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Seroquel Side Effects: The 10 Most Common Ones According to Experts

Seroquel Side Effects: The 10 Most Common Ones According to Experts

Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression are chronic, debilitating illnesses that can be treated with second-generation antipsychotic drugs such as Seroquel. Each patient and doctor must weigh the benefits against the risks of any drug regimen, but for patients suffering from severe mental symptoms, Seroquel can be a lifesaver. This is an extremely potent prescription medication (generic name: quetiapine), and it is essential to be aware of the numerous reported, mild to severe Seroquel side effects.

If you or a loved one is taking Seroquel or considering doing so, you should learn all you need to know about Seroquel side effects. Some patients gain weight and feel drowsy; others may have trouble sleeping or serious stomach problems. On the other hand, some patients experience only the stabilizing benefits of this drug.

What Is Seroquel?

What Is Seroquel
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Seroquel (quetiapine) is a psychotropic prescription drug classified as an antipsychotic, and it is most frequently prescribed for diagnosed schizophrenia. It is also used to treat bipolar disorder, major depression and, less frequently, severe anxiety and postpartum psychosis.

Disorders Treated with Seroquel

Disorders Treated with Seroquel
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Seroquel is a second-generation, atypical-type, antipsychotic medication that restores the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Psychotropics, which some call psychodynamic meds, are intended to alter the mind, mood, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of people suffering from schizophrenia. As you may know, schizophrenia is a brain disorder marked by symptoms that range from confusion and catatonia to psychosis, strange behavior, and even loss of personality. Its cause is unknown, but it is generally considered a genetic disorder.

As for major depression or severe general anxiety, sufferers may deal with suicidal ideation and feelings of sadness and lethargy so strong that it becomes difficult to perform daily tasks or even get out of bed. Finally, bipolar disorder is a condition that can cause alternating feelings of elation and plentiful energy with the crushing sadness and dullness.

Seroquel belongs to the second generation of antipsychotics that were developed in the 1980s, along with drugs like risperidone (first marketed as Risperdal), aripiprazole (Abilify), olanzapine (Zyprexa), and asenapine (Saphris). These meds tend to have fewer side effects than the first generation of schizophrenia meds developed in the mid-20th century such as Thorazine and Haldol.

Seroquel Benefits

Disorders Treated with Seroquel
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Seroquel can help sufferers from severe mood and mental disorders get their lives and personalities back. Patients treated successfully often feel more stable, balanced, and grounded; less anxious and depressed; and better able to think, focus and express themselves. Antipsychotics also treat mood swings, suicidal ideation, delusions of grandeur, and hallucinations. They can improve not just mood but energy levels, but also appetite and the patient's ability to take pleasure in normal, everyday activities.

Seroquel Dosage

Seroquel Dosage
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A patient's prescribed dosage of Seroquel must be based on his or her medical diagnosis, factors such as age and weight, potential interactions with other meds, prior response to treatment, and more factors. Seroquel is prescribed as dosages of 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, 300 mg, and 400 mg. The dose is typically increased gradually up to the recommended amount with a minimum of Seroquel side effects.

A typical starting regimen for Schizophrenia might look like this: On day 1 you take just 50 mg in two doses, 12 hours apart. Then, you might be "ramped up" gradually over a period of days, leading to a larger dose anywhere from 300 to 750 mg. All these guidelines vary with differing patient needs and many other considerations.

10 Seroquel Side Effects

Drowsiness

Weight Gain

Tardive Dyskinesia

Moodiness and Behavior Changes

Extrapyramidal Symptoms

Increased Blood Pressure

Dizziness

Stomach Issues

Dry Mouth

Additional Side Effects

Stopping Seroquel 

Never stop taking the medication without first talking to and supervising from your doctor. Stopping Seroquel abruptly can have serious and life-threatening side effects, as can tapering the drug dosage slowly downward over weeks or months.

Drug Interactions

The most common drugs and medications that can cause adverse interactions with Seroquel include alcohol, amphetamines, some antihistamines, certain antibiotics, narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine), barbiturates, muscle relaxers, SSRIs, diuretics, tricyclic antidepressants, and certain migraine meds.

However, even then this list of Seroquel side effects is not exhaustive. Always get professional information regarding your health and medications from your physician. You also have the option of reporting side effects to the FDA by dialing 1-800-FDA-1088.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that Seroquel, just like most other powerful medications, can have mild to serious side effects. Seroquel side effects might go away as a person gets used to having the drug in their system or be so serious that this specific medication cannot be tolerated. In that case, the physician might observe the new medication regimen a few more days or weeks, adjust the dosage, or substitute a different antipsychotic.

It is paramount to realize that Seroquel is a life-changing prescription drug that can restore mental and emotional health, especially when used in conjunction with other treatments. The advantages and disadvantages must always be weighed carefully. Remember that Seroquel side effects are common, and they may fade or disappear within a few days or two weeks.

We are dedicated to helping patients suffering from all types of disorders and illnesses make the best possible choices about their medications and other forms of treatment. This post is by no means intended to scare you away from Seroquel, but rather to help prepare you for common Seroquel side effects so you know what to be on the lookout for and when to call your doctor if needed.

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