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Intensive Care Med. 1996 May;22(5):453-5.

Hyperthermia complicating tricyclic antidepressant overdose.

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  • 1Réanimation Toxicologique, Hôpital Fernand Widal, Paris, France.


We observed a 51-year-old woman who was admitted for severe amitriptyline overdose. Besides major cardiovascular complications, the patient developed severe hyperpyrexia with a central body temperature of more than 43 degrees C for 5 h. The patient died on day 3 from cardiocirculatory collapse and arrhythmias. Hyperthermia was unresponsive to cooling with ice water, gastric lavage, muscle relaxation, and dantrolene and bromocriptine administration. The possible mechanisms of refractory hyperthermia are discussed.

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