Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic medication that is prescribed to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Quetiapine, the active ingredient in Seroquel, affects the actions of certain chemicals in the brain. These chemicals – dopamine and serotonin, are involved in regulating mood and behavior. Too much serotonin can cause rapid mood swings that range from feeling overly happy to a very sad or blue mood. Dopamine controls memory, attention, and problem solving tasks, but too much could be the reason for hallucinations and delusions that schizophrenics may exhibit.
Conditions Treated by Seroquel
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Symptoms of schizophrenia usually appear between ages 16 and 30, although in rare cases, children have schizophrenia too. Some of the symptoms of schizophrenia include delusions, hallucinations such as hearing voices, fragmented thinking and speech, and inappropriate behaviors and emotional responses.
Bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic-depressive disorder) is a mood disorder that is characterized by periods of extremely elevated mood (mania), extremely low mood (depression), and normal mood. The periods of time that the extreme high and low moods are experienced are called episodes of mania and depression and can last weeks or months.
Although there is no single, proven cause of bipolar disorder, it clearly makes people with the disorder more vulnerable to emotional and physical stresses. As a result, upsetting life experiences, alcohol, illicit drug use, lack of sleep, or other stresses can trigger episodes of illness, even though these stresses do not actually cause the disorder. Treatment plans for bipolar disorder are designed to manage current episodes and to prevent future episodes. Treatment may include antipsychotic medications such as Seroquel and/or anti-depressant medicines and mood stabilizing drugs. Other important components of treatment include family support and professional counseling.
Before You Take Seroquel
Discuss other health conditions you are concerned about with your doctor and list all OTC and Rx medications you are taking, including homeopathic remedies and vitamin supplements. Combining some drugs can result in a change of their efficacy or unintended side effects. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while taking Seroquel as it’s unknown whether it could be harmful to an unborn baby.
Warnings for Seroquel
When you first start taking Seroquel, you may have thoughts of harming yourself, so it’s important to keep regular doctor visits and inform your friends and family should they notice a change in your behavior. Seroquel should not be used to treat psychotic conditions related to dementia.
Possible Side Effects of Seroquel
· Dizziness or lightheadedness
· Dry mouth
You should consult your doctor immediately if you experience abnormal movements, particularly of the face, lips, jaw and tongue, while taking Seroquel or generic Quetiapine. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
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