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Serotonin Syndrome

Author: Elizabeth A. Boldon RN, MSN

CE: 2.5 hours Pharmacology: 0.5 hour
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 2989 reviews

Course Summary

Drugs can react to cause the body to have too much serotonin and lead to serotonin syndrome, which is a potentially life threatening condition. Serotonin syndrome is caused by therapeutic doses, drug interactions, or overdoses of medications that directly or indirectly affect the serotonergic system. An excess stimulation of the serotonergic receptors is what causes serotonin syndrome. The stimulation is excitatory and causes symptoms, such as tachycardia, hypertension, agitation, excessive muscular activity. There is no proven antidote for serotonin syndrome that is effective and safe. The best treatment is supportive care. Health clinicians must consider the possibility of serotonin syndrome in the setting of serotonergic medications where mental status changes and neurological hyperexcitability occur.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

I.              Introduction

II.           Serotonergic System

III.         Serotonin Syndrome: Epidemiology

1.   Clinical Presentation of Serotonin Syndrome

IV.          Drugs That Cause Serotonin Syndrome

V.            Diagnosing Serotonin Syndrome

1.   Diagnostic Criteria

2.   Health and Medication History

VI.          Serotonin Toxicity In The Newborn

VII.       Clinical Conditions Resembling Serotonin Syndrome

1.   Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome

2.   Anticholinergic Syndrome

3.   Malignant Hyperthermia

4.   Serotonin Discontinuation Syndrome

VIII.     Treatment Of Serotonin Syndrome

1.   Supportive Care

2.   Special Therapies

IX.          Summary


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