Faculty Articles

Title

Pharmaceutical Interventions in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Literature-based Commentary.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2019

Keywords

ME/CFS; clinical trials; illness heterogeneity; immune therapy; precision medicine

Publication Title

Clinical Therapeutics

ISSN

1879-114X

Volume

41

Issue/No.

5

Abstract

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. 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.

DOI

10.1016/j.clinthera.2019.02.011

Peer Reviewed

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