Seroquel (quetiapine)

Seroquel (quetiapine)

Brand name: Seroquel®.
Active ingredient name: Quetiapine, Quetiapine XR.
Type of medication: Atypical antipsychotic.
Available in Canada from: AstraZeneca Canada Inc.
Form: Oral tablets.
Generic: Yes: Apo-Quetiapine (Apotex Inc.); Auro-Quetiapine (Auro Pharma Inc.); Bio-Quetiapine (Biomed Pharma); CO Quetiapine (Cobalt Pharmaceuticals Comp.); JAMP-Quetiapine (JAMP Pharma Corp.); Mar-Quetiapine (Marcan Pharmaceuticals Inc.); Mint-Quetiapine (Mint Pharmaceuticals Inc); Nat-Quetiapine (Natco Pharma Canada Inc.); PMS-Quetiapine (Pharmascience Inc.); Pro- Quetiapine (Meliapharm Inc.); Quetiapine (Sanis Health Inc.); Ran-Quetiapine (Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.); Sandoz Quetiapine (Sandoz Canada Inc.); Teva-Quetiapine (Teva Canada Ltd.); Van-Quetiapine (Vanc Pharmaceuticals Inc.).
Listed on Ontario formulary: Yes.
OHIP+ coverage:  Yes, but only Nat-Quetiapine and Teva-Quetiapine 150 mg. Serequel XR may be covered.
 

What is Seroquel used for?

Seroquel is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia in adults. Seroquel may also be used to treat the symptoms of mania or depression in people with bipolar disorder and it may be also be used to treat major depressive disorder. It may also be used in some treatment centres for managing withdrawal from certain substances. Discuss why you are taking Seroquel with your doctor.

How should I take Seroquel?

  • Seroquel is available in 25 mg, 100 mg, 200 and 300 mg tablets.
  • The usual starting dose is 25 mg twice daily. The recommended dosage range is 50 mg - 800 mg per day. Doses for the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses tend be 600 mg - 800 mg per day. The usual dose for bipolar depression and major depressive disorder is 300 mg per day. Your doctor may prescribe doses higher than recommended. Discuss your dose with your physician.

What are the most common side effects seen with Seroquel? 

The most common side effects of Seroquel include:
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Weight gain
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach or abdominal pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Abnormal dreams or nightmares
  • Irritability

What are rare but potentially serious interactions with Seroquel?

  • Decrease in white blood cell count (agranulocytosis)
  • Cerebrovascular event (stroke)
  • Anaphylactic reaction (severe allergy)
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • Torsades de pointes (serious heart arrhythmia)
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)

Warnings/Precautions

Elderly individuals with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic medication are at an increased risk of death compared to individuals not receiving antipsychotics. Most deaths appear to be either cardiovascular or infectious. Seroquel is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis. Some individuals with dementia may, however, be treated with this medication. Discuss the potential risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor for this indication.

What medications interact with Seroquel?

Tell all your doctors, pharmacists and dentist that you are taking Seroquel. You should also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications, including those obtained without a prescription, and herbal and vitamin products.

The following types of medications may interact with Seroquel:

  • Certain medications for allergies (e.g., Benadryl [diphenhydramine])
  • Certain medications for sleep (e.g., lorazepam, zopiclone)
  • Certain medications for pain (e.g., fentanyl)
  • Protease inhibitors (for HIV/AIDS treatment)
  • Ketoconazole
Avoid drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs while taking Seroquel.