Seroquel

Generic Name: Quetiapine

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Seroquel is a medicine used to treat schizophrenia. This medication can also be used to treat bipolar disorder alone or in combination with lithium or divalproex.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    The symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are thought to be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Although it is unclear exactly how Seroquel works, it seems to help balance the chemicals in the brain, thereby helping to improve your symptoms.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What:

    Schizophrenia: Seroquel has been shown to relieve symptoms of schizophrenia as measured by a symptom rating scale that is commonly used by healthcare providers to evaluate the effectiveness of the medicine in people with this condition.

    Bipolar Disorder: Seroquel may effectively work for the short-term to treat two types of bipolar disorder episodes: mania (highs) and depression (lows).

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Seroquel exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    Your healthcare provider may ask you questions from time to time to assess how well your symptoms are controlled.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Seroquel is not approved to treat mental problems caused by dementia (an illness involving loss of memory and judgment, and confusion) in the elderly. It can be life-threatening when used in elderly people with mental problems caused by dementia.

    Seroquel can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, teenagers, and young adults. Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely for clinical worsening and suicidal/unusual behavior after you start taking Seroquel or start a new dose of Seroquel. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience anxiety, hostility, sleeplessness, restlessness, impulsive or dangerous behavior, or thoughts about suicide or dying; or if you have new symptoms or seem to be feeling worse.

    Adults

    More common side effects may include: drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, constipation, weakness, abdominal (stomach area) pain, sore throat, weight gain, lack of energy, upset stomach.

    Children and Adolescents

    More common side effects may include: drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, increased appetite, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, fast heartbeat, weight gain.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) (a life-threatening brain disorder) with symptoms such as high fever, excessive sweating, muscle rigidity, confusion, changes in your breathing, fast or irregular heartbeat, or changes in your blood pressure.

    High blood sugar with symptoms such as excessive thirst, an increase in urination, increased appetite, weakness, confusion, fruity smelling breath, or feeling sick to your stomach.

    Tardive dyskinesia, defined as abnormal muscle movements, including tremor, shuffling, and uncontrolled, involuntary movements.

    Sudden fall in blood pressure with symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting when rising too quickly from a sitting or lying position.

    Low white blood cell counts with symptoms of an infection (such as fever, sore throat, rash, or chills).

    Development of cataracts with symptoms such as changes in your vision.

    Increased cholesterol (fats in your blood) and triglycerides (a type of blood fat), and weight gain.

    Increased blood pressure in children and teenagers.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Seroquel if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Seroquel. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have diabetes; high cholesterol levels; high or low blood pressure; low white blood cell counts; cataracts; seizures; high prolactin (a hormone that can affect lactation, menstruation, and fertility) levels; heart, liver, or thyroid problems; or 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 healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Schizophrenia

    Adults: The recommended dose is 150-750 milligrams (mg) a day. Your healthcare provider may start you on a lower dose and increase the dose as appropriate.

    Adolescents 13-17 years: The recommended dose is 400-800 mg a day. Your healthcare provider may start your child on a lower dose and increase the dose as appropriate.

    Bipolar Mania

    Adults: The recommended dose is 400-800 mg a day. Your healthcare provider may start you on a lower dose and increase the dose as appropriate.

    Children and adolescents 10-17 years: The recommended dose is 400-600 mg a day. Your healthcare provider may start your child on a lower dose and increase the dose as appropriate.

    Bipolar Depression

    Adults: The recommended dose is 300 mg a day. Your healthcare provider may start you on a lower dose and increase the dose as appropriate.

    If you are elderly, have liver impairment, or are taking certain medications, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

    It is important that you do not stop taking this medication abruptly. If you need to change or stop taking this medication, it is important that you only do this with the guidance of your healthcare provider.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Seroquel exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Seroquel without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take Seroquel with or without food.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Seroquel.

    Do not drive, operate machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities until you know how Seroquel affects you.

    Do not get overheated or dehydrated while you are taking Seroquel. Drink plenty of water and do not over-exercise. Stay out of the sun, and do not wear too much or heavy clothing. In hot weather, stay in a cool place if possible.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Seroquel is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Seroquel may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Seroquel during pregnancy are unknown. Seroquel can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Seroquel. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Seroquel, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature.

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