Generic name: quetiapine (kwe TYE a peen)
Brand name: SEROquel, SEROquel XR
Seroquel (quetiapine) is an antipsychotic medicine. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain.
Seroquel is used to treat schizophrenia in adults and children who are at least 13 years old.
Seroquel is used to treat bipolar disorder (manic depression) in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.
Seroquel is also used together with antidepressant medications to treat major depressive disorder in adults.
Seroquel may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Never take Seroquel in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. High doses or long-term use can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. Symptoms of this disorder include tremors or other uncontrollable muscle movements.
Stop using Seroquel and call your doctor at once if you have the following symptoms: very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, uncontrolled muscle movements, feeling light-headed, blurred vision, eye pain, increased thirst and urination, excessive hunger, fruity breath odor, weakness, nausea and vomiting.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking Seroquel. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.
Seroquel is not FDA approved for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Quetiapine may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related psychosis.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Seroquel if you are allergic to quetiapine.
Seroquel may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related psychosis and is not approved for this use.
To make sure Seroquel is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- liver or kidney disease;
- heart disease, heart rhythm problems, a history of heart attack or stroke;
- high or low blood pressure;
- a history of low white blood cell (WBC) counts;
- abnormal thyroid tests or prolactin levels;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- high cholesterol or triglycerides;
- a personal or family history of diabetes; or
- trouble swallowing.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking Seroquel. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.
Taking antipsychotic medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking Seroquel, do not stop taking it without your doctor's advice.
This medicine may temporarily affect fertility (your ability to have children) in women.
Seroquel can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breastfeed while you are using Seroquel unless directed by a doctor.
Do not give Seroquel to a child without a doctor's advice. Extended-release Seroquel XR is for use only in adults and should not be given to anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take Seroquel?
Never take Seroquel in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor.Follow all directions on your prescription label. High doses or long-term use of quetiapine can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. Symptoms of this disorder include tremors or other uncontrollable muscle movements.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water. You may take immediate-release Seroquel with or without food. It is suggested that Seroquel XR be administered without food or with a light meal (< 300 calories), preferably in the evening.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.
Seroquel may cause you to have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis while you are taking Seroquel.
You should not stop using Seroquel suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.
Blood pressure may need to be checked often in a child or teenager taking Seroquel.
Quetiapine can cause you to have a false positive drug screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking Seroquel.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of quetiapine can be fatal.
What to avoid
Avoid drinking alcohol. Dangerous side effects could occur.
Seroquel may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you.
Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls, fractures, or other injuries.
Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. You may be more prone to heat stroke.
Seroquel side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Seroquel: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);
- mask-like appearance of the face, trouble swallowing, problems with speech;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
- severe nervous system reaction - very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, fainting;
- high blood sugar - increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss; or
- low blood cell counts - sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, cold or flu symptoms, cough, sore throat, red or swollen gums, painful mouth sores, skin sores, trouble breathing.
Common Seroquel side effects may include:
- speech problems;
- dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness;
- lack of energy;
- fast heartbeats;
- stuffy nose;
- increased appetite, weight gain;
- upset stomach, vomiting, constipation;
- dry mouth; or
- problems moving.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Seroquel?
Seroquel can cause a serious heart problem if you use certain medicines at the same time,including certain antibiotics, antidepressants, heart rhythm medicine, antipsychotic medicines, and medicines to treat cancer, malaria, HIV or AIDS. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Seroquel.
Taking Seroquel with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, prescription cough medicine, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Many drugs can interact with quetiapine. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
- antibiotic or antifungal medicines;
- antiviral medicine to treat hepatitis or HIV/AIDS;
- heart or blood pressure medicines;
- medicine to treat mental illness;
- St. John's wort;
- seizure medicine; or
- medicines used to treat tuberculosis.
This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with quetiapine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.