Neuroleptic malignant syndrome



Neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Psychological disorders

Psychological disorders

Psychological disorders


Neuroleptic malignant syndrome


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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High Yield Notes

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Neuroleptic malignant syndrome

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 23-year-old man is brought to the emergency department after collapsing at a music festival on a hot summer day. The patient was with friends at an electronic dance show. According to his friends, the patient consumed a powdered drug at the concert. Afterwards, while dancing, he suddenly collapsed and started having tremors in the upper and lower extremities. He has a past medical history of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, for which he takes fluoxetine, alprazolam as needed, and aripiprazole. Temperature is 39.0°C (102.2 °F), pulse is 132/min, respirations are 24/min, blood pressure is 172/85 mmHg, and O2 saturation is 97% on room air. On physical examination the patient is diaphoretic, mumbling incoherent sounds, and will not lie still in the gurney. The patient has increased muscle tone. Brief, sudden jerks are present throughout the upper and lower extremities. Which of the following clinical features is most specific to this patient's clinical presentation?

External References

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neuroleptic malignant syndrome p. 593

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) p. 572, 593


Neuroleptic malignant syndrome is a life-threatening neurological disorder most often caused by an adverse reaction to neuroleptic or antipsychotic drugs, which are used to treat mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome typically presents with muscle rigidity, fever, autonomic instability, and cognitive changes such as delirium.


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