Serotonin Syndrome (SS)


This is a dangerous buildup of serotonin in your body. That's a chemical your body makes naturally. It's used by your brain and your nervous system. It helps regulate things like body temperature, digestion and breathing. But too much serotonin can be bad for you.


Serotonin syndrome is caused by drugs that raise your serotonin levels. In most cases, it happens when you take two drugs that should not be used together. It can also happen when you take a new dosage of a drug. This syndrome can be triggered by certain pain relievers, antidepressants, and other drugs. It has been linked to some dietary supplements. And, it can be caused by certain illegal drugs.

Symptoms and Complications

Symptoms may include agitation and restlessness. You may be confused. Your heart rate and blood pressure may go up. You may have headaches and muscle twitches. You may begin to sweat and shiver. Your pupils may dilate. You may have diarrhea. Without treatment, you may develop a high fever, an irregular heartbeat or seizures. You may lose consciousness. This can be fatal.


Treatment depends on your needs. You may need to stop taking a certain drug. You may need other medicines to help get your serotonin levels under control. If your symptoms are severe, you'll need treatment in a hospital. Your healthcare provider can create a plan that's right for you.