Seroquel is a prescription medication primarily used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It belongs to a class of drugs known as antipsychotics, and it is taken orally. Seroquel is available as an immediate-release tablet, and some patients may take the extended-release formulation. To reduce the risk of side effects, doctors usually start treatment with a low dose of this medication, gradually working up to a larger dose. Patients who use Seroquel for the treatment of schizophrenia normally take it two to three times each day. When used to treat depression or bipolar disorder, it is typically taken only once per day. Patients who wish to discontinue this medicine should check with their doctor about how to safely taper their dose. If the patient suddenly stops taking Seroquel, their mental health condition could worsen.
The uses, side effects, precautions, and potential medication interactions associated with Seroquel are outlined below.
How It Works
This medication is a second-generation antipsychotic, and it is classified as an atypical antipsychotic drug. It works by balancing dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Seroquel binds to the brain's dopamine receptors, and this prevents dopamine from binding with the receptors. With dopamine blocked, patients who take Seroquel can experience improvements in the 'negative' symptoms associated with schizophrenia, including social withdrawal and blunted emotional responses. The drug also blocks serotonin from binding to a specific serotonin receptor known as 5HT2A. Researchers believe serotonin's inappropriate binding to this specific receptor could contribute to the development of schizophrenia, depression and other mental health conditions. Along with blocking dopamine and serotonin receptors, Seroquel also blocks histamine and alpha-1 receptors. In doing so, it lowers the patient's blood pressure and produces a calming effect.
Get the details on the uses and benefits associated with Seroquel next.