Fall 2014 – A Case of Severe, Refractory Antipsychotic-induced Orthostatic Hypotension

A Case of Severe, Refractory Antipsychotic-induced Orthostatic Hypotension.

Author1Sahil Gambhir, 2Nicholas Sandersfeld, DO, 2Dale D’Mello, MD

Author Affiliations1College of Human Medicine, Michigan State  University, East Lansing, MI, USA; 2Department of Psychiatry, College of Human  Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

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Corresponding Author: Sahil Gambhir, Gambhir1[at]msu.edu

Key Words: Orthostatic hypotension; antipsychotics; refractory; side effects; schizophrenia; management guidelines.

Abstract: Introduction: Antipsychotics have many adverse effects including orthostatic hypotension. Orthostatic hypotension is ideally treated with non-pharmacological strategies; however, these often fail leading to utilization of pharmacological methods. Currently, there is no agreed upon management or protocol for addressing antipsychotic-induced orthostatic hypotension and research in this area is limited. Patient profile: A 60-year-old man with a long history of schizophrenia who was receiving Haldol† Deconoate 200 mg injections every 4 weeks due to previous non-compliance. He was admitted to the inpatient psychiatric service due to worsening psychosis and suicidal behavior. Intervention: Despite use of medications, the patient was switched to risperidone with a goal of transition to an atypical long-acting injectable. The psychosis improved, but the patient developed orthostatic hypotension. After his medications were held, his blood pressure continued to be grossly abnormal. A number of different tests were completed followed by standard non-pharmacological treatment, which proved unsuccessful. Despite receiving intravenous fluid boluses to maintain his blood pressure, the patient required pharmacological treatment. This included midodrine and fludrocortisones, and concluded with Adderall† as his blood pressure stabilized. Conclusion: This case of a 60-year-old man with antipsychotic-induced orthostatic hypotension elucidates the frustration healthcare professionals and patients face with this common treatment-resistant condition. A treatment algorithm for managing drug-induced orthostatic hypotension is proposed and is a nidus for development of future protocols.

Published on date: September 31, 2014

Senior Editor: Kaitlyn Vitale

Junior Editor:Mike Klinger

DOI: Pending

Citation: Gambhir S, Sandersfeld N, D’Mello D. A Case of Severe, Refractory Antipsychotic-Induced Orthostatic Hypotension. Medical Student Research Journal. 2014;4(Fall): 15-7.

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Jessica Wummel

Executive Editor
Jessica Wummel is a third year medical student at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. She received her B.S. in Human Biology with a specialization in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society also from Michigan State University in 2011 from the Lyman Briggs College. She is interested in pursuing a career in Med/Peds and would eventually like to be involved in academic medicine later in her career.