Drug Error Serotonin Syndrome Law Firm
Serotonin Syndrome can occur when you take a new medication that causes the level of the chemical called serotonin to build up in your body.
Serotonin Syndrome can also occur when you increase the dose of a medication or add another medication that further increases serotonin levels in your blood.
Serotonin works in your body by allowing your nerves and brain to send signals to help regulate things like digestion, mood and sleep, to name a few. Too much serotonin in your blood can cause your body to react irregularly which can lead to death in severe cases.
What causes Serotonin Syndrome?
Medications are able to control mood by increasing serotonin levels or when used in combination with other medications. These situations put patients at risk for serotonin syndrome. Some patients are sensitive, which makes them more susceptible to developing serotonin syndrome.
In normal conditions the nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the body make serotonin to maintain a person’s attention span, behavior, mood, body temperature, blood flow, and digestion.
Certain medication combinations put patients at a higher risk of developing serotonin syndrome, such as antidepressant medications taken together with opioid or opioid-like pain medications and with certain types of antibiotics.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) antidepressants come with a special warning, to not take certain medications such as:
- Marplan (isocarboxazid),
- Nardil (phenelzine),
- Zyvox (linezolid),
- Azilect (rasagiline),
- Emsam/Eldepryl/Zelapar (selegiline), or
- Parnate (tranylcypromine)
Some over-the-counter medications taken in combination with prescription medications can increase serotonin levels can put patients at risk for serotonin syndrome.
Medications associated with serotonin syndrome, Brand (generic)
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) – These are antidepressants:
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro/Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Paxil/Seroxat (Paroxetine)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Luvox (fluvoxamine)
- Zoloft/Lustral (Sertraline)
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs):
- Oleptro (trazodone)
- Cymbalta (duloxetine)
- Effexor (venlafaxine)
Other types of Antidepressants:
- Wellbutrin/Zyban (Bupropion) – an antidepressant used to help people to stop tobacco-addiction
Tricyclic Antidepressants (also known as TCA antidepressants):
- Elavil (amitriptyline)
- Pamelor (nortriptyline)
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) antidepressants:
- Marplan (isocarboxazid)
- Nardil (phenelzine)
Prescription Migraine medications:
Triptan Migraine Medications:
- Axert (almotriptan)
- Amerge (naratriptan)
- Imitrex (sumatriptan)
- Zomig (zolmitriptan)
- Frova (frovatriptan)
- Maxalt (rizatriptan)
- Relpax (eletriptan)
Anti-Seizure Medications used for Migraines:
- Tegretol (carbamazepine)
- Depakene (valproic acid)
Opioid pain medications:
- Tylenol #3 and Tylenol # 4 (acetaminophen with codeine)
- Duragesic (fentanyl)
- Demerol (hydrocodone meperidine)
- Oxycontin/Percocet/Percodan (oxycodone)
- ConZip/Ultram/Ultracet (tramadol)
Mood Stabilizer used to treat Pain:
- Lithobid (lithium)
Over-The-Counter Herbal Supplements:
- John’s wort
Over-The-Counter Cough and Cold medications containing dextromethorphan:
- Delsym (dextromethorphan)
- Other medications containing dextromethorphan (there too many to list here, there are over 100 brands of cough and cold medications containing dextromethorphan sold over the counter)
Prescription Anti-Nausea medication:
- Sancuso/Granisol (granisetron)
- Reglan (metoclopramide)
- Zyvox (Linezolid)
Anti-retroviral HIV/AIDS medications