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Hum Psychopharmacol. 2006 Dec;21(8):503-9.

An investigation of the long-term benefits of antidepressant medication in the recovery of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Author information

1
Centre for Occupational and Health Psychology, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK. thomasma@cf.ac.uk

Abstract

Two hundred and seventy-five patients fulfilling the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) criteria for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) completed measures assessing illness history, global ratings of well being, sleep, activity and psychopathology at baseline, 6 months, 18 months and 3 year follow-up. Forty-nine of these patients had been prescribed antidepressant medication, namely Tricyclic drugs or Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRI). Data from the current study suggests that patients in the antidepressant medication group recover at a faster rate over time when compared to the untreated patient sample. In addition, the positive effects of antidepressant therapy are maintained at the 3-year follow-up point. It appears from these data that the SSRI in particular are responsible for improvements in the condition. Most importantly, these improvements include a reduction in the levels of fatigue recorded by patients. These findings have not been demonstrated in previous studies of the effect of antidepressant therapy for patients with this illness and this may reflect the short time periods studied in the earlier research.

PMID:
16981220
DOI:
10.1002/hup.805
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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