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What is Seroquel (quetiapine) used for?

Seroquel is the trade name for quetiapine. It is a short acting antipsychotic agent that has various clinical applications. In this article, we shall briefly review the uses of Seroquel as a drug.

Clinical applications for Seroquel

Seroquel is used in the management of different clinical conditions. It acts by altering the level of certain chemicals within the brain and enhancing the mood. Below is a list of the common ones along with the doses at which it is utilised.

1. Schizophrenia

One of the primary indications for the use of Seroquel is schizophrenia. In schizophrenia, patients are unaware of what is real and what is not and experience auditory and visual hallucinations. The application of Seroquel has been proven to be of benefit in numerous clinical trials. Often, the dose can vary though the total duration of treatment is usually prolonged. However, their clinical applicability of Seroquel in the long-term management and maintenance of schizophrenia has not been adequately studied and hence is probably not used in such situations.

2. Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a condition where patients have episodes of mania that alter with episodes of depression. In other words, they are hyperactive sometimes and rather depressed at other times. Despite its use in the management of bipolar disorder, Seroquel is often combined with additional treatments such as lithium.

Patients with bipolar disorder may sometimes have dominance of one particular symptom. In other words, they may primarily exhibit symptoms that suggest they are depressed or symptoms that suggest they are hyperactive i.e. manic. As a single drug, Seroquel is effective in treating patients who have predominantly depression.

Another application of Seroquel in bipolar disorder is in the maintenance therapy of this condition. This means that in those individuals who have had successful treatment, Seroquel can help prevent further symptoms from developing and the condition from progressing.

The effect

The ultimate effect of Seroquel is an enhancement of mood and an increase in overall concentration. Schizophrenia is typically characterised by the presence of hallucinations and Seroquel can reduce this from occurring. Over a period of time, patients may find themselves demonstrating an increased interest in daily activities, increased social presence and an enhanced level of enthusiasm into activities that used to give them joy. The mood swings that are associated with bipolar disorder are reduced as are the frequency and severity.

Seroquel i.e. quetiapine has two major clinical applications in psychiatric practice. The overall benefit is enhanced mood and a reduction in the number of mood swings and depressive episodes. It may be used in combination with other treatments and is often used as a single drug in management and maintenance of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

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