What is a generic medication?
Generic medications are significantly discounted copies of brand name medication that have the same active ingredients, intended use, dosage, side effects, effects, and route of administration as the original brand name medication. In other words, generic medications have the same pharmacological effects as their brand-name counterparts. Over half of all prescribed medications are for generic medications.
Seroquel Helps Treat the Following Conditions:
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that often manifests in disabling symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Patients may also experience difficulty in understanding information and making decisions. Symptoms usually start in late teens to young adulthood.
People with bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depressive illness) experience unusual shifts in mood, energy, sleep patterns, and activity levels. Moods range from extremely elevated to depressive. There are four basic types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, cyclothymia, and unspecified bipolar disorder.
Depression is a mood disorder that manifests in feelings of tiredness, loss of interest, sleep disturbances, and anxiety. People usually have trouble carrying out everyday activities and may feel like life is not worth living. Depression may require long-term treatment involving medications and psychotherapy.
Seroquel Active Ingredient
Generic Seroquel Alternative: Seroquel
Seroquel contains the active ingredient quetiapine, which helps restore the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Quetiapine belongs to a class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics, which are newer medications with less of the negative side effects associated with first-generation antipsychotics.
General Drug Information
What is Seroquel and What Is It Used For?
Seroquel is prescribed to patients who suffer from schizophrenia and major depressive disorder. It is also used to treat sudden episodes of mania or depression associated with bipolar disorder.
Seroquel can improve concentration and decrease hallucinations. It helps to control mood swings, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep, energy levels, and appetite. Patients are able to think more clearly and take a more active role in everyday life.
Usage and Application
Seroquel should be taken exactly as prescribed. The dosage depends on the patient’s condition, response to treatment, and other medications they may be taking. Patients should inform their doctor of all other prescription medicines, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal supplements they are taking.
Patients with bipolar disorder are usually prescribed the medication once a day, often at bedtime.
Others may be directed to take Seroquel two or three times a day.
All patients must follow the doctor’s instructions carefully. To reduce the risk of side effects, some patients are asked to start the medication at a lower dose, increasing it gradually. Patients should notify their doctor in the event their condition worsens.
It is necessary to use Seroquel regularly in order to experience its full benefit. To prevent forgetting, patients are advised to take this medication at the same time each day. Do not increase the dose. Do not use the medication more often or for longer than prescribed. Doing so will not improve your condition and increases the risk of negative side effects.
Patients should continue taking Seroquel even if they feel well. Stopping this medication must happen only under the guidance of the treating physician.
Some doctors may choose to decrease the medication gradually, as certain conditions may worsen when the medication is suddenly stopped. Patients may also experience symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, headache, irritability, and trouble sleeping.
Considerations Before Taking Seroquel
Before starting treatment patients need to discuss the possibility of allergic reactions to Seroquel.
It is vital to discuss the patient’s medical history, especially heart disease, liver disease, low white blood cell count, and seizure disorders. This includes any thyroid problems, issues with high blood pressure, and high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides.
Patients should also report conditions like sleep apnea, difficulty swallowing, urination issues, and stomach problems like severe constipation, intestinal blockage, or paralytic ileus. Eye cataracts should also be reported, as well as a family or personal history of diabetes or substance abuse.
Seroquel may cause dizziness or drowsiness. While taking this medication, patients should not drive, use machinery, or perform other tasks requiring alertness until the effects of this medication are known. Avoid alcoholic beverages and discuss marijuana use with your doctor.
This medication may cause QT prolongation, a condition which affects heart rhythm. In rare cases, QT prolongation can cause serious and possibly fatal irregular heartbeat, as well symptoms like severe dizziness and fainting. Patients should see a doctor immediately in the event of such symptoms.
The risk of developing QT prolongation is higher in patients with certain medical conditions such as heart failure, slow heartbeat, and QT prolongation detected by an electrocardiogram. Patients with a family history of QT prolongation or sudden cardiac death are also more at risk.
Taking certain medications in tandem with Seroquel increases the risk of QT prolongation. Low levels of potassium and/or magnesium in the blood are additional risk factors. Using diuretic drugs can lower the level of these minerals in the body. Conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting also reduce mineral levels.
Some patients taking Seroquel may find that they sweat less. This increases the likelihood of heat stroke. Patients should avoid activities that may cause the body to overheat – for example, using hot tubs or exercising in hot weather. On hot days, patients should drink plenty of fluids and avoid exercise or any other activities that may cause them to overheat.
In the event of overheating, patients should take immediate steps to cool down and rest. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience persistent symptoms of serious overheating, including mood changes, headache, or dizziness.
Patients preparing for surgery or certain dental procedures should inform their doctor or dentist about all medicines, supplements, and herbal products they are taking.
Children may be more at risk for certain negative side effects like high blood pressure and increased levels of the hormone prolactin.
Older adults may be more sensitive to side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, and lightheadedness, which increase the risk of falling. Older adults are also more at risk of developing QT prolongation.
Seroquel should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant – or planning to become pregnant – should discuss the safe use of this drug with their doctors.
Untreated problems such as schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder can cause serious problems, and patients should never stop their medication unless directed by their doctor.
In rare cases, babies born to mothers who have used Seroquel in the last trimester of pregnancy may develop symptoms such as muscle stiffness, shakiness, drowsiness, constant crying, feeding problems, and/or breathing difficulties. Parents should immediately contact their physician if they notice such symptoms in their newborn.
Seroquel passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on nursing infants. Mothers should consult their doctor before they begin breastfeeding.
Delayed and Omitted Doses
Patients who miss a dose of Seroquel should take it as soon as they remember. If this happens near the time for the next dose, patients should skip the missed dose and proceed as usual. Patients should not double up on the dose in order to catch up.
Other Medications and Seroquel
Drug interactions may change the way Seroquel works and may increase the risk of side effects. Before starting treatment, patients need to discuss all medications and supplements they are taking with their doctor. Patients should not change their dose or stop taking this medication unless their physician advises them to do so.
A number of drugs besides Seroquel may affect heart rhythm, causing QT prolongation. Examples include antiarrhythmic drugs like amiodarone, quinidine, and procainamide, as well as sotalol – both an antiarrhythmic and beta-blocker. The antibiotic Vigamox and the antipsychotic drug thioridazine also have a similar effect.
Seroquel interacts negatively with antifungal medications like itraconazole and ketoconazole. This is also the case with certain antibiotics – like Rifadin – and drugs used to treat seizures (such as Dilantin).
Patients should inform their doctor if they use other products which cause drowsiness. Examples include opioid pain and cough relievers like codeine or hydrocodone. Alcohol or marijuana have the same effect, as do drugs for sleep and anxiety like alprazolam, lorazepam, and zolpidem.
Muscle relaxants like carisoprodol and cyclobenzaprine – as well as antihistamines like cetirizine, and diphenhydramine – may also cause drowsiness. Patients should check the labels of all allergy and cough-and-cold products for ingredients that may cause drowsiness, and discuss the safe use of such products with their pharmacist.
Seroquel may interfere with certain laboratory results. Patients should alert laboratory personnel about the possibility of faulty results.
Most patients are able to use Seroquel safely without serious side effects.
Some patients may experience drowsiness, dizziness, and lightheadedness. This increases the risk of falling, so patients should get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Dry mouth, upset stomach, constipation, tiredness, blurred vision, and weight gain are additional common side effects. These side effects could be especially pronounced at the start of treatment or when the dose is increased.
Serious Side Effects
It is important to inform the treating physician of serious side effects like difficulty swallowing or urinating, constipation with persistent stomach pain, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Sleep apnea, tremors, and yellowing skin or eyes should be reported immediately.
Patients should monitor for mental changes, such as confusion, restlessness, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Pay attention to any signs of infection such as fever and persistent sore throat. Notify the treating physician immediately in the event of such symptoms.
Patients should also seek medical help if they experience any fainting, seizures, or severe dizziness.
In rare cases, Seroquel may increase blood sugar levels, a concern for diabetic patients. Diabetic patients should check blood sugar regularly and may need to adjust their medication, exercise program, and/or diet. All patients should monitor for symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst and urination.
Some patients may experience significant weight gain and a rise in blood cholesterol and/or triglycerides. Coupled with pre-existing diabetes, this may increase the risk of heart disease.
In some patients, there is a rare possibility of developing tardive dyskinesia, which causes involuntary, repetitive body movements. Patients should notify the treating physician in the event they notice any unusual movements, especially in the face, mouth, tongue, arms, or legs.
In rare cases, Seroquel may cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome. This condition manifests in symptoms such as fever, severe tiredness and confusion, sweating, and irregular heartbeat. Additional symptoms include muscle stiffness or pain, dark urine, and changes in the amount of urine. Seek medical help in the event of such symptoms.
This medicine may increase levels of the hormone prolactin produced by the body. In women, this can lead to unwanted production of breast milk, irregular periods, or difficulty conceiving. Men may experience decreased sexual ability, enlarged breasts, or inability to produce sperm. Patients should report these symptoms immediately to their doctor.
Some male patients may experience painful and prolonged erections which last for four hours or more. Stop treatment and seek immediate medical help.
Serious allergic reactions to Seroquel are rare, yet patients should be aware of symptoms including rash, itching and swelling, severe dizziness, and trouble breathing.
How to Store Seroquel
Seroquel should be stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from children and pets.
Unwanted medication should be disposed of properly and should not be poured into drains or flushed down the toilet. Patients should consult a pharmacist or their local waste disposal company to find out more about safe disposal methods.
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