- Schizophrenia Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Schizophrenia Quiz
- Physical Symptoms of Depression Slideshow
- What is quetiapine (Seroquel)? What is quietiapine used for?
- Why is quetiapine prescribed to patients?
- What are the side effects of quetiapine?
- What is the dosage for quetiapine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with quetiapine?
- Is quetiapine safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about quetiapine?
What is quetiapine (Seroquel)? What is quietiapine used for?
Quetiapine is an oral atypical antipsychotic drug.
What brand names are available for quetiapine?
Seroquel and Seroquel XR are the brand names available for quetiapine in the US.
Is quetiapine (Seroquel, Seroquel XR) available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for quetiapine (Seroquel, Seroquel XR)?
What are the side effects of quetiapine?
Warning for people with high or low blood pressure and Seroquel or Seroquel XR
Seroquel or Seroquel XR can cause orthostatic hypotension (a drop in blood pressure upon standing that can lead to dizziness or fainting) especially during the first 3-5 day period of treatment, when it is restarted after temporary discontinuation, and after an increase in the dose. The risk of orthostatic hypotension is about 1 in 100 (one of every hundred patients who take quetiapine).
As with other antipsychotics, long-term use of quetiapine may lead to irreversible tardive dyskinesia, a neurologic disease which consists of involuntary movements of the jaw, lips, and tongue.
Warning for people with cataracts taking Seroquel or Seroquel XR
In animals, quetiapine has been associated with the development of cataracts, and cataracts have been reported in patients using quetiapine for prolonged periods. Although it is not clear if quetiapine was responsible for the cataracts seen in humans, eye examinations by slit-lamp (to identify cataracts before they impair vision) are recommended at the beginning of treatment and every six months during treatment. If cataracts form, treatment should be discontinued.
Warning for people with high triglycerides or cholesterol taking Seroquel or Seroquel XR
Warning for people with diabetes taking quetiapine taking Seroquel or Seroquel XR
There is an increased risk of hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) and diabetes-related events in patients taking atypical antipsychotics, including quetiapine. Patients should be tested during treatment for elevated blood-sugars. Additionally, persons with risk factors for diabetes, including obesity or a family history of diabetes, should have their fasting levels of blood sugar tested before starting treatment and periodically throughout treatment to detect the onset of diabetes. Any patient developing symptoms that suggest diabetes during treatment should be tested for diabetes.
Common side effects
- The most common side effects of Seroquel or Seroquel XR are
- Possible serious side effects include
- Other important side effects include a potentially fatal complex referred to as neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), in which patients may have
- Quetiapine frequently causes tiredness (1 in 5 patients), especially during the first 3-5 days of treatment. Because of this tiredness, care should be exercised in any activity requiring mental alertness such as operating a motor vehicle or hazardous machinery.
- Less common side effects include seizures (1 in 125 patients) and hypothyroidism (1 in 250 patients).
What is the dosage for quetiapine?
- Immediate release quetiapine usually is taken two or three times daily.
- Extended release quetiapine is taken once daily.
- The dose usually is increased slowly over several days or weeks to achieve the desired effect.
- Quetiapine can be taken with or without food.
- The initial dose for bipolar disorder is 50 mg twice daily (100 mg/day) of immediate release quetiapine. The dose can be increased by 100 mg/day to a daily dose of 400 mg/day. Most patients respond to 400-800 mg/day. Doses greater than 800 mg/d have not been studied. The starting dose is 300 mg once daily and the target dose is 400-800 mg once daily when using extended release tablets.
- The initial dose for schizophrenia is 25 mg twice daily (50 mg/day) of immediate release tablets. The dose can be increased by 25-50 mg two or three times daily. The target dose is 300-400 mg/day in two or three doses. Patients respond to 150-750 mg/day, and doses greater than 800 mg/day have not been evaluated. The starting dose is 300 mg once daily and the target dose is 400-800 mg once daily when using extended release tablets.
- The dose range for treating major depression is 150-300 mg/day of extended release tablets. The starting does is 50 mg in the evening for 2 days increasing to 150 mg in the evening.
Latest Mental Health News
Which drugs or supplements interact with quetiapine?
- Phenytoin (Dilantin) and thioridazine (Mellaril) markedly decrease the amount of Seroquel and Seroquel XR that is absorbed from the intestine and thereby reduces its effectiveness. Therefore, patients taking phenytoin or thioridazine may require higher doses of Seroquel and Seroquel XR.
- Seroquel and Seroquel XR can cause hypotension (low blood pressure) and therefore increase the blood pressure lowering effects of antihypertensive drugs and result in lower blood pressure.
- Seroquel and Seroquel XR can add to the sedating effects of other drugs that sedate. Such drugs include narcotic pain relievers (for example, oxycodone and acetaminophen [Percocet, Roxicet, Tylox, Endocet]), barbiturates, sedatives such as alprazolam [Xanax] and clonazepam [Klonopin], ethanol, and blood pressure drugs that can cause orthostatic hypotension, such as prazosin (Minipress) and terazosin (Hytrin).
- Seroquel and Seroquel XR is eliminated from the body by an enzyme in the liver called cytochrome P450 3A. There is a concern that drugs that strongly interfere with the enzyme may cause elevated and toxic levels of quetiapine, for example:
Is quetiapine safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- There are no adequate studies of Seroquel and Seroquel XR in pregnant women. Studies in animals are inconsistent. Some studies suggest effects on the fetus and others show no effects. Seroquel and Seroquel XR should be used in pregnancy only if the physician feels that it is necessary and that the potential benefits justify the unknown risks.
- Seroquel and Seroquel XR is excreted in the milk of animals during lactation. Although it is not known if it is excreted in human milk, it is recommended that women taking Seroquel and Seroquel XR not breastfeed.
What else should I know about quetiapine?
What preparations of quetiapine (Seroquel, Seroquel XR) are available?
- Tablets: 25, 50, 100, 200, 300 and 400 mg.
- Tablet (Extended Release): 50, 150, 200, 300 and 400 mg
How should I keep quetiapine (Seroquel, Seroquel XR) stored?
- Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
How does quetiapine (Seroquel, Seroquel XR) work?
- Although the mechanism of action of quetiapine is unknown, like other atypical anti-psychotics, it inhibits communication among nerves of the brain. It does this by blocking receptors on the nerves for several neurotransmitters, the chemicals that nerves use to communicate with each other. It is thought that its beneficial effect is due to blocking of the dopamine type 2 (D2) and serotonin type 2 (5-HT2) receptors.
When was quetiapine (Seroquel, Seroquel XR) approved by the FDA?
- The FDA approved quetiapine in September 1997.
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Seroquel and Seroquel XR (quetiapine) is an antipsychotic drug prescribed to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Common side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, and weight gain. Possible serious and important side effects include seizures, stroke, priapism (prolonged erection), irregular pulse or blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and excessive sweating. Drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Depression Quiz: Signs & Symptoms
Many people do not recognize the symptoms and warning signs of depression and depressive disorders in children and adults. With...
Schizophrenia Quiz: What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a complex psychiatric disorder. Learn more about the challenges of mental illness with the Schizophrenia Quiz.
Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Testing for Bipolar Depression
Bipolar disorder (once called manic depression) causes extreme mood shifts and can be disorienting. Our experts define bipolar...
17 Everyday Ways to Ease Depression
The right exercise, diet, and activities -- even playing with a pet --can help you recover from depression. Learn simple...
Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment
What is schizophrenia? Learn about schizophrenia symptoms, signs, and treatment. Read about schizophrenia types such as paranoid...
Physical Symptoms of Depression in Pictures
Depression can cause physical problems such as insomnia, chest pain, fatigue, headaches, and more. Learn the signs of depression...
Foods That Help Fight Depression
Food cannot prevent depression, but a healthy diet may boost your mood. Foods like salmon, carrots, Brazil nuts and even...
Related Disease Conditions
Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion to food. Anorexia is a serious psychological disorder and is a condition that goes well beyond out-of-control dieting. With anorexia, the drive to become thinner is actually secondary to concerns about control and/or fears relating to one's body. There are psychological and behavioral symptoms as well as physical symptoms of anorexia including: depression, social withdrawal, fatigue, food obsession, heart and gastrointestinal complications, kidney function, flaky skin, brittle nails, and tooth loss (this list is not exhaustive).
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Schizophrenia is a disabling brain disorder that may cause hallucinations and delusions and affect a person's ability to communicate and pay attention. Symptoms of psychosis appear in men in their late teens and early 20s and in women in their mid-20s to early 30s. With treatment involving the use of antipsychotic medications and psychosocial treatment, schizophrenia patients can lead rewarding and meaningful lives.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a psychiatric condition, can develop after any catastrophic life event. Symptoms include nightmares, flashbacks, sweating, rapid heart rate, detachment, amnesia, sleep problems, irritability, and exaggerated startle response. Treatment may involve psychotherapy, group support, and medication.
Bipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental illness characterized by depression, mania, and severe mood swings. Treatment may incorporate mood-stabilizer medications, antidepressants, and psychotherapy.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that causes a person to suffer repeated obsessions and compulsions. Symptoms include irresistible impulses despite a person's realization that the thoughts are irrational, excessive hand washing, skin picking, lock checking, or repeatedly rearranging items. People with OCD are more likely to develop trichotillomania, muscle or vocal tics, or an eating disorder. Treatment for OCD includes psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and medication.
Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes after childbirth may lead to depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression include crying a lot, headaches, chest pains, eating too little or too much, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawal from friends and family, and feeling irritable, sad, hopeless, worthless, guilty, and overwhelmed. Treatment typically involves talk therapy and medication.
Mental health is an optimal way of thinking, relating to others, and feeling. All of the diagnosable mental disorders fall under the umbrella of mental illness. Depression, anxiety, and substance-abuse disorders are common types of mental illness. Symptoms and signs of mental illness include irritability, moodiness, insomnia, headaches, and sadness. Treatment may involve psychotherapy and medication.
Brief Psychotic Disorder
Brief psychotic disorder is a short-term mental illness that features psychotic symptoms. There are three forms of brief psychotic disorder. The first occurs shortly after a major stress, the second has no apparent trauma that triggers the illness, and the third is associated with postpartum onset. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, unusual behavior, disorientation, changes in eating and sleeping, and speech that doesn't make sense. Treatment typically involves medication and psychotherapy.
Psychotic disorders are a group of serious illnesses that affect the mind. Different types of psychotic disorders include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, brief psychotic disorder, shared psychotic disorder, delusional disorder, substance-induced psychotic disorder, paraphrenia, and psychotic disorders due to medical conditions.
Fragile X Syndrome
Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited form of mental retardation. It's caused by a mutation on the X chromosome. People with Fragile X syndrome suffer from physical, social, emotional, speech, language, sensory, intelligence, and learning impairments. There is no definitive treatment for Fragile X, though there are ways to minimize the symptoms.
Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens
Bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness, is a disorder that causes unusual and extreme mood changes. Symptoms of bipolar disorder in children and teens include having trouble concentrating, behaving in risky ways, and losing interest in activities they once enjoyed. Treatment for bipolar disorder in children and teenagers incorporates psychotherapy and medications.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by odd behaviors, feelings, perceptions, and ways of relating to others that interfere with one's ability to function. Medication and psychotherapy can help the sufferer to manage their symptoms.
Lewy Body Dementia (Dementia with Lewy Bodies)
Lewy body dementia (LBD or dementia with Lewy bodies) is one the most common causes of dementia. There are two types of LBD: 1) dementia with Lewy bodies, and 2) Parkinson's disease dementia. Symptoms of LBD are changes in a person's ability to think, movement problems, and sleep disorders. Treatment of LBD includes lifestyle changes, management of symptoms, palliative care, and medications to manage symptoms.
Bipolar Disorder vs. Schizophrenia
Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are mental illnesses that share some risk factors and treatments. Symptoms of bipolar disorder include mood changes and manic and depressive episodes. Symptoms of schizophrenia include unusual behavior, delusions, and hallucinations.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Altered Mental Status
- Panic Attack
- Bipolar Disorder
- Catatonia (Catatonic Behavior)
- Loss of Speech
- Poor Hygiene
- Unusual Behavior
- Inability to Regulate Emotions
- Abnormal Facial Expressions
- Lack of Facial Expressions
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Lewy Body Dementia
- Brief Psychotic Disorder
- Disorganized Speech
- Depression FAQs
- Schizophrenia FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Catherine Zeta-Jones: A Case of Bipolar II Disorder
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- Antipsychotic Meds Pose Little Danger to Fetus, Study Finds
- 'Managing' Elderly Patients Without Powerful Antipsychotics
- Lithium Beats Newer Meds for Bipolar Disorder, Study Finds
- Antipsychotic Drugs Tied to Risk of Early Death in Parkinson's Patients
- Beware Safety Risks Posed by 'Off-Label' Drug Use
- Are Too Many Young Americans Getting Antipsychotics for ADHD?
- Certain Antipsychotic Meds Tied to Kidney Problems in Elderly
- Too Many Foster Kids With ADHD Treated With Antipsychotic Drugs: Study
- New Drug Shows Early Promise in Treating Parkinson's Psychosis
- Antipsychotic Meds Not That Helpful for Depression: Study
- Long-Term Use of Some Antipsychotics Not Warranted in Older Adults: Study
- Older Antipsychotics May Work as Well as Newer Ones: Review
- More Kids Taking Antipsychotics for ADHD: Study
- Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds
- Dementia: Some Antipsychotic Drugs Riskier Than Others
- Antipsychotics in Pregnancy Risky for Newborns
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.