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Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a rare but potentially lethal complication of dopamine antagonist use. A 34-year-old male presented to the emergency department with a chief complaint of feeling anxious for the past several days. He presented with his family who helped provide history as he had become less communicative over the preceding two days. It was revealed that the patient had a recent psychiatric hospitalization for suspected new-onset psychosis and was discharged six days prior to his presentation. It was reported that the patient was discharged with unknown psychiatric medications but stopped taking them two days prior because he felt they were increasing his anxiety. On physical examination, the patient was found to have upper extremity rigidity and appeared tremulous. A review of records revealed that the patient was discharged from inpatient psychiatric treatment on dual antipsychotic therapy. With this information, the patient met the diagnostic criteria for NMS. He was hospitalized and his symptoms resolved following treatment. Without the knowledge of antipsychotic use, the diagnosis of a serious, life-threatening condition may have been missed. Our case highlights an important but occasionally overlooked aspect of evaluating a patient in the emergency department, namely, outside chart and documentation reviewing.

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