Schizophrenia is a rather complex and multifaceted disease that requires long-term continuous treatment. However, with the correct selection of medications and their adequate prescription, the disease responds well to treatment and a long-term remission is possible, which allows a person to live a normal, fulfilling life. In the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depressive conditions, the drug quetiapine, which is produced by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca under the brand name Quetiapine, has proven itself.
When choosing a drug for the treatment of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, the preventive principle dominates: it must provide the required effectiveness and a minimum (or even better, they must be absent altogether) of unwanted side effects. He also should not noticeably worsen the quality of a person’s life and not create problems in his professional activity. This is exactly the drug that Seroquel is.
Seroquelinfo.com belongs to the group of atypical antipsychotics, since it has a pronounced antipsychotic, antidepressant, sedative effect, while it does not have side effects characteristic of typical antipsychotics, especially extrapyramidal disorders (parkinsonism, tremor, tics and myoclonus, stereotyped actions), including neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
The undoubted advantage of Seroquel is his high compliance – the patient’s adherence to treatment and agreement to comply with all the prescriptions and recommendations of the doctor. It is difficult to overestimate this given the fact that while taking many antipsychotics, numerous side effects and serious complications occur, as a result of which patients refuse to take the medications they are prescribed. This explains why Quetiroquel is called a patient-friendly neuroleptic.
The drug is used to treat mental illness, in which thinking, perception of the surrounding reality is impaired, in case of behavior disorders. These are all typical manifestations of schizophrenia. Typical symptoms of this disease also include hallucinations (auditory, visual, feeling something that is not in reality), delusions (strange and sometimes disturbing thoughts), unmotivated suspicion, emotional and social detachment, feelings of loneliness and confusion, tension, and anxiety.
Quetiapine can also be used as a mono-drug or as part of a combination therapy for the emergency treatment of patients whose disease is characterized by pathologically elevated and irritable mood (manic episode in bipolar disorder). In this state, patients may also experience decreased need for sleep, speech impairment (rapid and often indistinct), confusion of thoughts and unusual ideas.
Seroquel is used to treat schizophrenia with both productive (hallucinations, delusions, anxiety) and negative (amnesia, dementia, apathy) symptoms. Moreover, the drug is much more effective in eliminating productive symptoms than typical antipsychotics. It is also effective in treating major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder.
Quetiapine can be used both for the treatment of psychotic disorders in the acute phase and for the prevention of their relapse. In the first months of treatment (from 3 to 12 months), it is prescribed to suppress psychotic symptoms, then it continues to be taken in order to prevent relapses. The goal of anti-relapse therapy is not only to prevent the onset of symptoms of the disease, but also to social, labor and personal rehabilitation of a person, to return him to his usual way of life.
Quetiapine can be used as a means of long-term anti-relapse therapy, including in the elderly, as well as in patients with therapeutic resistance to other antipsychotics. The appointment of quetiapine is also possible for adolescents aged 13 to 17 years.
The selection of the most effective dosages of quetiapine and their adjustment are usually carried out in a hospital setting, so that the doctor can monitor the patient’s response to treatment, regularly assess his condition and the dynamics of symptoms. Although quite often the selection of dosages of quetiapine in the treatment of schizophrenia is carried out on an outpatient basis according to the following scheme:
There are no standard dosages of quetiapine, as the patient’s response to it can be very different; Depending on the nature of the therapeutic response and the dynamics of the symptoms of the disease, the daily dose of quetiapine can range from 150 to 750 mg per day.
Schizophrenia. The daily dosage in the acute phase is usually 300-400 mg per day. With anti-relapse therapy – 150-200 mg / day. Dosages of the drug are reduced in the elderly and in patients with impaired liver and kidney function.
Manic episodes of bipolar disorder. The daily dose is titrated over 4 days: 100 mg – 200 mg – 300 mg – 400 mg. A further increase in the dose to a daily dose of 800 mg on the 6th day should be carried out in increments of no more than 200 mg per day. In most cases, the effective dose is 400 to 800 mg per day.
Depressive episodes of bipolar disorder. Titration of the daily dose is carried out for 4 days as follows: 50 mg – 100 mg – 200 mg – 300 mg. The antidepressant effect was investigated in studies using quetiapine 300 mg and quetiapine 600 mg. No additional benefit was found at higher dosages.
Prevention of relapse in bipolar disorders. Patients who have responded to quetiapine in the acute phase should continue therapy with the drug at the same dosage. The dose of quetiapine can be adjusted in the range from 300 to 800 mg per day, depending on the clinical response and tolerability of the drug.
Regardless of the diagnosis and phase of the disease, the lowest effective dose should be used in each individual patient. This will reduce the drug load on the body and avoid the development of unwanted side effects.
Seroquel is usually taken 2 times a day; However, there are drug release forms that are taken only once a day. These include Quetiawel Retard (tablets with sustained release of active ingredient) and Quetiroquel XR (Extended Release) – a long-acting drug, the active ingredient is released in it for a longer time than in “regular” tablets.
“Regular” quetiapine tablets are taken regardless of food intake. The tablet can be taken both with meals and at any other time of the day. Food intake does not affect the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of quetiapine.
Retard and prolonged release forms of quetiapine are recommended to be taken outside of meals, as it can interfere with the release of quetiapine and its absorption in the intestine. It is advisable to take such tablets no earlier than 1 hour before meals or 1 hour after meals.
Seroquel not only effectively eliminates the symptoms of psychotic disorders in their acute phase, but also helps prevent relapse. In addition, quetiapine “opens the floodgates” of early rehabilitation due to its ordering action, promotes the establishment of a stable full-fledged remission, providing antipsychotic and anti-relapse effects. This lays the foundations for not only clinical but also social recovery.
Clinicians call quetiapine a neuroleptic, “friendly” to the patient. This is due to the fact that the drug has an optimal risk / benefit ratio. That is why quetiapine is the drug of choice in the treatment of various psychotic disorders.