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SEROQUEL®
(quetiapine fumarate)

WARNING

INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSIS

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Analyses of seventeen placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks) largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10-week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug-treated patients was about 4.5%, compared to a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. The extent to which the findings of increased mortality in observational studies may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to some characteristic(s) of the patients is not clear. SEROQUEL (quetiapine) is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

SUICIDALITY AND ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS

Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinkingand behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatricdisorders. Anyone considering the use of SEROQUEL or any otherantidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placeboin adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. SEROQUEL is not approved for use in patients under ten years of age [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

DRUG DESCRIPTION

SEROQUEL® (quetiapine fumarate) is a psychotropic agent belonging to a chemical class, the dibenzothiazepine derivatives. The chemical designation is 2-[2-(4-dibenzo [b,f] [1,4]thiazepin-11-yl-1piperazinyl)ethoxy]-ethanol fumarate (2:1) (salt). It is present in tablets as the fumarate salt. All doses and tablet strengths are expressed as milligrams of base, not as fumarate salt. Its molecular formula is C42H50N6O4S2•C4H4O4 and it has a molecular weight of 883.11 (fumarate salt). The structural formula is:

SEROQUEL® (quetiapine fumarate)  Structural Formula Illustration

Quetiapine fumarate is a white to off-white crystalline powder which is moderately soluble in water.

SEROQUEL is supplied for oral administration as 25 mg (round, peach), 50 mg (round, white), 100 mg (round, yellow), 200 mg (round, white), 300 mg (capsule-shaped, white), and 400 mg (capsule-shaped, yellow) tablets.

Inactive ingredients are povidone, dibasic dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, polyethylene glycol and titanium dioxide.

The 25 mg tablets contain red ferric oxide and yellow ferric oxide and the 100 mg and 400 mg tablets contain only yellow ferric oxide.

What are the possible side effects of quetiapine (Seroquel, Seroquel XR)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Stop using quetiapine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Seroquel »

What are the precautions when taking quetiapine fumarate (Seroquel)?

Before taking quetiapine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: eye cataracts, liver disease, low white blood cell count, seizure disorder, trouble swallowing, thyroid problems.

Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if either you or a family member has a history of the following: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol/triglyceride levels, obesity.

This drug may make you dizzy, drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any...

Read All Potential Precautions of Seroquel »

Last reviewed on RxList: 6/24/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.