Quetiapine tablets and extended-release formulations are utilized to manage the symptoms of schizophrenia, a mental disorder characterized by disturbed or irrational thinking, loss of interest in life, and intense or inappropriate emotions.
This medication is also employed, either alone or in combination with other medications, to treat manic or depressive episodes in individuals with bipolar disorder, a condition that causes fluctuations between depression, mania, and other abnormal moods. Quetiapine tablets and extended-release formulations are used with other medications to prevent manic or depressive episodes. The extended-release tablets can also be utilized to treat depression, in conjunction with other medications.
Quetiapine may be included as part of a treatment program for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in children and teenagers. Quetiapine belongs to the class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics, and it works by altering the activity of specific natural substances in the brain.
Uses and Dosage
Take quetiapine orally as directed by your doctor, typically two or three times daily, with or without food. For the treatment of depression associated with bipolar disorder, take this medication once daily at bedtime as directed by your doctor.
The dosage of quetiapine will be determined by your medical condition, response to treatment, and any other medications you are currently taking. Inform your doctor and pharmacist of all products you use, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal supplements.
To reduce the risk of side effects, your doctor may initiate treatment at a low dose and gradually increase it. To ensure the most benefit from quetiapine, take it at the same time(s) each day.
Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often or for a longer period of time than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster and your risk of side effects will increase.
Continue taking quetiapine even if you feel well. Do not stop treatment without first consulting with your doctor, as some conditions may worsen when the drug is suddenly discontinued. You may experience symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, nausea, headache, diarrhea, or irritability upon discontinuation of quetiapine. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased to minimize side effects. If you experience any new or worsening symptoms, report them immediately to your doctor.
If your condition persists or worsens, inform your doctor immediately.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- abnormal vision
- decreased appetite
- decreased strength and energy
- increased appetite
- increased muscle tone
- increased sweating
- stomach discomfort or upset
- stuffy or runny nose
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- cold sweats
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
Before using quetiapine, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any allergies you may have, including any to the inactive ingredients in the medication. Inform them about your medical history, including any history of eye cataracts, liver disease, low white blood cell count, seizure disorder, trouble swallowing, thyroid problems, stomach/intestinal blockages, ileus, personal or family history of diabetes or substance use disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol/triglyceride levels, sleep apnea, and difficulty urinating.
Quetiapine may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision, and these effects may be heightened by alcohol or marijuana (cannabis). Avoid activities that require alertness or clear vision until you are able to do so safely.
Quetiapine may also affect heart rhythm, causing a condition known as QT prolongation. This condition can rarely result in serious, potentially fatal, fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms that require immediate medical attention. The risk of QT prolongation may be higher if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other medications that cause QT prolongation. Before taking quetiapine, inform your doctor or pharmacist of all the medications you take and if you have any of the following conditions: heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation, or a family history of these conditions.
Quetiapine may also cause decreased sweating, which increases the risk of heat stroke. To reduce this risk, avoid activities that can cause overheating and make sure to stay hydrated in hot weather. If you experience a fever that does not go away, mental/mood changes, headache, or dizziness, seek medical help immediately.
Children may be at a higher risk for certain side effects from taking quetiapine, including increased blood pressure and increased prolactin levels. Older adults may also be more sensitive to the side effects of the medication, particularly drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and QT prolongation.
Quetiapine should only be used during pregnancy if it is deemed necessary by your doctor. Infants born to mothers who have used quetiapine during the last three months of pregnancy may rarely develop symptoms such as muscle stiffness or shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying. If you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn, especially during their first month, seek medical help immediately.
Continue taking this medication as directed by your doctor, even if you feel well, as untreated mental/mood disorders can be serious.
Quetiapine may pass into breast milk and have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. If your baby develops symptoms such as muscle stiffness or shakiness, unusual sleepiness, or difficulty feeding, seek medical help immediately. Consult with your doctor before breast-feeding while taking quetiapine.
Form and Strength
Seroquel is available in the following forms and strengths:
Does Seroquel calm you?
Seroquel is an antipsychotic that helps to calm and relieve psychotic thoughts. It is often given because it is quite sedating.
How long does it take for Seroquel to kick in?
Seroquel does not work straight away. It can take several days or even weeks for some symptoms to improve. It may take a few weeks to get to the right dose for you.