Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 October 2015
Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Psychiatric patients are particularly susceptible to heat stroke. Therefore, awareness and preventive measures of heat stroke are important for both clinicians and patients.
A 49-year-old man with schizophrenia, who was under maintenance treatment with olanzapine 20 mg/day, trihexyphenidyl 4 mg/day, and trazodone 50 mg/day, suffered from heat stroke in a heat wave and required intensive care. He recovered with the medical treatment provided.
Several factors could have contributed to the impaired thermoregulation and the occurrence of heat stroke in this case: schizophrenia, the psychotropic regimen, and lack of preventive measures. Possible differential diagnoses of heat stroke in this case include infection, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and serotonin syndrome.
Heat stroke can occur during the maintenance treatment of olanzapine, trihexyphenidyl, and trazodone for schizophrenia. Clinicians should be proactive to reduce the risk of heat stroke in psychiatric patients.