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Quetiapine - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Quetiapine: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is quetiapine?

Quetiapine is an atypical antipsychotic drug used to treat various disorders related to mental conditions or mood. It acts on a variety of neurotransmitters in the brain and maintains a balance between them. It is prescribed in cases of schizophrenia, mania, bipolar disorder, and depression. Quetiapine is available in various dosages viz. 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg, and 400 mg tablets for oral use. It is also available as sustained-release tablets for prolonged action.

What are the uses of quetiapine?

Doctors prescribe quetiapine for:

  • Treating schizophrenia, a disorder characterized by abnormal feelings and behavior and often associated with hallucinations and delusions
  • Effectively reducing hallucinations and improving orientation and concentration
  • Treating mania, a psychological condition characterized by intense moods, unexplained euphoria, hyperactivity, and delusions
  • Treating bipolar disorder, a mental disorder characterized by sudden episodes of mania and depression
  • Uplifting mood and energy levels
  • Improving appetite and sleep
  • Reducing nervousness and mood swings
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What are the side effects of quetiapine?

Most side effects associated with quetiapine are self-limiting and resolve on their own without requiring medical intervention. However, if a symptom starts hindering your progress or gets worse, inform your doctor immediately.

Common side effects
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Stomach upsets
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight gain
  • Tachycardia (elevated heart rate)
  • Rashes
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Low blood hemoglobin levels
  • Increased triglyceride levels
Uncommon side effects
  • QTc prolongation (a condition where the heart takes longer to recharge between beats)
  • Myocarditis
  • Exfoliative dermatitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nightmares
  • Rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle tissue releasing harmful proteins into the bloodstream)
  • Prolonged erection in men

Immediately inform your doctor the moment you experience these serious side effects. Get in touch with our team at Yashoda Hospitals for speedy and expert medical advice and services.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Quetiapine

1. How to get off quetiapine?

Quetiapine is a prescription drug. Use it strictly as prescribed by your doctor, as they will have charted out a plan for you to get off quetiapine, once the desired results are visible. Sudden discontinuation can lead to nausea, abdominal discomfort, or even withdrawal symptoms. If you are feeling better, inform your doctor who can taper the dose safely before finally taking it off your prescription.

2. Is quetiapine used for anxiety?

Quetiapine is not approved and is usually not indicated for anxiety. However, your doctor might prescribe it for anxiety (mood-related or stress-induced), depending upon your symptoms and diagnosis, possibly combined with other drugs. Consult our experts regarding the uses of quetiapine and alternative medical and lifestyle-based approaches for treating anxiety.

3. Is quetiapine good for sleep?

No. Although quetiapine tends to induce sleep or cause drowsiness, it is not a sleeping pill. It is only approved for treating mental disorders like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, hallucinations, and mania. It can also improve mood. Report to your doctor if you experience excessive sleepiness while on quetiapine. We also recommend consulting our experts to learn about effective medications that can treat sleeplessness.

4. Is quetiapine dangerous?

Quetiapine is generally a safe medication with an approved beneficial profile for treating mania, schizophrenia, hallucinations, bipolar disorders, and depression. However, you must take it as prescribed by your doctor. Unapproved use or overdose could lead to serious and life-threatening side effects. Inform your doctor promptly in cases of overdose or unapproved use.

5. Is quetiapine the same as Xanax?

No. Xanax contains alprazolam which is from the benzodiazepine class of drugs. It is primarily indicated for anxiety-related disorders. On the other hand, quetiapine belongs to the atypical antipsychotic class of drugs, primarily used to treat psychosis and related symptoms. Talk to our consultants for advice on the uses and benefits of quetiapine and other drugs for treating schizophrenia and mania.

6. Does quetiapine calm you down?

Yes. Quetiapine is an antipsychotic that sedates and calms you down by reducing the severity and frequency of manic episodes. It helps to alleviate manic and depressive behavior and psychotic thoughts by maintaining a chemical balance between neurotransmitters in the brain. Thus, it also helps elevate your mood. Consult our experts for other benefits and risks associated with using quetiapine.

7. Does quetiapine make you high?

Quetiapine at prescribed doses is not known to make you high. However, abuse or intentional misuse of quetiapine has the potential to make someone dangerously high with severe intensity. Snorting powdered quetiapine or intravenous use can cause addiction. Therefore, ensure you're taking extreme precautions to take quetiapine only at the prescribed dosage and frequency.

8. How long does it take quetiapine to start working?

Quetiapine is a slow-acting drug. You might see improvements in a few symptoms approximately after a week of starting quetiapine therapy. It might take around 4 weeks for the full benefits to appear. If you do not feel your symptoms improve even after a few weeks, inform your doctor who might adjust the dose or suggest an alternative medication.

9. What does quetiapine do to the brain?

Quetiapine acts on various chemical messengers in the brain called neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin. Mental disorders disturb the balance in the presence of these neurotransmitters. Quetiapine restores the balance between dopamine and serotonin by reducing the overactivity of dopamine. Thus, it effectively treats schizophrenia and mania.

10. Can quetiapine cause weight gain?

Yes. Quetiapine is known to induce weight gain in patients, although the degree of weight gain can vary. If there is noticeable weight gain, you should inform your doctor. Your nutrition expert or doctor will suggest a weight management diet and exercise regime depending on your disease condition and body structure. We recommend consulting our team of experts at Yashoda Hospitals to learn more about the specific lifestyle modifications you should take to get the best out of your treatment.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.

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