Weighing Benefits of Antidepressants Against Risks

If not quickly treated, a person with serotonin syndrome may slowly get worse and can become severely ill. Treatment includes discontinuing the medications that caused the syndrome, and may require an overnight stay in the hospital for observation.

Symptoms usually resolve within 24 hours in mild to moderate cases. Patients with severe serotonin syndrome must be admitted to an intensive care unit, but the prognosis is still generally favorable with appropriate care.

Because serotonin syndrome can vary greatly in severity, if you experience any symptoms, your doctor will need to decide whether you should continue taking certain medications by weighing their benefits and risks. For example, if you're taking medication for depression and develop a mild tremor, you may benefit more from continuing the medication, although you'll need careful monitoring to make sure your condition doesn't worsen to full-blown serotonin syndrome.

If you're being treated for several medical conditions and are on multiple medications, it's important to tell all of your providers which medications and supplements you're taking. And be sure to talk to your doctor before stopping any medication.

Publication Review By: Karen L. Swartz, M.D.

Published: 18 Jun 2013

Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015