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Table 2 Categories of medications used by subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), insufficient symptoms/fatigue (ISF) and Well controls in Georgia

From: Use of medications by people with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy persons: a population-based study of fatiguing illness in Georgia

Drug category CFS
(n = 113)
ISF
(n = 264)
Well
(n = 124)
p-value
  N (%) users CFS vs. Well CFS vs. ISF
Pain relievers (includes all NSAIDs and narcotics) 74 (65.5) 136 (51.5) 66 (53.2) 0.056 0.02
-NSAIDs (aspirin included) 53 (46.9) 107 (40.5) 55 (44.4) 0.74 0.31
-NSAIDs (aspirin excluded) 45 (39.8) 82 (31.1) 34 (27.4) 0.043 0.10
-Acetaminophen-containing 27 (23.9) 38 (14.4) 14 (11.3) 0.011 0.026
-Narcotic pain relievers 19 (16.8) 16 (6.1) 5 (4.0) 0.001 0.001
-Aspirin containing 15 (13.3) 35 (13.3) 27 (21.8) 0.09 1.00
Supplements/vitamins 50 (44.2) 117 (44.3) 65 (52.4) 0.158 0.68
Anti-allergy medications (anti-histamines, nasal steroids, sympathomimetics) 46 (40.7) 94 (35.6) 35 (28.2) 0.04 0.36
Asthma medications 9 (7.96) 9 (3.4) 3 (2.4) 0.097 0.065
Cold/sinus medications (anti-histamines, sympatho-mimetics, anti-cough drugs) 46 (40.7) 95 (36.0) 34 (27.4) 0.025 0.4
Anti-histamines 40 (35.4) 74 (28.0) 27 (21.8) 0.017 0.17
Antidepressants 41 (36.3) 48 (18.2) 11 (8.9) < 0.0001 0.0007
Female hormones
(birth control and HRT)a
28 (30.4) 49 (24.4) 26 (28.0) 0.68 0.3
- Birth control 6 (6.5) 20 (9.9) 11 (11.8%) 0.11 0.34
- Hormone replacement 19 (20.7) 28 (13.9) 13 (14%) 0.23 0.15
Gastrointestinal, acid-reducing drugs 30 (26.6) 38 (14.4) 16 (12.9) 0.0082 0.009
All cardiovascular 21 (18.6) 46 (17.4) 26 (21.0) 0.90 0.86
Sedatives (including benzodiazepines) 20 (17.7) 18 (6.8) 5 (4.0) 0.002 0.004
- Benzodiazepines only 14 (12.4) 14 (5.3) 3 (2.4) 0.003 0.027
Lipid-lowering 13 (11.5) 31 (11.7) 13 (10.5) 0.69 0.56
Thyroid hormones 12 (10.6) 11 (4.2) 8 (6. 5) 0.28 0.04
Muscle relaxants 10 (8.9) 8 (3.0) 0 < 0.001 0.002
Antibiotics 8 (7.1) 19 (7.2) 6 (4.8) 0.53 0.82
Anti-migraine 7 (6.2) 5 (1.9) 4 (3.2) 0.47 0.047
Amphetamines 5 (4.4) 7 (2.65) 2 (1.6) 0.20 0.37
Glucose-lowering 1 (0.9) 10 (3.8) 4 (3.2) 0.51 0.13
Any category 108 (95.6) 234 (88.6) 112 (90.3) 0.12 0.03
  1. NSAID, Nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drug, HRT, hormone replacement therapy
  2. a Percentages for female hormones are calculated for n = 386 women (n = 92 CFS, n = 201 ISF, and n = 93 Well)