If you believe you may have a medical necessity for using Seroquel XR, talk to your doctor or psychiatrist first about it. They can listen to your concerns, diagnose a problem if one is present, and recommend the best course of action for you to take. This may include drug therapy with Seroquel XR along with therapeutic counseling sessions with a qualified psychologist. If this is the case, the diagnosing doctor will recommend a psychologist.
If your doctor or psychiatrist decides that using Seroquel XR is the best course of action, it is most likely because the benefits for certain mental illnesses outweigh the risks. These benefits include reduction of delusions in people with schizophrenia, reduction of mania episodes in people with bipolar disorder, less sadness in depression patients and bipolar patients currently in a "low," or depressed, state, reduced panic attacks in people with GAD and an overall lessened feeling of worry in patients with any of these illnesses.
When a doctor prescribes Seroquel XR for any of the illnesses, the dosage will remain the same. The FDA has approved the dosage of Seroquel XR as a once-a-day tablet, usually taken at bedtime to lessen the instances of the side effects that make a patient drowsy. You will need to take Seroquel XR at the same time every day, or you may not derive the full benefits from the medication. According to AstraZeneca's Seroquel XR website, Seroquel XR can be safely taken with other medications, such as lithium and divalproex, in bipolar patients for long-term treatment of depression.
According to the patient handouts and the AstraZeneca website, the FDA does not approve Seroquel XR for anyone under the age of 18 or for "treating elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis (having lost touch with reality due to confusion and memory loss)." Some serious and possibly fatal side effects were reported, including neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) and tardive dyskinesia. NMS presents itself with stiff muscles, high fever, shaking, sweating and change in heart rate or blood pressure, among other symptoms. Symptoms of tardive dyskinesia include uncontrollable movements of the face, tongue and sometimes other parts of the body. If any of these symptoms appear, notify the doctor immediately or go to a hospital. More common but less serious effects include nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth and excessive thirst, among others. These are manageable and do not pose a serious threat.
Seroquel XR (quetiapine fumarate) is a medication sometimes used to treat certain types of mental illness, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Although Seroquel XR is not approved by the FDA to treat other mental illnesses besides schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, it is sometimes prescribed by doctors and used off label, or as another, non-typical, use of the drug, for depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). These off-label allowances are based on clinical trials held by AstraZeneca, the makers of the medication.