What is quetiapine?
Quetiapine is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain.
Quetiapine is used to treat the symptoms of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression).
Quetiapine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Quetiapine is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Quetiapine may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.
Before you take quetiapine, tell your doctor if you have:
- liver or kidney disease;
- heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems;
- a history of heart attack or stroke;
- a thyroid disorder;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- high cholesterol or triglycerides;
- a personal or family history of diabetes; or
- trouble swallowing.
If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use quetiapine, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.
Quetiapine 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 quetiapine.
You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, 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. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether quetiapine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give quetiapine to anyone younger than 18 years old without the advice of a doctor.
Quetiapine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and 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 drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of quetiapine.
Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by quetiapine. Tell your doctor if you need to use any of these other medicines while you are taking quetiapine.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, fast heart rate, feeling light-headed, or fainting.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: 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.
Other serious side effects include:
- fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats;
- jerky muscle movements you cannot control;
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- increased thirst, frequent urination, excessive hunger, or weakness;
- feeling like you might pass out; or
- urinating less than usual or not at all.
Less serious side effects may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness, or weakness;
- dry mouth, runny nose, sore throat;
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation;
- blurred vision, headache, anxiety, agitation;
- breast swelling or discharge;
- missed menstrual periods; or
- 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.
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Before taking quetiapine, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- cimetidine (Tagamet);
- erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S, Ery-Tab);
- lorazepam (Ativan);
- rifabutin (Mycobutin) or rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater);
- steroids (prednisone and others);
- thioridazine (Mellaril);
- an antifungal medication such as fluconazole (Diflucan), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or itraconazole (Sporanox);
- medicine for depression or mental illness, such as fluoxetine (Prozac), haloperidol (Haldol), imipramine (Tofranil), or risperidone (Risperdal);
- a medication to treat high blood pressure or a heart condition; or
- seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), divalproex (Depakote), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), phenytoin (Dilantin), or valproate (Depakene).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with quetiapine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Seroquel, quetiapine, and Seroquel XR
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