Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome

Posted by e-Medical PPT
Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a life- threatening neurological disorder most often caused by an adverse reaction to neuroleptic or antipsychotic drugs. Incidence of the disease has declined since its discovery, but it is still a potential danger to patients being treated with antipsychotics. Because of its unpredictability, there is no one set course of action to treat the syndrome, but generally, removal of the antipsychotic drug treatment, along with supportive medical management, lead to a positive outcome.
The first symptom to develop is usually muscular cramps, fever, symptoms of instability of the autonomic nervous system such as unstable blood pressure, and changes in cognition, including agitation, delirium and coma. Other symptoms may include muscle tremors.A raised white blood cell count and creatine phosphokinase (CPK) plasma concentration will be reported due to increased muscular activity and rhabdomyolysis .The patient may suffer hypertensive crisis and metabolic acidosis.
Differentiating NMS from other neurological disorders can be very difficult.Some of the most commonly mistaken diseases are: encephalitis, toxic encephalopathy, status epilepticus, heat stroke, and malignant hyperthermia.NMS is usually caused by neuroleptic drug use, and a wide range of drug potencies can result in NMS.It has been reported that individuals using haloperidol and chlorpromazine are at greatest risk.
NMS is an emergency, and can lead to death if untreated. The first step is to stop neuroleptic drugs and to treat the hyperthermia aggressively, such as with cooling blankets or ice packs to the axillae and groin. Many cases require intensive care and circulatory and ventilatory support. Medications such as dantrolene sodium and bromocriptine may be used. Apomorphine may be used however its use is supported by little evidence. Benzodiazepines may be used to control agitation. Highly elevated CPK can damage the kidneys, therefore aggressive hydration may be required.

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