Quetiapine Side Effects

quetiapine side effectsQuetiapine is an antipsychotic drug used to treat patients with various psychiatric conditions. It’s mainly prescribed for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but it’s also used for various other conditions.

Due to its tranquilizing effects, it’s sometimes prescribed off-label, to augment treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome, stress disorder, post-traumatic stress, mood change disorders, autism and even alcoholism. However, in conjunction with alcohol, one of the quetiapine side effects is loss of consciousness.

Lastly, quetiapine is often prescribed by physicians for insomnia and various other sleep disorders, and also for anxiety.

Quetiapine Side Effects

The most important of the quetiapine side effects is a general feeling of tiredness. Especially the first time users experience this adverse effect for at least a couple of days. Other quetiapine side effects of mild nature include: sore throat and dry mouths, sensation of thirst, movement incoordination, sluggishness.

Also in the category of quetiapine side effects characterized as mild can be mentioned various gastrointestinal problems like increased apetite, constipation, nausea, stomach pain, or problems of the respiratory tract like pharyngitis and sinusitis.

Two other quetiapine side effects are dysarthria (or slurred speech) and chronic insomnia.

One of the long-term use of antipsychotics is tardive dyskinesia. The symptoms of this disorder are various involuntary and repetitive movements. Quetiapine does not make an exception in this case. However, studies have shown that patients on medication with typical antipsychotics, by switching to quetiapine, or with clozapine, may register an slight diminuation of the tardive dyskinesia symptoms.

Weight gain can be a problem for many people, so it’s very important to know that one of the quetiapine side effects is weight gain. Compared with other atypical antipshychotics, it appears that the intake of this drug has a more serious effect in causing weight gain. Therefore, medication with quetiapine is not recommended to overweight patients, especially considering that due to their heavy mass, they may require higher dosage.

People under medication with quetiapine have reported cases of formation of cataracts. However, various controlled studies, on beagles and humans, have not shown any conclusive results in this direction.

Needless to say, just as for any drug, patients may show allergic response to quetiapine. Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction to this drug are rash, edema, breathing difficulties and anaphylaxis.

Finally, in case of overdosage with quetiapine, side effects may include tachycardia and hypotension, and in severe cases, coma and death. However, in most cases of non-lethal overdosage with this drug, patients usually experience sedation and that’s about it.

Quetiapine Withdrawal Effects

Quetiapine treatment discontinuation results in various inconvenient withdrawal effects. Some of the quetiapine side effects can be also found on the list of withdrawal effects. These are: nausea, dizziness, headaches, dyskinesia. However, quetiapine withdrawal symptoms are characterized by nervousness, restlessness, excessive sweating, crying outbursts, tachycardia, or non-stop crying and anxiety.

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