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Serotonin syndrome

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stuart MaitlandORCiD, Professor Mark BakerORCiD


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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.The serotonin syndrome is a life-threatening adverse drug reaction resulting from excess serotonergic agonism due to interactions between multiple drugs, poisoning, or less commonly due to therapeutic action of a single drug. The central triad of features in serotonin syndrome are altered mental state, autonomic hyperactivity, and neuromuscular abnormalities in the context of a patient with new/altered serotonergic therapy, although not all these features are consistently present in all patients. The severity of serotonin syndrome can be assessed clinically based on the number and severity of features. Severe serotonin syndrome warrants more careful management on a high-dependency unit. In case of temperature exceeding 38.5°C, urgent cooling measures and sedation should be employed, progressing to rapid sequence intubation and paralysis if cooling measures are ineffective.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Maitland S, Baker M

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Drug and therapeutics bulletin

Year: 2022

Volume: 60

Issue: 6

Pages: 88-91

Online publication date: 12/05/2022

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (print): 0012-6543

ISSN (electronic): 1755-5248

Publisher: NLM (Medline)


DOI: 10.1136/dtb.2021.000032

PubMed id: 35551099