Psychiatric Quarterly

, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 299–309 | Cite as

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome: A complication of neuroleptics and cocaine abuse

  • MaCaulay J. Akpaffiong
  • Pedro Ruiz


One hundred and sixty psychiatric patients on Neuroleptics, with and without a history of substance abuse were daily monitored in order to establish the incidence of neuroleptic malignant syndrome in these two groups. Four (5.1%) of the cocaine abusers and none of the non-cocaine abusers developed neuroleptic malignant syndrome when treated with neuroleptics. Thus we argue that psychiatric patients with a history of cocaine abuse may be more at risk of developing neuroleptic malignant syndrome when treated with neuroleptics, possibly associated with the blockade of dopamine (D2-receptors) by neuroleptics and the activation of dopamine/5-HT receptors by cocaine-induced dopamine.


Public Health Dopamine Cocaine Substance Abuse Psychiatric Patient 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • MaCaulay J. Akpaffiong
  • Pedro Ruiz
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of PsychiatryBaylor College of MedicineHouston

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