Seroquel
Last Edited: April 16th, 2012

Coupons for Seroquel

Seroquel is an antipsychotic drug also known as quetiapine that is prescribed to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in patients. It works to restore the balance of brain chemicals and reduce the frequency of thought distortions in schizophrenic patients and treat acute manic or depressive episodes in bipolar individuals. Seroquel has demonstrated effectiveness in treating bipolar disorder for both adult and pediatric populations experiencing acute mania or depression and is utilized for maintenance of the condition.

Quetiapine affects the activity of multiple neurotransmitters in the brain including dopamine and serotonin, both of which are involved with depression and mania. Seroquel may be used in treatment alone or in combination with other drugs to treat and reduce the number of physical and psychological symptoms occurring with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. In addition to treating symptoms the patient is currently experiencing, Seroquel can also help prevent or reduce the frequency of mood swings or lessen the severity of an episode. Given the effect psychological conditions can have on daily functioning it is important to consider medication as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Similar to other psychiatric medications, the dosage amount of quetiapine is gradually increased over a period of seven days to allow the body to adjust to the drug. The medication can be prescribed as a regular or extended-release pill to be taken orally one to three times per day. It is essential to carefully follow the directions included with the prescription and take the tablet at a consistent hour. The full effect of Seroquel may not be felt for several weeks after initially beginning use, however patients should continue to take the medication as directed and only cease taking the prescription with the guidance and supervision of their primary care provider.

While Seroquel is considered safe for adults and children it is widely recommended that elderly patients are not prescribed the drug to treat symptoms related to dementia. Additionally, pregnant women and nursing mothers need to assess the benefits and risks associated with beginning or continuing use of Seroquel with their physician. Studies have shown that when taken in the last trimester of pregnancy there is an increased risk to the newborn of developing symptoms such as fatigue and feeding problems and quetiapine is also passed through breast milk to a newborn. Certain conditions including diabetes, heart disease and thyroid problems may increase a patient’s risk of experiencing adverse side effects and completion of a medical history is advisable.

As with all medications, some individuals will experience side effects to Seroquel ranging from mild to severe. The majority of mild effects should be temporary and lessen as the body adjusts to changes in brain chemicals. Common symptoms reported are dry mouth, weight gain, drowsiness, gas and headache and a doctor should be contacted if they are severe or persist for a lengthy period. Severe side effects are less common but require an immediate call to the doctor and include confusion, hives, seizures, fever or irregular heartbeat. Seroquel can cause hyperglycemia or high blood sugar and lead to the development of diabetes in certain patients as well as increase the risk of cataracts while being treated with Seroquel. Patients in coordination with their physician must evaluate the potential benefits of beginning Seroquel against the increased risks associated with the medication.