Skip to main content

Table 2 Frequently used drugs in the intensive care unit associated with abnormal movements listed in alphabetical order

From: Abnormal movements in critical care patients with brain injury: a diagnostic approach

Drug class Abnormal movement type with specific drug if applicable
Analgesics Seizures (meperidine and tramadol)
Clonus and myoclonus in the setting of serotonin syndrome (tramadol)
Antibiotics Myoclonus and seizures with cefalosporins in renal failure
Seizures (fluoroquinolones and carbapenems)
Tremor (amphotericine)
Clonus in the setting of serotonin syndrome (linezolid)
Antidepressants and mood stabilizers Seizures (SSRI, TCA and bupropione)
Tremor (lithium)
Chorea (lithium)
Antiepileptics Tremor (valproic acid)
Ataxia and nystagmus (phenytoin)
Seizures may be seen with toxic doses (phenytoin)
Chorea (phenytoin, carbamazepine, valproic acid)
Antipsychotics Seizures with almost all of them (especially clozapine)
Acute dystonic reaction affecting mainly the cervical, cranial and axial muscles seen most commonly with typical neuroleptics such as haloperidol
Neuroleptic malignant syndrome
Tardive dyskinesia as a long-term effect
Cardiovascular agents Seizures (digoxin toxicity)
Tremor (amiodarone, procainamide)
Contrast agents Seizures (diatrizoic acid)
Hormones Tremor (levothyroxine, epinephrine)
Chorea (levothyroxine)
Gastrointestinal agents Acute dystonic reaction (metoclopramide)
Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (metoclopramide)
Tardive dyskinesia as a long-term effect (metoclopramide)
Tremor (metoclopramide, cimetidine)
Chorea (metoclopramide)
Misused drugs Seizures (alcohol withdrawal, cocaine and amphetamine toxicity)
Tremor (same drugs that cause seizures)
Chorea (amphetamine, cocaine)
  1. List of abnormal movements associated with each class of frequently administered medication in the intensive care unit setting. Examples refer to most frequently associated drug with abnormal movement type. SSRI selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, TCA tricyclic antidepressant