Seroquel is a medication that is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. It is a prescription drug that is classified as an atypical antipsychotic. Seroquel works by changing the actions of certain chemicals in the brain. It is not addictive but it can cause withdrawal symptoms when discontinued abruptly.
It’s been used to treat a range of mental health issues, including anxiety, psychosis, insomnia, and depression. It has calming properties and is sometimes used to treat bipolar disorder or mood lability. If you quit taking Seroquel suddenly, there have been a few reports of mild or severe withdrawal symptoms.
It’s important to note that not everyone will experience withdrawal when they stop taking Seroquel. The severity of symptoms also varies from person to person. In this article, we will discuss Seroquel withdrawal symptoms, what to expect during withdrawal, and how to manage withdrawal symptoms.
What is Seroquel?
Seroquel is a medication that is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. It is an atypical antipsychotic drug that works by altering the actions of chemicals in the brain.
Seroquel is an antipsychotic medication. The drug is classified as a second-generation antipsychotic or atypical antipsychotic. It works by changing the function of certain natural substances in your brain. The drug is also known by the names Quetiapine, and it is available on prescription from a medical professional.
Although Seroquel isn’t considered a controlled substance, there is the potential for it to be abused or misused. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “When taken as prescribed, quetiapine is a safe and effective medication. However, because it can cause drowsiness and dizziness, it carries a risk for abuse and overdose.”
Despite doctors’ cautions, the majority of patients take Quetiapine in higher doses than prescribed, which can lead to serious health consequences. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking this medication.
What does Seroquel Treat?
Seroquel is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including:
- Schizophrenia: A serious mental disorder that causes a person to lose touch with reality and can include symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking.
- Bipolar disorder: A mental illness that causes extreme mood swings that can include periods of mania or depression.
- Major depressive disorder: A mental illness characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities.
Seroquel Side Effects
The most common side effects associated with Seroquel include:
The sedative effect of Seroquel can cause drowsiness. This may be more pronounced when you first start taking the medication or if you increase your dose. If you experience drowsiness, it’s important to not drink alcohol or operate heavy machinery until you know how the drug affects you.
2) Dry mouth
Seroquel can cause dry mouth. This can lead to increased thirst, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids. Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy can also help alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth.
3) Weight gain
Weight gain is a possible side effect of taking Seroquel. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), up to 5 percent of people who take antipsychotics like Seroquel may experience weight gain. Weight gain can have serious health consequences. It increases your risk for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
4) Mood swings and irritability
The mood-stabilizing effects of Seroquel can sometimes have the opposite effect and cause mood swings and irritability. It mostly occurs when the drug is first started or the dose is increased.
Seroquel can cause constipation. This is more likely to occur if you are taking other medications that have this side effect or if you are not drinking enough fluids. To help prevent constipation, drink plenty of water and eat fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You may also want to consider taking a stool softener such as docusate (Colace).
6) Unusual dreams
Seroquel can cause unusual or strange dreams. This side effect is more common in children and adolescents. If you are having trouble sleeping, try taking the medication at bedtime. It is due to the alpha-1 adrenergic receptor blocking effect of Seroquel.
If you experience any of these side effects, it is important to speak with your doctor. ***
Seroquel Withdrawal Symptoms
If you have been taking Seroquel and abruptly stop taking the medication, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include:
One of the most common withdrawal symptoms associated with Seroquel is insomnia. This can be a difficult adjustment, especially if you have been taking the medication for an extended period of time. Patients who experience insomnia may have difficulty falling asleep and may wake up frequently throughout the night.
Anxiety is another common symptom experienced during Seroquel withdrawal. This may include feeling restless, nervous, and on edge. You may also experience symptoms of panic attacks, such as a racing heart and shortness of breath.
Other possible Seroquel withdrawal symptoms include nausea and vomiting. This may include feeling sick to your stomach, queasy, or like you want to vomit. If you do vomit, it could be more than once. You may also have abdominal pain or cramping along with the nausea.
Diarrhea is another possible symptom of Seroquel withdrawal. This may manifest as loose, watery stools or more bowel movements than usual. You may also have abdominal pain, cramping, or bloating along with the diarrhea.
5) Muscle rigidity
Muscle rigidity is a less common symptom of Seroquel withdrawal, but it can still occur. This may cause your muscles to feel tight, stiff, or hard to move. You may also experience tremors or shaking.
When withdrawing from Seroquel, you may also experience a sense of restlessness. This may manifest as an inability to sit still or keep your hands or feet still. You may pace back and forth or fidget frequently.
Agitation is a feeling of inner restlessness that can manifest as physical restlessness. It is a common symptom during Seroquel withdrawal and may be accompanied by anxiety, irritability, and nervousness. Agitation can make it difficult to concentrate or sleep and may cause you to pace or fidget constantly.
Seroquel Withdrawal Timeline
Withdrawal symptoms can occur within hours to days after stopping Seroquel. The timeline will vary depending on how long you have been taking the medication and your individual body chemistry. For some people, withdrawal symptoms may last a few days or weeks. For others, they may last months or longer.
If you are experiencing Seroquel withdrawal symptoms, it is important to seek medical help. Withdrawal can be dangerous, and in some cases, life-threatening. Your doctor will be able to help you slowly taper off the medication and manage your withdrawal symptoms.