Seroquel (Quetiapine) Drug Information

  • Why is this medication prescribed?

    Seroquel (quetiapine) tablets and extended-release (long-acting) tablets are used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions). Seroquel (quetiapine) tablets and extended-release tablets are also used alone or with other medications to treat or prevent episodes of mania (frenzied, abnormally excited or irritated mood) or depression in patients with bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods). Seroquel (quetiapine) extended-release tablets are also used along with other medications to treat depression. Seroquel (quetiapine) tablets may be used as part of a treatment program to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in children. Seroquel (quetiapine) is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain.

  • How should this medicine be used?

    Seroquel (quetiapine) comes as a tablet and an extended-release tablet to take by mouth. The tablets are usually taken one to three times a day, with or without food. The extended-release tablets are usually taken once a day in the evening without food or with a light meal. Take Seroquel (quetiapine) at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Seroquel (quetiapine) exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

    Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of Seroquel (quetiapine) and gradually increase your dose during the first week of your treatment. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about the amount of medication you should take each day at the beginning of your treatment

    If you do not take Seroquel (quetiapine) for one week or longer, you should call your doctor before you start taking the medication again. Your doctor will probably tell you to start taking a low dose of the medication and gradually increase your dose as you did when you first started taking Seroquel (quetiapine).

    Seroquel (quetiapine) may help control your symptoms but will not cure your condition. It may take several weeks or longer for you to feel the full benefit of Seroquel (quetiapine). Continue to take Seroquel (quetiapine) even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Seroquel (quetiapine) without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking Seroquel (quetiapine), you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Your doctor will probably want to decrease your dose gradually.

  • Other uses for this medicine

    This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

  • What special precautions should I follow?

    Before taking Seroquel (quetiapine):

    • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Seroquel (quetiapine), any other medications. or any of the ingredients in Seroquel (quetiapine) tablets or extended-release tablets. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
    • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants; certain antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and voriconazole (Vfend); antihistamines; barbiturates such as phenobarbital; carbamazepine (Tegretol); divalproex (Depakote);dopamine agonists such as bromocriptine (Parlodel), cabergoline (Dostinex), levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa), pergolide (Permax), and ropinirole (Requip); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin);levodopa (in Parcopa, in Sinemet, in Stalevo); medications for anxiety, high blood pressure, irritable bowel disease, mental illness, motion sickness, Parkinson's disease, ulcers, or urinary problems;medications for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) such as indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), and saquinavir (Invirase); phenytoin (Dilantin); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); sedatives; oral steroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Deltasone); sleeping pills; thioridazine (Mellaril); and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
    • tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had diabetes. Also tell your doctor if you have ever used street drugs or overused prescription medications, if you have had severe nausea or diarrhea or think you may be dehydrated, and if you have or have ever had any condition that makes it difficult for you to swallow, or seizures, cataracts, a low number of white blood cells in your blood, high cholesterol, high or low blood pressure, a heart attack, a stroke, breast cancer or thyroid, heart or liver disease. If you have ever had to stop taking a medication for mental illness because of severe side effects, be sure to tell your doctor.
    • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, or if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking Seroquel (quetiapine), call your doctor. Seroquel (quetiapine) may cause problems in newborns following delivery if it is taken during the last months of pregnancy.
    • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Seroquel (quetiapine).
    • you should know that Seroquel (quetiapine) may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery and take precautions to avoid falls until you know how this medication affects you.
    • you should know that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication. Do not drink alcohol while taking Seroquel (quetiapine).
    • you should know that you may experience hyperglycemia (increases in your blood sugar) while you are taking this medication, even if you do not already have diabetes. If you have schizophrenia, you are more likely to develop diabetes than people who do not have schizophrenia, and taking Seroquel (quetiapine) or similar medications may increase this risk. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms while you are taking Seroquel (quetiapine): extreme thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, blurred vision, or weakness. It is very important to call your doctor as soon as you have any of these symptoms, because high blood sugar can cause a serious condition called ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis may become life-threatening if it is not treated at an early stage. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include: dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, breath that smells fruity, and decreased consciousness.
    • you should know that Seroquel (quetiapine) may make it harder for your body to cool down when it gets very hot. While you are taking Seroquel (quetiapine), you should avoid excessive exercise, stay inside as much as possible and dress lightly in hot weather, stay out of the sun, and drink plenty of fluids.
    • you should know that Seroquel (quetiapine) may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking Seroquel (quetiapine) and when your dose is increased. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
    • you should know that when Seroquel (quetiapine) is used to treat schizophrenia or bipolar disorder in children, it should be used as part of a total treatment program which may include counseling and special education. Make sure to follow all of your doctor's and/or therapist's instructions.
  • What special dietary instructions should I follow?

    Talk to your doctor about eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.

    Be sure to drink plenty of water every day while you are taking this medication.

  • What should I do if I forget a dose?

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

  • What side effects can this medication cause?

    Seroquel (quetiapine) may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

    • drowsiness
    • dizziness
    • pain in the joints, back, neck, or ears
    • weakness
    • dry mouth
    • indigestion
    • constipation
    • gas
    • stomach pain or swelling
    • increased appetite
    • excessive weight gain
    • stuffy nose
    • headache
    • irritability
    • difficulty thinking or concentrating
    • difficulty speaking or using language
    • loss of coordination
    • unusual dreams
    • numbness, burning, or tingling in the arms or legs
    • missed menstrual periods
    • breast enlargement in males
    • discharge from the breasts
    • decreased sexual desire or ability

    Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING or SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately:

    • fainting
    • seizures
    • changes in vision
    • uncontrollable movements of your arms, legs, tongue, face, or lips
    • painful erection of the penis that lasts for hours
    • fever
    • muscle stiffness, pain, or weakness
    • excess sweating
    • fast or irregular heartbeat
    • confusion
    • unusual bleeding or bruising
    • sore throat, fever, chills, difficult or painful urination and other signs of infection
    • hives
    • rash
    • blisters
    • tightening of the neck muscles or the throat
    • tongue sticking out
    • difficulty breathing or swallowing

    Seroquel (quetiapine) may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

    Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

  • What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?

    In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

  • In case of emergency/overdose

    In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

    Symptoms of overdose may include:

    • drowsiness
    • dizziness
    • fainting
    • fast heartbeat
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  • What other information should I know?

    Keep all appointments with your doctor.

    Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

    It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

  • Brand Names

    • Seroquel®
    • Seroquel XR®