Serotonin Syndrome: Rare But Very Serious
The symptoms of the serotonin syndrome are:
Despite what some write, any substance that increases serotonin can cause this syndrome. I have yet to hear of turkey or milk causing it, but a single serotonin medication can cause it.
However, certain things may increase the risk, but the exact increased risk is unknown.
If you think you are experiencing this syndrome, get to a hospital ER. Make sure someone knows you suspect serotonin syndrome in case your cognition starts to fail.
If you stop the serotonin stimulating medication you should be fine in an Emergency room. If you continue it, death is a possibility.
While it is easy to say you should never be given high doses of a single agent, or two antidepressants at the same time, it is done all the time to get people full relief. A person with only a 60% depression improvement is still miserable and not fully functional. I have used up to 3 antidepressants and two augmenters in a person to get improvement. I wish that was never the case, but occasionally it is needed. I know most advanced psychopharmacologists combine antidepressants because it works. I have never seen serotonin syndrome. I hope I never do.
But you should know of the risk with any single antidepressant.
For fuller information see: Serotonin Syndrome, AM J PSYCHIATRY, June 1991
To Happy Days,