A web-blog (formerly known as Stu's Views and MS News), now published by MS Views and News, a patient advocacy organization. The information on this blog helps to Empower those affected by Multiple Sclerosis globally, with education, information, news and community resources.
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Disclaimer: 'MS Views and News' DOES NOT endorse any products or services found on this blog. It is up to you to seek advice from your healthcare provider. The intent of this blog is to provide information on various medical conditions, medications, treatments, and procedures for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not intended to be complete or exhaustive, nor is it a substitute for the advice of your physician. Should you or your family members have any specific medical problem, seek medical care promptly.
Although many people experience fatigue on a regular basis, one type of fatigue, commonly referred to as lassitude, is unique to people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Lassitude is thought to result from poor nerve conduction caused by damage to the myelin around the nerve fibers in the central nervous system (CNS). Because of the demyelination, your body has to work harder just to transmit messages between your brain and other parts of your body.
Unlike normal fatigue, MS lassitude
Tends to come on suddenly
Generally occurs on a daily basis
Can occur at any time of day, even right after a restful night's sleep
Generally increases as the day progresses
Can worsen temporarily with heat and humidity
Is much more likely to interfere with everyday activities
Lassitude may respond well to medication, so talk to your doctor about whether a prescription would work for you. Even though no medications have been approved specifically for the treatment of MS fatigue, several are known to provide relief for some people. For example, talk to your doctor about the following medications:
Amantadine: This antiviral medication has been found to relieve fatigue in some people with MS.
Provigil (modafinil): This medication is FDA-approved for the treatment of narcolepsy. The trials in MS have had mixed results, but many people find that it reduces feelings of sleepiness and tiredness.
Prozac (fluoxetine): This antidepressant may reduce feelings of fatigue, particularly if you're also experiencing depression.
Ritalin (methylphenidate): Some people find this stimulant very beneficial for managing their fatigue.
Adderal (dextroamphetamine and amphetamine): This stimulant is sometimes used for managing fatigue.
Although medication may be helpful, finding the one that's best for you is usually a process of trial and error. No medication, however, can take the place of adequate rest and exercise, the creative use of assistive technology, and other energy-saving strategies.