Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


The Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) is a potentially grave adverse reaction to oral or parenteral neuroleptic therapy that may be an underdiagnosed and easily overlooked clinical problem. NMS is characterized by hyperthermia, hypertension, diaphoresis, muscular rigidity, and altered mentation. There is currently no way of predicting which patients will develop NMS, although its incidence may be higher in patients who are unresponsive to usually effective dosages of neuroleptics ( I) .

NMS was first described in the French literature by Delay and Deniker in 1960 (2). They reported five cases among several hundred patients who were treated with haloperidol (Haldol"), suggesting an incidence of approximately 0.5-1 .0%.

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