Quick Treatment Solution
This treatments page is quite detailed, and if you just require a quick recommendation for medications that help with the symptoms of this virus, then you might want to try yeast-free selenomethionine (a form of selenium) 400 mcg daily and N-acetyl-glucosamine 700 mg once or twice daily, both taken on an empty stomach.
The Jarrow brand of N-acetyl-glucosamine is good value and good quality. A US supplement supplier with good prices is iHerb. In the UK, Health Monthly has good prices. Amazon and eBay also have good prices.
Treatments for this virus are categorized by symptom:
Click on any of the symptoms below to go to the section where treatments for that symptom are given:
|Treatment Overview||Fatigue and Low Energy|
The supplements and drugs detailed on this page have proved to be helpful in treating and alleviating the symptoms of this virus, especially the horrendous mental symptoms.
Note that the list of medications on this page is fairly extensive because unfortunately there is no single supplement or drug that treats all the symptoms produced by this virus. This page has one section for each symptom precipitated by this virus, with each section listing the medications that work for that particular symptom. The medications listed first in each section are generally the most efficacious.
If you have any questions about these treatments, please ask them by posting a comment on this website.
If you are suffering from the extreme constant anxiety states precipitated by this virus, the following three supplement have proven very helpful at treating this anxiety. These medications will significantly lower or even completely eliminate anxiety symptoms.
N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG) 700 mg twice daily — the most potent anti-anxiety treatment. Not to be confused with glucosamine sulfate. NAG is available at iHerb in the US, and at Health Monthly in the UK. Other NAG sources here.
Flaxseed oil 1 tablespoon (15 ml) daily (taking more may cause diarrhea)
Turmeric 1000 mg (1 level teaspoon) twice daily
Further information on these various anti-anxiety treatments, and the theory behind them, can be found in my two threads on the Phoenix Rising forum here:
Anhedonia is defined as a lack of feelings of pleasure or reward from life’s normal activities. The reward circuits of the brain are not working properly in anhedonia, so the experience of pleasure and satisfaction is much reduced or absent. There are actually two forms of anhedonia: consummatory anhedonia, which is where you don’t feel much reward or satisfaction on completing a normally enjoyable activity; and anticipatory anhedonia, which is where you don’t get any good feelings when you look forward to doing an activity that is normally enjoyable. I found that I developed both forms of anhedonia after catching this virus.
Healthy people will experience some satisfaction and reward even after doing something as simple as tidying their desk, cleaning the bathroom, or going for a walk. However, once you have consummatory anhedonia, you find that the sense of reward is just not there when you complete a normally enjoyable task. When you complete a normally enjoyable task or activity, you just get the most awful feeling of mental vacuum instead. Metaphorically it feels like working at your job from Monday to Friday, only to find that your boss pays you nothing at the end of the week; ie, there is no reward for your efforts. But that metaphor does not really fully capture to horrendous sense of vacuum and meaningless emptiness you get with anhedonia.
Anhedonia will bring on thoughts of suicide very quickly, as I have observed in myself. Decades ago, I had quite bad clinical depression for a couple of years, but never once did the thought of suicide cross my mind during that entire depressed period. But when I got severe anhedonia, even though I only had mild depression, I just was hoping every day that I would drop down dead. It’s hard to explain this to someone who has not experienced anhedonia; anhedonia feels like all you reasons for living have been taken away.
For some people, anhedonia is a major mental symptom produced by this viral infection. Some supplements that I have found helpful in reducing the anhedonia symptoms produced by this virus are:
Vinpocetine 10 mg
Phosphatidylserine 300 mg daily + fish oil 2000 mg
Colostrum powder 2 heaped teaspoons (14 grams) on an empty stomach
Horny goat weed (Epimedium) herb 3000 mg
Bacopa monnieri herb 1000 mg
Acetyl-L-carnitine 1000 mg or L-carnitine 1000 mg
Choline bitartrate 500 mg + vitamin B5 500 mg
He shou wu (Polygonum multiflorum) 3 grams
Korean ginseng 500 mg
The anti-anhedonia effects of all these supplements will kick in quickly, within an hour or so of taking them (except colostrum, which can take a few days to start working).
Colostrum is quite good at improving both the anhedonia and depression symptoms this virus causes, as well as providing more energy. Smaller doses of a few grams of colostrum have little effect; you need to take a good quantity of colostrum. Note: colostrum is around 10 times cheaper bought as a bulk powder, compared to buying it in capsules.
Vinpocetine and horny goat weed seem to also work for the sexual anhedonia (low libido) produced by this virus (lack of sexual desire often accompanies general anhedonia). Chromium picolinate 200 mcg daily also seems good at treating the low libido, I found.
The tricyclic antidepressant drug imipramine at a low dose of around 10 mg to 25 mg a day can be very helpful for the anhedonia, depression and anxiety symptoms created by this virus. I find that you can take imipramine as and when needed, to get you through bad days where you feel more depressed than usual. Imipramine kicks in quickly (in an hour or so), and its effects last for around a day. Low doses of tricyclic antidepressants such as imipramine have been shown beneficial for chronic fatigue syndrome patients, with tricyclic antidepressants boosting not only mood, but energy levels as well (though for CFS patients it must be low dose, as higher doses can be too stimulating)
Very low dose amisulpride (12.5 mg daily) also helps to treat anhedonia.
Emotional Flatness Treatments
After a year or two with this virus, symptoms of emotional flatness begin to appear. Emotional flatness (more precisely called “blunted affect”) is a condition in which your normal emotional responses have become weak or absent, and your mind seems emotionally dried out, because you no longer seem to feel much in circumstances that would normally give rise to feeling emotion. So for example, if you watch an emotional drama on TV, you tend to experience the drama in a cold, often cynical way, as you don’t really engage with the emotions in the story.
Emotional flatness is slightly different from anhedonia, though people often confuse the two. In anhedonia, the experience of pleasure from daily activities, and the sense of reward on completing tasks, is weak or absent. Whereas in emotional flatness, life’s normal emotional responses (love, sadness, compassion, guilt, anger, joy, surprise, etc) are weak or absent.
Supplements that I have found help return some emotional strength and responsiveness to the mind include:
Allicin 180 mg x 6 daily seems to have a good emotion boosting effect. This is one of the few supplements that seems to work long-term for ameliorating emotional flatness.
Royal jelly 1500 mg + vitamin B5 500 mg seems to bring my emotions back online quite strongly, but temporarily (it only lasts for 3 or 4 hours)
Myrrh essential oil 10 drops mixed in 30 ml of a carrier oil (like baby oil), and rubbed on the skin of the body, where is it is slowly absorbed transdermally (not be taken by pregnant women)
Terminalia arjuna herb 7 grams — induces emotions around 5 hours after taking it
He shou wu (Polygonum multiflorum) 3 grams
Carnosine 1000 mg
Glutamine powder 2 heaped teaspoons (12 grams)
Choline bitartrate 500 mg + vitamin B5 500 mg
Vinpocetine 10 to 20 mg
Bacopa monnieri herb 2 grams
Bael fruit powder (bilva powder) 3 grams
Lack of Motivation Treatments
Lack of motivation is a symptom that can appear to a degree with this viral infection, and results in a reduced inclination to start or engage in tasks. Lack of motivation differs from anhedonia: lack of motivation means you do not tend to initiate into tasks and purposeful activity; anhedonia simply means that you don’t get the feeling of reward or satisfaction on completion of a task, which the mental “payoff” we all like to feel when we have done something useful. Lack of motivation is due to problems in the motivational circuitry of the brain; anhedonia is due to problems in the reward system of the brain.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 50 mg, taken two or three times daily, seems to significantly boost motivation, I have found (dry or cracked lips are a sign of vitamin B2 deficiency, incidentally). A low dose of the drug pramipexole, say ½ of a 0.18 mg tablet daily, also seems to work wonders for these low motivation symptoms. Within an hour of taking it, vitamin B2 or pramipexole will quickly change me from being apathetic to being focused and task oriented. So vitamin B2 and pramipexole are very useful tools for breaking through any motivational stagnation; with their help, you can get tasks done.
Supplements and drugs that were found helpful in alleviating the depression that this virus triggers include: low-dose amisulpride 12.5 to 25 mg daily, imipramine (a tricyclic antidepressant drug) 10 to 25 mg daily, high-dose inositol powder 2 heaped teaspoons (15 grams) daily, colostrum 2 heaped teaspoons (14 grams) twice daily on an empty stomach, saffron (Crocus sativus) 30 to 60 mg of dried Spanish saffron twice daily, NADH 5 mg daily, co-enzyme Q10 200 mg twice daily. You can take two or more of these supplements in combination, to get a stronger antidepressant effect. All of these supplements kick in within an hour of taking them (except inositol, which takes a good 12 hours before the mood boost appears).
Antidepressant SSRI drugs like citalopram, paroxetine and sertraline can be helpful for many people, but be careful if you try SSRI drugs, as in certain individuals, these can bring on increased depression and suicidal thoughts. Stop taking these SSRI drugs if this happens. Both myself and another person with this virus had bad adverse reactions to SSRI drugs, specifically: horribly increased depression and suicidal ideation within hours of taking an SSRI drug. However, I found low doses (10 to 25 mg daily) of the tricyclic antidepressant drug imipramine worked reasonably well to treat the depression, anhedonia and anxiety symptoms produced by this virus.
Social Withdrawal Treatments
One of the symptoms this virus can induce is social withdrawal, where an individual becomes less inclined to socialize (this can occur to varying degrees). This social withdrawal seems to be driven by the various mental symptoms all caused by this virus: the anhedonia mental symptom seems to greatly diminish the pleasure that normally arises from seeing friends, maintaining a friendship, or making new friends; the emotional flatness symptom makes your emotions weak, so you lose the emotional bonding and emotional dynamics with friends; you also find that the general mental frailty can simply make the energies and presence of others overwhelming and exhausting for the soul; and finally the anxiety symptoms often produced by this virus will generally increase stress and mental tension, so you find you cannot relax in company. In addition, after a few years with this virus, irritability can become a prominent mental symptom too, such that, like it or not, you develop more annoyances with people. All these various mental symptoms seem to add up, fermenting a tendency for social withdrawal.
Note: the social withdrawal caused by this virus is NOT to be confused with the condition called social anxiety. In social anxiety, individuals may withdraw from social life a little due to apprehension or worry about interactions with other people, and how other people will evaluate them; however, such concerns are NOT the reasons for the type of social withdrawal precipitated by this virus.
In terms of treatments for the social withdrawal caused by this virus, I find the supplement choline bitartrate, 1000 mg once or twice daily, is a helpful treatment for the social withdrawal, anhedonia and emotional flatness. The beneficial effects of choline bitartrate kick in within an hour or so. Choline bitartrate is in fact a known treatment for anhedonia. This supplement is best taken with high dose vitamin B5. Some of the anti-psychosis treatments listed below, such as amisulpride, N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG) and flaxseed oil, also help for social withdrawal, especially amisulpride. Social withdrawal can be an early symptom of psychosis.
It is well-known that very high anxiety can lead to some mild psychosis states. Psychosis is defined as a loss of contact with reality (confused or disorganized thoughts, lack of self-awarenes, lack of insight, unwarranted suspiciousness, paranoia, false beliefs).
To treat these unpleasant mild psychosis states, try the dietary supplement N-acetyl-glucosamine 700 mg once or twice daily. I discovered that N-acetyl-glucosamine is an astoundingly good treatment for the unpleasant mental symptoms of mild psychosis and anxiety that can appear as a result of this chronic viral infection. I suspect it may work by reducing brain inflammation.
Flaxseed oil 4 teaspoons (20 ml) daily (taking more may cause diarrhea) also seems surprisingly effective at treating the symptoms of anxiety and mild psychosis.
Low doses of the atypical anti-psychotic drug amisulpride 12.5 mg to 25 mg daily (one ¼ to ½ of a 50 mg amisulpride tablet) are also particularly effective. Although amisulpride is an anti-psychotic drug when taken at high doses, taken at low doses, amisulpride has a different set of capabilities, and is used to treat depression, ADHD, social anxiety, emotional imbalances, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Low dose amisulpride is something of a wonder drug in this respect. Interestingly, I discovered that 12.5 mg of amisulpride a day noticeably reduces the chronic sore throat symptoms caused by this virus too. I started a thread about the many benefits of amisulpride here:
Niacinamide 1000 mg three times daily can also help treat mild psychosis. Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, has a long history of use in treating psychotic states. Note: niacinamide is also called nicotinamide.
Another interesting anti-psychotic is vitamin C, taken at a dose of 3 grams, two to three times a day. Vitamin C has been shown to have similar effects to the anti-psychotic drug haloperidol. 1
Note that the supplement L-tyrosine can increase psychosis, so this is best avoided.
Brain Fog Treatments
More or less everyone with chronic fatigue syndrome experiences “brain fog”, more properly known as cognitive dysfunction, and many people with this virus seem to experience some degree of brain fog. Brain fog is typified by: poor short-term memory (for example, you may constantly forget what you were just about to do, or what you just did), poor working memory (so you cannot grasp or juggle more that a few facts or figures in your mind at one time), anomia (problems recalling words or names), slips of the tongue (saying a different word to the one you intended), miscategorization of environmental stimuli (like answering the phone when the doorbell rings), lack of focus (difficultly in keeping focus on the task at hand), confusion (very easily perplexed by situations), and a general lack of awareness (a little oblivious to the things going on around you).
Treatments to help fix brain fog include: piracetam 1000 mg daily, choline bitartrate 500 to 1000 mg once or twice daily, L-carnitine 1000 mg twice daily, alpha GPC 1000 mg daily, vinpocetine 10 to 20 mg daily, vitamin B12 5000 mcg daily (this B12 must be as a sublingual tablet, and must be a good brand like Jarrow Formulas Methyl B12 5000 mcg). These supplements work better when taken in combination.
Dealing with Fatigue and Low Energy
The best supplement I found for reducing the fatigue caused by this virus is yeast-free selenomethionine (a form of selenium) 400 mcg daily, taken on an empty stomach. This is quite effective. See this thread for more details:
Note that when you start taking selenium, the boost to your energy levels from selenium will take around 7 to 10 days to appear. So be patient.
Another supplement that seems to work well for boosting energy levels is iodine at a dose of around 12 mg daily. Again, I have found it takes around 7 to 10 days for the increased energy to manifest once you start taking iodine.
The low energy levels (the mental and physical fatigue) that may result from this virus can also be improved by supplements such as: L-carnitine 1000 mg twice daily, alpha GPC 1000 mg daily, NADH 5 mg daily, malic acid 500 mg twice daily, co-enzyme Q10 200 mg twice daily.
Irritability Symptoms Treatments
After you have had this viral infection for a few years, irritability can become a prominent mental symptom, such that, like it or not, you develop more annoyances with things, both situations and people. This is not a very nice disposition to have, but fortunately there are a few medications that seem to help: vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 50 mg twice daily is particularly good at clearing irritability, I find. Lack of vitamin B2 is known to cause irritability, so perhaps there is some deficiency present (vitamin B2 deficiency can manifest as chapped, cracked and dry lips). Low doses of the drug amisulpride 12.5 to 25 mg daily are also pretty good at reducing irritability, I have noticed. (Atypical antipsychotics like amisulpride are known to be effective treatments of irritability and aggression symptoms in autism). Supplements that reduce TNF-alpha, such as cat’s claw (standardized extract) 200 mg also seem to have a good effect on reducing irritability.
Sinus Congestion Treatments
I have an idea that the extreme anxiety symptoms induced by this virus in some people may, in part, be underpinned by the chronic nasal/sinus inflammation, congestion and mucus production (sinusitis/post nasal drip) caused by this virus. This virus seems to have strong affinity for forming chronic infections and inflammation in the mucous membranes of the body (which includes the mucous membrane linings of the nasal and sinus cavities).
I suspect that inflammatory cytokines from the nasal and sinus cavities may be exacerbating inflammation within the brain, and it is the brain inflammation which then leads to the anxiety symptoms. Recent research has demonstrated that inflammatory cytokines arising in the peripheries of the body (such as the sinuses) can actually precipitate inflammation in the brain, and inflammation in the brain has been linked to various mental symptoms, including anxiety and depression. (Interestingly, certain sinus cavities are located right next to the amygdala, the main brain center involved in anxiety disorder). It has also been well documented that chronic fatigue syndrome patients who cure their sinusitis may experience a substantial improvement in their mental and physical symptoms.
You may well find that your anxiety symptoms improve when you treat your sinus inflammation and congestion.
Supplements I found effective in treating the chronic nasal/sinus inflammation and congestion include: N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG) 700 mg once or twice daily (NAG significantly reduces the sinus inflammation created by this virus — it appears to act as a nasal/sinus decongestant — and NAG greatly reduces the general sense of inflammation you feel within the head), propolis 1000 mg twice daily, grape seed extract 300 mg daily, reishi 1000 mg twice daily, echinacea 1000 mg twice daily, cat’s claw 1000 mg twice daily, vitamin A 25,000 IU daily.
In addition, avoiding dairy products (no milk, butter, cream, cheese, yogurt) can help reduce sinus infection. Dairy products tend to increase mucus production, which then blocks your sinuses, and so causes more sinus inflammation. Thus you may find that by cutting out dairy products, your sinus congestion is reduced, and then your anxiety and other mental symptoms improve too. You might want to try cutting out dairy for a few days, to see if it helps.
Chronic Sore Throat Treatments
The following supplements and drugs noticeably reduce the sore throat symptoms and throat inflammation: the antidepressant drug bupropion (Wellbutrin) at a dose of 75 to 150 mg daily is very effective at reducing and almost eliminating the chronic sore throat symptoms (this may be due to bupropion’s ability to inhibit interferon-gamma); the drug amisulpride 12.5 mg to 25 mg daily works quite well in reducing the chronic sore throat; Gynostemma pentaphyllum herb (jiaogulan) 300 mg twice daily is helpful; selenium 400 mcg daily is helpful, pau d’arco 500 mg twice daily is helpful.
Slow Healing Wound Treatments
Slow healing or non-healing wounds seems to be a characteristic symptom of this virus. Minor skin cuts or grazes can sometimes take months to heal, once you have this virus. A topical treatment that works quite well to get a non-healing wound to heal is zinc powder. Zinc powder can be obtained by crushing up zinc supplement tablet. You dab a tiny amount of this zinc powder on the skin surrounding the wound.
Lower Back Pain
Some people begin to suffer with lower back pain once they catch this virus. This back pain tends to arise only infrequently, but when it does arise, it can last for a week or so, before spontaneously disappearing again. This lower back pain is caused by a spasm in the back muscles. Muscles spasms are underpinned by muscle inflammation, and a very good treatment for this back pain is over the counter anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen. An hour or so after taking ibuprofen, you will notice major reduction in the back pain pain. So this is a pretty effective treatment.
Paresthesia (Pins and Needles) Treatments
Paresthesias – the “pins and needles” or “prickly feelings” under the skin caused by this viral infection – can be effectively treated with benfotiamine (a lipid-soluble form of vitamin B1), at a dose of around 150 mg to 200 mg, taken twice a day.
The virus described on this website has been observed to precipitate myocarditis (inflammatory cardiomyopathy) and pericarditis in some people.
Deficiency in selenium, vitamin E and copper have be shown in mouse models to increase the heart damage and viral virulence that occurs in coxsackievirus B myocarditis. So if you have coxsackievirus B myocarditis, taking the following doses of these supplements may be a good precaution against such heart damage: selenium (selenomethionine) 200 mcg daily on a empty stomach, vitamin E 400 IU daily, copper 2 mg daily. 1 2 3 4
The following herbs may have an antiviral and protective effect for coxsackievirus B myocarditis: Emblica officinalis (Phyllanthus emblica, amla) root 500 mg three times daily, Astragalus membranaceus daily 12:1 extract 100 mg three times daily. 1 2
The angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) drug losartan (Cozaar) is protective in chronic CVB3 myocarditis. 1
There is a good chance that the virus described on this site is an enterovirus, such as a coxsackievirus B, or an echovirus. Unfortunately, enteroviruses are very hard to treat, as there is not much in the way of effective antiviral drugs for enterovirus infections.
Intravenous interferon: Dr John Chia (an infectious disease clinician and expert in enterovirus infections) found that intravenous interferon therapy can fight off an enterovirus infection in chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients, but the virus and its symptoms generally return within six months or so (and interferon is very expensive, costing around $15,000 for the three month course of interferon treatment).
Dr Chia found the combination of interferon and ribavirin effective against coxsackievirus B3 infections, but found these drugs were not effective against coxsackievirus B4 infections. 1 (see timecode 42:31) Dr Chia uses Epivir (lamivudine) for enterovirus infection, although he found Epivir is not effective for echovirus 6 and 7. 1 So the antiviral efficacy of drugs and supplements can often depend on which particular serotype of coxsackievirus B or echovirus you have.
Oxymatrine: Dr Chia has had better long term success using an extract of Sophora flavescens root called oxymatrine for his patients with ME/CFS and chronic enterovirus infections: around 25% of these patients find oxymatrine works well for them. Relapses in symptoms can occur on discontinuation of oxymatrine. The dose is one oxymatrine 300 mg tablet, taken 1 to 3 times a day (start with 300 mg daily, and over the weeks, slowly increase to 3 x 300 mg tablets daily).
I tried oxymatrine for this virus, but in my case, it did not help. However it is worth trying oxymatrine for a few months to test it.
Selenium: Selenium and vitamin E are recommended for coxsackievirus B infection, as deficiency in either of these nutrients leads to increased virulence of coxsackievirus B. 1 I have observed that taking 400 mcg of selenium a day noticeably combats the fatigue produced by this virus. If you try selenium, you should find that after a week or so of daily selenium 400 mcg supplementation, you will experience increased energy. Out of the various selenium supplements available, selenomethionine is recommended, as it has the highest bioavailability. There are two types of selenomethionine: yeast-free and yeast-derived. The yeast-free selenomethionine is suggested, as the yeast-derived selenomethionine seems to cause problems for those with ME/CFS (I find yeast-derived selenomethionine causes significant depression as soon as I take it, but I have no side effects whatsoever from yeast-free selenomethionine). Selenium is best absorbed when taken on an empty stomach.
More info on my selenium treatment:
I compiled a comprehensive list of antivirals for coxsackievirus B and echovirus here. The antivirals in that list labeled “potent” are the best ones to try.
Valtrex: Latent herpes family virus infections in the body may reactivate as a result of the immunosuppressive action of the virus described on this website, and may therefore be contributing to the overall symptoms. My blood tests showed reactivation of two herpes family viruses (cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex 1) after catching this immunosuppressive enterovirus. These herpes family viruses are treatable to a degree with drugs such as valacyclovir (Valtrex) 500 mg to 1000 mg twice daily or famciclovir (Famvir) 250 mg to 500 mg twice daily.
Note on Non-Cytolytic Enteroviruses: An Infection That Lives Inside Cells
The difficulty in treating chronic enterovirus infections is that the virus can exist in two forms in the body: the lytic form, and the non-cytolytic form. The infection begins with the normal lytic enterovirus, but lytic enteroviruses turn into non-cytolytic enteroviruses as the infection progresses.
Non-cytolytic enteroviruses live within human cells on a long-term basis. Inside the cell, non-cytolytic enteroviruses consist of strands of dsRNA and ssRNA which can replicate by themselves within the cell. By contrast lytic enteroviruses do not remain inside a human cell for long (they just enter a cell, replicate themselves inside that cell, then kill and break out of the cell through lysis, and wander off in the bloodstream to infect more cells).
Non-cytolytic enteroviruses are also referred to by other names, including: non-cytopathic enteroviruses, defective enteroviruses, defective-interfering-enteroviruses, and terminally-deleted enteroviruses.
It is thought that non-cytolytic enteroviruses could be a major causal factor in ME/CFS. 1
Dr John Chia said 1 that some new hepatitis C drugs under development may be able to kill the non-cytolytic enteroviral dsRNA that is likely causing havoc in ME/CFS.
More info on non-cytolytic enteroviruses here: How Non-Cytolytic Enteroviruses May Spread.