SURVEY: Antidepressants for ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia

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.

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One thought on “SURVEY: Antidepressants for ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia”

  1. xtingley says:

    I felt this survey should have asked why antidepressants were prescribed for Fibromyalgia, and also if people had used antidepressants prior to FM/CFS. For example, was the antidepressant prescribed to help with the pain of your condition, for depression, or to achieve sounder sleep, etc.

    I recently read an article on low cortisol, which also can cause most of Fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue’s symptoms, (especially chronic fatigue) that long-term antidepressant use can cause low cortisol. I had been on Paxil for well over 20 years for depression and anxiety disorder prior to developing Fibromyalgia and in the last two years ever worsening chronic fatigue and low thyroid, low cortisol.

    I’d be very interested in knowing what percentage of patients with these conditions had been on antidepressants long term prior to their diagnosis. I’ve researched clinical studies a lot and to date have not come across any that looked at brain chemistry changes as a possible cause, and not many looking at hormones. I didn’t see Pristiq on that list either and it is being prescribed for these conditions supposedly with a good percentage of favorable results.

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