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Neuroleptic malignant syndrome or haloperidol toxicity: a case report and differential diagnosis

  • Ljiljana J Verner (a1), Claudia L Kollmar (a2) and Detlef E Dietrich (a2)


Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a severe and potentially lethal complication of antipsychotic medication. Differential diagnosis is extremely important because severe catatonia, which has some similarities to NMS, may also be lethal but requires antipsychotic treatment. We present a case report of a 62-year-old woman who was admitted to hospital for differential diagnosis of NMS and suffered from severe haloperidol intoxication, which complicated the diagnostic evaluation. Further differential diagnostic aspects are summarised and their therapeutic implications are outlined.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Prof. Dr. med. D. Dietrich, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str.1, 30625 Hannover, Germany. Tel: +49 511 532 6571; E-mail:


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