Algorithm for the Diagnosis of Serotonin Syndrome
- Serotonin syndrome is thought to be caused by excess agonism of 5-HT2A Receptors
- 60% of patients present within 6 hours of change or administration of medication leading to SS.
- Clinical findings with a statistically significant association with SS include: hyperreflexia, inducible clonus, myoclonus, ocular clonus, spontaneous clonus, peripheral hypertonicity, and shivering.
- Hyperreflexia, clonus, and rigidity are more prominent in the lower extremities in SS.
- Serotonin syndrome must be distinguished from other toxindromes that present similarly: neuroleptic malignant syndrome, anticholinergic poisoning, and malignant hyperthermia
- Most cases will resolve after 24 hours with initiation of treatment (see below) and discontinuation of the offending agent.
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