Heat intolerance induced by antidepressants

Y. Epstein*, D. Albukrek, B. Kalmovitc, D. S. Moran, Y. Shapiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A case in which prescription medications induced heat intolerance which led to heat stroke is presented. A subject who suffered from depression and was treated with fluoxetine HCL (prozac) and lithium carbonate was engaged in mild intermittent work for 4 hours under hot/dry climatic conditions (T(a) = 37°C, rh = 15%). The subject lost consciousness, was hyperthermic and suffered from disseminated intravascular coagulation. A year later residual cerebellar symptoms were still evident and severe atrophy of the cerebellar tissue was demonstrated in a CT scan. It is suggested that drug-induced heat intolerance was the predisposing factor that reduced the patient ability to sustain exercise-heat stress, and under the favorable environmental circumstances led to excessive heat accumulation which ultimately caused heat stroke. This is the first description, to our knowledge, of heat intolerance of a patient treated by a combination of fluoxetine and lithium carbonate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-558
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 1997


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