Seroquel - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Seroquel: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Seroquel?

Seroquel is the brand name for Quetiapine fumarate, which is used to treat mental conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, abrupt episodes of mania or depression associated with bipolar disorder. It is also used with other medications to treat depression. Quetiapine is known as an antipsychotic drug of the atypical category. It works by restoring the balance of certain natural substances in the brain called neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and glutamate.

What are the uses of Seroquel?

Psychologically, Seroquel encourages you to feel less overwhelmed, and engage actively in daily life. It can also help with mood, appetite, and energy issues. Seroquel may help prevent or lessen the regularity of mood swings.

 This medicine is indicated for disorders such as:

1. Schizophrenia

Seroquel is used in the therapy of schizophrenia in elderly, adults, and children who are at least 13 years old. Delusions, hallucinations, and reduced phonation are some of the symptoms.

2. Bipolar disorder

It involves unusual shifts in the mood like restlessness and tiredness.

3. Depression

Feeling grim and gloomy, irritable and devoid of strength are some of the signs of depression.

4. Depressive Psychosis

Seroquel is used to treat depressive symptoms that are common in patients with first-episode psychosis and can have serious consequences.

5. Dementia with Depressive Features 

Depression has been proposed to be a risk factor for dementia as well as a prodrome of dementia.

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What are the side effects of Seroquel?

Some of the common side effects encountered with the use of Seroquel are behavioural changes, constipation, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, exhaustion, headache, sleep cycle changes, dry mouth, sore throat, breast swelling, menstrual cycle changes, increased appetite, or weight gain.

Inform your doctor if you have ever had liver and heart problems, hypertension, hypotension, low WBC count, abnormal prolactin or thyroid levels, constipation or micturition disorders, epilepsy, glaucoma, cataracts, high cholesterol or diabetes.

Elevated blood pressure or increased prolactin appear more specifically in children when taking this drug. It is important to get a medical opinion while taking this drug during pregnancy.


Frequently Asked Questions about Seroquel

1. Is Seroquel a tranquilizer?

No, Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic drug. Tranquilizers are typical antipsychotics. The main difference is their way of action. While tranquilisers act on dopaminergic receptors, Seroquel acts on serotonin receptors as well. Atypical antipsychotics have fewer side effects than typical antipsychotics. Atypicals also help patients symptomatically as they occupy dopamine receptors and then rapidly separate from them, allowing normal dopamine neurotransmission.

2. What happens if you miss a dose of Seroquel?

If you have missed a dose of Seroquel, take it as early as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule as doubling of the dose is not prescribed.

3. Is Seroquel an antipsychotic?

Yes. Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic which acts on serotonin, dopamine and glutamate receptors. Atypical antipsychotic drugs work on negative symptoms, improving mood, cognitive functions, and reducing depression and anxiety.

4. What does Seroquel do to the brain?

Atypical antipsychotics block serotonin, glutamate and dopamine receptors in the brain. When the serotonin blockade is more than dopamine blockade, atypical antipsychotic action with few negative symptoms and extrapyramidal symptoms are noted.

5. Is 300mg Seroquel a high dose?

No, the peak licensed dose of Seroquel (Quetiapine) indicated is 800 mg/day. In antipsychotic treatment regimes, doses around 300 mg/day are usual. The dose routine and strength varies with the disease and the stage of treatment.

6. Is Seroquel a barbiturate?

No. Seroquel is an antipsychotic whereas barbiturates are a class of organic compounds used as hypnotics that produce sleep or as sedatives to produce soothing effects. Barbiturates are also used as an adjunct while giving anesthesia.

7. Is Seroquel addictive?

Seroquel is not a controlled drug as it either has a low binding affinity to dopamine receptors, or it dissociates easily from the receptor. Hence, it isn't usually considered addictive. It has very few withdrawal symptoms. However, cases of abuse have been reported when it is combined with other potentially abused drugs. Hence, the drug should be used responsibly.

8. Can Seroquel cause high blood pressure?

Yes, Seroquelel may worsen your blood pressure issues. Your doctor should monitor your blood pressure while you take the drug. However, it does not happen frequently. Maintained hypotension, which is a systolic blood pressure of less than 100 mm Hg for more than 60 minutes, has been described only in significant overdoses.

9. Is Seroquel used for sleep?

Seroquel has a sedative effect but it isn’t recommended for insomnia or to induce sleep. Quetiapine, the drug in Seroquel, hasn’t been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat sleeplessness. However, it’s sometimes prescribed off-label as a temporary sleep aid.

10. Can pregnant women take Seroquel?

Yes, Seroquel can be taken in pregnancy on medical advice. The recommended dose of Quetiapine in the body is lower in pregnancy compared to postpartum, and that dose may need to be modified during pregnancy to maintain consistent plasma concentrations and efficiency. Symptoms such as muscle weakness or shakiness, drowsiness, feeding/breathing difficulties, or constant crying may occur in babies born to mothers on seroquel during the last three months of pregnancy.

11. Can I take Seroquel while breastfeeding?

Maternal Seroquel doses of up to 400 mg daily lead to lower levels of milk production. Infants who have been exposed to Seroquel generally seem to develop normally. Seroquel is usually the first-line or second-line drug during breastfeeding. The infant has to be monitored for drowsiness and developmental milestones, especially if other antipsychotics are used concurrently.

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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.