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VERIFIED CONTENTAuthor: Karolina Porowska

Quetiapine is an organic chemical compound, a derivative of dibenzothiazepine. It belongs to the group of atypical antipsychotics (AEDs). This preparation was first registered in 1997 in Great Britain and the United States. Currently, according to the position of the European Medicines Agency, it is authorized in Poland. Quetiapine is available by prescription as quick-release or extended-release tablets.


Rapid release tablet(immediate release, IR), contains the active substance quetapine in doses of 25, 100, 150, 200 or 300 mg, with excipients depending on drug manufacturer.

The extended release tablet(extended release, XR) contains the active ingredient quetapine in doses of 50, 150, 200 or 400 mg; along with auxiliary substances depending on the manufacturer of the drug.

Action of quetiapine

Quetiapine has a multi-receptor, multipotent antipsychotic effect. The wide range of conditions for which quetiapine therapy has been shown to be effective is due to its effects, including dopaminergic (D1 and D2), noradrenergic and serotonergic (5-HT2) transmission.

The effects of quetiapine treatment are in part due to the major active metabolite of quetiapine metabolism, norquetiapine, which exhibits a receptor receptor profile different from quetiapine and is in part responsible for its clinical efficacy.

Quetiapine use

Quetiapine has found application:

  • in the treatment of schizophrenia,
  • in bipolar disorder,
  • in unipolar depression,
  • in anxiety disorders,
  • in personality disorders and addictions.

Indications for the use of quetiapine

It is recommended to use the drug:

  • in schizophrenia in adults, including the prevention of relapse in patients with stable schizophrenia,
  • in moderate to severe manic episodes,
  • for major depressive disorders
  • and to prevent recurrence of bipolar disorder (mixed episodes, mania, depression)
  • or upatients who have been treated with quetiapine before.

Contraindications to the use of quetiapine

Do not use the drug if you are allergic to quetiapine and to any of the modules listed in the composition of the drug.

Quetiapine dosage

The drug should be used as described in the patient information leaflet or according to specific guidelines and recommendations of a doctor or pharmacist. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.


When taking the drug, special care should be taken in patients with depression in the course of bipolar disorder, as quetiapine increases the risk of suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

The occurrence of such behaviors is particularly intense in the early phase of clinical improvement, therefore the patient should remain under medical supervision until sufficient remission is achieved.

In addition, treatment with quetapine may worsen heart problems by causing a drop in blood pressure and a prolongation of the QTc interval (part of the electrocardiogram), which is particularly vulnerable to elderly people who are also taking other medications.

Treatment with quetiapine is associated with an increased tendency to blood clots, sleep problems and reduced visual acuity, especially in patients with raised intraocular pressure and narrow-angle or closed-angle glaucoma.

Caution should be exercised in patients with a predisposition to stroke, with epilepsy, diabetes and metabolic diseases, because taking the drug may cause the occurrence of metabolic syndrome (MetS), i.e. disorders of the lipid profile, glycemic control, increase in blood pressure or body weight with central obesity.

The use of the drug may be associated with the occurrence of an increase in the concentration of liver transaminases in the serum, which most often occurs about 3 weeks after the introduction of therapy.

Quetiapine side effects

Quetiapine can cause:

  • dizziness,
  • headache,
  • dry mouth,
  • sleepiness,
  • weight gain,
  • abnormal muscle contractions,
  • changes in the blood content of certain fatty substances (cholesterol, triglycerides),
  • increased heart rate,
  • constipation,
  • stomach irritation,
  • weakness,
  • swelling of legs and arms,
  • lowering blood pressure when getting up,
  • increase in blood glucose,
  • blurred vision,
  • unusual dreams (nightmares),
  • increasing appetite,
  • irritability and others.

Interaction with other drugs and diseases

In order to avoid undesirable ailments, inform the doctor or pharmacist about all drugs currently or recently used, as well as about drugs that the patient is going to use. You should also inform your doctor about your current he alth condition, about any diseases or additional conditions you are struggling with.

You should not combine quetiapine, among others with

  • nephazodone,
  • erythromycin,
  • clarithromycin,
  • drugs from the azole group
  • and protease inhibitors.

Care should be taken when using simultaneously:

  • antiepileptic drugs (phenytoin, carbamazepine),
  • antihypertensive drugs,
  • barbiturates,
  • thioridazines,
  • lithium s alt,
  • drugs that affect heart rhythm
  • or medications that can cause constipation.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Before taking the drug, inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The use of quetiapine during pregnancy and breast-feeding is generally not recommended.

Storing medicine

The drug should be stored in a suitable place that is invisible and inaccessible to children. Store in a dry place below 25 ° C in the original packaging. The drug should not be used after the expiry date stated on the package. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

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