Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a rare condition that develops in response to the use of psychiatric medications. The development of NMS is unpredictable and the cause not clearly defined, though research shows abnormal brain chemistry plays an important role. Symptoms of the syndrome are acute, and life-threatening complications can develop if medical attention is delayed. People with NMS require prompt diagnosis and treatment to make a full recovery with no lasting effects.
Nearly all cases of neuroleptic malignant syndrome develop within 30 days of beginning the offending medication, most within several days or a week. The development of NMS occurs with nearly all types of a specific class of medications. All instances of NMS develop in a predictable pattern, regardless of the specific prescription, with the same symptoms and complications. Symptoms usually peak within three days.
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