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Seroquel is a drug that is used to treat adults and children with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. This type of drug belongs to a group of drugs called atypical antipsychotic. The way this drug works is that it changes the actions of the chemicals of the brain (Drugs,uses).
The trade name of Seroquel is Seroquel or Seroquel XR. The generic name is quetiapine. Seroquel changes the levels of neurotransmitters, those that include serotonin and dopamine. The company that manufactures this drug is AstraZaneca. In 1997 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this drug (Everyday health).
Seroquel ranges in many types of dosages. Those dosages range from 25mg to 400mg (RxList). This medication should never be taken in larger dosages or longer than what the doctor has recommended. Serious movement disorder can occur if it’s take longer that is supposed to and might not be reversible. Seroquel should be taken orally with a full glass of water. It can be taken with or without food. The initial dose of Seroquel for an adult who suffers from schizophrenia is 25mg orally which should be taken twice a day. The dosage can be increased to 50mg two times a day or three times a day on the second and third days. On the fourth day, the dosage can range from 300mg to 400mg daily, which can be divided into 2 or 3 doses a day. An adult with bipolar disorder should start with a dose of 50mg orally twice a day. The dose may be increased to 200mg orally twice daily on day 4 in increments of up to 50mg twice a day. It has been shown that most patients responded between 400mg per day to 800mg per day. The usual adult dosage for a patient with depression is 50mg orally daily in the evening. On the third day, the dose can increase to 150mg once daily in the evening (Drugs, uses).
There are many drugs that can interfere the way that Seroquel works. It’s very important that you should inform your doctor if you are taking any other drugs, including illegal drugs, over-the-counter drugs, as well as supplements and herbs. Some of the drugs that can interfere with the effectiveness of Seroquel or that can cause a problem are: illegal “street drugs”, allergy or cold medications, medications that are used to treat fungal disease like fluconazole, itraconazole and ketoconazole. Some other drugs are also HIV/AIDS medications, medications that treat heartburn, sleeping pills, methadone, different types of antibiotics, seizure medications, steroids taken by mouth and medications to treat Parkinson’s disease.
There are common side effects that come with the use of Seroquel. Some of those side effects include: dizziness, drowsiness, rash, dry mouth, insomnia, fatigue, anorexia, some loss of muscular control, blurred vision. In some cases, it can also cause amenorrhea which is the loss of menstruation in women. Dystonia which is difficulty walking may occur when taking this medication. This condition may decrease in 24 to 48 hours even after the patient continues to take this medication. Taking this drug may lead to developing symptoms those similar to Parkinson’s disease. Some of those symptoms include drooling, tremors, pill-rolling motions in the hands, a shuffling gait, and a tight or mask-like expression of the face. Taking anti-Parkinson’s drugs like benztropine or trihexyphenidyl along with Seroquel may control these symptoms (gale virtual).
Seroquel should only be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Patients who are pregnant are recommended to notify their doctor if they are pregnant or plan to be pregnant before taking this medication. It is in the FDA Pregnancy Category C which means that they can’t rule out that the fetus can get harm (Drugs Pregnancy). There has been an increased risk of death with elderly patients that suffer from dementia while taking this drug, so it’s very important to talk about this to your doctor if you or a family member suffer from dementia. When taking this drug it may increase the risk for suicide and the risks are greater when starting this treatment or increasing its dosage. Let your doctor know as soon as possible if you are taking Seroquel and have thoughts of suicide, symptoms of aggression, irritability, panic attacks, restlessness, abnormal excitement or extreme worry (Everyday Health).Â Taking Seroquel may cause liver damage. It is very important that patients to let their health care provider if they experience flu-like symptoms, notice yellowing of the skin or eyes and abdominal pain. This drug should be used carefully with patients that have a history of liver disease or alcoholic cirrhosis. Those patients who suffer from seizures should also be careful when taking this drug since it can increase the tendency to have more seizures (gale virtue).
It’s advised to never stop taking Seroquel suddenly since it can cause withdrawal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and sleeping problems. It might increase the risk of diabetes so let your doctor know if there is a history in your family. Let your health physician know if you have any conditions including irregular heartbeat, history of heart attack, cataracts, seizures, high cholesterol, high or low blood pressure, history of cancer, liver disease and Leukopenia or neutropenia which is low white blood cell count (Everyday Health). You should avoid drinking alcohol while taking this drug since it can have dangerous side effects as a result. It may impair your thinking or reactions so be careful when driving or doing anything that requires alertness (Drug uses).
Karpa, K., Wienclaw, R. A., & Cataldo, L. J. (2012). Quetiapine. In K. Key (Ed.), The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health (3rd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 1252-1255). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.ezp-01.lirn.net/ps/i.do?p=GVRL&sw=w&u=lirn49556&v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CCX4013200387&asid=781c1c098860b525c55ef779aa4c78e0
Iliades, C., Dallas, M., (2014). Seroquel (Quentiapine), Everyday Health. Retrieved from
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