Seroquel Used for Dementia

Identification

According to AstraZeneca, Seroquel is indicated for specific types of bipolar disorder as well as for schizophrenia.

Expert Insight

According to AstraZeneca, Seroquel is not approved for use in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.

Considerations

When an older adult develops dementia over time, it can be difficult to identify the exact onset of dementia-related psychosis. Symptoms of psychosis, such as delusions and hallucinations, are difficult to distinguish from the disorientation and anxiety typically seen in people with dementia. A doctor may have a hard time deciding whether it's safe to use Seroquel for these individuals.

Warning

The black box warning issued by AstraZeneca says older adults with dementia-related psychosis who take Seroquel have a risk of death that's 1.6 to 1.7 times higher than that of elderly people treated with placebos.

Potential

The major causes of death in older adults with dementia-related psychosis who were on Seroquel were cardiovascular problems such as sudden death or heart failure and infectious diseases like pneumonia. Seroquel, or quetiapine fumarate, is an atypical anti-psychotic drug produced by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The FDA has approved this potent medicine for very specific uses.