Resources Medication Resource Centre Seroquel (quetiapine)

Seroquel (quetiapine)

Seroquel (quetiapine)
Brand name: Seroquel®
Active ingredient name: Quetiapine, Quetiapine XR
Type of drug: Atypical antipsychotic
Available in Canada from: AstraZeneca Canada Inc.
Form: Oral tablets
Generic: Yes: Apo-Quetiapine (Apotex Inc.); Ava-Quetiapine (Avanstra Inc.); CO Quetiapine (Cobalt Pharmaceuticals Comp.); Dom-Quetiapine (Dominion Pharmacal); JAMP-Quetiapine (JAMP Pharma Corp.); Mylan-Quetiapine (Mylan Pharmaceuticals ULC); PHL-Quetiapine (Pharmel Inc.); PMS-Quetiapine (Pharmascience Inc.); Pro-Quetiapine (Pro Doc Ltée); Quetiapine (Meliapharm Inc.); Quetiapine (Sanis Health Inc.); Ratio-Quetiapine (Ratiopharm Inc.); Riva-Quetiapine (Laboratoire Riva Inc.); Sandoz Quetiapine (Sandoz Canada Inc.); Teva-Quetiapine (Teva Canada Ltd.)
Listed on Ontario formulary: Yes

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 much Seroquel should I take?
Seroquel is available in 25, 100, 200, and 300 mg tablets.
The usual starting dose is 25 mg twice daily.The recommended dosage range is 50 to 800 mg per day. Doses for the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses tend be 600-800 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 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) 
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 drugs 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 medications or 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 (eg., fentanyl)
  • Protease Inhibitors (for HIV/AIDS treatment)
  • Ketoconazole
Avoid drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs while taking Seroquel.