Serotonin Syndrome

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Other Names :  

Serotonin toxicity, serotonin toxidrome, serotonin sickness, serotonin storm, serotonin poisoning, hyperserotonemia, serotonergic syndrome

What is Serotonin Syndrome ?  

A collection of symptoms in response to excess serotonin on the central or peripheral nervous system. The symptoms include cognitive, autonomic and somatic effects. Serotonin is a chemical synthesized in the body to enable brain cells and nerve cells to communicate with one another. Too much of it can cause excessive nerve cell activity.

Cause(s) :  
  • Medications such as antidepressants, that affect the body’s level of serotonin
  • Opioids
  • Psychedelics
Symptoms :  
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Changes in blood pressure or temperature
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tremor, twitching of muscles
  • Shivering and goose bumps
  • Confusion
In severe cases:
  • High fever
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Unconsciousness
Diagnosis and Tests :  

Diagnostic criteria:
  • Involuntary, rhythmic muscular contractions and relaxations (clonus) that are spontaneous, inducible or ocular
  • Tremor plus hyperreflexia or hypertonism plus high temperature with clonus
Specialist to consult :  Neurology

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