What is Seroquel?

Seroquel is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain.

This medication is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Seroquel may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Health Benefits

Seroquel can be used to effectively treat the symptoms of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that causes delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thinking. Seroquel can help to reduce the symptoms of this condition.

Seroquel may also be effective in treating the symptoms of bipolar disorder. This mental disorder causes extreme mood swings, from highs (mania) to lows (depression). Seroquel can help to stabilize mood and reduce the severity of symptoms.

Side Effects

The most common side effects associated with Seroquel include:

Drowsiness

Dizziness

Weight gain

Constipation

Dry mouth

Less common side effects include:

Agitation

Anxiety

Blurred vision

Diarrhea

Headache

Increased appetite

Nausea

Restlessness

Stomach pain

Trouble sleeping

Vomiting

Rare side effects include:

Allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects: tremors, involuntary muscle movements; seizure (convulsions); problems with balance or coordination; increased thirst or urination, extreme hunger, fruity breath odor; fainting; fast or pounding heartbeats; or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

tremors, involuntary muscle movements;

seizure (convulsions);

problems with balance or coordination;

increased thirst or urination, extreme hunger, fruity breath odor;

fainting;

fast or pounding heartbeats; or

jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults.

Dosage

The recommended starting dose of Seroquel for schizophrenia is 25 mg, taken two or three times per day. The dose can be increased to a maximum of 800 mg per day.

The recommended starting dose of Seroquel for bipolar disorder is 50 mg, taken once or twice per day. The dose can be increased to a maximum of 1000 mg per day.

Interactions

Seroquel can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs, and vitamins you are taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Pharmacokinetics

The pharmacokinetics of Seroquel have been evaluated in 26 studies involving 1611 subjects with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder.

Seroquel is absorbed rapidly and almost completely after oral administration. The mean Cmax and AUC values are increased by about 60% and 35%, respectively, when the drug is given with food.

Seroquel is extensively metabolized in the liver via the cytochrome P450 system 2D6 (CYP2D6) to its active metabolite, N-desalkyl-quetiapine. N-desalkyl-quetiapine has affinity for dopamine D2 and serotonin 5HT2A receptors. The mean elimination half-life of unchanged Seroquel is about 6 hours. The mean elimination half-life of N-desalkyl-quetiapine is about 12 hours.

Seroquel and its metabolites are eliminated primarily in the urine (78%) with lesser amounts excreted in the feces (19%).

Alternatives to Seroquel

Other drugs that have been used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia include:

Zyprexa (olanzapine)

Risperdal (risperidone)

Invega (paliperidone)

These drugs are also effective in treating the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Alternatives to Seroquel for treating the symptoms of bipolar disorder include:

Lamictal (lamotrigine)

Abilify (aripiprazole)

Other drugs that have been used to treat the symptoms of major depression include:

Zoloft (sertraline)

Celexa (citalopram)

Paxil (paroxetine)