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Brand Name(s) : Seroquel
Side Effects


Quetiapine should be used with caution in patients with known cardiovascular (heart) disease, cerebrovascular disease (diseases affecting blood vessels of the brain, such as stroke), or other conditions that predispose to abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension).

It should also be used with caution in the elderly, especially during the initial dosing period. During this period when the best dose for the patient is being assessed, elderly patients are at higher risk of abnormally low blood pressure when standing (orthostatic hypotension). Caution should also be taken in patients, again especially elderly patients, with abnormal heart cycle or heart rate.

Quetiapine should also be used with caution in patients with a history of fits, a low white blood cell count, liver problems, kidney problems, patients who are pregnant or patients with diabetes.

It should not be used in patients who are allergic (hypersensitive) to quetiapine or any of the other ingredients in the drug or in patients who are breast feeding.

Also see list of precautions and interactions.


Do not store above 30°C. Store in the original package


Quetiapine is an antipsychotic and belongs to a group of drugs used to treat certain mental illnesses. It affects how chemical messengers in the brain known as neurotransmitters are able to direct brain activity.

In general this drug is used to treat schizophrenia, as well as manic or depression episodes associated with bipolar disorder.

Benefits of taking this drug include management of schizophrenia and bipolar depression symptoms. When taken either on its own or with other drugs, quetiapine can reduce manic symptoms in patients with bipolar disorder.

Listed below are the typical uses of quetiapine.

  • Treatment of schizophrenia.
  • Treatment of manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder.
  • Treatment of depression episodes associated with bipolar disorder.


How often do I take it?

  • This medication is available as a tablet, and should be taken orally, and usually twice daily, with or without food. The tablet should be swallowed whole with a drink of water.
  • Use this medication for the duration of your prescription in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take some time before the full benefit of this drug takes effect, depending on the dose given and the severity of the condition.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • The combination of the drug and alcohol can make you feel sleepy so alcohol should be taken with caution. Even without alcohol the drug can cause sleepiness so if you do feel sleepy then avoid driving or using machinery. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctor tells you to stop.


If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Uncontrollable movements
  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice)

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.


Before taking quetiapine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other antipsychotic drugs; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are: breastfeeding, elderly with dementia.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: heart problems or low blood pressure; have had a stroke; have problems with your liver; have ever had a fit or seizure; have had low levels of white blood cells in the past; have diabetes or at risk of getting diabetes.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • You should be careful how much alcohol you drink as it can cause or worsen drowsiness associated with quetiapine.

The elderly: quetiapine should be used with caution in the elderly, especially during the initial dosing period.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below


Quetiapine may or may not be suitable to take if you are, or are planning to become, pregnant. Quetiapine should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits justify the potential risks.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Quetiapine is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.

If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.

The following medicines may interact with quetiapine:

  • Medicines used in the treatment of HIV
  • Medicines used to treat fungal infections
  • Erythromycin, clarithromycin and nefazodone
  • Medicines for anxiety or depression
  • Epilepsy medicines, such as phenytoin or carbamazepine
  • Medicines for an infection (like erythromycin or ketoconazole)
  • Medicines for high blood pressure medicines
  • Rifampicin, used for tuberculosis
  • Medicines used in the treatment of HIV infection, such as nelfinavir
  • Barbiturates (for difficulty sleeping)

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.

If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.


In general, reported signs and symptoms are those resulting from an exaggeration of the drug's known effects (such as drowsiness and sedation, rapid heart rate and hypotension).

There is no specific antidote to quetiapine. In cases of severe poisoning intensive care procedures are recommended, including establishing and maintaining a patent airway, ensuring adequate oxygenation and ventilation, and monitoring support of the cardiovascular system.

Close medical supervision and monitoring should be continued until the patient recovers.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of quetiapine or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.


If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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