Shivering Treatments for Targeted Temperature Management: A Review

Akash Jain, Maria Gray, Stephanie Slisz, Joseph Haymore, Neeraj Badjatia, Erik Kulstad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Shivering is common during targeted temperature management, and control of shivering can be challenging if clinicians are not familiar with the available options and recommended approaches. Purpose: The purpose of this review was to summarize the most relevant literature regarding various treatments available for control of shivering and suggest a recommended approach based on latest data. Methods: The electronic databases PubMed/MEDLINE and Google Scholar were used to identify studies for the literature review using the following keywords alone or in combination: "shivering treatment," "therapeutic hypothermia," "core temperature modulation devices," and "targeted temperature management." Results: Nonpharmacologic methods were found to have a very low adverse effect profile and ease of use but some limitations in complete control of shivering. Pharmacologic methods can effectively control shivering, but some have adverse effects, such that risks and benefits to the patient have to be balanced. Conclusion: An approach is provided which suggests that treatment for shivering control in targeted temperature management should be initiated before the onset of therapeutic hypothermia or prior to any attempt at lowering patient core temperature, with medications including acetaminophen, buspirone, and magnesium sulfate, ideally with the addition of skin counterwarming. After that, shivering intervention should be determined with the help of a shivering scale, and stepwise escalation can be implemented that balances shivering treatment with sedation, aiming to provide the most shivering reduction with the least sedating medications and reserving paralytics for the last line of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-67
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • core temperature modulation devices
  • normothermia
  • shivering control in TTM
  • shivering control in targeted temperature management
  • shivering scale
  • shivering treatment
  • targeted temperature management
  • therapeutic hypothermia
  • therapeutic normothermia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Medical–Surgical


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