Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Seroquel Overview

Seroquel is a brand name for prescription quetiapine fumarate tablets, which are atypical antipsychotics. Psychiatrists use antipsychotics to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Patients can take Seroquel alone or with lithium or Divalproex.

Some doctors prescribe Seroquel to treat bipolar depression and major depressive disorder. Patients with major depressive disorder may take Seroquel in combination with other antidepressants.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP has been manufacturing Seroquel since the FDA approved it in 1997. Since Seroquel hit the market, there have been reports of severe side effects. For this reason, doctors only prescribe it to patients with severe mental health disorders.

Here, we'll discuss the side effects of Seroquel. We will also explain the severe health consequences people experience while taking this medication. Finally, we'll briefly describe what to do if you or your family member become sick after using this drug.

Talk to Your Healthcare Provider Before Taking Seroquel

You should never take a prescription medication without talking to your doctor or psychiatrist. There are specific things your doctor needs to know to ensure you won't have an adverse reaction to the new drug. The same is true for Seroquel.

Before you start taking Seroquel, tell your healthcare professional about the following:

  • Heart problems or heart disease
  • Cataracts
  • Thyroid disorder
  • High cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Seizures
  • Diabetes or hyperglycemia
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver disease
  • Pregnant or are already pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Taking other antipsychotic drugs

When prescribing Seroquel, your healthcare provider must check for potential drug interactions. They also need to ensure that you aren't allergic to Seroquel or other antipsychotic drugs.

Keep in mind that even if your doctor doesn't anticipate adverse drug interactions, you may still experience severe side effects with Seroquel.

Seroquel's Side Effects

Many drugs have unpleasant side effects. Most side effects are minor. But if you take higher doses of Seroquel, you may experience dangerous side effects. Once you start taking Seroquel, your doctor will monitor you for serious side effects.

Common side effects of taking Seroquel include:

  • Somnolence (sleep walking)
  • Sore throat
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depressive episodes
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain

Other possible side effects of Seroquel include:

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Kidney problems
  • Low blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension)
  • Cataracts
  • Seizures
  • Low thyroid
  • Elevated cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Liver problems
  • Persistent erection
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Confusion

Some people have an increased risk of these side effects. Others, such as adolescents and older adults, may have more difficulty handling the effects of quetiapine.

If your side effects are severe, let your doctor know. They can adjust your dose or switch you to a different medication. Do not stop taking Seroquel suddenly. This can cause severe withdrawal symptoms.

Seroquel Health Risks

Not only does Seroquel carry possible side effects, but Seroquel and other antipsychotic medications can cause serious health problems. In some cases, these health issues carry the risk of death. This shouldn't happen if you're taking a low dose of the medication.

Be on the lookout for these adverse health consequences. This is especially true for patients who take Seroquel for a long time. Taking antipsychotic drugs for a long time can cause extrapyramidal symptoms. These symptoms are specific to this class of drugs and can be dangerous.

Some of the severe health risks of taking Seroquel include:

  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS): This is a life-threatening nervous system problem occurring with long-term antipsychotic use. It causes high fever, stiff muscles, sweating, fast or irregular heartbeat, changes in blood pressure, and confusion. NMS can also affect your kidneys. Treat this condition as a medical emergency. Call your healthcare professional right away if you experience these symptoms.
  • Tardive dyskinesia (TD): TD is a movement problem. Call your healthcare professional immediately if you experience involuntary muscle movements.
  • High blood sugar and diabetes: Patients with diabetes must check their blood sugar frequently. They may experience a sudden spike or drop in their blood sugars, which can lead to coma and even death.

If you take Seroquel and notice a worsening of these side effects, seek immediate medical attention. Everybody has a different metabolic rate. This means you may experience severe side effects faster than another patient.

Interactions With Other Drugs and Foods

Some medications can adversely interact with Seroquel. Talk with your healthcare professional about these possible interactions before taking this medication.

Your healthcare professional may have to adjust your dose or watch you more closely if you take the following medications:

  • Blood pressure medicines
  • Levodopa and medicines called dopamine agonists
  • Phenytoin
  • Methadone
  • Thioridazine
  • Risperidone (Risperdal)
  • Antifungal or antibiotic drugs such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole, and erythromycin
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Carbamazepine (Tegratol)
  • Thorazine (chlorpromazine)
  • Rifampin (Rifadin)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Seroquel.

Seroquel FDA Alert

Over the years, the FDA has issued several alerts regarding Seroquel. AstraZeneca had to include black-box warnings on the packaging for this medication.

Some of the concerns the FDA reported include the following:

  • Increased death in older patients with dementia-related psychosis
  • Increased risk of suicidality in children and adolescents
  • Suicidal thoughts in adults with major depressive disorder

Even patients taking low doses of Seroquel must be careful. The body quickly absorbs Seroquel and spreads it throughout the body. By the time you notice a worsening of the drug's side effects, you may already be at risk.

It's also worth noting that the FDA approved a generic version of Seroquel in 2012. The generic version of this medication is quetiapine.

Getting Legal Help if You Suffer an Injury While Taking Seroquel

If you or a loved one experiences dangerous symptoms or unusual medical conditions while taking Seroquel, seek immediate medical care. You should also call an experienced product liability attorney. They'll discuss your options and suggest how you should proceed.

It's normal for a drug to carry side effects and minor health risks. But drugmakers must make their drugs as safe as possible. They also have a legal duty to inform the public and the medical community of their risks. If they breach these duties, they may be liable for your injuries.

Lawsuits against a drug manufacturer fall under product liability law. Your personal injury lawyer will sue the drugmaker for damages. These damages may include some or all of the following:

Keep in mind that judges rarely award plaintiffs punitive damages. They order punitive damages to punish a defendant for their egregious behavior.

Sometimes, the drug company honors their legal duties, but you still get sick. This could be due to your doctor's negligence. For example, your doctor may not look for potential drug interactions when prescribing Seroquel to a patient. Or they may not confirm a patient's mental illness diagnosis before prescribing an antipsychotic medication. In either case, they may be liable for medical malpractice.

Whichever type of case you file, it's best to consult a seasoned personal injury or malpractice attorney. Visit's attorney directory to find one near you.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps

Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Help Me Find a Do-It-Yourself Solution

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options