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CNS Spectr. 2000 Jul;5(7):54-7.

Is Lorazepam a treatment for neuroleptic malignant syndrome?

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, USA.


The authors assessed the ability of lorazepam and other benzodiazepines to affect the course of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Records of inpatients who met both stringent research criteria and criteria under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, (DSM-IV) (n=11) or DSM-IV criteria alone (n=5) for NMS were identified. All received lorazepam or related benzodiazepines within 24 hours of NMS onset or hospital admission. The records were reviewed for resolution of clinical signs of NMS. Rigidity and fever abated within 24-48 hours, while secondary features of NMS were relieved within 64 hours. These results compared favorably with prior reports of 5-day to 10-day recovery periods. Benzodiazepine administration appeared to be well tolerated. Lorazepam and related benzodiazepines may reduce recovery time in NMS.

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