Seroquel Medication - Uses & Side Effects
SEROQUEL (quetiapine fumarate) (pronounced SER-O-KWELL) is a medication that is a member of a category of medicines called "psychotropics." SEROQUEL is taken by mouth and comes in tablets. Seroquel is prescribed for the treatment of schizophrenia, a mental disorder marked by delusions (false beliefs), hallucinations, disrupted thinking, and loss of contact with reality. It is also used for the short-term treatment of mania associated with bipolar disorder.
- The usual dosage range is 300 to 400 milligrams a day, divided into two or three smaller doses. Doses as low as 150 milligrams a day sometimes prove effective, and the dose rarely exceeds 750 milligrams per day. Doses above 800 milligrams per day have not been tested for safety. The dose is gradually increased over 4 days until the most effective dose is reached, using the following schedule: Day 1: Take 25 milligrams twice a day. Days 2, 3, and 4: The doctor will increase each daily dose by 25 to 50 milligrams, taken either two or three times a day. Day 5 and up: If needed, the doctor may increase each dose by 25 to 50 milligrams every 2 or more days.
Uses of Seroquel
- Seroquel is used to treat the symptoms of psychotic conditions, including hallucinations, delusions, and confusion.
- Seroquel may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Side Effects of Seroquel
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Seroquel. Side effects may include:
- Abdominal pain
- diminished movement
- dry mouth
- excessive muscle tone
- low blood pressure (especially upon standing)
- nasal inflammation
- neck rigidity
- rapid or irregular heartbeat
- uncontrollable movements
Warnings and precautions before taking Seroquel :
- If you are having problems with your vision, tell your doctor. There is a chance that Seroquel may cause cataracts, and you may be asked to see an eye doctor when you start Seroquel therapy, and every 6 months thereafter.
- Particularly during the first few days of therapy, Seroquel can cause low blood pressure, with accompanying dizziness, fainting, and rapid heartbeat. To minimize these effects, your doctor will increase your dose gradually. If you are prone to low blood pressure, take blood pressure medication, or become dehydrated, use Seroquel with caution.
- Seroquel also tends to cause drowsiness, especially at the start of therapy, and can impair your judgment, thinking, and motor skills. Until you are certain of the drug's effect, use caution when operating machinery or driving a car.
- Call your doctor immediately if you develop muscle stiffness, confusion, irregular or rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, and high fever. These are signs of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS), a serious--and potentially fatal--reaction to the drug. Be especially wary if you have a history of heart attack, heart disease, heart failure, circulation problems, or irregular heartbeat.
- Seroquel is prescribed for the short-term treatment of rapid-onset bipolar mania; it is not approved for preventing future episodes. The effectiveness of the drug for treating mania for more than 3 weeks has not been studied.
Drug Interaction :- 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:
- Barbiturates such as phenobarbital
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Erythromycin (Eryc, Ery-Tab)
- Fluconazole (Diflucan)
- Itraconazole (Sporanox)
- Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
- Levodopa (Laradopa, Sinemet)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Rifampin (Rifadin, Rifamate, Rimactane)
- Steroid medications such as hydrocortisone and prednisone
- Thioridazine (Mellaril)
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical help immediately. Symptoms of Seroquel overdose may include:
- rapid heartbeat