Home Hormones What is Serotonin syndrome: Symptoms, Treatment and Effects?

What is Serotonin syndrome: Symptoms, Treatment and Effects?

Posted by admin in Hormones Category. Reviewed and Updated: 25 February, 2019
What is Serotonin syndrome: Symptoms, Treatment and Effects?

The noetic result of the human system’s response to serotonergic provocative drugs is what is called serotonin syndrome. Some may refer to it as serotonin toxicity. The clinical condition chronicle is on the poor end because close to 85% of clinicians are incognizant of the corporeality.

Serotonin syndrome


For a better answer to “what is serotonin syndrome?”, illuminating discussion stellar word “serotonin” is pivotal.

Serotonin is expounded as either a hormone or a neurotransmitter subjected to its area of secretion and action. Head, digestive tract, and blood platelets are the major areas it is secreted. It is also called 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and known to be active in regulating an individual’s mood.

When individuals take medications that can spark the hormone level in the body, serotonin syndrome (SS) may be experienced. The serotonin syndrome is a hyperserotonergic state accompanied by extreme nerve cell activities which if not promptly attended to might cause the death of the victim.

What does serotonin syndrome feel like?

The feeling confronted by victims could be mild or severe ensuing into haywire and non-psycho related symptoms. Urgent medical attention should be sought when punitive signs of serotonin syndrome like seizures and quivering. Any neglect can result in a casualty.

Serotonin syndrome symptoms

Symptoms auguries ofttimes kick-starts few hours after tucking away serotonin secernment medications or taking beyond normal dose. Proven signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome might include:

  • Muscle stiffness
  • Serotonin syndrome symptomsTachycardia
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Shivering
  • Hyperthermia
  • Unconsciousness
  • Tremor
  • Flushed skin
  • Mydriasis
  • Twitching muscle
  • Seizure
  • Nausea
  • Hypertension
  • Vomiting
  • Goose bumps
  • Loss of muscle facility
  • Myoclonus
  • Akathisia
  • Hypomania
  • Diaphoresis

Diagnoses of serotonin syndrome

Diagnoses of serotonin syndromePresently, there are two authoritative assessment of serotonin syndrome ― Sternbach et al’s criteria and/or Hunter’s criteria.

The Sternbach’s method is established on a three-cardinal assessment of autonomic discombobulations, myoneural dysfunction and mind jumble.

The Hunter’s criteria examine impetuous clonus, a posteriori clonus, ocular clonus, anxiety, diaphoresis, tremor, and hyperreflexia. Patients composite summation on each thumb through is then used to rough guess the blatant positivity of serotonin toxicity in patients.

Serotonin syndrome causes

Taking one or more serotonergic agent containing drugs makes a member of the human population fain to witness an episode of the syndrome ― same thing with people taking a sudden dosage increase.

Drugs Containing Serotonergic Agents

Drugs Containing Serotonergic AgentsConsumption of any of these classes of drugs either solely or in combination with another class can fan the flame of serotonin syndrome.

  • Tricyclics

Such medications are usually prescribed by specialists to counter depression symptoms. This is why people on tricyclics dose are more vulnerable to the syndrome than others excluding recreational drug users. Such medication may include Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil, and Lexapro.

  • Pain Relief and Opiate

Medications with morphine-like actions such as Demerol, Ultram, Oxycontin, and codeine.

  • Anti-Migraine and Dope

Includes prescribed, unprescribed and street drugs like cocaine, amphetamines, cannabinoids, zolmitriptan (Zomig), rizatriptan and sumatriptan (Imitrex).

Other medications or food spices included in serotonin mushrooming drivers include anti-nausea drugs, cough medication, and nutmeg can also trigger the symptoms.

How Long Does Serotonin Syndrome Last?

How much serotonin level spike caused by the used drug determines how long serotonin syndrome last. “How fast does it occur?” Within a few hours following the guzzling of a serotonergic dose, the signs of the syndrome can be remarked. It may, however, alleviate within 24 hours with the proviso that the drug is not taking again after evidence of the syndrome or has long term effects. Some patients may experience more stretchy effects of the syndrome after medication cessation ― lasting for days or weeks before any noticeable recovery.

Serotonin withdrawal syndrome

Serotonin withdrawal syndromeExperienced by patients who recently curbed the use of serotonergic stimulating medications. A decision to qualify experiences as withdrawal syndrome is acceptable only if patients have been taking serotonin influencing drugs for at least four weeks. The antidepressant discontinuation syndrome occurs in about 20 to 50 percent of people with a sudden halt of their medication and could last for a few weeks. But when treatment is restored (taking the drugs again), recovery tends to be faster. The symptoms may include:

How common is serotonin syndrome?

All age groups not excluding infants have been spotted to experience serotonin syndrome. A surge in reported statistics is presumed considering the adscititious use of serotonergic agents daily especially by depressed people.

Statistics of those suffering from the syndrome have been poorly documented over the years due to low diagnoses. Nevertheless, innumerable cases draved by tricyclics are subsequently reported. In 2004, sufferers of serotonin malaise were more than eight thousand and 103 of the reported cases died later.

Reasons for serotonin syndrome misdiagnoses

The impotence of experts in distinguishing symptoms of serotonin syndrome from another malady with similar symptoms has been discovered to be the highest contributing factor to its paltry report and misdiagnoses. Take, for example, autonomic dysfunction which may be presented as an episode of serotonin syndrome is also a quotidian symptom of the neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Ideally, such symptom is bound to confuse a less informed physician to take one for the other and in most instance, the NMS is favored based on the low awareness of SS.

How to treat serotonin syndrome

How to treat serotonin syndromeSS treatment could be as simple as discontinuing the use of medication unearthed to be serotonin secretion triggering agents and thus a causative chemical of the syndrome. However, before commencing serotonin syndrome treatment at home, seek specialists counsel in dwindling the dosage before finally quitting to avoid contingent conditions. This will train the body to adapt to none use of the drug ― a restore to default.

The use of tranquilizers like diazepam and lorazepam may be employed if victims present severe symptoms like erratic pulse, sedatives may be prescribed. For tachycardia, esmolol (Brevibloc) and nitroprusside (Nitropress) may be included in prescriptions. While in events all medications to correct prominent symptom(s) are futile, treatment can, therefore, subsume serotonin-secretion inhibiting agents.

Prevention of serotonin syndrome

Individuals should be cautious of medications they ingest. Before taking to any drug may be for an ailment or personal purpose like losing weight, it is sensible to request physicians or caregivers approval. Any substance with the capacity to enkindle rise in the neurotransmitter level should also be avoided. As a reminder and addition, they include bath salts, nutmeg, codeine, and tramadol.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...