A medicine from the group of atypical neuroleptics (antipsychotics), also known by its trade names – Seroquel(https://nursevicky.com/buy-seroquel-online/), Gedonin, Quetiap.
It is used in so-called “big psychiatry” – in treatment of severe mental disorders. At the same time, it has a fairly mild effect with minimal side effects.
How does Quetiapine work?
The drug has an antagonistic effect on the brain’s neurotransmitter receptors – biologically active substances that transmit electrochemical impulses between neurons and provide excitation of the central nervous system.
In other words, the drug has an inhibitory effect on the CNS. It helps to cope with unhealthy mental activity: it stops delirium, hallucinations and psychomotor agitation, has a general sedative and antidepressant effect.
The medicine is used in the treatment of acute exacerbations and the prevention of severe mental disorders:
- Manic and depressive phase of BAR
Also used as a secondary treatment in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
The drug interacts with a wide group of receptors in the brain rather than just one, so that with long-term use it does not cause any significant side-effects. However, it has a medium potency and when used as a monotherapy requires higher dosages. Therefore, it is often used in combination therapy with other sedatives, antipsychotics and antidepressants.
Quetiapine is a powerful psychoactive drug with pronounced effects on thought and behaviour. It is therefore sold only with a doctor’s prescription and should not be taken by itself.
Unlike classical antipsychotics, Seroquel does not cause a number of side effects popular for these drugs: increase in sugar, lipid and prolactin hormone levels, carbohydrate metabolism disorder, tics and tremors of extremities, parkinsonism and other motor disorders.
However, side effects do occur:
- Headache and dizziness
- Increased somnolence
- Constipation and dyspepsia
- Dry mouth
- Orthostatic hypotension (loss of consciousness when changing body positions)
In order to avoid the development of these conditions, the psychiatrist will carefully and gradually increase the patient’s therapeutic dosage so that the organism has time to adapt to the medication. At the same time, the patient will give the physician feedback on their condition and if they feel unwell, the dosage will be changed or a different medication will be selected.
Quetiapine as a hypnotic
Because of its powerful inhibitory effect on the nervous system, the drug is used by neurologists to treat insomnia, shallow sleep with nightmares and frequent awakenings.
However, such off-target use can be dangerous: the drug has too strong an effect. For example, in the US, war veterans who were prescribed Seroquel as a sleeping pill complained en masse of side-effects, and medical journals have pointed to the possibility of death due to acute heart failure if not treated correctly.
Therefore, it is better to start with milder medications – sedatives, tranquillisers – to treat insomnia.
The drug MUST NOT be taken during pregnancy and lactation, or in children under 18 years of age.
In addition, most of the drug is processed by the liver and excreted in the urine. Therefore, elderly people and patients with liver, kidney or bladder problems should be treated with great caution.
And because of side effects in the form of dizziness and hypotension, Quetiapine is not recommended for people with heart and vascular disease (including brain disease) associated with low blood pressure.
Combinations with other medicines
The drug should not be taken with drugs which inhibit the production of CYP3A4 enzyme – it is this substance which plays an important role in processing Quetiapine by the liver. CYP3A4 inhibitors include:
- Antidepressants (Floxetine, Paroxetine)
- Antifungals (Fluconazole)
- Antiretrovirals – HIV protease inhibitors (Lopinavir)
- Bacteriostatic antibiotics (Erythromycin)
- Anti-ulcer agents (Omeprazole, Cimetidine)
Medication and drug dependence
Abrupt withdrawal can lead to withdrawal symptoms (withdrawal symptoms):
- Mood swings
- Sleep and eating disorders
- High blood pressure spikes
Therefore, the psychiatrist will reduce the dosage gradually at the end of therapy with Seroquel.
Like other psychoactive drugs with pronounced effects, Quetiapine has become a target for addicts. According to studies, it has a higher abuse rate than all other classical and atypical antipsychotics.
Some addicts find the powerful sedative effect attractive – the drug gives a sense of relaxation, pleasant drowsiness and peacefulness. Others use the neuroleptic to enhance other surfactants – for example, it is combined with Heroin and Cocaine.
As with drug addiction, systematic abuse can cause painful withdrawal symptoms. But unfortunately, the exact symptoms of Seroquel dependence are difficult to detect as the drug is all too often used in combination with other drugs.
As part of a combination therapy for psychiatric disorders, the risk of overdose is extremely low. According to studies, reports of poisoning are most often associated with inappropriate use – as a sleeping aid or narcotic.
Symptoms of Seroquel overdose are increased side effects of the drug – headaches, drowsiness and dizziness, loss of consciousness, decreased blood pressure, heart rhythm disturbances (tachycardia or bradycardia).
Can I drive while using Quetiapine?
No – it is a powerful psychoactive drug and affects thinking, concentration, reaction speed and memory. While taking the antipsychotic, you should refrain from driving a car and other modes of transport as well as from work that requires high concentration and quick reaction time.
Can Quetiapine be taken with alcohol?
No – due to the manifestation of synergy. Ethanol and Quetiapine reinforce each other’s effects and as a result cause either excessive inhibition or increased central nervous system activity. The effects can be most unpredictable, from loss of consciousness and coma to outbursts of aggression and suicidal tendencies.