Symptoms of Serotonin Syndrome

The following features are indicative of Serotonin Syndrome:
  • agitation
  • restlessness
  • confusion
  • rapid heart rate
  • high blood pressure
  • dilated pupils
  • loss of muscle coordination
  • twitching muscles
  • muscle rigidity
  • heavy sweating
  • diarrhoea
  • headache
  • shivering
  • goosebumps

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Common Causes of Serotonin Syndrome

The following are the most common causes of Serotonin Syndrome:
  • excessive accumulation of serotonin in body
  • overdose of antidepressant medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  • use of amphetamines
  • use of pethidine (meperidine)
  • use of tramadol
  • use of dextromethorphan
  • use of ondansetron
  • intake of cocaine

Risk Factors for Serotonin Syndrome

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Serotonin Syndrome:
  • take more than one drug known to increase serotonin levels
  • take herbal supplements known to increase serotonin levels
  • use an illicit drug known to increase serotonin levels

Prevention of Serotonin Syndrome

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Serotonin Syndrome. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • control of agitation
  • the control of autonomic instability
  • control of hyperthermia
  • avoid excess use of antidepressant drugs

Occurrence of Serotonin Syndrome

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Serotonin Syndrome cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

Common Age Group

Serotonin Syndrome can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Serotonin Syndrome can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Serotonin Syndrome

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Serotonin Syndrome:
  • Chest X-ray: To rule out other causes of symptoms
  • Computed Tomography scan of the brain: To get the images of brain
  • Blood test: To check trauma, new-onset seizures, or hypertension and localizing neurologic findings
  • Urine test: To rule out other causes of symptoms

Complications of Serotonin Syndrome if untreated

Yes, Serotonin Syndrome causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Serotonin Syndrome is left untreated:
  • unconsciousness
  • can be fatal

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Serotonin Syndrome

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Serotonin Syndrome:
  • Supportive care: Helps in relieving the symptoms and improves the quality of life

Time for Treatment of Serotonin Syndrome

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Serotonin Syndrome to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Within 1 day

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Serotonin Syndrome.

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