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What Does Seroquel Do To The Brain

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Common Conditions People Have *:

Quetiapine (Seroquel): What You Need To Know
  • Pain: 6 people, 16.67%
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder : 3 people, 8.33%
  • Sleep Disorder: 2 people, 5.56%
  • Schizophrenia : 2 people, 5.56%
  • Major Depression : 2 people, 5.56%
  • Dementia : 2 people, 5.56%
  • Stress And Anxiety: 1 person, 2.78%
  • Feeling Of Relaxation: 1 person, 2.78%
  • Convulsion : 1 person, 2.78%
  • * Approximation only. Some reports may have incomplete information.

    A Fifth Type Of Medication That Affects Brain Function

    Opiate pain medications. Unlike the other drugs mentioned above, opiates are not on the Beers list of medications that older adults should avoid. That said, they do seem to dampen thinking abilities a bit, even in long-term users. As far as I know, opiates are not thought to accelerate long-term cognitive decline.

    • Commonly prescribed opiates include hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, methadone, hydromorphone, and fentanyl.
    • Tramadol is a weaker opiate with weaker prescribing controls.
    • Many geriatricians consider it more problematic than the classic Schedule II opiates listed above, as it interacts with a lot of medications and still affects brain function. Its a dirty drug, as one of my friends likes to say.
  • Alternatives depend on what type of pain is present. Generally, if people are taking opiates then they have pain that needs to be treated. However, a thoughtful holistic approach to pain often enables a person to get by with less medication, which can improve thinking abilities.
  • For people who have moderate or severe dementia, its important to know that untreated pain can worsen their thinking. So sometimes a low dose of opiate medication does end up improving their thinking.
  • Other risks in older adults:
  • There is some risk of developing a problematic addiction, especially if theres a prior history of substance abuse. But in my experience, having someone else usually younger steal or use the drugs is a more likely problem.
  • Tell The Healthcare Provider About All Medical Conditions And Medications

    The healthcare provider who is prescribing an antipsychotic can help minimize side effects if they know about all medical conditions, especially:

    • Diabetes or a family history of high blood sugar
    • High cholesterol or triglycerides
    • High or low blood pressure
    • Heart problems
    • Low white blood cell counts
    • High prolactin levels
    • Any history of depression, mood problems, or suicidality
    • Any heart problems or heart rhythm problems
    • Liver disease
    • Pregnancy or plans to get pregnant
    • Breastfeeding or plans to breastfeed

    Some side effects are caused or worsened by combining Seroquel with other prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Keep a list of all medications being taken and share it with the healthcare provider prescribing Seroquel.

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    Alternative To Meds Seroquel Withdrawal Resources

    This article provides information on Seroquel withdrawal symptoms, quetiapine side effects, what it is prescribed for, and discusses treatment options, FAQs, and services provided by the Alternative to Meds Center. If you are looking for information regarding tapering Seroquel, please see our Seroquel tapering page. And, if you are looking for non-drug or natural alternatives to Seroquel, please see our Seroquel alternatives page.

    Can I Drive While Taking Quetiapine

    How Does Seroquel Affect The Brain?

    Taking quetiapine may make you feel tired or dizzy, and may affect your eyesight when you start taking it.

    This could affect you if you drive a car, ride a bike, or do anything else that needs a lot of focus. It might be best to stop doing these things for the first few days, until you know how it affects you.

    Do not worry – most people drive as normal while taking quetiapine.

    You must tell The DVLA if you have bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or other mental health conditions that could affect your driving.

    You can be fined up to £1,000 if you do not tell DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving.

    You may be prosecuted if you are involved in an accident as a result.

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    Brain Imaging Of Quetiapine Response In Anxious Depression

    The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
    First Posted : September 23, 2009Results First Posted : September 30, 2016Last Update Posted : September 30, 2016
    • Study Details
    Condition or disease
    Phase 4
    Layout table for study information

    Study Type :
    Brain Imaging of Quetiapine Response in Anxious Depression
    Study Start Date :
    Open-label Quetiapine XL 50 – 400 mg daily treatment 8 weeks Drug: quetiapine Seroquel XR treatment.Other Name: Seroquel XR
  • 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale Standard 17-item rating scale for depression used in clinical trials. A score of 0-7 is considered to be normal. 8 – 13 mild depression. Scores of 20 or higher indicate moderate, severe, or very severe depression, and are usually required for entry into a clinical trial. Range of score: 0 – 50.
  • Information from the National Library of Medicine

    Layout table for eligibility information

    Ages Eligible for Study:18 Years to 60 Years
    Sexes Eligible for Study:

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Exclusion Criteria:

    How Long Do Side Effects Last

    The active ingredient in Seroquel, quetiapine, has a half-life of six to seven hours. This is the time it takes the body to eliminate half a dose of quetiapine from the body, so an entire dose is eliminated in about 30 hours. Most common side effects of quetiapine such as drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, constipation, headache, fatigue, and postural hypotension will fade within that time.

    Many of the metabolic effects of quetiapine such as high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood sugar, underactive thyroid, and weight gain may take several days or longer to return to normal. Some metabolic effects such as diabetes may evolve into chronic, lifelong conditions.

    Serious side effects such as extrapyramidal symptoms, severe allergic reactions, heart rate irregularities, low white blood cell counts, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and changes to eye lenses may require medical treatment and the discontinuation of Seroquel to improve. Extrapyramidal symptoms can clear up quickly or last for years after stopping the medication. Stroke, heart problems, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome may cause lifelong complications.

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    Can I Take Quetiapine If I Am Pregnant Or Breastfeeding


    When deciding whether to take quetiapine during pregnancy it is important to weigh up how necessary quetiapine is to your health against the possible risks to you or your baby, some of which will depend on how many weeks pregnant you are.

    Quetiapine is not seen as high risk and has a low rate of transfer across the placenta into a baby.

    There does not appear to be an increased risk of malformations, miscarriages or having a baby born early.

    From month four of a pregnancy onwards, an increase in dose of quetiapine may be required to keep body levels the same.Quetiapine may slightly increase your chance of getting high blood pressure linked to pregnancy , putting on extra weight and gestational diabetes.

    To reduce the chance of a blood clot in your leg you may be advised to have a course of blood-thinning injections. Your doctor can advise you about this.


    If you take quetiapine close to delivery your baby may have some side effects or discontinuation symptoms, like being irritable, crying or problems feeding and sleeping. These are usually mild and go away within a few days without treatment.


    Quetiapine is passed in small amounts to the baby through breast milk. Breastfeeding may help with any discontinuation symptoms.

    You should discuss the risks and benefits of breastfeeding with your midwife or doctor.

    Make sure that your doctor, nurse, or health visitor checks your baby for any side effects.

    Dosage Of Seroquel For Anxiety

    Seroquel XR, A Medication to Treat Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder in Adults – Overview

    Since Seroquel is used off-label to treat anxiety disorders, the manufacturer does not give standardized amounts for taking this medicine for anxiety. Therefore, if your doctor recommends Seroquel for your anxiety, you must take the medication exactly as prescribed. Before proposing a dosage, your doctor will most likely go at your medical history, the extent of your problem and symptoms, and your endurance for Seroquel.

    Anxiety disorders are more typically treated with the extended-release form of medicine. The drug is released into your body in a controlled manner throughout the day using the extended-release formulation. It is usually recommended once a day, ideally before night, and comes in 50mg, 150mg, 200mg, 300mg, and 400mg.

    Although you can take the immediate-release version with or without food, the extended-release version should be taken without food or a relatively light meal. According to a meta-analysis, the findings imply that 50 and 150 mg/day of Seroquel-XR effectively treats generalized anxiety disorder in adults.

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    Seroquel Alternative Names And Slang

    Seroquel is a brand name for quetiapine, the generic drug name. There have been reported uses of the drug by crushing and snorting, or used intravenously, sometimes in combination with cocaine. When used in these ways, the drug is colloquially referred to as a Q-ball. Other slang names that are known when not used with cocaine include quell, snoozeberries, or Suzie-Q. 5

    Are Seroquel And Ambien The Same Thing

    Seroquel and Ambien have different chemical structures, and the two drugs are categorized in different families or classes of drugs Seroquel is an antipsychotic, and Ambien is a sedative/hypnotic sleep aid more akin to the benzodiazepine class. However, some effects of both drugs do overlap, as both are sedating and calming. Ambien is FDA approved for use as a sleep aid,30 whereas treating insomnia with Seroquel would be an off-label use for the drug.

    Both drugs can react badly with other drugs, including alcohol and over-the-counter cold medications, and many others. In young people, suicidality is a known side effect especially when Seroquel is used as an antidepressant either alone or with other prescribed antidepressants, and most markedly in younger patients under the age of 25.5

    Always coordinate closely with your prescribing physician before adding another substance to your regimen to avoid such complications.3

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    Standard Insomnia Medications Have Disadvantages

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition defines insomnia as difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, or early morning awakening, resulting in significant physical or emotional distress. Insomnia affects about 30% of the population worldwide, and 10% have symptoms that severely affect their daily function. People with insomnia often experience irritability, fatigue, physical distress, and impaired cognition. The disorder has been linked with poor academic and work functioning as well as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. Therapeutic goals for patients with insomnia include improving sleep and daytime function and reducing distress.

    Remove Falling Hazards From The Home


    Falls and injuries are a common problem when taking Seroquel, particularly for older adults. Doctors are advised to perform a fall risk assessment when prescribing Seroquel. When taking Seroquel, try to remove obstacles around the house that may cause falls. A number of devices can help make areas of the house safer.

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    What Is Seroquel Used For

    Aside from the FDA-approved guidelines, there are several off-label uses for Seroquel which are being explored such as for insomnia, PTSD, OCD, substance abuse and addiction, delirium, anxiety, depression especially in those who have stopped getting benefit from SSRIs and personality disorders.18 We find a lot of people taking Seroquel specifically as a sleep aid, usually at a low dose of 25-150 mg.

    At present, these off-label uses are being cautiously examined due to a lack of established dosing parameters and their effects on metabolic side effects, extrapyramidal adverse effects, and potential safety concerns.4

    Coffee May Reduce The Risk Of Alzheimers Disease

    Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia worldwide. It generally starts slowly but gets more severe over time.

    Alzheimers causes memory loss, as well as problems with thinking and behavior. There is currently no known cure.

    Interestingly, diet-related factors may affect your risk of developing Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia.

    Observational studies have associated regular, moderate coffee consumption with up to a 65% lower risk of getting Alzheimers (


    Consuming moderate amounts of coffee may protect against Parkinsons disease. This effect is attributed to the caffeine.

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    Studies In Mood And Psychotic Disorders

    Guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and others agree that off-label use of antipsychotics should be avoided, although quetiapine may be useful for insomnia in patients with psychiatric disorders.

    In 2009, Wine et al reviewed 10 controlled studies and case reports assessing the effects of immediate-release quetiapine on sleep in patients with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, history of trauma, or depression. Their analysis suggested that quetiapine improved total sleep time, efficiency, and subjective sleep within a dose range of 12.5 mg to 800 mg however, decreased rapid-eye-movement sleep was noted in some populations. Notable adverse events included akathisia, metabolic changes, and periodic leg movements.

    In 2014, Anderson and Vande Griend analyzed studies investigating quetiapine for insomnia, including a review of the 2010 EMBOLDEN II trial, which found that quetiapine improved sleep in patients with bipolar depression over 8 weeks. Despite this, Anderson and Vande Griend argued that given the insufficient evidence of efficacy for treating insomnia and potential risks associated with the drug, they did not recommend quetiapine for insomnia even in patients with psychiatric disorders.

    What Can Cause A Seroquel Overdose

    Seroquel Side Effects (Quetiapine) | What To Expect | Bipolar Disorder

    People can overdose on Seroquel. There have been incidences of fatal overdose that included this drug alone or in association with other drugs or medications. Once someone takes this drug, the gastrointestinal tract absorbs it. Peak plasma levels occur within about two hours when someone takes this drug orally, according to information published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.

    No single dose will be fatal to all people. Several factors can play a role, such as a persons overall health, if they are using other drugs or medications, their overall size, and how long they have been taking Seroquel.

    Information published by Dr. Ed Burns states that Seroquel doses that exceed 3 grams may result in coma. Some people may experience an overdose with smaller doses.

    A fatal overdose was noted when someone ingested 13.6 grams of this medication, according to Dr. Chris Iliades, M.D. The adult dosage for this medication ranges from 150 mg to 800 mg per day, depending on the condition being treated.

    Any person who uses the drug recreationally is at risk of an overdose. This risk increases if someone crushes, breaks, or chews an extended-release tablet. Using this drug via injection, smoking, or snorting can also increase the risk of an overdose since these methods make it more difficult to dose accurately.

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    Before Taking This Medicine

    You should not use Seroquel if you are allergic to quetiapine.

    Seroquel may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related psychosis and is not approved for this use.

    To make sure Seroquel is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

    • liver or kidney disease

    • a personal or family history of diabetes or

    • trouble swallowing.

    Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking Seroquel. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

    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.

    This medicine may temporarily affect fertility in women.

    Seroquel can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breastfeed while you are using Seroquel unless directed by a doctor.

    Do not give Seroquel to a child without a doctor’s advice. Extended-release Seroquel XR is for use only in adults and should not be given to anyone younger than 18 years old.

    Important Information About All Medicines

    Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

    This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

    Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

    If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

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    How Does It Work

    Quetiapine works by attaching to the brains dopamine receptors and altering serotonin levels.

    Short-term effects include feeling sleepy, a dry mouth, dizziness and low blood pressure when you stand up. These effects lasts about six hours.

    The product information for quetiapine includes a warning not to drink grapefruit juice while taking the medication because it stops the drug being metabolised in the intestines and could increase the effects of the drug.

    Longer-term effects of quetiapine use include weight gain, high blood sugars and a greater risk of diabetes.

    People who take quetiapine regularly will experience withdrawal when they stop. Symptoms include nausea, insomnia, headache, diarrhoea, vomiting, dizziness and irritability.

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