Is acute dystonia an emergency? Sometimes, it really is!

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2013 Mar;29(3):380-2. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e31828547df.


Most cases of acute dystonia are mild and easy to manage; nevertheless, some of them can be fatal because of the involvement of certain muscle groups such as the laryngeal muscles, thus requiring urgent intervention. In the literature, approach to life-threatening acute dystonia has not been investigated thoroughly, although the diagnosis is a challenge, and treatment should be offered immediately. Herein the management of life-threatening acute dystonia is discussed via 2 case reports.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Antipsychotic Agents / poisoning*
  • Biperiden / therapeutic use
  • Chlorpromazine / poisoning*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dystonia / chemically induced*
  • Dystonia / diagnosis*
  • Dystonia / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Haloperidol / poisoning*
  • Humans
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / therapeutic use


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Biperiden
  • Haloperidol
  • Chlorpromazine