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Treatment

As soon as malignant hyperthermia is suspected, doctors must act rapidly to treat the condition and prevent complications.

The first and most important step is to immediately stop giving the triggering medication and to stop the surgery. Doctors then give the drug dantrolene (Dantrium).

Dantrolene relaxes the muscles. It stops the dangerous increase in muscle metabolism.

Dantrolene is given intravenously until a patient has stabilized. Then, the medication typically is continued in pill form for three days.

Additional treatment can include:

  • Lowering body temperature with:

    • Cool mist and fans

    • Cooling blankets

    • Cooled intravenous fluids

  • Administering oxygen

  • Using medications to:

    • Control the heartbeat

    • Stabilize blood pressure

  • Monitoring in an intensive care unit

Page 6 of 9     Next Page:  Malignant Hyperthermia When to Call A Doctor
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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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