Serotonin Syndrome

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Serotonin is a chemical produced by the body that enables brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with one another. Too little serotonin in the brain is thought to play a role in depression . Too much, however, can lead to excessive nerve cell activity, causing a potentially deadly collection of symptoms known as serotonin syndrome .

Serotonin syndrome can occur when you increase the dose of such a drug or add a new drug to your regimen. Certain illegal drugs and dietary supplements also are associated with serotonin syndrome.

This review will discuss serotonin syndrome. A discussion of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) intoxication and a general approach to management of the poisoned patient are found elsewhere. (See "Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor poisoning" and "General approach to drug poisoning in adults" and "Initial management of the critically ill adult with an unknown overdose" .)