Jul 29, 2022

Generic name: quetiapine
Brand names:  Seroquel ,  Seroquel XR
Dosage form: oral tablet, oral extended-release tablet
Drug class:  Atypical antipsychotics

What is quetiapine?

Quetiapine (Seroquel, Seroquel XR) is a second-generation or atypical antipsychotic used to treat  schizophrenia ,  bipolar disorder  and  depression .

Quetiapine is thought to work by helping to restore the balance of certain chemical messengers or neurotransmitters in the brain, which improves mood, thinking and behavior. It mainly works by blocking the receptors of two neurotransmitters called serotonin and dopamine.

Serotonin is involved in a range of functions in your body and acts as a natural mood stabilizer. Not having enough serotonin is thought to contribute to depression, anxiety and mania. Dopamine also plays a number of roles and is involved in mood, behavior, sleep and more. Not having enough dopamine may contribute to feeling unhappy, unmotivated, mood swings, sleep problems and other symptoms.

Quetiapine was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1997. Generic and branded versions of the drug are available in tablet and extended-release tablet form.

What is quetiapine used for?

Quetiapine tablets and extended-release tablets are used to treat:

  • schizophrenia in people 13 years of age or older
  • bipolar disorder in adults, including:
    • depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder
    • manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder alone or with lithium or divalproex
    • long-term treatment of bipolar I disorder with lithium or divalproex
  • manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder in children ages 10-17 years old

Quetiapine extended-release tablets are also used to treat:

  • major depressive disorder as add-on treatment with antidepressant medicines when your healthcare provider determines that 1 antidepressant alone is not enough to treat your depression.

It is not known if quetiapine is safe and effective in children under 10 years of age.

Important information

Quetiapine may cause serious side effects, including:

1. risk of death in the elderly with dementia. Medicines like this one can increase the risk of death in elderly people who have memory loss (dementia). This medication is not for treating psychosis in the elderly with dementia.

2. risk of suicidal thoughts or actions (antidepressant medicines, depression and other serious mental illnesses, and suicidal thoughts or actions).

  • Talk to your or your family member’s healthcare provider about:
    • all risks and benefits of treatment with antidepressant medicines.
    • all treatment choices for depression or other serious mental illness
  • Antidepressant medications may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults within the first few months of treatment.
  • Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. These include people who have (or have a family history of) depression, bipolar illness (also called manic-depressive illness), or suicidal thoughts or actions.

    How can I watch for and try to prevent suicidal thoughts and actions in myself or a family member?
    • Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed.
    • Call the healthcare provider right away to report new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings.
    • Keep all follow-up visits with the healthcare provider as scheduled. Call the healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you have concerns about symptoms.

Call a healthcare provider right away if you or your family member has any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:

  • thoughts about suicide or dying
  • attempts to commit suicide
  • new or worse depression
  • new or worse anxiety
  • feeling very agitated or restless
  • panic attacks
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • new or worse irritability
  • acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • acting on dangerous impulses
  • an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
  • other unusual changes in behavior or mood

What else do I need to know about antidepressant medicines?

  • Never stop an antidepressant medicine without first talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping an antidepressant medicine suddenly can cause other symptoms.
  • Antidepressants are medicines used to treat depression and other illnesses. It is important to discuss all the risks of treating depression, and also the risks of not treating it. Patients and their families or other caregivers should discuss all treatment choices with the healthcare provider, not just the use of antidepressants.
  • Antidepressant medicines have other side effects. Talk to the healthcare provider about the side effects of the medicine prescribed for you or your family member.
  • Antidepressant medicines can interact with other medicines. Know all of the medicines that you or your family member take. Keep a list of all medicines to show the healthcare provider. Do not start new medicines without first checking with your healthcare provider.
  • Not all antidepressant medicines prescribed for children are FDA approved for use in children. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider for more information.

What should I tell my doctor before taking quetiapine?

Before you take quetiapine, tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had:

  • diabetes or high blood sugar in you or your family. Your healthcare provider should check your blood sugar before you start this medication, and also during therapy
  • high levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides or LDL-cholesterol, or low levels of HDL-cholesterol
  • low or high blood pressure
  • low white blood cell count
  • cataracts
  • seizures
  • abnormal thyroid tests
  • high prolactin levels
  • heart problems
  • liver problems
  • if you have or have had a condition where you cannot completely empty your bladder (urinary retention), have an enlarged prostate, or constipation, or increased pressure inside your eyes
  • any other medical condition

How should I take quetiapine?

  • Take exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it. Do not change the dose yourself.
  • Take by mouth, with or without food.
  • If you take an extended-release (XR) tablet version of quetiapine, it should be swallowed whole and not split, crushed or chewed.
  • If you feel you need to stop this medication, talk with your healthcare provider first. If you suddenly stop taking quetiapine, you may have side effects such as trouble sleeping or trouble staying asleep (insomnia), nausea, and vomiting.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of quetiapine, take it as soon as you remember. If you are close to your next dose, skip the missed dose. Just take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time unless your healthcare provider tells you to. If you are not sure about your dosing, call your healthcare provider.

What happens if I overdose?

If you take too much quetiapine, seek medical attention right away or or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking quetiapine?

  • Do not drive, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how this medication affects you. It may make you drowsy.
  • Avoid getting overheated or dehydrated.
    • Do not over-exercise.
    • In hot weather, stay inside in a cool place if possible.
    • Stay out of the sun. Do not wear too much or heavy clothing.
    • Drink plenty of water.
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking quetiapine. It may make some side effects of this medication worse.

Dosing information

Quetiapine – tablets

ConditionInitial dose(Tablets)Recommended dose(Tablets)
Schizophrenia in adults25 mg twice daily150-750 mg/day
Schizophrenia in adolescents (13-17 years)25 mg twice daily400-800 mg/day
Bipolar Mania in adults – monotherapy or as an adjunct to lithium or divalproex50 mg twice daily400-800 mg/day
Bipolar Mania in children and adolescents (10-17 years) – monotherapy25 mg twice daily400-600 mg/day
Bipolar depression in adults50 mg once daily at bedtime300 mg/day

Quetiapine – extended-release tablets

ConditionInitial dose(Extended-release tablets)Recommended dose(Extended-release tablets)
Schizophrenia in adults300 mg/day400-800 mg/day
Schizophrenia in adolescents (13-17 years)50 mg/day400-800 mg/day
Bipolar I Disorder manic or mixed in adults – acute monotherapy or adjunct to lithium or divalproex300 mg/day400-800 mg/day
Bipolar I Disorder, manic in children and adolescents (10 to 17 years) – acute monotherapy50 mg/day400-600 mg/day
Bipolar Disorder, depressive episodes in adults50 mg/day300 mg/day
Major Depressive Disorder in adults – adjunctive therapy with antidepressants50 mg/day150-300 mg/day

Detailed Quetiapine dosage information

What are the side effects of quetiapine?

Serious serious side effects of quetiapine include:

  • See “Important information” above
  • stroke that can lead to death can happen in elderly people with dementia who take medicines like this
  • neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). NMS is a rare but very serious condition that can happen in people who take antipsychotic medicines, including quetiapine. NMS can cause death and must be treated in a hospital. Call your healthcare provider right away if you become severely ill and have some or all of these symptoms:
    • high fever
    • excessive sweating
    • rigid muscles
    • confusion
    • changes in your breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure
  • falls can happen in some people who take this medication. These falls may cause serious injuries.
  • high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). High blood sugar can happen if you have diabetes already or if you have never had diabetes. High blood sugar could lead to:
    • build-up of acid in your blood due to ketones (ketoacidosis)
    • coma
    • death
      Increases in blood sugar can happen in some people who take quetiapine. Extremely high blood sugar can lead to coma or death. If you have diabetes or risk factors for diabetes (such as being overweight or a family history of diabetes) your healthcare provider should check your blood sugar before you start this medication and during therapy.
      Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia):
      • feel very thirsty
      • need to urinate more than usual
      • feel very hungry
      • feel weak or tired
      • feel sick to your stomach
      • feel confused, or your breath smells fruity
  • high fat levels in your blood (increased cholesterol and triglycerides). High fat levels may happen in people treated with this medication. You may not have any symptoms, so your healthcare provider may decide to check your cholesterol and triglycerides during your treatment.
  • increase in weight (weight gain). Weight gain is common in people who take quetiapine so you and your healthcare provider should check your weight regularly. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to control weight gain, such as eating a healthy, balanced diet, and exercising.
  • movements you cannot control in your face, tongue, or other body parts (tardive dyskinesia). These may be signs of a serious condition. Tardive dyskinesia may not go away, even if you stop taking quetiapine. Tardive dyskinesia may also start after you stop taking this medication.
  • decreased blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension), including lightheadedness or fainting caused by a sudden change in heart rate and blood pressure when rising too quickly from a sitting or lying position.
  • increases in blood pressure in children and teenagers. Your healthcare provider should check blood pressure in children and adolescents before starting this medication and during therapy.
  • low white blood cell count. Tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you have a fever, flu-like symptoms, or any other infection, as this could be a result of a very low white blood cell count. Your healthcare provider may check your white blood cell level to determine if further treatment or other action is needed.
  • cataracts
  • seizures
  • abnormal thyroid tests. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to check your thyroid hormone level.
  • increases in prolactin levels
  • sleepiness, drowsiness, feeling tired, difficulty thinking and doing normal activities
  • increased body temperature
  • difficulty swallowing
  • trouble sleeping or trouble staying asleep (insomnia), nausea, or vomiting if you suddenly stop taking quetiapine. These symptoms usually get better 1 week after you start having them.

The most common side effects of quetiapine tablets in adults include:

  • drowsiness
  • sudden drop in blood pressure upon standing
  • weight gain
  • sluggishness
  • abnormal liver tests
  • upset stomach
  • dry mouth
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • abdominal pain
  • constipation
  • sore throat

The most common side effects of quetiapine tablets in children and adolescents include:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • dry mouth
  • weight gain
  • increased appetite
  • vomiting
  • rapid heart beat

The most common side effects of quetiapine extended-release (XR) tablets include:

  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • increased appetite
  • upset stomach
  • fatigue
  • stuffy nose
  • difficulty moving
  • disturbance in speech or language

The most common side effects of quetiapine extended-release (XR) tablets in children and adolescents include:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • stuffy nose
  • increased appetite
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • dry mouth
  • tachycardia
  • weight increased

These are not all the possible side effects. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Quetiapine side effects  (more detail)


Tell the healthcare provider about all the medicines that you take or recently have taken including prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, herbal supplements, and vitamins.

Quetiapine and other medicines may affect each other causing serious side effects.

Tell your healthcare provider if you are having a urine drug screen because this medication may affect your test results. Tell those giving the test that you are taking quetiapine.

Quetiapine drug interactions  (more detail)

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if quetiapine will harm your unborn baby.

If you become pregnant while receiving this medication, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics. You can register by calling 1-866-961-2388 or go to http://womensmentalhealth.org/clinical-and-research-programs/pregnancyregistry/

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plans to breastfeed. Quetiapine can pass into your breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you receive this medication.


  • Store at room temperature, between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Keep out of the reach of children.

What are the ingredients in quetiapine?

Active ingredients: quetiapine fumarate

Inactive ingredients:

Tablets – Seroquel brand: povidone, dibasic dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, polyethylene glycol, and titanium dioxide. The 25 mg tablets contain red and yellow ferric oxide. The 100 mg and 400 mg tablets contain only yellow ferric oxide.

Extended-release tablets – Seroquel XR brand: lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium citrate, hypromellose, and magnesium stearate. The film coating for all XR tablets contain hypromellose, polyethylene glycol 400 and titanium dioxide. In addition, yellow iron oxide (50, 200 and 300 mg tablets) and red iron oxide (50 mg tablets) are included in the film coating of specific strengths.

Many generic versions of this medication have been approved. Generic versions may contain different inactive ingredients to those listed above. Check the product label for your particular formulation for a complete list of ingredients.

The Seroquel and Seroquel XR brand of quetiapine are distributed by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Wilmington, DE 19850.

source :: https://www.drugs.com/quetiapine.html