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Quetiapine

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IMPORTANT WARNING
Important warning for older adults with dementia: [More...]
Why is this medication prescribed?
Quetiapine tablets and extended-release (long-acting) tablets are used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions). Quetiapine tablets and extended-release tablets are also used alone or with other medications to treat episodes of mania (frenzied, abnormally excited or irritated mood) or depression in patients with bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods). In addition, quetiapine tablets and extended-release tablets are used with other medications to prevent episodes of mania or depression in patients with bipolar disorder. Quetiapine extended-release tablets are also used along with other medications to treat depression. Quetiapine tablets may be used as part of a treatment program to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in children and teenagers. Quetiapine is in a class of medications called atypical antipsychotics. It works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain.

How should this medicine be used?
Quetiapine comes as a tablet and an extended-release tablet to take by mouth. The tablets are usually taken one to three times a day, with or without food. The extended-release tablets are usually taken once a day in the evening without food or with a light meal. Take quetiapine at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take quetiapine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow quetiapine extended-release tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.

Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of quetiapine and gradually increase your dose during the first week of your treatment. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about the amount of medication you should take each day at the beginning of your treatment.

If you do not take quetiapine for one week or longer, you should call your doctor before you start taking the medication again. Your doctor will probably tell you to start taking a low dose of the medication and gradually increase your dose as you did when you first started taking quetiapine.

Quetiapine may help control your symptoms but will not cure your condition. Continue to take quetiapine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking quetiapine without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking quetiapine, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Your doctor will probably want to decrease your dose gradually.

Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking quetiapine,
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Talk to your doctor about eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.

You should know that you may gain weight while you are taking this medication. Talk to your doctor about ways to control weight gain, such as eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising. You and your doctor should check your weight regularly while you are taking quetiapine.

Be sure to drink plenty of water every day while you are taking this medication.

What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?
Quetiapine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section are severe or do not go away: Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING or SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment: Quetiapine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Quetiapine may cause cataracts. You will need to have eye exams to check for cataracts at the beginning of your treatment and every six months during your treatment. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking quetiapine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to quetiapine.

Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking quetiapine.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

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Last Revised - 04/15/2014
© 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.
ASHP
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