Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Seroquel

(Quetiapine)

  • Pill
  • Extended release
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Helps control your thoughts and mood.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our bottom line

Seroquel (Quetiapine) is good for treating psychosis and mania. Fewer side effects than most antipsychotics, but might be less effective for people over age 40 with schizophrenia.

Upsides

  • Effective at relieving psychotic symptoms and manic episodes.
  • Antipsychotic medicines are all about equally effective.
  • Fewer side effects than most antipsychotic medicines.
  • Less likely to cause heart problems compared to some antipsychotics.
  • Compared to other antipsychotics, the least likely to cause Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS): Movement disorders that include stiffness, tremor, restlessness, and slow, repetitive, or involuntary movements.
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Downsides

  • In studies, less effective for people over age 40 for schizophrenia.
  • Sometimes causes weight gain, sleepiness, and low blood pressure.
  • You might need routine blood tests to check how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • All antipsychotics come with side effects that make them difficult to take. You might need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you and that you can tolerate.

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What to expect when you take Seroquel (Quetiapine) for Schizophrenia

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Takes 4 to 6 weeks to see full effects on thoughts and mood.
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and low blood pressure.
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • May cause weight gain and worsen cholesterol or blood sugar.
  • Report any unusual thoughts, inability to control muscle movements, or fever and excess sweating to your doctor.
  • Elderly people with dementia shouldn't take it.
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Side effects for Seroquel (Quetiapine)

From clinical trials of Seroquel / Adolescent schizophrenia (13 to 17 years old) (400mg)  ( 148)

  • DrowsinessDrowsiness33% for Seroquel vs.11% for placebo
  • DizzinessDizziness8% for Seroquel vs.5% for placebo
  • Abnormally fast heart beatAbnormally fast heart beat6% for Seroquel vs.0% for placebo
  • Dry mouthDry mouth4% for Seroquel vs.1% for placebo
  • IrritabilityIrritability3% for Seroquel vs.0% for placebo
  • NosebleedNosebleed3% for Seroquel vs.1% for placebo
  • DyskinesiaDyskinesia3% for Seroquel vs.0% for placebo
  • Muscle rigidityMuscle rigidity3% for Seroquel vs.0% for placebo
  • Abdominal painAbdominal pain3% for Seroquel vs.0% for placebo
  • Loss of appetiteLoss of appetite3% for Seroquel vs.0% for placebo

Manufacturers don’t say how common these side effects are

  • Shortness of breath

Risks and Warnings for Seroquel (Quetiapine)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Elderly patients with dementia

    Older patients with dementia-related psychosis have a higher risk of death when treated with antipsychotic medications. Seroquel (Quetiapine) is not approved to treat dementia-related psychosis.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Seroquel (Quetiapine)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Take it at night-it makes you sleepy. Do not drink a lot of alcohol; it makes the dry mouth worse and affects your mood the next day in a negative way. DO NOT miss a dose. You will experience withdrawal symptoms very quickly.
  • No alcohol, take at a regular time in the evening
  • Drinking alcohol whilst on this medication can lead to "black outs"... and you can wake up the next day in fear/panicking but not knowing why (a sense of dread). Also, it gives you seroquel munchies. the munchies are very real!!!!!
Food
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Seroquel (Quetiapine) can increase your blood sugar and cholesterol. Seroquel (Quetiapine) is more likely to raise your blood sugar and cholesterol compared to other antipsychotic medications. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
  • Seroquel (Quetiapine) can cause you to gain weight. Seroquel (Quetiapine) is moderately likely to cause weight gain compared to other antipsychotic medications. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
  • I take it at night to help with my Insomnia from PTSD (nothing else really worked). I have found that if I eat food with a lot of fat for dinner (like ice cream) then the drug barely works.
  • Had a little weight gain and had to control the increase in appetite and not be urged to eat junk food
Sleep
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and low blood pressure.
  • I take a low dose 50 mg per day to help with sleep and mood stabilization. I've taken it for six years with no problems or side effects.
  • It will make you drowsy , but it's a good thing. It has really changed my life .
  • If you do not suffer from Mania or Insomnia this medication is not for you. The term 'zombie' is commonly used to describe the sedation and lack of mental clarity which commonly accompany this medication. This is a fair and accurate description. For sleep, it is a great medication. For Mania, I can't imagine being overly upbeat while under the influence of this drug. Non 'maniacs'/insomniacs there ARE better medications in this class which still allow you to function.
Weight
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Sometimes causes weight gain, sleepiness, and low blood pressure.
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • May cause weight gain and worsen cholesterol or blood sugar.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Seroquel (Quetiapine) can cause you to gain weight. Seroquel (Quetiapine) is moderately likely to cause weight gain compared to other antipsychotic medications. Exercise and eat healthy food to lower your risk.
  • May cause weight gain.
  • I have always been naturally slim...until seroquel. I now am 20 lbs overweight and I hate my new gut and larger thighs. I don't want to give up on it as I think it helps me but I hate the weight gain
  • Worked beautifully on symptoms but I got all the symptoms of metabolic syndrom. Weight gain, hyperlipidemia, hypothyroid, high blood sugar, slow metabolism. Im forced to find another drug.