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Drug Guide    Q   Quetiapine

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   Quetiapine

Quetiapine
Oral


This medication is used with or without other medications to treat certain mental/mood conditions (e.g., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia). Quetiapine is known as an anti-psychotic drug (atypical type). It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.This medication can decrease hallucinations and improve your concentration. It helps you to think more clearly and positively about yourself, feel less nervous, and take a more active part in everyday life. Quetiapine can help prevent severe mood swings or decrease how often mood swings occur.

 
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 Quetiapine images:

OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Quetiapine

Uses
This medication is used with or without other medications to treat certain mental/mood conditions (e.g., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia). Quetiapine is known as an anti-psychotic drug (atypical type). It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.This medication can decrease hallucinations and improve your concentration. It helps you to think more clearly and positively about yourself, feel less nervous, and take a more active part in everyday life. Quetiapine can help prevent severe mood swings or decrease how often mood swings occur.
Notes
  • Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., fasting blood sugar, weight, blood pressure, blood cholesterol/triglyceride levels, eye exams) should be performed regularly to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
  • Consult your doctor for more details.

Storage
  • Store at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture.
  • Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Overdose
  • Symptoms of overdose may include drowsiness, rapid pulse, weakness, tiredness, and dizziness.

How To Use
  • Read the Medication Guide available from your pharmacist before you start using quetiapine and each time you get a refill.
  • If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 2 or 3 times daily or as directed by your doctor.
  • Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
  • Your doctor will start you at a low dose and gradually increase the dose to reduce the dizziness and lightheadedness that may occur when you first start to take this drug.
  • It may take several weeks to notice the full benefit of this drug.Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.
  • If you stop taking quetiapine for more than one week, notify your doctor.
  • If you restart the drug, you may need to start at a low dose and gradually increase the dose again.Continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed, even if you are feeling better and thinking more clearly.
  • Do not stop taking this medication without first consulting your doctor.
  • Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped.
  • Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.Limit the amount of grapefruit or grapefruit juice you may eat or drink while being treated with this medication unless your doctor directs you otherwise.
  • Grapefruit may increase the amount of certain medications in your blood stream.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Side Effects
  • Constipation, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, stomach pain/upset, tiredness, weight gain, nasal congestion, or dry mouth may occur.
  • If any of these side effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fainting, unusually fast/irregular heartbeat, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), mental/mood changes (e.g., increased anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts), difficulty swallowing, weakness.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: seizures, vision changes.Quetiapine may rarely cause a condition known as tardive dyskinesia.
  • In some cases, this condition may be permanent.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any unusual/uncontrolled movements (especially of the face, lips, mouth, tongue, arms or legs).For males, in the very unlikely event you have a painful or prolonged erection (lasting more than 4 hours), stop using this drug and seek immediate medical attention, or permanent problems could occur.This drug may infrequently cause a serious (rarely fatal) nervous system disorder (neuroleptic malignant syndrome).
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following rare but very serious side effects: muscle stiffness, high fever, increased sweating, fast heartbeat, mental/mood changes, change in the amount of urine.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs.
  • Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • Before taking quetiapine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: Alzheimer's disease, low blood pressure, disease of the blood vessels in the brain (e.g., stroke), blood disorders (e.g., leukopenia, neutropenia), a severe loss of body water (dehydration), certain eye problems (cataracts), liver disease, seizures, trouble swallowing, thyroid problems.Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you or a family member has a history of the following: alcohol/drug abuse, diabetes, heart disease (e.g., ischemic heart disease, heart failure, heart rhythm problems), high blood cholesterol/triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, obesity.Get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position to avoid dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • This is more likely to occur in the first few days after starting/restarting the drug or after your dose increases.This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages.This drug may also cause significant weight gain and a rise in your blood cholesterol (or triglyceride) levels.
  • These effects may increase your risk for developing heart disease, especially if you also have diabetes.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor.
  • (See also Notes section.)This drug may infrequently make your blood sugar level rise, causing or worsening diabetes.
  • This high blood sugar can rarely cause serious conditions such as diabetic coma.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of high blood sugar such as unusual increased thirst/urination or vision changes.
  • If you already have diabetes, be sure to check your blood sugar level regularly.This drug can make you more likely to get heat stroke.
  • Avoid activities that may cause you to overheat (e.g., strenuous work, exercising in hot weather, using hot tubs).
  • Drink plenty of fluids, dress lightly, and stay in cool/air-conditioned areas when the weather is hot.Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially dizziness.This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk.
  • Because of the possible risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
  • If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.
  • Do not double the dose to catch up.

Drug Interactions
  • Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it.
  • Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.This drug should not be used with the following medication because very serious interactions may occur: sibutramine.If you are currently using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting quetiapine.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: anticholinergics (e.g., belladonna alkaloids, benztropine, scopolamine), dopamine-like drugs (e.g., bromocriptine, cabergoline), levodopa, rifabutin, drugs for treating high blood pressure (e.g., alpha blockers such as prazosin, calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem, "water pills"/diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide), drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove quetiapine from your body (e.g., azole antifungals such as fluconazole/ketoconazole/itraconazole, barbiturates such as phenobarbital, glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin, rifampin, certain anti-seizure drugs such as carbamazepine/phenytoin, thioridazine), thyroid medicine (e.g., thyroxine).Also report the use of drugs which might increase seizure risk (decrease seizure threshold) when combined with quetiapine such as: bupropion, isoniazid (INH), other antipsychotics (e.g., chlorpromazine), tramadol, theophylline, and tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline), among others.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, amitriptyline, trazodone).
  • Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients.
  • Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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