Do you have profound, and I mean profound fatigue? Meaning, fatigue that is so overwhelming and debilitating that you care barely function in life. In fact, maybe you even had to quit your job. Despite the fatigue, do you find yourself wide awake in bed most nights? Do you have odd muscular pains? Maybe you have pain that moves from one joint to another, but doesn’t show signs of swelling or redness. I think those are the worst pains because even though you’re really hurting, you don’t have a darn thing to show for it. No bruise, swelling, scrape or anything. It just hurts like crazy. Well, if you’re dealing with these issues, there’s a good chance you have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). But you absolutely must get tested by a physician (see this chronic fatigue syndrome test). That’s because there are other issues to rule out, such as anemia, adrenal failure, or fibromyalgia. And the way the symptoms are treated can matter greatly depending on the actual condition.
However, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are considered related conditions. And treating aspects of one is likely to have benefits in treating the other. Of course, neither conditions have cures, but there are ways to manage them, such as with certain medications. Let’s look at some chronic fatigue syndrome medication. You may notice some overlap of symptoms they treat in comparison to your fibro symptoms as well.
Chronic fatigue syndrome medication
The Mayo Clinic suggests the antidepressant Venlafaxine (Effexor) to help in the treatment of CFS. Whether you are depressed or not, almost all psychiatric medications also work as pain relievers. But they are also mood elevators and in the case of chronic fatigue, you need that! You see, with CFS, you may or may not be experiencing depression, but your mood is definitely not at optimum levels. Why? You simply have no energy. And when you try to exert energy, either physically or mentally, you are often too wiped out to function. That’s because exerting energy with CFS, such as in the form of exercise, leads to greater fatigue and often more pain. This sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? I mean, doctors always recommend more exercise when energy levels are low. But in this case, that will actually make it worse. So, if you’re not able to exercise, you’re overwhelmingly fatigued, and are having a difficult time functioning in your job, family role, or just life in general, then your mood will inevitably be lowered.
Effexor is also often used to treat fibromyalgia due to both its antidepressant quality and its pain relieving quality. Thus, if you’re suffering from both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, or even just one of those, Effexor can be a very helpful chronic fatigue syndrome medication. And as you probably have found, even just a little help can go a long way to reclaiming your life back.
It may initially come as a surprise to you, but ADHD medications are now being prescribed for some patients with CFS. If you have chronic fatigue or even fibromyalgia, then you’re probably intimately familiar with “brain fog,” or impaired cognition. That can include everything from difficulty concentrating and remembering, to staying on task and simply thinking clearly. That happens because the body is not getting the proper sleep it needs to recharge. And remember that the mind and body are intimately connected. When you sleep deeply, your brain operates in a different way that allows your body and mind to function together properly. So, when symptoms like the pain associated with fibromyalgia and CFS keep you from sleeping, your body is not getting the things it absolutely needs most to recover. Thus, it effects your brain activity so that even simple tasks can feel like your being forced to work through complex math equations from college calculus.
This is where ADHD medications can be helpful as chronic fatigue syndrome medication. While studies on the helpfulness of these medications for CFS patients are minimal, there are some promising outcomes so far. For example, one study of methylphenidate (Ritalin) on patients with both debilitating fatigue and concentration problems found improved function for both. Other physicians have had specific and significant results in CFS patients by focusing on Ritalin, dexamphetamine (Dexedrine/Adderall), and modafinil (Provigil) to treat severe fatigue, concentration, and increase alertness.
Everyone is different. And when talking to your physician about these options, it’s important to consider your personal sensitivities. Any of these options can have adverse effects, depending on the person. Unfortunately that’s part of the trial and error process. Have you tried a chronic fatigue syndrome medication? What was your experience?