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Experimental Drugs for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Written by Dr. Varshini Jayaraman,  Ph.D. | Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team  on Mar 05, 2016
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Experimental Drugs for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Other Forms of Experimental Drugs

Ampligen: it is an artificially synthesized nucleic acid product, known to influence the production of interferons, a class of compounds that modify the immune response of an individual. Although clinical trials done among CFS patients have recorded slight improvement in performance and cognitive ability, the drug has not yet been approved by the FDA for treatment of CFS, owing to limited information available on the safety and efficacy parameters.


Corticosteriods: Based on the fact that some CFS patients have slightly decreased cortisol levels in their urine, possibility of using corticosteroids for CFS treatment has been suggested. This work is however in the experimental phase. Results of the study conducted so far have shown that the beneficial effect may only be temporary, not lasting more than a month.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): There are relatively few reports that highlight hormonal changes associated with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and insulin-like growth factor may lead to CFS. In view of the above possibility, the use of these agents to manage CFS has been suggested. Although some studies have documented a moderate level of symptomatic relief following low dose administration of DHEA, the use of DHEA as a treatment of CFS is still controversial. Additionally, researchers have warned about the use of DHEA in CFS patients with abnormal levels of DHEA and function.

Neurosurgery: It has been hypothesized that certain malformations at the base of the skull can contribute to CFS. Some unpublished reports have suggested nerurosurgery to correct the malformation and reverse CFS. Currently, no form of neurosurgery has been recommended to treat CFS.


  1. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/chronicfatiguesyndrome.html)
  2. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/cfs/)

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I have all these symptoms of ME/CFS for over a year and had presented to my GP with symptoms but at time they seem unrelated. Recently when I told her I believed I had it, her comments were "You don't have it by what I know although you are definitely stressed, and definitely fatigued". When I responded that I had sore throat/tender glands in my neck and that if I do more than normal activity I am wrecked afterwards and sometimes have flu like illness without being the bug, she did not reply. It left me angry she did not take me seriously although my counsellor whom is also a registered doctor agreed with my diagnosis. It is unfortunate no lab. tests exist to prove this. What I think confuses my doctor is the fact I am 51 and have chronic pain treated with prescribed narcotics but she cannot explain sudden weight gain [12kg] in a year as well as all the other chronic fatigue like signs! Thanks, Jem


As described CFS is a set of symptoms and not a disease by itself. the underlying causes are still unknown to medical science but due to some medical conditions also you can get these kind of symptoms [Syndrome]. I just read in another article about 'andropause'. a situation described similar (although not) to menapause in women. Here the level of Testestorone (male hormone) gets depleted. This can be tested in blood test. Also other conditions include vit B12 deficiency, clinical depression, anxiety disorders, etc. You can rule out some of them as there are tests available. As you have described, you were on pain management medicines that may also have such side effects. Also, acceptance / non-acceptance by your doctor should not mean anything to you. Its the right treatment is required for the same. So, first thrash out the possibilities where tests are available (Vit B12, TSH, testestorone level, etc) and then you'll be sure about this yourself. All the best!

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