Serotonin syndrome, a drug poisoning caused by excessive serotonin in the brain, has made the news again. This is a serious drug reaction that people who take SSRI antidepressants and/or triptans should be aware of. Despite the hype, rest assured that serotonin syndrome is rare in people with headache.
The most important step to prevent serotonin syndrome is to give all your health care providers a complete list of all the drugs that you take — not only prescription meds, but OTCs, supplements and recreational drugs. Today’s NY Times article lists a variety of drugs that can contribute to serotonin syndrome.
When you are given any new prescription or supplement, double-check if it increases your risk of serotonin syndrome. Triple-check this with your pharmacist when you pick up the drugs, whether they are prescription or OTC.
According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, “Signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome typically occur within several hours of taking a new drug or taking a previously used drug at an increased dosage level. . . .”