What is Seroquel?Seroquel is a medicine used to treat schizophrenia in adults and children 13 years and older. It is also used to treat bipolar disorder in adults, including manic episodes (either alone or combined with lithium or divalproex); depressive episodes; and long-term treatment when combined with lithium or divalproex. In addition, Seroquel is used to treat manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder in children 10-17 years old.
What is the most important information I should know about Seroquel?Seroquel may increase the risk of death when used to treat mental problems in elderly patients caused by dementia (an illness involving loss of memory and judgment, and confusion). Seroquel is not approved to treat mental problems caused by dementia.
Antidepressants may increase suicidal thoughts and actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults within the first few months of treatment. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. These include people who have (or have a family history of) depression, bipolar disorder, or suicidal thoughts or actions.
Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when the medicine is started or when the dose is changed. Families and caregivers should watch patients daily and report these symptoms immediately to their physician. Keep all follow-up visits with your doctor as scheduled.
Seroquel may cause tardive dyskinesia, a potentially irreversible condition characterized by uncontrollable muscle spasms and twitches in the face and body. Call your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms.
Seroquel may cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a life threatening brain disorder), a serious and potentially fatal reaction to the drug. Call your doctor immediately if you develop muscle stiffness, confusion, irregular or rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, and high fever.
Certain antipsychotic drugs, including Seroquel, are associated with an increased risk of developing high blood sugar, which on rare occasions has led to coma or death. See your doctor right away if you develop signs of high blood sugar, including dry mouth, unusual thirst, increased urination, and tiredness. If you have diabetes or have a high risk of developing it, see your doctor regularly for blood sugar testing.
Changes or elevations in cholesterol and weight gain have been reported.
Your doctor may also perform periodic eye exams to monitor for possible risk of cataracts.
Seroquel may rarely cause a prolonged, painful erection. If this is not treated right away, it could lead to permanent sexual problems, such as impotence. Contact your doctor right away if this happens.
Rarely, Seroquel may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
Seroquel can cause high blood pressure in children and adolescents. The doctor should check your child's blood pressure before starting Seroquel and throughout treatment.
Who should not take Seroquel?Do not take Seroquel if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
Seroquel is not approved for treating mental problems caused by dementia.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Seroquel?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Seroquel. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you or a family member have a history of diabetes, high cholesterol, low or high blood pressure, low white blood cell count, cataracts, seizures, thyroid problems, high prolactin levels, liver problems, heart disease or family history of QT prolongation (abnormal heart rhythm), or low levels of electroytes (such as low potassium or magnesium). Also tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The recommended starting dose is 50 milligrams (mg) once daily in the evening. Daily doses may be increased on consecutive days as follows: 100 mg on Day 2, 200 mg on Day 3, and 300 mg on Day 4. Your doctor may prescribe up to 600 mg per day by Day 8 depending on how you respond to the drug.
Bipolar Mania (given alone or with lithium or divalproex)
Adults: The recommended starting dose is 50 mg twice daily. Your doctor may prescribe up to 800 mg per day by Day 6 depending on how you respond to the drug.
Children and adolescents 10-17 years: The recommended starting dose is 25 mg twice daily. Daily doses may be increased on consecutive days as follows: 100 mg on Day 2, 200 mg on Day 3, 300 mg on Day 4, and 400 mg on Day 5. After Day 5, the doctor will adjust the dose based on the child's response to the drug.
Management of Bipolar Disorder (given with lithium or divalproex)
Adults: The usual dosage range is 400-800 mg per day, divided into two daily doses.
Children and adolescents 10-17 years: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child.
Adults: The recommended starting dose is 25 mg twice daily. Your doctor may prescribe up to 800 mg per day depending on how you respond to the drug.
Children and adolescents 10-17 years: The recommended starting dose is 25 mg twice a day. Daily doses may be increased on consecutive days as follows: 100 mg on Day 2, 200 mg on Day 3, 300 mg on Day 4, and 400 mg on Day 5. After Day 5, the doctor will adjust the dose based on the child's response to the drug.
How should I take Seroquel?Take Seroquel exactly as your doctor prescribes. Do not change the dose yourself. You can take Seroquel with or without food.
If you need to stop Seroquel, talk with your doctor first. If you suddenly stop taking Seroquel, you may experience side effects such as insomnia, nausea, and vomiting.
What should I avoid while taking Seroquel?Do not drive, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Seroquel affects you. Seroquel may make you drowsy.
Avoid getting overheated or dehydrated. Do not over-exercise. Stay out of the sun. Do not wear too much or heavy clothing. Drink plenty of water.
Do not drink alcohol while taking Seroquel, as it may make some side effects of Seroquel worse.
When you first start treatment, avoid sitting up or standing up too quickly, especially in the morning. Seroquel may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting due to a decrease in blood pressure. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
Rarely, Seroquel may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection such as fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Seroquel?If Seroquel is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Seroquel with the following: alcohol, barbiturates such as phenobarbital, carbamazepine, cimetidine, divalproex, erythromycin, fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, levodopa, lorazepam, phenytoin, protease inhibitors, QT-prolonging drugs, rifampin, steroids such as hydrocortisone and prednisone, and thioridazine.
What are the possible side effects of Seroquel?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects in adults may include: drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, weakness, abdominal pain, constipation, sore throat, sluggishness, upset stomach, sudden drop in blood pressure upon standing, weight gain
Side effects in children and adolescents may include: drowsiness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, increased appetite, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, weight gain
Can I receive Seroquel if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Seroquel during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Seroquel?If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Seroquel?Store at room temperature.