Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Question Drug For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Date:
January 4, 2001
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Fludrocortisone, a drug prescribed to treat low blood pressure, has little or no effect on symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome in adults when it is used as the only form of treatment, according to a joint study by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Fludrocortisone, a drug prescribed to treat low blood pressure, has little or no effect on symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome in adults when it is used as the only form of treatment, according to a joint study by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). A report of the study appears in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association.

In a preliminary study published in 1995, Peter Rowe, M.D., leader of the Johns Hopkins team, reported that many patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) developed lightheadedness, fatigue, and sometimes fainted when they stood for prolonged periods of time. When tilted head-up on a special diagnostic table, most patients developed a sudden drop in blood pressure known as neurally mediated hypotension (NMH). Some study participants reported substantial relief in their lightheadedness and CFS symptoms when treated with a combination of an increase in dietary sodium chloride (table salt), fludrocortisone, and other medications. Fludrocortisone helps to maintain a normal blood pressure by reducing the loss of sodium from the bloodstream.

The researchers conducted the current, more rigorous study to determine whether isolating one component of the treatment – fludrocortisone – would be equally effective in treating symptoms. Over nine weeks, 50 adults with both CFS and NMH received fludrocortisone, and 50 received a placebo. Neither group took supplemental sodium. During the study, investigators and study participants were unaware of who received the fludrocortisone or the placebo. At the end of the treatment period, 14 percent of those treated with fludrocortisone described a notable improvement in overall well-being, compared with 10 percent in the placebo group, a difference that was not deemed statistically significant by researchers.

Since this current study began in 1996, other studies have identified four drugs effective in treating some people with recurrent fainting due to NMH.

"One of these medications may prove more effective than fludrocortisone in treating NMH among those with CFS," says Rowe. "Over 60 percent of the patients we screened for this study had abnormal heart rate and blood pressure responses during tilt testing, and most had worse symptoms brought on early in the test. Their responses to upright posture suggest a need to better define the optimal way to treat NMH in people with CFS. In the patients we studied, clearly, fludrocortisone alone was insufficient."

CFS affects approximately one of every 250 Americans. Although profound fatigue is a defining feature of the syndrome, other important problems include difficulty with memory and concentration, sleep disturbance, muscle aches, and headaches. The causes of CFS are not known. Treatment is aimed at relieving individual symptoms. No medication has been found effective in treating the disorder as a whole.

The study was funded by grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the Johns Hopkins Outpatient General Clinical Research Center, and the Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Association of America, Inc.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Researchers Question Drug For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010104071045.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2001, January 4). Researchers Question Drug For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010104071045.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Researchers Question Drug For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/01/010104071045.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins