Quetiapine Fumarate (kwe-TYE-a-peen FUE-ma-rate)
Treats schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness). Used together with other medicines to treat major depressive disorder (MDD).
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
Seroquel, Seroquel XR
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to quetiapine.
How to Use This Medicine
Tablet, Long Acting Tablet
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to. You need to start with a low dose, even if you have used this medicine before.
- Your doctor may tell you to take the medicine at bedtime, because quetiapine can make you sleepy.
- If you are taking the extended-release tablets, take this medicine without food or with a light snack (approximately 300 calories).
- Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using cimetidine (Tagamet®), dopamine, levodopa (Sinemet®), levomethadyl acetate (Orlaam®), lorazepam (Ativan®), methadone (Dolophine®), pentamidine (Nebupent®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifamate®, Rimactane®), medicine to treat HIV/AIDS (such as atazanavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Crixivan®, Fortovase®, Invirase®, Norvir®, or Viracept®), or a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, or Medrol®).
- Tell your doctor if you are also using medicine for seizures (such as carbamazepine, divalproex, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Depakote®, Dilantin®, Luminal®, or Tegretol®), certain antibiotics (such as erythromycin, gatifloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, Avelox®, Levaquin®, or Zagam®), medicine to treat a fungus infection (such as fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, Diflucan®, Nizoral®, or Sporanox®), or other antipsychotic medicine (such as haloperidol, mesoridazine, pimozide, prochlorperazine, thioridazine, ziprasidone, Compazine®, Geodon®, Haldol®, Mellaril®, Orap®, or Serentil®).
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicine to lower blood pressure (such as atenolol, doxazosin, hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], lisinopril, metoprolol, quinapril, Accupril®, Cardura®, Cozaar®, Diovan®, Lotrel®, Norvasc®, Toprol®, or Zestril®) or medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, Betapace®, Cardioquin®, Cordarone®, Norpace®, Procanbid®, Quinaglute®, or Tikosyn®).
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, diabetes, breast cancer, trouble with swallowing, cataracts, underactive thyroid, or a history of seizures or neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Tell your doctor if you have any kind of blood vessel or heart problems, including low blood pressure, heart failure, low amount of blood, heart rhythm problems (such as QT prolongation, slow heartbeat), high cholesterol, mineral imbalance (such as low magnesium or potassium in the blood), or a history of heart attack or stroke. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had thoughts of hurting yourself.
- For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor or your child's doctor right away if you or your child start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourselves. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you or your child, especially if they are new or are getting worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you or your child have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you or your child have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you, your child, or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
- This medicine is not approved to treat behavior disorders in older people who have dementia. Using this medicine to treat this problem could increase the risk of death. This risk has not been shown for the approved uses of this medicine.
- Some side effects are more likely to happen in elderly people who have memory problems or other reduced mental skills. Make sure the doctor knows if the person who will be using this medicine has forgetfulness or confusion related to aging (such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia).
- Stop taking this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child have any of the following symptoms while using this medicine: convulsions (seizures), difficulty with breathing, a fast heartbeat, a high fever, high or low blood pressure, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, severe muscle stiffness, unusually pale skin, or tiredness. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
- This medicine may increase the amount of sugar in your blood. Check with your doctor right away if you have increased thirst or increased urination. If you or your child have diabetes, you may notice a change in the results of your urine or blood sugar tests. Check your blood sugar closely and talk with your doctor if you have any questions.
- This medicine may increase your cholesterol and fats in the blood. If this condition occurs, your doctor may give you or your child some medicines that can lower the amount of cholesterol and fats in the blood.
- This medicine may increase your weight. Your doctor may need to check your or your child's weight regularly during treatment with this medicine.
- Tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder) may occur and may not go away after you stop using the medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have any of the following symptoms while taking this medicine: lip smacking or puckering, puffing of the cheeks, rapid, worm-like movements of the tongue, uncontrolled chewing movements, or uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs.
- This medicine may make you dizzy, lightheaded, or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you or your child are not alert. You may also feel lightheaded when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position, so get up slowly.
- You will need to have your blood pressure measured before starting this medicine and while you or your child are using it. If you notice any change to your recommended blood pressure, call your doctor right away. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.
- This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
- This medicine can cause changes in heart rhythms, such as a condition called QT prolongation. It may change the way your heart beats and cause fainting or serious side effects in some patients. Contact your doctor right away if you or your child have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats.
- Tell your doctor about any other medicine you or your child have used to treat a mental disorder, especially if the medicine caused problems.
- You might get overheated more easily while using this medicine. Be aware of this if you or your child are exercising or the weather is hot. Drinking water might help. If you get too hot and feel dizzy, weak, tired, confused, or sick to your stomach, you need to cool down. Call your doctor if drinking cool water and moving away from the heat does not cool you down.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. You or your child may also need to have your eyes tested on a regular basis.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Agitation, anxiety, or restlessness.
- Changes in behavior, or thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
- Chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Constant muscle movement that you cannot control (often in your lips, tongue, jaw, arms, or legs).
- Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
- Fever, sweating, confusion, or muscle stiffness.
- Increase in how much or how often you urinate, increased thirst, increased hunger, or weakness.
- Lightheadedness or fainting (more common at the beginning or when changing doses).
- Neck muscle spasm, throat tightness, difficulty with swallowing or breathing, or sticking out of the tongue.
- Painful, prolonged erection of the penis.
- Problems with balance or walking.
- Seizures or tremors.
- Trouble seeing, or bright light bothering your eyes.
- Unusual tiredness or weakness.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Back pain.
- Changes in menstrual periods.
- Increased appetite.
- Lack or loss of strength.
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, upset stomach, or stomach pain.
- Severe drowsiness, dizziness, or sleepiness.
- Stuffy or runny nose.
- Weight gain.