Seroquel (quetiapine) is an antipsychotic medicine. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain.
Seroquel is used to treat schizophrenia in adults and children who are at least 13 years old. It is also used to treat bipolar disorder (manic depression) in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.
Seroquel is also used together with antidepressant medications to treat major depressive disorder in adults.
Extended-release quetiapine (Seroquel XR) is for use only in adults and should not be given to anyone younger than 18 years old.
Seroquel is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Seroquel may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.
To make sure you can safely take Seroquel, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- liver or kidney disease;
- heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, a history of heart attack or stroke;
- a history of low white blood cell (WBC) counts;
- a thyroid disorder;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- high cholesterol or triglycerides;
- a personal or family history of diabetes; or
- trouble swallowing.
You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant such as Seroquel, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Tell your doctor if you have worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed.
Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.
FDA pregnancy category C. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Seroquel. Quetiapine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Seroquel. Taking antipsychotic medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking Seroquel, do not stop taking it without your doctor’s advice.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Seroquel: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Stop using Seroquel and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors;
- feeling like you might pass out;
- jerky muscle movements you cannot control, trouble swallowing, problems with speech;
- tremors, or restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, neck, arms, or legs;
- mask-like appearance of the face, trouble swallowing, problems with speech;
- blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
- increased thirst and urination, excessive hunger, fruity breath odor, weakness, nausea and vomiting; or
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips.
Less serious Seroquel side effects may include:
- dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling;
- dry mouth, sore throat;
- stomach pain, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, constipation;
- breast swelling or discharge;
- missed menstrual periods; or
- increased appetite, weight gain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.