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Pharmaceutical Interventions In Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Literature-Based Commentary
Sunday 17 March 2019
Pharmaceutical Interventions in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Literature-based Commentary
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.
ME/CFS; clinical trials; immune therapy; illness heterogeneity; precision medicine
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