Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ampligen, the proposed chronic fatigue syndrome drug currently awaiting FDA approval

From Fibromyalgia & CFS Blog, 29 October 2009
By Adrienne Dellwo, Guide to Fibromyalgia & CFS

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Dr. Lerner on Ampligen, XMRV

Dr. A Martin Lerner: Thoughts on XMRV, Ampligen

In my recent conversation with Dr. A. Martin Lerner, a former chronic fatigue syndrome sufferer who says he used his specialty in infectious diseases to find treatments for himself and others, I asked him about both the XMRV discovery (which was just days old at the time) and also aboutAmpligen, the proposed chronic fatigue syndrome drug currently awaiting FDA approval.


XMRV is a retrovirus that researchers recently linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS). Dr. Lerner says that in his patients, he's discovered that 3 viruses are found in nearly everyone with ME/CFS -- Epstein-Barr virus (EPV), human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) andcytomegalovirus (CMV) -- and that some patients also have Lyme disease on top of one or more of those viruses.

At the time of our conversation, Dr. Lerner hadn't yet been able to look over the XMRV data but said he was definitely interested in seeing it.

On the surface, it might seem like other research -- especially the XMRV finding -- could disprove Dr. Lerner's theories about EBV, HHV-6 and CMV. However, (and these are my words, not his) that's not necessarily true. If the XMRV findings are replicated and nearly everyone with ME/CFS is infected with it, that wouldn't meant that other infectious agents didn't play a role. Could XMRV make people more susceptible to complications/long-term infection by EBV, HHV-6 or CMV? Could EBV, HHV-6 and CMV make us more vulnerable to XMRV infection? These are all areas that researchers could explore in the future.


Dr. Lerner treats his ME/CFS patients with one of two antiviral medications:

I asked him about Ampligen, which many hope will become the first drug ever approved for ME/CFS. "The science behind Ampligen is sound," Dr. Lerner said. He doesn't use it because it has to be given intravenously, which means patients have to come to the office more often, whereas people can take the other two at home.

Dr. Lerner and I also talked a lot about exercise in people with chronic fatigue syndrome, and he has a very interesting take on it. That's coming up soon.

More on Dr. Lerner

October 29, 2009 at 6:19 am
(1) Mindy Leavell says:

Adrienne, Check out this website.
They say they have a diagnostic test available for XMRV…..?

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