Antiviral may ease some cases of chronic fatigue syndrome


An associate professor of medicine at Stanford University in the US has found that an antiviral drug, normally used to prevent viral infections in transplant patients, can be helpful in easing chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in cases where a patient's blood contains high levels of antibodies to the human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) and the Epstein-Barr virus.

The data on 25 cases of CFS, presented by Dr Jose Montoya at a conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were remarkably consistent, with nearly every patient responding well to treatment with Valcyte. Indeed, most of the responses were dramatic.

Even if this drug only helps CFS patients with active HHV-6 and Epstein-Barr viruses, this would be a significant step forward, and Roche, who make the drug, have agreed to spend $1.5million on a 30-patient clinical trial.

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First Published in October 2007

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