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Generic Name: Quetiapine (kew-TYE-a-peen)
Brand Name: Seroquel

Quetiapine may increase the risk of death in elderly patients with dementia-related mental problems. Most of the deaths appeared to be either heart-related (eg, heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (eg, pneumonia). Quetiapine has not been approved to treat dementia-related mental problems. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.

Quetiapine is used for:

Treating schizophrenia. It is also used to treat acute manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder (manic-depression). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Quetiapine is an antipsychotic. It works by altering the balance of certain chemicals that occur naturally in the brain, which are responsible for thinking and behavior.

Do NOT use Quetiapine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Quetiapine .

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Quetiapine :

Some medical conditions may interact with Quetiapine . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription (eg, ketoconazole or phenytoin) or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have considered or attempted suicide
  • if you have Alzheimer disease, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, low blood pressure or problems with fainting or dizziness, problems swallowing, or seizures

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Quetiapine . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Ketoconazole because the actions and side effects of Quetiapine may be increased
  • Hydantoins (eg, phenytoin) because the effectiveness of Quetiapine may be decreased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Quetiapine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Quetiapine :

Use Quetiapine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Quetiapine by mouth with or without food.
  • Taking Quetiapine at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
  • Take Quetiapine on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
  • It may take a few weeks for you to notice the benefits of Quetiapine . Continue to take Quetiapine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Quetiapine , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Quetiapine .

Important safety information:

  • Quetiapine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Quetiapine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Quetiapine may cause dizziness or lightheadedness; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Quetiapine ; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Do not become overheated in hot weather or while you are being active; heatstroke may occur.
  • Quetiapine may raise your blood sugar. High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have a fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by Quetiapine . Symptoms may include fever; stiff muscles; confusion; abnormal thinking; fast or irregular heartbeat; and sweating. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Some patients who take Quetiapine may develop muscle movements that they cannot control. This is more likely to happen in elderly patients, especially women. The chance that this will happen or that it will become permanent is greater in those who take Quetiapine in higher doses or for a long time. Muscle problems may also occur after short-term treatment with low doses. Tell your doctor at once if you have muscle problems with your arms; legs; or your tongue, face, mouth, or jaw (eg, tongue sticking out, puffing of cheeks, mouth puckering, chewing movements) while taking Quetiapine .
  • Quetiapine may rarely cause a prolonged, painful erection. This could happen even when you are not having sex. If this is not treated right away, it could lead to permanent sexual problems such as impotence. Contact your doctor right away if this happens.
  • LAB TESTS, including eye exams, blood glucose, and blood pressure, may be performed while you use Quetiapine . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Quetiapine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects. especially dizziness and lightheadedness upon sitting or standing up.
  • Quetiapine should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Quetiapine while you are pregnant. It is not known if Quetiapine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Quetiapine .

Possible side effects of Quetiapine :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Agitation; back pain; constipation; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; indigestion; runny nose; sore throat; stomach pain; weakness; weight gain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); altered mental abilities, including lack of response to your surroundings; high blood sugar (eg, thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, or fruity breath odor); increased or irregular heartbeat; involuntary, uncontrolled muscle movements; lightheadedness when rising from a seated or lying position; muscle stiffness; sweating; tremor; unexplained fever; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dizziness; drowsiness; fatigue; lightheadedness when rising from a seated or lying position; sedation; rapid heartbeat.

Proper storage of Quetiapine :

Store Quetiapine at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Quetiapine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Quetiapine , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • This medicine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Quetiapine . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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