Antiviral Protocol for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Dr. A. Martin Lerner: Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

For years, certain viruses have had the attention of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS) researchers. None has been completely accepted as being behind the condition, or a subset of it, but that hasn't stopped some doctors from moving forward with the information. One of those doctors is Dr. A. Martin Lerner, an infectious disease specialist who successfully treated his own case of ME/CFS 20 years ago.

Woman lying in bed, trying to sleep
Gravity Images / Getty Images

Over the last two decades, Dr. Lerner has treated and tested scores of ME/CFS patients. He says he's discovered that three main viruses are associated with the condition: Epstein-Barr (EBV), human herpes virus 6 (HHV6), and human cytomegalovirus (CMV or HCMV). In his experience, people can have either one of these viruses or a combination of them. On top of that, he says he's identified a subgroup of people who have Lyme disease on top of these viruses, and that this is the harder group to treat.

That's the really important part here—treatment. Dr. Lerner claims he's had a lot of success treating people with two antiviral drugs:

  1. Valacyclovir, for EBV
  2. Valganciclovir, for HHV6 and CMV

I recently wrote about Dr. Lerner's Energy Index Point Score (EIPS), which is a universal evaluation tool he believes other doctors should use for ME/CFS patients. It ranks the severity of your illness on a zero-to-10 scale and gives you and your doctor a concrete way to track your progress. He says that once people are on the proper treatment, they can and do move up the chart.

Dr. Lerner has done some clinical trials of these drugs but says larger studies need to be done. Here's some of his published work:

A longer-term study is awaiting publication. Your doctor can learn more about Dr. Lerner's published materials on his ME/CFS work by visiting his website.

Was this page helpful?