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Seroquel (Quetiapine)

Seroquel, commonly called quetiapine fumarate (generic name), is a drug that is used in psychiatric clinical practice. In this article, we shall briefly review this drug and talk about its clinical applications.

What is Seroquel?

Seroquel is the trade name for quetiapine fumarate. It is an antipsychotic medication that works by altering the level of certain transmitters within the brain and elevating the mood.

How does it act?

Quetiapine fumarate is a class of antipsychotic medication that works by altering the level of certain neurotransmitters and thus blocks the conduction of nerve impulses within the brain. By blocking specific nerve impulses and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, Seroquel can help elevate the mood and can restore normal brain function.

Is Seroquel a narcotic?

Seroquel is not a narcotic agent and does not fall under that category at all.

Clinical applications of Seroquel

Seroquel is used in the management of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is used in different doses and is often started in a small dose which is gradually increased over a period of time depending upon the clinical response of the patient. For example, when managing bipolar disorder, Seroquel is started at a 50 mg dose that is administered twice a day, which over a period of time is increased to a maximum dose of 400 mg per day. Similarly, in patients with schizophrenia, a starting dose of 25 mg twice daily is administered which is slowly increased over a period of time to reach a maximum dose of 400 mg per day.

Seroquel is also used in maintenance therapy in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Seroquel half-life

Once administered, Seroquel has a half life of around six hours, though some literature suggests that the mean half life varies between 2.5 to 6.8 hours. It is broken down in the liver once it is absorbed following oral ingestion.

Forms of Seroquel

Seroquel is available in different doses starting at 25 mg tablets all the way to 300 mg tablets. Extended-release tablets i.e. Seroquel XR is also available. These tablets have a prolonged duration of action.

Side-effects of Seroquel

Seroquel does have certain side-effects that any patient taking the drug must be aware of. Common side-effects include dry mouth, headaches, increasing drowsiness and dizziness. Patients also complain of alterations in blood pressure with posture and a high pulse rate. These side-effects are uncommon but must be kept an eye out for if the patient is on the drug.

Seroquel is a commonly used antipsychotic agent with clinical applications in the management of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It is available in multiple doses and is often started off as a small dose and is increased to the maximum therapeutic doses depending upon the patient’s response. Side-effect profiles must be noted and the drug must be stopped only after a review by a healthcare professional.

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