QUETIAPINE (qua-tie-a-peen) FACT SHEET
This information is not a replacement for a full discussion of risks and benefits with your doctor.
Other Names: Seroquel (AstraZeneca)
Principal Uses: Schizophrenia, Bipolar Mania and Bipolar Depression.
Cost: Seroquel is fully funded in New Zealand.
Dose: Quetiapine has a wide dose range. Some people respond to small doses (25mg or sometimes even less) and some people need doses of over 1000mg. Usual starting dose is 25mg for postpartum women increasing by 25-100mg daily depending on effect.
Side Effects: These can be minimised if the dose is increased slowly. The commonest side effects of Quetiapine are dizziness, sleepiness and a dry mouth. Over time people usually find these side effects settle.
Use in Pregnancy: Category C
There is limited data regarding the safety of Quetiapine in pregnancy. There is only
one prospective study in which 36 women were treated with Quetiapine and there appeared to be no increased risk of major malformations.
Category C means that either studies in animals have revealed adverse effects on the foetus (teratogenic or embryonic or other) and there are no controlled studies in women or studies in women and animals are not available. Drugs which due to their pharmacological effects have cause or may be suspected of causing harmful effects on the foetus or neonate without causing malformations. Drugs should be given only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the foetus.
Use in Breastfeeding: Category L3
There have been a limited number of case reports which suggest that Quetiapine is relatively safe in breastfeeding.
Category L3 is considered moderately safe and indicates that there are no controlled studies in breast feeding women, however the risk of untoward effect to a breastfed infant is possible; or, controlled studies show only a minimal non-threatening adverse effects. Drugs should be given only if potential benefits justify the potential risk to the infant.