- Last Updated: 21 January 2016 21 January 2016
Research on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM) is making considerable progress, which has generated enthusiasm even within the medical community, and will hopefully provide more definitive answers to the cause and cure. Meanwhile, there are various options and strategies that can be used as part of a treatment plan for people with these illnesses. Standard treatment usually consists of prescription medications to help relieve the most troublesome symptoms. But patients can tap into the different disciplines, like naturopathic medicine and alternative therapies, by which to improve their overall health and lifestyle.
ME/CFS and FM share a fair number of symptoms (i.e. sleep disorder, pain, decreased energy and cognitive functioning dificulties) and many individuals have both illnesses, though one tends to be more dominant. For practical reasons, information about the most commonly used medications and treatments for ME/CFS and FM have been combined on our website.
It is important to remember results can vary greatly between patients, and effective treatment plans often come from a "trial and error" process. Furthermore, many patients with ME/CFS are found to have a heightened sensitivity to medications and often cannot tolerate standard dosages. Medication titration is often recommended—a process by which a drug dosage is slowly brought up to achieve optimal therapeutic effect. It is also better for patients not to start out on too many medications or products at once, in order to better observe the effects (or side effects) of each. Then again, some physicians will prescribe several medications together, in small to modest amounts, to produce a synergistic effect.
Since patients with ME/CFS and FM often see several physicians and/or other practitioners and take a mixture of prescription drugs and other products, it is strongly advised they review everything they are taking with each and every doctor to prevent interactions.