Study Shows Certain Treatments May Help ME/CFS and Long COVID Symptoms


According to a recent article, the preliminary results of a study suggest that certain oral and infusion therapies may be beneficial for those suffering from fatigue due to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and long COVID.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), is a chronic, complicated disorder whose primary feature is extreme, seemingly unexplainable fatigue. The illness may also be commonly abbreviated as ME/CFS. The fatigue can worsen after physical and mental activity, but does not improve with rest. This fatigue seriously hinders the person’s ability to do normal tasks that were not a problem before getting sick. It can lead to serious lifestyle restrictions and make it difficult for patients to maintain a job.

ME/CFS can affect people of all ages and sexes, but it is most common in people between 30 and 50, and affects women more often than men. It is believed that ME/CFS is very underdiagnosed due to lack of education about the illness as well as limited access to healthcare.


The severity of symptoms can fluctuate with time— some symptoms will come and go, and not every individual will have all the symptoms listed below. They include:

  • Intense fatigue that isn’t helped by rest
  • Inability to do simple activities (taking a shower, cooking, doing laundry) that were once doable, because of the fatigue
  • Worsening of symptoms after an activity that wouldn’t have been a problem before getting sick
  • Very low stamina
  • Being confined to bed
  • Problems with thinking and concentrating that might feel like a “brain fog”
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep problems
  • Worsened symptoms when standing or sitting up
  • Pain in muscles and/or joints
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and/or armpits
  • Depression
  • Bowel dysfunction


Most people who have coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) recover completely within a few weeks. But some people — even those who had mild versions of the disease — continue to experience symptoms after their initial recovery.

These people sometimes describe themselves as “long haulers,” and the conditions have been called post-COVID-19 syndrome or “long COVID-19.” These health issues are sometimes called post-COVID-19 conditions. They’re generally considered to be effects of COVID-19 that persist for more than four weeks after you’ve been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.

Older people and people with many serious medical conditions are the most likely to experience lingering COVID-19 symptoms, but even young, otherwise healthy people can feel unwell for weeks to months after infection. Common signs and symptoms that linger over time include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Joint pain
  • Chest pain
  • Memory, concentration or sleep problems
  • Muscle pain or headache
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Fever
  • Dizziness when you stand
  • Worsened symptoms after physical or mental activities

The Study

Patients with post-COVID Syndrome, or long COVID, experience similar levels of fatigue as those with ME/CFS. Researchers decided to look at if the oral administration of a nutraceutical (Meldonium or sodium dichloroacetate) or intermittent intravenous infusions of magnesium sulfate and multivitamins and essential amino acids, would help with the fatigue symptom.

In total, 97 patients who had either post-COVID syndrome or ME/CFS, participated in the open-label study (both the health providers and the patients are aware of the drug or treatment being given). Each participant received either the oral or infusion therapy for one month, and the effectiveness was then assessed using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS).


Researchers found the two thirds of the patients had a reduction in the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS). In these successful cases, the FSS was able to be decreased by 31%.

The results of this preliminary study showed that the use of the oral and infusion therapy is beneficial for relieving fatigue in a good amount of patients dealing with ME/CFS or post-COVID syndrome. Another controlled trial should be used to confirm the results of this preliminary study. Meanwhile, the long-term efficacy of the treatments are being looked at in a larger group of patients.

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