Malignant Syndrome Quiz

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Reviewed By:

Maxwell J. Nanes

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO (Emergency department)

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

From our team of 50+ doctors

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Learn more about Malignant syndrome

Content updated on Sep 20, 2022

What is malignant syndrome?

It is also called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). It's a rare and serious reaction to certain medicines. Symptoms typically start within hours to days after exposure to the medication, but sometimes can happen after two weeks up to a month from starting it. Most common causative medications include antipsychotics and occasionally drugs used to treat or prevent vomiting, Parkinson's disease etc. Symptoms include dangerously high body temperature, muscular rigidity, and severe agitation and altered mental status.

Symptoms of malignant syndrome

  • Fever

  • Fine tremor of the hands and fingers

  • Feel the heart is pounding

  • Muscle pain

  • My brain is not functioning right now

  • On psychiatric medications or sleeping pills

  • Losing consciousness

  • Sweating at the moment

Questions your doctor may ask to check for malignant syndrome

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose malignant syndrome

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Do you have a slight trembling of your fingers?

  • Do you feel your heart is pounding?

  • Do you have any muscle pain?

  • Do you have problems focusing or a reduced sense of awareness in your surroundings?

Treatment for malignant syndrome

This is a life threatening emergency. With timely treatment, patients usually recover completely from neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). The medication that has caused NMS should be discontinued. Treatment in hospital for monitoring is required. Patients often need body cooling procedures and IV fluids. Some medications can help including muscle relaxants and central nervous system depressants.

View the symptoms of Malignant syndrome

Reviewed By:

Maxwell J. Nanes

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO (Emergency department)

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Ubie is supervised by 50+ medical experts worldwide

Shohei Harase

Shohei Harase, MD


Kameda Medical Center, Japan

Yu Shirai

Yu Shirai, MD


Yotsuya Yui Clinic, Japan

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Internal medicine

Co-founder of Ubie, Inc.

Rohini R

Rohini R, MD

Ear, nose, throat (ENT)

Bayshore Health Centre, India

Seiji Kanazawa

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD

Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN)

National Center for Child Health and Development, Japan

View our medical experts