14656560903487744
Keywords: RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL, PLACEBO-CONTROLLED TRIAL, MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER, DOUBLE-BLIND, INTRAVENOUS IMMUNOGLOBULIN, INFECTIOUS-MONONUCLEOSIS, CLINICAL-TRIAL, SYNDROME CFS, THERAPY, FIBROMYALGIA
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1314196
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