Does methylphenidate reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome?
PURPOSE: Chronic fatigue syndrome is a clinical entity consisting of prolonged and debilitating fatigue in which concentration disturbances are very frequent. Until now, no medical treatment has shown any efficacy. The objectives of this study were to investigate the short-term effects of methylphenidate, an amphetamine derivative, on fatigue, concentration disturbances, and quality of life. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover study was conducted in 60 patients who fulfilled the 1994 Centers for Disease Control criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome and had concentration difficulties. Patients were enrolled between March 2003 and March 2004 at the outpatient department of a university hospital referral center for chronic fatigue syndrome patients. Random assignment to 4 weeks treatment with methylphenidate 2 x 10 mg/day, followed by 4 weeks of placebo treatment, or 4 weeks of placebo treatment, followed by methylphenidate treatment. Fatigue and c