Catatonia as a risk factor for the development of neuroleptic malignant syndrome: report of a case following treatment with clozapine

World J Biol Psychiatry. 2009;10(1):70-3. doi: 10.1080/15622970701287369.


Catatonia is characterized by the predominance of psychomotor abnormalities and shares many clinical, biological and treatment response features with the neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a rare adverse reaction to psychoactive medications. It has been advocated that the two conditions should be placed along the same spectrum of disorders. A case of a 49-year-old woman, who developed NMS while on low dose clozapine soon after recovering from catatonia, is presented. The potential relationship between catatonia and NMS is discussed in the light of the existing literature, and attention is drawn to the risk for clozapine-induced NMS in catatonic patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Catatonia / chemically induced
  • Catatonia / diagnosis
  • Catatonia / drug therapy*
  • Clozapine / adverse effects*
  • Clozapine / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome / etiology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / drug therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia, Catatonic / drug therapy


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Clozapine