Serotonin syndrome occurs when you take medications that cause high levels of the chemical serotonin to accumulate in your body.

Serotonin syndrome can occur when you increase the dose of such a drug or add a new drug to your regimen. Certain illegal drugs and dietary supplements also are associated with serotonin syndrome.

Serotonin is a chemical your body produces that's needed for your nerve cells and brain to function. But too much serotonin causes symptoms that can range from mild (shivering and diarrhea) to severe (muscle rigidity, fever and seizures). Severe serotonin syndrome can be fatal if not treated.

Milder forms of serotonin syndrome may go away within a day of stopping the medications that cause symptoms and, sometimes, taking drugs that block serotonin.

Mar. 13, 2014