|5written expert review(s)|
psychosis / schizophrenia - antipsychotics
Condition for which this medication is usually prescribedSchizophrenia
Short description of this conditionSchizophrenia is a psychological disorder that is characterized by abnormal social and emotional behaviour and disturbed thinking processes. The disorder expresses itself as a reduced ability to distinguish reality from fantasy, particularly with short episodes of hearing voices, suspicious delusions (paranoia) and unconnected thinking processes, or in other words psychosis.
Effect of this medicationQuetiapine is an atypical antipsychotic. It slows down the effects of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, so that anxiety and other symptoms of psychosis decrease. The chances of new psychoses decrease for as long as you use the medicine.
Advice on this conditionThe efficacy of the drug may also be affected by grapefruit (juice), which means you might suffer from more side effects. If you suffer from side effects during the day, it can help to take a tablet at night. However, with long lasting (XL) tablets, what time of day you take it won't make much of a difference. SeroquelXL should not be taken with food, but one or two hours after. When stopping the course too early or reducing the use of the drug too quickly, there is a strong possibility of psychosis returning alongside any withdrawal symptoms. Therefore do not stop taking this drug without consulting your doctor.
Common side effectsDrowsiness/fatigue, unusual or uncontrollable movements, weight gain, dry mouth.
Advice with regard to these side effectsDrowsiness/fatigue usually passes after a few weeks, once you have got used to the medicine. If you still suffer from this during the day and you only take one tablet a day, it will help to take this at night. When taking several tablets a day, it is a good idea to spread them throughout the course of the day. The movement disorders often pass very soon. If they don’t, discuss this with your doctor who may suggest lowering the dose or switching to another drug. Weight gain and increased appetite will last as long as the medicine is taken, that is why it is important to pay extra attention to your diet. If this is very troublesome, the doctor might be able to prescribe another medicine. A dry mouth is bad for your teeth, so take good care of your teeth by brushing them more often. Chewing gum can also be used, as it stimulates saliva production.
Any other expert information?Quetiapine is also used as a supplementary medication in the treatment of other psychological disorders, in particular mania, severe depression and bipolar disorder.