Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a debilitating disorder characterized by prolonged periods of fatigue, chronic pain, depression, and a complex constellation of other symptoms. Currently, ME/CFS has no known cause, nor are the mechanisms of illness well understood. Therefore, with few exceptions, attempts to treat ME/CFS have been directed mainly toward symptom management.
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These treatments include antivirals, pain relievers, antidepressants, and oncologic agents as well as other single-intervention treatments. Results of these trials have been largely inconclusive and, in some cases, contradictory. Contributing factors include a lack of well-designed and -executed studies and the highly heterogeneous nature of ME/CFS, which has made a single etiology difficult to define.
Because the majority of single-intervention treatments have shown little efficacy, it may instead be beneficial to explore broader-acting combination therapies in which a more focused precision-medicine approach is supported by a systems-level analysis of endocrine and immune co-regulation.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Source: Richman S, Morris MC, Broderick G, Craddock TJA, Klimas NG, Fletcher MA. Pharmaceutical Interventions in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Literature-based Commentary. Clin Ther. 2019 Mar 11. pii: S0149-2918(19)30071-2. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2019.02.011. [Epub ahead of print]