Hyperthermia complicating tricyclic antidepressant overdose


We observed a 51-yearold 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°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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Correspondence to P. Hantson.

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Hantson, P., Benaissa, M., Clemessy, J.L. et al. Hyperthermia complicating tricyclic antidepressant overdose. Intensive Care Med 22, 453–455 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01712165

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Key words

  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Overdose
  • Hyperthermia