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Your Ultimate Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Medication List

You drag yourself out of bed in the morning, depend on caffeine to get through your day, and have no energy to do activities that you love. If you suffer from the condition known as chronic fatigue, you know exactly what we're talking about.

If you're tired of being tired, keep reading for our comprehensive chronic fatigue syndrome medication list for the medications and supplements that can help you beat fatigue.

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome is an illness that causes extreme tiredness or exhaustion that isn't cured with rest.

It also goes by the names of myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME, and systemic exertion intolerance disease, or SEID.

The symptoms of CFS include:

  • Feeling fatigued, even after a full night's sleep
  • Chronic insomnia
  • Memory loss
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Sleep disorders
  • Chronic headaches
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Tender lymph nodes in the neck

At one point, chronic fatigue syndrome was a controversial diagnosis, and not widely accepted within the medical community. While the disease itself has now been accepted into the medical vernacular, there are still no conclusive tests to diagnose it.

The risk factors and causes behind chronic fatigue aren't widely understood either, but genetics, environmental factors, and stress are thought to be linked. Hormonal imbalances and immune system issues could also play a role.

While little is known about it, and there isn't a complete cure available, there are certain medications and supplements that may offer relief from the symptoms.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Medication List

Doctors combat chronic fatigue syndrome by treating the symptoms of the disorder. Below are the classes of medication offered, depending on what symptoms are presenting. Read more to see all the medications available.

Sleep Aids

Your doctor will first take steps to ensure you aren't sleeping through the night for other reasons. If there is no reason you shouldn't be getting a good night's rest, your doctor may try to combat fatigue by prescribing a sleep aid.

An over-the-counter option might be a good place to start, but if those don't help, a prescription like Lunesta, Rozerem, or Ambien might offer relief.

Analgesics

Analgesics are a class of painkillers that don't cause drowsiness and allow you to stay conscious. If you suffer from joint and muscle pain associated with chronic fatigue or have frequent headaches, your doctor may prescribe an analgesic with anti-inflammatory and pain management properties.

The most common analgesics are those you can buy at your local drugstore, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. 

Stimulants

If you have difficulty with memory and concentration as a result of your chronic fatigue, you might be prescribed a stimulant, such as those used to treat ADHD.

A doctor will likely try other routes first, as the brain of someone suffering chronic fatigue is already sensitive and these medications are a fairly large jolt to the system. If your doctor does decide to use a stimulant, it'll likely be a small dose.

Antidepressants

Chronic fatigue often causes depression. Feeling constantly worn out, dealing with headaches and pain issues, and never feeling "well" can take a toll.

If you or your doctor believe you're starting to become depressed from chronic fatigue, you may be offered one of the many classes of antidepressants to help keep your mind focused and in a good place.

Other Medications

Because chronic fatigue is just beginning to be understood and accepted, other symptoms and medications to treat them are constantly being added to this list. For instance, feelings of being light-headed or dizzy upon rising might cause your doctor to prescribe a medication like Florinef or Inderal to prevent falls.

Best Energy Supplements for Chronic Fatigue

If you're looking for relief outside of prescription medication, the following supplements might offer some help.

Ginseng

Ginseng is a staple in Eastern medicine. Its commonly accepted uses include boosting energy and immune function, combating fatigue, reducing inflammation, and enhancing brain function.

Echinacea

A flower, echinacea is found in many healing herbal tea blends and wellness supplements. Its known benefits include boosting immunity, managing anxiety and inflammation, and lowering blood pressure.

Fish Oil

Fish oil has been all the rage for the last ten years, and for good reason. These fatty acids reduce inflammation, increase brain function, and have even been shown to help with mental disorders.

Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is a little energy powerhouse. People deficient in this important vitamin suffer from muscle pains and cramps, lethargy and tiredness, and even heart palpitations if left untreated. You can get B-12 in supplement form, but a doctor can also offer it as an injection for faster absorption.

Melatonin

Melatonin is a natural sleep aid. Your body produces it on its own, but certain disorders can cause a lack of it. Adding a melatonin supplement can help balance your natural circadian rhythms. 

Vitamin D

Your body produces vitamin D from sunlight, but in areas where sunlight is limited, you may not receive enough. A deficiency can contribute to mental disorders and depression, so adding a supplemental dose, especially during the winter months, might help combat those symptoms.

You Don't Have to Suffer

Feeling tired all the time, dealing with chronic pain, and struggling with depression or anxiety doesn't lead to a very good quality of life. But you don't have to suffer. 

Use our chronic fatigue syndrome medication list to help you find relief from the symptoms of your disease. Talk to your doctor about your struggles and concerns so they can help you come up with a plan to work your way through your disorder. 

Consider adopting healthier habits that might alleviate environmental factors, such as adding exercise and movement to your day to help you sleep at night and choosing healthy food options that maximize the nutrients you receive.

For more health, fitness, and lifestyle tips, check out the rest of the articles on our site!