Seroquel i.e. quetiapine is an antipsychotic agent that acts on the serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain and can help treat clinical conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. While it is often used in the management of these conditions, it appears that Seroquel also has clinical applications in helping patients sleep.
In this article, we shall briefly review how Seroquel may be useful for sleep.
Seroquel uses for sleep
There appears to be only one or two clinical trials that have looked into the actual effect of Seroquel on a patient’s sleep. In a study that assessed the effect of quetiapine on patients who did not have any other medical condition or psychiatric illness, it appeared that Seroquel significantly improved overall sleep in patients who had difficulty sleeping. This was not just limited to the total sleep that they had through the night, it is also effective on the efficiency of the sleep, how deep it was, how quickly they fell asleep and also how long they manage to stay in stage II sleep (deep sleep).
The reason behind quetiapine is effect on sleep appears to be due to its property of binding to document, adrenergic and histamine receptors in the brain. These specific receptors are involved in sleep and blocking them appears to help induce sleep in patients.
Generally, it appears that Seroquel only has moderate sedative properties. When used for managing insomnia i.e. lack of sleep, doses ranging from 12.5 mg to 800 mg have been used with some success.
Despite the above evidence favouring the use of Seroquel in insomnia, it appears that it also might have certain side-effects. For example, some patients have reported increase the leg movement during sleep. Some people have also reported abnormal movements and problems with metabolism as well.
Despite the available evidence for and against Seroquel in the management of sleep problems, it appears that current clinical research does not support the use of Seroquel as first-line treatment of insomnia. However, research suggests that it may have some application in treating insomnia in patients who have some form of psychiatric disorder such as bipolar or schizophrenia, especially if these patients do not respond to regular sleeping pills.
Seroquel is commonly used in the management of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. While it does have an effect on neurotransmitters within the brain, it also appears that it may have an effect on an individual sleep. While its primary clinical application is not for insomnia but for psychiatric disorders, in patients in whom a regular sleeping pills have not worked, Seroquel may be an alternative in psychiatric patients to help them sleep.