Important notice: Please note that the information on Treatment provided here has been compiled by patients for patients, and represents a summary of what patients may have experienced in working with their individual health care providers. The information in this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician or other healthcare provider in matters pertaining to your medical care. See our full Medical Disclaimer.


Health Care Providers: Please see the information in ME/CFS: A Primer for Clinical Practitioners.


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.

The multi-pronged approach

ME/CFS and FM are known to generate a multitude of symptoms and problems, though these can vary between patients. It does not seem very likely that one single drug or therapy will provide adequate treatment for anyone. Effective treatment plans could consist of several elements from each of the following approaches/modalities listed below:

More resources

Alternative Therapies

Antiviral treatment creates improvement in a subset of CFS/CFIDS/ME patients

Complementary & Mainstream Treatment Approaches by Dr. Jeanne Hubbuch

Comprehensive Treatment of FM by Dr. Robert Bennett

Conventional medicine

On the Morbid Fascination with Psychiatric Morbidity by Dr. Alan Gurwitt

Orthostatic Intolerance and CFS: A New Light on an Old Problem by Dr. Peter Rowe

Orthostatic Problems in CFIDS/FM and Post-Polio Syndrome  by Dr. Richard Bruno

Treatment for ME/CFS

Research Advances in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Impact on Treatment by Dr. Nancy Klimas

Review of Nutritional Supplements used for ME/CFS & FM

Review of abnormal quantitative EEG (brainwave activity) results in CFIDS by Dr Frank Duffy, on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Sleep/ The immune system, Radio National transcripts: The Health Report, 1997


The Physical Basis of CFS by Dr. Anthony Komaroff

Warning Against Long-term Use of SSRIs and Stimulants