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What is Seroquel and why is it used?

Seroquel is a medication that belongs to the group ofatypical antipsychotics and it can be found in tablet form. It is mostfrequently used in the treatment of conditions such as bipolar disorder andschizophrenia, since it is helpful in managing their symptoms. Its exact way offunctioning in these situations is not really understood, but it is known forsure that it blocks the effects of certain chemicals in the brain or at leastit decreases their effect, probably by lowering their levels.

While used in some studies regarding its effectiveness inbipolar disorders, it also proved to be helpful in reducing suicidal thinking,as well as depression and episodes of mania.

What are the side effects of Seroquel?

However, even though this medication should not be usedwithout a doctor’s prescription, it is necessary to be well acquainted andaware of the side effects, which are possible even if this medication is takenwhen prescribed. The doctor should be informed as soon aspossible if any of them appears. Some of the most common and less serious side effects aredrowsiness, dry mouth, headaches, weakness, dizziness and agitation, but it isalso possible that the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol will be increased.Among the less common ones, and this means in less than 2 %, are heartburn,vomiting, pain in the abdomen, back or joints, lethargy, irritability, feverand tachycardia. However, of all the side effects that have been reported,signs of diabetes, rapid gaining of weight, signs of neuroleptic malignantsyndrome, erectile dysfunction, migraines, thyroid gland disorders andsuicidal thoughts are considered to be the most serious.

In order to reduce the risk of these side effects, in casesof pregnant and breastfeeding women the doctors should be even more careful,because even though there are still no scientific proofs, it is very possible thatthis medication can harm the fetus and the baby that is breastfed. Also, diabetics,people who suffer from epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, or any allergy or heartproblem, as well as people with hypotension and hypothyroidism should inform theirdoctor in advance, because in some cases, it is not recommended to use thismedication, or the dosage may need to be adjusted, because some of them mayalready be taking other medications. This means that Seroquel should not becombined with certain medications, or that it should be combined carefully.

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