Generic Name: quetiapine (kwe TYE a peen)
Brand Names: SEROquel, SEROquel XR
What is Seroquel?
Seroquel (quetiapine) is an antipsychotic medicine. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain.
Seroquel is used to treat schizophrenia in adults and children who are at least 13 years old. It is also used to treat bipolar disorder (manic depression) in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.
Seroquel is also used together with antidepressant medications to treat major depressive disorder in adults.
Extended-release quetiapine (Seroquel XR) is for use only in adults and should not be given to anyone younger than 18 years old.
Seroquel may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Important information about Seroquel
Never take Seroquel in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. High doses or long-term use of Seroquel can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. Symptoms of this disorder include tremors or other uncontrollable muscle movements. Seroquel is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Seroquel may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions. Stop using Seroquel and call your doctor at once if you have the following symptoms: very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, uncontrolled muscle movements, feeling light-headed, blurred vision, eye pain, increased thirst and urination, excessive hunger, fruity breath odor, weakness, nausea and vomiting.
Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Before taking Seroquel
Seroquel is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Seroquel may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.
To make sure you can safely take Seroquel, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
liver or kidney disease;
heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, a history of heart attack or stroke;
a history of low white blood cell (WBC) counts;
a thyroid disorder;
seizures or epilepsy;
high cholesterol or triglycerides;
a personal or family history of diabetes; or
You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant such as Seroquel, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Tell your doctor if you have worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.
FDA pregnancy category C. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Seroquel. Quetiapine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Seroquel. Taking antipsychotic medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking Seroquel, do not stop taking it without your doctor's advice.
See also: Seroquel pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
Do not give Seroquel to a child without a doctor's advice. Extended-release Seroquel XR is for use only in adults and should not be given to anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take Seroquel?
Never take Seroquel in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. High doses or long-term use of Seroquel can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. Symptoms of this disorder include tremors or other uncontrollable muscle movements.
Take Seroquel exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water. You may take Seroquel with or without food. Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the pill whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
Seroquel may cause you to have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Talk to your doctor if you have any signs of hyperglycemia such as increased thirst or urination, excessive hunger, or weakness. If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis while you are taking Seroquel.
This medication can cause you to have a false positive drug screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking Seroquel.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Seroquel can be fatal. Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, fast heart rate, feeling light-headed, or fainting.
What should I avoid while taking Seroquel?
Seroquel may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. You may be more prone to heat stroke.
Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase certain side effects of Seroquel.
Seroquel side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Seroquel: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Stop using Seroquel and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors;
feeling like you might pass out;
jerky muscle movements you cannot control, trouble swallowing, problems with speech;
tremors, or restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, neck, arms, or legs;
mask-like appearance of the face, trouble swallowing, problems with speech;
blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
increased thirst and urination, excessive hunger, fruity breath odor, weakness, nausea and vomiting; or
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips.
Less serious Seroquel side effects may include:
dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling;
dry mouth, sore throat;
stomach pain, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, constipation;
breast swelling or discharge;
missed menstrual periods; or
increased appetite, weight gain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Seroquel side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Seroquel?
Before using Seroquel, tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by Seroquel.
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
a medication to treat high blood pressure or a heart condition;
medications to treat Parkinson's disease;
steroids (prednisone and others);
an antibiotic or antifungal medication such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), levofloxacin (Levaquin), ketoconazole (Nizoral), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater), and others;
anti-malaria medications such as chloroquine (Aralen) or mefloquine (Lariam);
heart rhythm medicine such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), dofetilide (Tikosyn), disopyramide (Norpace), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), propafenone (Rythmol), quinidine (Quin-G), and others;
medications to treat HIV or AIDS;
migraine headache medicine such as sumatriptan (Imitrex, Treximet) or zolmitriptan (Zomig);
narcotic medication such as methadone (Methadose, Diskets, Dolophine);
seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), divalproex (Depakote), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), phenytoin (Dilantin), or valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor); or
other antidepressant or medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as amitriptylline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), clozapine (FazaClo, Clozaril), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Symbyax), haloperidol (Haldol), risperidone (Risperdal), thioridazine (Mellaril), and others.
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Seroquel. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More Seroquel resources
- Seroquel Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Seroquel Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Seroquel Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Seroquel MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Seroquel XR Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Seroquel XR sustained-release tablets MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Seroquel.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Seroquel only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2011 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 13.01. Revision Date: 8/15/2011 12:56:39 PM.