Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
No single test can confirm a serotonin syndrome diagnosis. Your doctor will diagnose the condition by ruling out other possibilities.
Your doctor will likely begin by asking about your medical history and any medications you're taking. To make sure your symptoms are caused by serotonin syndrome and not something else, your doctor may use tests to:
- Measure levels of any drugs you're using
- Check your thyroid hormone level
- Check body functions that may be affected by serotonin syndrome
A number of conditions can cause symptoms similar to those of serotonin syndrome. Minor symptoms can be caused by numerous conditions. Causes of moderate and severe symptoms include:
- Anticholinergic syndrome, malignant hyperthermia and neuroleptic malignant syndrome, serious conditions caused by certain medications
- An overdose of cocaine, amphetamines or an MAOI, a type of drug for depression
- Certain thyroid conditions
- Withdrawal from alcohol or heroin
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- Ables AZ, et al. Prevention, diagnosis, and management of serotonin syndrome. American Family Physician. 2010;81:1139.
- Boyer EW. Serotonin syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 15, 2010.
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- Boyer EW, et al. Current concepts: The serotonin syndrome. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2005;352:1112.