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Quetiapine (Seroquel) Experiences

Zero One

Zero One

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Your diagnosis is very similar to my Wife - Bipolar 1 with Schizoaffective disorder with EUPD.
Medication will always struggle to compete with stress.
Help from the professionals and family is the key. Sooner than later before it takes over.

It can be a long road to finding peace with the right treatment and medication but with determination and support, it will happen.
It took us two years with hospitalizations to get where we are today.

Regards
Rich
Thank you so much, Rich. Thank you for being so thoughtful. I am happy that you and your wife are more well. For myself thought my psychiatrist and I were getting close to that sweet spot and then my psychosis got a bit worse, and he changed me to Q. We will see how it goes. The voices were keeping quiet today while I was thinking.
 
K

keith74

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200mg of Q is only a therapeutic dose and in my experience used as a sleeper to be taken an hr before bed.
Agreed, it is on the lower end that is good for unipolar depression and anxiety.

Zero One - I'd check ASAP if you could increase your dose to 400mg+
 
S

Sleepy522

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Dear Forum,

Following on from my previous post I am currently debating whether I should stick with aripiprazole (abilify) as my main antimanic and antipsychotic agent or switch to something else. As I previously stated, aripiprazole works great for me and I have virtually no side effects, apart from ONE which REALLY REALLY causes me a problem.

That problem being is that it completely blocks out my ADHD medication. Hence, after doing some research I considered Depakote (Sodium Valproate), however after reading your comments I have decided that this is not the right drug for me due to its long term toxicity to the liver and lack of antipsychotic effect. Also not lithium for similar reasons.

I was about to give up all hope when an idea struck me like an apple from a tree, which my old psychiatrist (now retired) implied (albeit very subtly) to me (God bless him). Why not use a short acting antipsychotic in the evening (like Seroquel) and then take my ADHD medication in the morning once it wears off. You see the problem with Aripiprazole is that it is extremely long acting (half-life 72-94 hours) whereas Quetiapine is only 8-12hrs. Hence, if I take my drugs right, I will have perfectly balanced ying-yang effect. However, I want to know more about the drug before I try it.

TL;DR: How effective is Quetiapine for Mania, depression and psychotic features? How does it compare with Aripiprazole? Any side effects I should be aware of?

Thanks in advance
-H

P.S. I will prob only have to be on a low dose, because I am predominantly depressive type (Stable on Lamotrigine) and have very mild psychotic symptoms. I would also consider other short acting antipsychotics such as Amisulpride.
This is my first time ever writing on a forum. I couldn't believe to see how many other people have used, are using, or might want to try seroquel. In my opinion, this is the most dangerous drug an APRN or other Dr. has ever prescribed me. I was diagnosed with ADHD, Depression, PTSD(alcoholic father) and a slew of anxiety disorders. 10 years or so after this diagnosis, I believe I've been miss diagnosed. Through some research I believe I am more high functioning Aspergers (I know it's not called that anymore) as I don't feel all that depressed just out of place. Im terrible in social situations so I avoid them, don't make eye contact its even hard with my own family, even as a child I was always just told I was shy. I have always had problems with sleep. Whether that be falling or staying asleep my original Aprn even commented on how she's never met someone with worse sleep problems than I. (hurray) ever since my teens I've been trying to figure out how to sleep. I've self medicated with over the counter sleep aids where the recommendation for one pill I would take more. In my early 20s my mother found out how many of these I'd take, and I would be doing this nightly. She brought me to the hospital and they linked me to a different service where I met with the Aprn. I was as I mentioned most likely misdiagnosed and was put on several different Medications for sleep but nothing would really work. Then she suggested seroquel and just like every other drug before I gave it a shot because, well, I want to sleep. And sleep I did! I thought seroquel was the best thing ever. I could pretty much time my sleeps now. Take a quill at 8:00 pm be in bed by 9. It was great... until it wasn't. I had been on seroquel for years, about close to 10, with three different Aprns prescribing them to me. (First 2 retired I'm not jumping to Dr's for prescriptions) However, all three never even discussed any side effects or potential side effects from this, and like an idiot I said thank you and would leave with my script. For years I had slept fine without knowing what this drug was quietly doing to my mind and body behind the scenes. I was a good athlete worked out great long distance runner so when I would get these feet cramps I would contribute them to all the exercise and sweating even though I properly hydrate and would feed my body afterwards. Over the years I also saw my mood starting to change and become more negative. Being an idiot I told myself, - well your doctors are telling you your depressed so that probably why. Then about a year and a half ago while on a run I was hit like a ton of bricks. I love long runs to clear my mind and usually go for 11 miles. On that day I couldn't finish 3 although it felt like I ran a marathon. For the next week I couldn't run. I thought I was getting the flu but still wanted to stay healthy so I chose to walk, I couldn't even manage that. Over the next two weeks I couldn't even leave my bed. Walking up the stairs or down exhausted me. All the while I'd still be taking the seroquel to help me sleep. This got so bad that I even blacked out and needed to be ambulance to the hospital. My blood pressure was 180/64, I had some blood work done and was tested for tick borne diseases everything came back clear. Another month passed and I started feeling like I was going to die. I developed these weird tingling throbing feelings in my right leg and would still get cramps in my foot even though I had stopped working out for months now. The seroquel also stopped working for me as my sleep aid. instead of getting 7 hrs of not too bad sleep, I would wake up every hour complaining about the air in the room not being right and wondering why I couldn't breathe. I'd leave my bed and walk around the house looking for a spot to catch my breath and if I could fall back asleep it would be by crying myself back as I was so scared and confused and had this black cloud over me like death was near and I would never see my wife and kids again. Then I started looking into seroquel on my own and the side effects especially what I went through are not worth taking. Not for sleep not for anything. Seroquel messes with how your body properly handles potassium and you can get something called NMS from it which can cause
Muscle stiffness
Sweating
Anxiety or other changes in mental state
Fast or abnormal heartbeat
Quick breathing.
All which eventually happened to me. My family (brothers sister, mother, wife) all thought I had an arrangement of different problems from Lyme disease to even the Covid-19 virus.
After have done the research myself I called my Aprn and told her what was going on to me and the symptoms, her tone shifted to very concerned she told me to immediately stop taking the seroquel. I was prescribed TRAZODONE as a replacement. I have only been on that for 3 nights so far and I believe I was having withdrawal symptoms from the seroquel the first 2 nights as I would still wake up every other hr with a panic attack. The third night I had a panic attack just thinking of having to go to sleep. I was prescribed an anxiety me klonopin in case that I had to use the last two nights and a blood thinner med as seroquel also screws with your blood. Seroquel has wage a terrible terrible war on my body and mind. I know I'm no doctor so my knowledge only comes from the internet and my personal experience but if I could help even one person out, I would say never ever try to take seroquel. Maybe look for different options. And for those who just got on seroquel or have been on it for a short while, talk to your doctors about other options because I know I probably didn't detail it well enough but if what this drug did to me can happen to others it is not worth the risk to your health. I also apologize if this was too long or rambling and I hope it can be useful to someone thank you for your time everyone.
 
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Zero One

Zero One

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Agreed, it is on the lower end that is good for unipolar depression and anxiety.

Zero One - I'd check ASAP if you could increase your dose to 400mg+
Thank you so much @keith74, just seeing this now. I am now at 400mg and had some really bad psychosis the week before last but am ok for the most part now. Hoping he will increase it.
 
Blue Opal

Blue Opal

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Seroquel messes with how your body properly handles potassium
Thank you for sharing your story. So sorry to hear what you've been through. Can you please explain how seroquel messed with your potassium? I've been taking S for 13 years and I have slightly low potassium levels. Doctor doesn't know why, just tells me to eat bananas etc. Could it be the seroquel?
 
S

Sleepy522

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Thank you for sharing your story. So sorry to hear what you've been through. Can you please explain how seroquel messed with your potassium? I've been taking S for 13 years and I have slightly low potassium levels. Doctor doesn't know why, just tells me to eat bananas etc. Could it be the seroquel?
I wouldn't be surprised if it was the seroquel. When I called my Aprn to tell her of my side effects I told her how I used to be very athletic and thought the cramps were from exercising too much. When I got hit real hard with the other negative side effects and stopped working out and was still cramping I told her I didn't know what else it could be. Her response was well are you drinking enough water? Do you eat bananas? In my mind I was so upset by her response. I told her I drink at least 6, 20 oz bottles of water a day I have a banana and half an avocado (good for potassium) everyday with my lunch. I even have two other powders I would put in my water, liquid iv which is basically adult pedialyte, and nuun immunity hydration. Im doing whatever i can to not have these cramps. After telling her that her concern shifted from just eat a banana and drink water to stop taking seroquel immediately.

Has for explanation I'm not sure I can be very helpful. I copied this from a per reviewed article. Sorry I didn't save the source I copied this rather than the web page. Maybe if you copy the quote it will bring you to the full article but in short-

"the mechanism underlying the hypokalemia caused by the antipsychotic drugs quetiapine and risperidone is still unclear. One possible mechanism is the aldosterone effect and the catecholamine effect of antipsychotic drugs. Catecholamine transfers potassium from the outside to the inside of cells. It could also induce the loss of blood potassium in the kidneys."
 
Blue Opal

Blue Opal

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Thanks! I did some googling and found more or less the same info. I never even thought that my low potassium could be linked to my seroquel use, and neither my GP nor my psychiatrist mentioned it! I was going to try and reduce my dose of seroquel this year, now I'm even more determined to do so.

Are you doing better now? On what dose of S were you and how bad was the withdrawal insomnia?
 
S

Sleepy522

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Thanks! I did some googling and found more or less the same info. I never even thought that my low potassium could be linked to my seroquel use, and neither my GP nor my psychiatrist mentioned it! I was going to try and reduce my dose of seroquel this year, now I'm even more determined to do so.

Are you doing better now? On what dose of S were you and how bad was the withdrawal insomnia?
I'm currently going through that process right now. I was told to get off of it as soon as I spoke with my Aprn as some of the symptoms like the leg tingling, and I used it for sleep but rather than falling asleep and waking up in the morning I would wake up throughout the night with panic attacks are apparently bad enough side effects that can turn life threatening. She told me to get off seroquel and gave me the Trazodone. I've only been on that for three nights. I have read so much about slowly coming off seroquel, where I've just stopped taking it. I think the withdrawal symptoms are real. The first two nights on the new med I still woke up at night feeling like I couldn't breathe. The second night I had to take a clonazepam around 3:00am because I thought I was going to die. My third and most recent night before I had a chance to take the Trazodone I had another panic attack just thinking about going to sleep. I am not someone who has panic attacks these just started happening so I think I am comfortable enough with putting the blame on seroquel. My third night I took a clonazepam because of the panic attack and then took the Trazodone an hour later. My third night I woke up but it is because I am an awful sleeper. I went right back to sleep and had no feeling of dread. I had 3 Aprns none of them ever mentioned any side effects other than possible weight gain. Had I known I had the chance to feel how I'm feeling now, I would of never taken it at all. I know one is responsible for what they put into their own bodies but it would of been nice to know rather than find out after the fact. I've been on seroquel for about 10 years. My doses at first started at 100mg and I did that for maybe 5 years but I felt like it was dangerous stuff and asked if it could be reduced. I had it changed to 50mg for maybe another 3 years and still had some reservations and went down to 25mg the last two years with .3 mg clonidine because surprise I also developed some high blood pressure. I will not know the full extent of what this has done to me as I don't see my primary until 3 Thursdays from now. I was told we were going to obviously do some blood test and heart test because I'll still have palpitations, muscle sorness, the tingling in my leg as faded but is still there. I'm hoping seroquel didn't cause any long term damage, and I can share what I find out when I have more information and test done.
 
K

keith74

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the impact of medication is really dependent on the individual. My wife was on Seroquel for several years at various doses. The only noticeable side effect was some drowsiness. She has gone off it a few times on her own and she never had any withdrawal issues. She actually quit cold turkey back in september and never went back to it (though she was manic and quit all her meds thinking she no longer had bipolar). She is on a different mix of medication but my point is that people can experience different side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

Note that when going off any medication, it should always be under the supervision of a doctor. I definitely do not recommend what my wife did on stopping on her own
 
Blue Opal

Blue Opal

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I'm currently going through that process right now. I was told to get off of it as soon as I spoke with my Aprn as some of the symptoms like the leg tingling, and I used it for sleep but rather than falling asleep and waking up in the morning I would wake up throughout the night with panic attacks are apparently bad enough side effects that can turn life threatening. She told me to get off seroquel and gave me the Trazodone. I've only been on that for three nights. I have read so much about slowly coming off seroquel, where I've just stopped taking it. I think the withdrawal symptoms are real. The first two nights on the new med I still woke up at night feeling like I couldn't breathe. The second night I had to take a clonazepam around 3:00am because I thought I was going to die. My third and most recent night before I had a chance to take the Trazodone I had another panic attack just thinking about going to sleep. I am not someone who has panic attacks these just started happening so I think I am comfortable enough with putting the blame on seroquel. My third night I took a clonazepam because of the panic attack and then took the Trazodone an hour later. My third night I woke up but it is because I am an awful sleeper. I went right back to sleep and had no feeling of dread. I had 3 Aprns none of them ever mentioned any side effects other than possible weight gain. Had I known I had the chance to feel how I'm feeling now, I would of never taken it at all. I know one is responsible for what they put into their own bodies but it would of been nice to know rather than find out after the fact. I've been on seroquel for about 10 years. My doses at first started at 100mg and I did that for maybe 5 years but I felt like it was dangerous stuff and asked if it could be reduced. I had it changed to 50mg for maybe another 3 years and still had some reservations and went down to 25mg the last two years with .3 mg clonidine because surprise I also developed some high blood pressure. I will not know the full extent of what this has done to me as I don't see my primary until 3 Thursdays from now. I was told we were going to obviously do some blood test and heart test because I'll still have palpitations, muscle sorness, the tingling in my leg as faded but is still there. I'm hoping seroquel didn't cause any long term damage, and I can share what I find out when I have more information and test done.
All the best with the withdrawal. Fortunately you were on a low dose. I hope you fully recover.
 
Blue Opal

Blue Opal

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the impact of medication is really dependent on the individual. My wife was on Seroquel for several years at various doses. The only noticeable side effect was some drowsiness. She has gone off it a few times on her own and she never had any withdrawal issues. She actually quit cold turkey back in september and never went back to it (though she was manic and quit all her meds thinking she no longer had bipolar). She is on a different mix of medication but my point is that people can experience different side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

Note that when going off any medication, it should always be under the supervision of a doctor. I definitely do not recommend what my wife did on stopping on her own
Yes I agree it's different for everyone. I've tried to reduce my dose (under supervision of my psychiatrist obviously) multiple times, the last time with baby steps but still couldn't handle the withdrawal symptoms, especially the insomnia and depression.
 
C

Consideration

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Amisulpride causes breast growth and lactation. I would not touch it!
I found Quetiapine not very effective, even at antipsychotic dosages 300mg/day to 400mg/day. Quetiapine is also extremely drowsy, with a hangover effect, even though it's half life is, as you say, short.
I don't think you will beat Aripiprazole.
Good morning all,
sorry to jump in here but "On Fire"
We are taking 400mg of Abilify Maintana/month and suffering from serious anxiety.
Bad enough to stop life.
Everything else is good, compared to Q, Clop, Hal.
By the way, I agree about Q being a sleeper at a low dose and not as effective as an antipsychotic.
We are due our third inj in a week, will the anxiety subside after time?

Regards
Rich
 
On Fire

On Fire

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If you are already on your third injection and still getting anxiety, the anxiety will probably stay with you.
 

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