Antidepressants are among the most commonly prescribed medications for both ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia. In fact, the antidepressants Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Savella (milnacipran) are two of three FDA-approved treatments for Fibromyalgia.
Like Fibromyalgia patients, ME and CFS patients are routinely prescribed antidepressants for various symptoms, including insomnia, pain and depression. In spite of the widespread use of antidepressants, many patients and doctors report less than ideal results. Dr. Fred Friedberg found that about one-third of patients with ME/CFS react negatively to antidepressants. In a treatment survey conducted in 2008 by the ME Association in Great Britain, 30%-38% of respondents reported that antidepressants, of all classes, made them feel worse. Recently, a small study of FM patients reported that after a year, the group taking antidepressants experienced a worsening of their condition. However, other studies appear to demonstrate the reverse.
The best source of information about the effectiveness of treatments is the patient population. If you have taken antidepressants, even over a short term, we would like to know what your experience has been. Please fill out the survey HERE to help us better understand the effects these commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals have on patients with ME/CFS and/or FM. Results will be posted on the ProHealth website.
To fill out the survey on antidepressants, go HERE.