What is Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 10, 2012

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Quick Bites

  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome is a life-threatening neurological disorder.
  • The disorder usually develops within 2 weeks of treatment with neuroleptic drug.
  • It may, however, also develop during the therapy.
  • It may also develop in people taking anti-Parkinsonism drugs called dopaminergics.

Neuroleptic Malignant syndrome is a life-threatening disorder of the nervous system that is often caused by an adverse reaction to antipsychotic and neuroleptic drugs. The symptoms of this syndrome include high fever, unstable blood pressure, sweating, muscular rigidity, stupor and autonomic dysfunction.

In most cases, the disorder tends to develop within first 2 weeks of treatment with the drug, though the disorder can develop at any time during the therapy. The syndrome tends to also occur in those people who take anti-Parkinsonism drugs called dopaminergics if the drugs are abruptly discontinued.

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
Neuroleptic malignant syndrome is said to be most common post initiation or increase in neuroleptic therapy dosage. In about 90 percent of the cases, it occurs within 10 days. Onset of this syndrome is usually gradual i.e. over 1 to 3 days and occurs within 4 weeks of starting or increasing the neuroleptics. It can, however, develop in anyone who is taking neuroleptics. In patients with the disease, there is always a history of taking neuroleptics or other such agents within the previous four weeks.


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