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Nefazodone for Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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OBJECTIVE: Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) present with a variety of musculoskeletal, neurocognitive, sleep disturbance and mood symptoms. An open evaluation of the clinical utility of the novel antidepressant compound, nefazodone [Serzone], was completed. Of 10 patients, eight (80%) reported at least some improvement in the key symptom of fatigue, with four (40%) reporting moderate or marked symptom relief. Additionally, sleep disturbance and mood were both moderately or markedly improved in seven (70%) and eight (80%) of the patients, respectively. Five of the patients (50%) achieved at least a moderate improvement in overall functional outcome and were able to return to work or their previous level of role function.

CONCLUSION: Nefazodone appears to be worthy of further systematic investigation in patients with CFS. Given its effects on sleep, mood and anxiety symptoms, it may have particular advantages in patients with this disorder.

Source:  St George Hospital and Community Service, Kogarah, New South Wales, Australia. i.hickie@unsw.edu.au. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 1999 Apr;33(2):278-80. This research study also published by Health Resource in Healthwatch, Summer, 1999.

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