Serotonin syndrome and the main characteristics
Serotonin syndrome refers to the condition in which the person is experiencing adverse reaction to drugs, which in some cases can even be life-threatening. This adverse reaction happens because of the accumulation of serotonin in the body, which is a substance that is necessary for the function of the brain and nerve cells. The increased level of this substance in the body can be manifested through a wide range of symptoms, which usually take a few hours to appear, so in some cases shivering, diarrhea, and fever may be felt, while in others even muscle rigidity may occur and besides this there are rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, agitation, confusion. There is a number of cognitive, autonomic and Somatic problems that can occur, too, but those that indicate the most severe cases are high fever, increased blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, seizures or loss of consciousness. It is necessary to treat this condition and to stop taking the medications, which is why the symptoms must not be ignored and it is highly recommended to see the doctor as soon as possible; otherwise, the consequences may be fatal.
The most common causes of serotonin syndrome
Since the increased level of serotonin in the body is the reason why this condition occurs, it is necessary to determine what caused that raise. A number of medications can be the reason; some of them are prescribed, while the others are over-the-counter medications, or even supplements and illicit drugs. In some cases, only one medication may be enough to cause serotonin syndrome, but in the majority of the cases, the combination of particular medications is what lead to this condition. On the list of the potentially dangerous to the level of serotonin are:Antidepressants such as particular serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and monoamine oxidase inhibitors,Anti-migraine medications,Anti-nausea medications,Pain relievers,Particular mood stabilizers,Particular antibiotics and medications for the treatment of cold,Particular medications used for the treatment of HIV/AIDS,And even some herbal supplements.
As it has already been mentioned, particular over-the-counter medications and illicit drugs can also cause the increase in the level of serotonin. Since, a number of these medications is very commonly used, it is necessary to be well informed, or to at least inform the doctor or the pharmacist in advance, because in some cases all it takes to avoid this possibility is to simply adjust the dosage.