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An open study of the efficacy & adverse effects of moclobemide in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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By White PD, Cleary KJ • www.ProHealth.com • January 5, 1997


There is a strong association between the chronic fatigue
syndrome and both depressive illness and sleep disturbance,
but the efficacy of antidepressants is uncertain. We studied
the efficacy and adverse effects of moclobemide in patients
with chronic fatigue syndrome, stratifying the sample both by
co-morbid major depressive illness and by sleep disturbance.
Forty-nine patients with chronic fatigue syndrome were
recruited. Patients were given moclobemide up to 600 mg a day
for 6 weeks. Four (8%) patients dropped out, three because of
adverse effects. Adverse effects wee otherwise mild and
transient. On analysing the whole sample, there were
significant but small reductions in fatigue, depression,
anxiety and somatic amplification, as well as a modest overall
improvement. The greatest improvement occurred in those
individuals who had a co-morbid major depressive illness, with
seven out of 14 (50%) of such individuals rating themselves as
"much better" by 6 weeks, compared to six out of 31 (19%) of
those who were not depressed (31% difference, 95% CI 1-60%, P
= 0.04). Sleep disturbance had no effect on outcome.
Moclobemide may be indicated in patients with chronic fatigue
syndrome and a co-morbid major depressive disorder. A
randomized, placebo-controlled trial is needed to confirm
this. These results do not support moclobemide as an effective
treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome in the absence of a
major depressive disorder.




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