What is Seroquel?

Seroquel is a medication known as an atypical antipsychotic that is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia. The medication is also sometimes used to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder.

When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve the medication?

Seroquel was first approved by the FDA in 1997.

Is there a generic version of Seroquel?

Yes, quetiapine is the generic version of Seroquel and is available in the United States.

Are there any major differences between Seroquel and other antipsychotics used to treat Seroquel?

Seroquel belongs to the class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics or second generation psychotics. It is available in regular and extended-release forms. The drug is also used to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder. It can cause an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors among children, teens, and young adults. Talk to your doctor about what might work best for you and the costs and benefits of taking the medication. Some people may need to try several different antipsychotics before they find the most effective with the fewest side effects.

Can children take Seroquel?

Seroquel has been approved to treat schizophrenia in children ages 13 and older. However, teens taking atypical antipsychotics can be at higher risk for side effects such as weight gain and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of using the medication.

Are there potential interaction issues for people taking Seroquel and any other drugs?

There are hundreds of other drugs known to interact with Seroquel in major, moderate, or mild ways, so let your doctor know what other medications you are taking before you begin taking the medication. Some of these include antidepressants, antifungals, antihistamines, barbiturates, carbamazepine, chlorpromazine; divalproex, dopamine agonists, erythromycin, gatifloxacin, levodopa, levomethadyl acetate, HIV medications, methadone, moxifloxacin, pentamidine, phenytoin, rifampin, sedative, oral steroids, methylprednisolone, and prednisone, sleeping pills, thioridazine, tranquilizers, and ziprasidone. Also talk to your doctor if you are taking medication for irregular heartbeat, anxiety, high blood pressure, irritable bowel disease, motion sickness, Parkinson’s disease, ulcer, urinary problems, or any other mental health issues.

Are there any other medical conditions that would make someone ineligible for Seroquel therapy?

Talk to your doctor about other medical conditions before you take Seroquel, such as a prolonged QT interval, diabetes, dementia, seizures, cataracts, low white blood cell count, high cholesterol, high or low blood pressure, a history of heart attack or stroke, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, heart disease, or liver disease. Also talk to your doctor if you have a history of substance abuse or any other mental health issues, including a history of suicidal thoughts.

What is the typical starting dose that would be prescribed to someone taking Seroquel?

The FDA recommends a starting dosage of 25mg twice a day for the treatment of schizophrenia. The safety of doses above 800 mg per day has not been established. Dosage may differ for the extended-release version of the medication and for the treatment of bipolar disorder.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Take the dose of Seroquel when you remember, but skip the missed dose if it it’s almost time for your next dose. You should never take extra doses of the medication to make up for missed doses.

Can Seroquel cause side effects?

Common side effects of Seroquel can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Stuffy nose
  • Joint, back, or neck pain
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Indigestion
  • Strange dreams
  • Stomach pain
  • Weakness
  • Numbness in arms or legs
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Decreased sex drive.

Doctors recommend that you not drink alcohol while on the medication. It also is recommended that you wait to drive or operate machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Report major side effects to your doctor immediately, which can include fainting, vision changes, fever, seizures, confusion, painful and long-lasting erection, sweating, uncontrollable movements, muscle pain or stiffness, unusual bleeding or bruising, signs of infection, rash, fast or irregular heartbeat, tightening of throat, and difficulty breathing or swallowing. You can also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online.

What are the potential long-term effects of taking Seroquel?

Your doctor should monitor for progression of potential long-term side effect of Seroquel, which can include cataracts, weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and tardive dyskinesia.

Is it safe for a woman who is pregnant, about to become pregnant, or nursing to take Seroquel?

There have been no controlled human pregnancy studies on the effects of Seroquel. The drug can be transferred via human breast milk and potentially harm a baby. Therefore, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing before you take Seroquel.

Can symptoms occur if Seroquel is discontinued?

It’s important not to discontinue use of the drug if you feel better. Withdrawal symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, irritability, and the return of symptoms of schizophrenia. Maintain contact with your doctor and seek medical attention if necessary when discontinuing the drug, and talk to your doctor about how to mitigate potential withdrawal symptoms.

What should I do if I overdose on Seroquel?

Seek immediate help or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you overdose, as it can be fatal. Symptoms may include drowsiness, fast heartbeat, fainting, and dizziness.

Is Seroquel habit-forming?
Seroquel has no habit-forming potential, but it is not recommended that you discontinue use of the drug before talking with your doctor, as withdrawal symptoms can occur.

How much does Seroquel cost?

According to goodrx.com, 30 tablets of 25mg Seroquel cost approximately $130. 30 tablets of 25mg generic quetiapine cost approximately $20.

Are there any disadvantages to Seroquel?

The biggest disadvantages of Seroquel are the potential long-term side effects, which can include tardive dyskinesia, increased blood sugar, cataracts, and weight gain. For teens and young adults, the medication may also cause an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

 

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider.  This article mentions drugs that were FDA-approved and available at the time of publication and may not include all possible drug interactions or all FDA warnings or alerts. The author of this page explicitly does not endorse this drug or any specific treatment method. If you have health questions or concerns about interactions, please check with your physician or go to the FDA site for a comprehensive list of warnings.

 

 

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Last Updated: Jul 10, 2017