More than ten years ago the well known company "AstraZeneca", offered to psychiatrists a drug for the treatment of acute and chronic psychoses - Seroquel (Quetiapine). Seroquel's mechanism of action is characterized by binding to several neurotransmitter systems, with the highest affinity for quetiapine for 5 ‑ HT2 ‑ serotonergic receptors with relatively low interaction with dopamine receptors such as D1 and D2.
Along with this, the drug has a low tropism for muscarinic and alpha-adrenergic receptors in comparison with classical antipsychotics. This antipsychotic has been shown to be highly effective in reducing a wide range of symptoms in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In the USA in 2005, the drug was named "Product of the Year."
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Seroquel is indicated for people suffering from mental health disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar illness, or individuals who have manic episodes.
Seroquel is not used if intolerance to quetiapine fumarate has been determined in a patient. In addition, Seroquel therapy is not carried out if the patient receives HIV protease inhibitors, nefazodone, erythromycin, clarithromycin and azole-containing antifungal agents. The drug is not prescribed in pediatrics, with exceptional care it is prescribed for treatment of patients who suffer from diseases of the cardiovascular system, as well as those who have cerebrovascular disorders, accompanied by a risk of hypotension. In such cases different analogue with another active component is used.
In addition, Seroquel is prescribed with extreme caution to patients who are at risk of developing strokes, suffer from convulsive syndrome or diabetes mellitus. Seroquel is not effective in treating psychoses that have developed amid dementia.
During therapy with Seroquel, it is necessary to refrain from driving hazardous mechanisms and vehicles. The drug may cause dizziness, headaches and other side effects which negatively affect attention required to drive a vehicle or operate machines that require concentration.
Pregnancy and lactation
There are no official data on the use of Seroquel in the treatment of pregnant women, therefore, prescribing the drug to this category of patients is possible only by vital signs and under medical supervision. When prescribing a drug for the treatment of women at the stage of lactation, refusal from breastfeeding is usually advised but the final word is up to the treating doctor.
Dosage and administration
Seroquel is intended for oral administration. The drug is used regardless of food intake. The daily dose of the drug is recommended to be divided into two doses, the interval between taking the drug should be at least 12 hours. The duration of therapy and the dose of the medicine are determined by therapist.
When treating schizophrenia, the patient takes 50 mg of the drug per day on the first day of therapy, 100 mg on the second day of therapy, 200 mg on the third day and 300 mg on the fourth day, after which the doctor decides an individual dose according to patient's tolerance and therapy's productivity. When the drug is canceled, a gradual dose reduction is carried out over 2 weeks. Seroquel treatment may be accompanied by the development of addiction, therefore, with a sharp cessation of the drug, a patient may experience a severe "withdrawal syndrome", which might require a symptomatic treatment in severe cases.
When taking high doses of Seroquel, drowsiness, a decrease in blood pressure, the occurrence of reflex tachycardia, lengthening of the Q-T interval and coma are possible.
In case of an overdose of the drug, the patient has his stomach and then the doctor prescribes symptomatic treatment for a person to fully recover.
With long-term intake of Seroquel, possible side effects are dyspeptic disorders, dizziness, drowsiness, orthostatic hypotension, malignant antipsychotic syndrome, headaches, seizures, dyskinesia, restless legs syndrome and various allergic reactions.
If side effects take place, the final word if to continue therapy or to interrupt the medication intake is up to the attending therapist to decide.
Thanks to the pills my depression is gone
My psychotherapist prescribed seroquel, I have been taking it for a week now. I feel better, but I feel very sleepy lately