Will Ritalin Become a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment?

Based on the results of one small study, two doctors in Spain are calling for a closer look at the ADHD drug methylphenidate (the drug in Ritalin, Methadate and Concerta) for treating the neurocognitive effects of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS).

On top of study results, the doctors point to the fact that ADHD and ME/CFS have several cognitive symptoms in common, including:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulties with short-term memory and thinking
  • Impaired attention and slowed processing speed

Also, they say some of the same things appear to be going on in the brains of people with both disorders, such as low dopamine and norepinephrine activity. Methylphenidate, a neurostimulator, boosts both of those neurotransmitters. Two other drugs in its class – Wellbutrin (bupropion) and Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) – also have been advocated to improve neurocognitive problems.

Do you think ADHD drugs could be the answer? I’d love to hear from anyone who’s taken them. Have they helped? Share your opinions and experiences here or in About.com’s Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome forum.

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Adrienne Dellwo

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