Drugs and natural compounds that affect the thermoregulatory system can induce or contribute to hyperthermia when used in excess. Hyperthermia associated with drug overdose is dangerous and potentially lethal. This article reviews the body's process of maintaining thermodynamic equilibrium, and describes the mechanisms by which it is influenced by sympathomimetic and anticholinergic drugs, salicylates, and thyroid replacement medications. Appropriate treatment strategies such as cooling and the administration of counteractive medications are discussed.
Keywords: Anticholinergics; Cocaine; Hypermetabolism; Hyperthermia; Methlenedioxymethamphetamine; Salicylates; Sympathomimetics; Thermoregulatory system.
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