Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Serotonin Syndrome Triggered by Increasing the Dose of Quetiapine


Case presentation: An 85-year-old woman with a history of depression treated with polypharmacy including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor presented to the emergency department with head, and upper and lower limb tremors four hours after increasing the dose of quetiapine from 12.5 milligrams (mg) per day to 25 mg/day. She was diagnosed with serotonin syndrome (SS), and all medications except clotiazepam were discontinued. The symptoms subsided within 48 hours.

Discussion: The use of atypical antipsychotics alone seldom increases the risk of SS. However, combining atypical antipsychotics with serotonergic agents increases the risk of SS because the activity of serotonin receptor subtype 1A is relatively enhanced. This report suggests that physicians should be aware that even a small increase in quetiapine could pose a risk of developing SS.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View