Seroquel

 
What is Seroquel and why is it prescribed?
Seroquel combats the symptoms of schizophrenia. Researchers believe that it works by diminishing the action of dopamine and serotonin, two of the brain's chief chemical messengers. Seroquel may cause tardive dyskinesia. This problem can be permanent, and appears to be most common among older adults, especially women.

How should you take Seroquel?
Follow your doctors directions for taking Seroquel. Your doctor will increase your dose gradually until Seroquel takes effect. If you stop Seroquel for more than 1 week, you will need to build up to your ideal dosage once again. If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once. Store Seroquel at room temperature.

Are there any Seroquel side effects?
Seroquel side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. More common Seroquel side effects may include abdominal pain, constipation, diminished movement, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, excessive muscle tone, headache, indigestion, low blood pressure, nasal inflammation, neck rigidity, rapid heartbeat, rash, tremor, uncontrollable movements, and weakness. Less common Seroquel side effects may include back pain, cough, difficulty breathing, difficulty speaking, ear pain, fever, flu, loss of appetite, palpitations, sore throat, sweating, swelling, and weight gain. Rare Seroquel side effects may include abnormal dreams, abnormal ejaculation, abnormal vision, abnormal gait, abnormal thinking, acne, alcohol intolerance, amnesia, arthritis, asthma, bleeding gums, bone pain, bruising, chills, confusion, conjunctivitis, dehydration, delusions, diabetes, difficulty swallowing, dry eyes, ear ringing, eczema, eye pain, face swelling, fungal infection, gas, gum inflammation, hallucinations, heavy menstruation, hemorrhoids, impotence, increased appetite, increased sex drive, increased salivation, irregular pulse, itching, jerky or irregular movement, joint pain, lack of emotion, lack of coordination, leg cramps, loss of menstruation, low blood sugar, manic reaction, migraine, mouth sores, muscle weakness, neck pain, nosebleeds, painful menstruation, painful urination, paralysis, paranoia, pelvic pain, pneumonia, rash, rectal bleeding, seborrhea, sensitivity to light, skin inflammation or ulcer, slow heart rate, stomach and intestinal inflammation, stupor, swollen testicles, taste disturbances, teeth grinding, thirst, tongue swelling, twitching, uncontrollable bowel movements, underactive thyroid, urinary frequency or incontinence, urinary retention, urinary tract infection, vaginal bleeding, vaginal inflammation, vaginal yeast infection, vertigo, and weight loss.

What are the possible food and drug interactions when taking Seroquel?
If Seroquel is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Be sure to inform your doctor of all the prescription and over the counter medications you are taking. Seroquel increases the effects of alcohol. Avoid alcoholic beverages while on Seroquel therapy. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Seroquel with Barbiturates (such as phenobarbital), Carbamazepine (Tegretol), Cimetidine (Tagamet), Erythromycin (Eryc, Ery-Tab), Fluconazole (Diflucan), Itraconazole (Sporanox), Ketoconazole (Nizoral), Levodopa (Laradopa, Sinemet), Lorazepam (Ativan), Phenytoin (Dilantin), Rifampin (Rifadin, Rifamate, Rimactane), Steroid medications (such as hydrocortisone and prednisone), or Thioridazine (Mellaril).

Are there any special warnings about Seroquel?
If you develop muscle stiffness, confusion, irregular or rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, and high fever call your doctor immediately. These are signs of a serious, and potentially fatal, reaction to the drug. Be especially wary if you have a history of heart attack, heart disease, heart failure, circulation problems, or irregular heartbeat. Particularly during the first few days of therapy, Seroquel can cause low blood pressure, with accompanying dizziness, fainting, and rapid heartbeat. To minimize these effects, your doctor will increase your dose gradually. If you are prone to low blood pressure, take blood pressure medication, or become dehydrated, use Seroquel with caution. Seroquel also tends to cause drowsiness, especially at the start of therapy, and can impair your judgment, thinking, and motor skills. If you are having problems with your vision, tell your doctor. There is a chance that Seroquel may cause cataracts, and you may be asked to see an eye doctor when you start Seroquel therapy, and every 6 months thereafter. Seroquel poses a very slight risk of seizures, especially if you are over 65, or have epilepsy or Alzheimer's disease. Seroquel can also suppress an underactive thyroid, and generally causes a minor increase in cholesterol levels. There is also a remote chance that it will trigger a prolonged and painful erection. Other antipsychotic medications have been known to interfere with the body's temperature-regulating mechanism, causing patients to overheat. Although this problem has not occurred with Seroquel, caution is still advisable. Avoid exposure to extreme heat, strenuous exercise, and dehydration.
 

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