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Seroquel Withdrawal

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Seroquel Withdrawal - Side Effects, Symptoms, Timeline, Detox, & Treatment

What is Seroquel?

What is Seroquel? It is the brand name of quetiapine, an antipsychotic drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [1] for schizophrenia treatmentmajor depression disorder treatment, and bipolar disorder treatment. Sometimes, a doctor may prescribe this medication for insomnia or anxiety. It works to rebalance serotonin and dopamine to improve a person’s mood, behavior, and thinking. This drug comes in a tablet form meant to be ingested orally. Seroquel has two formulations: IR (immediate release) and XR (extended release).

Seroquel is not a controlled substance, but there is still a risk of Seroquel abuse or addiction. It is important to understand how this drug can affect people, especially if someone takes it improperly. There are reports of drug abuse by crushing and snorting the tablets, injecting the medication, or combining it with cocaine and injecting the mixture.

Seroquel Withdrawal
It has been confirmed that getting off Seroquel cold turkey could lead to health problems such as cardiac arrests and other dysfunctions.

Seroquel Withdrawal 

Withdrawal is a term used to describe a collection of symptoms resulting from a substance abruptly leaving your body. The symptoms are unique to the substance but may be similar to the withdrawal symptoms of other substances in the same class.

Seroquel has the active ingredient quetiapine and is most often administered as an antipsychotic. Seroquel exerts several effects on the human central nervous system. Quitting Seroquel abruptly may lead to serious health issues by affecting the distribution of major neurotransmitters in the brain. Seroquel withdrawal symptoms can be extreme and pose a risk to well-being.

Some people may experience different withdrawal levels from this drug due to particular health conditions. The concern with Seroquel withdrawal is that many individuals try to get off the drug without proper information or consultation with a medical professional. There are significant risks connected with stopping Seroquel abruptly, especially for those who may be using very high doses of this medication. There are several options to Quetiapine treatment discontinuation to ensure the patient safely gets off the drug with minimal to no side effects.

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Withdrawal from Seroquel Side Effects

Seroquel withdrawal side effects include:

  • Itchy red skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Inflamed stomach
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • High anxiety
  •  Depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain
  • Difficulty in seeing
  • Kidney problems
  • Low libido
  • Hallucinations
  • Low appetite
  • Frequent urination

Neurological Seroquel Withdrawal Symptoms

Dizziness, headache, and irritability commonly occur during Seroquel withdrawal. Neurological brain chemicals typically can work together with antipsychotic and antidepressant prescription drugs, reducing symptoms of mental illness. An abrupt withdrawal from taking this medication can disrupt this balance. Potassium and sodium, for instance, maintain chemical and electrical reactions in the brain and affect all brain and organ functions. Therefore, imbalances can also cause:

  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Disorientation
  • Even death if uncorrected

Gastrointestinal Seroquel Withdrawal Symptoms

Seroquel withdrawal can cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Seroquel disrupts serotonin levels in the brain that control intestinal and stomach reflexes. The resulting imbalances in these reflexes and irritation to the stomach lining may cause pain, cramping, nausea, and vomiting [3]. Abrupt chemical changes in the brain can also produce dizziness, which in itself can cause nausea or vomiting. Diarrhea is another Seroquel withdrawal symptom. Disruption of delicate intestinal balances can irritate the intestines, and diarrhea is the body’s attempt to cleanse itself of these irritants.

seroquel withdrawal
Seroquel is usually taken 1, 2, or 3 times per day with or without food. The extended-release should be taken without food or with a light meal (≤300 calories). 

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Mood or Behavior Changes due to Seroquel Withdrawal 

People with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia demand close monitoring during treatment with antidepressant and antipsychotic medications. Someone with severe mental illness may abruptly stop taking medication due to thought and perception disruptions. Caregivers should immediately notify a treating physician if they notice changes in mood or behavior in patients they suspect may have stopped taking their medication. Seroquel maintains its antipsychotic effects even when a patient misses one or two doses; to maintain its efficacy. However, patients should take Seroquel as prescribed.

How to Deal with Seroquel Withdrawal?

Seroquel is a prescription drug that is generally not considered to have much addictive potential or risk of dependence. However, it has been reported before, and as time moves on, more and more cases of addiction to Quetiapine are documented [4]. The Seroquel withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable enough to push them back into using the drug, even if it is no longer medically needed.

Quitting the medication can be hard because it is potent and affects major central nervous system (brain and spinal column) functions. The regulation of neurotransmitters and histamine, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels is greatly affected. Therefore, it can be dangerous when a person decides to stop Seroquel cold turkey. It is even more dangerous if one has been using this drug with other substances such as alcohol or other medications, which are likely to increase the effect of the medicine, and can lead to overdose. 

seroquel withdrawal
Seroquel may be particularly dangerous for certain populations, including adolescents and elderly individuals. 

Here Are Some Tips That Can Be Helpful For Seroquel Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Increase the acidity of urine to expedite the excretion of drug metabolites from the system.
  • As difficult as it may be at that period, exercises are highly effective and can boost metabolism.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and to improve the detox process.
  • Eat healthy balanced diets.
  • Ask a doctor for recommended supplements that can revitalize the system and help with the overall process.

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Seroquel Withdrawal Timeline

Seroquel withdrawal can be categorized into three main types based on when the phases are likely to occur following abrupt interruption of use.

How Long Does Seroquel Withdrawal Last?

Although the withdrawal symptoms can continue for up to a week, they often start between the first and fourth day after stopping the medicine. The symptoms may persist for up to six weeks in some instances.

Rebound withdrawal signs typically start simultaneously (one to four days after ceasing medication). Some of these symptoms aren’t always connected to Seroquel withdrawal. However, these symptoms could last for six weeks. An individual will experience chronic post-withdrawal if they last any longer.

New Withdrawal

New Seroquel withdrawal symptoms generally set in around one to four days after a person’s last usage of the prescription drug or other psychotropic medications.

New Seroquel withdrawal symptoms can include sleep disturbances, nausea, abdominal pain, and other symptoms mentioned above. The intensity of the Seroquel withdrawal symptoms depends on the individual, the length of the drug used, and the dosage.

These new Seroquel withdrawal symptoms are short-lasting and reversible. Generally, the person is mostly recovered within a week. However, some symptoms may persist for up to six weeks, perhaps with less intensity. 

Rebound Withdrawal

Rebound withdrawal symptoms can also emerge within the one to four-day period. However, these Seroquel withdrawal symptoms may not actually be “withdrawal,” but a rebound or re-emergence of the underlying symptoms the medication was treating.

Sometimes, the rebound symptoms are more severe than the original symptoms present. Understanding the rebound effect explains why certain drugs, particularly those that have a quick and intense effect on the nervous system, are very addictive. 

One of the ironies of Seroquel addiction is that the rebound effect causes the person taking Seroquel to experience the very same effects they were hoping to escape through drug use.

Persistent Post-Withdrawal Disorder

The persistent post-withdrawal disorder is when the Seroquel withdrawal symptoms persist past the six-week mark. How long does Seroquel stay in your system? You can inform a possible employer, school, or addiction treatment facility that you need this medication If you take Seroquel as prescribed. It may show up on a test administered in these situations. However, it is not a medication that is commonly tested for.

How To Get Off Seroquel?

Abrupt disuse of Seroquel can result in withdrawal and severe insomnia side effects, so tapering is a preferred method to limit the amount of withdrawal symptoms.

Evaluate your tolerance and create a taper schedule. Some patients have extremely high daily dosages of 300 mg or more of Seroquel to sleep. If you decide to taper within a month, then the milligram cut every week will be much higher, as will withdrawal symptoms.

Evaluate your tolerance and create a taper schedule. Some patients have extremely high daily dosages of 300 mg or more of Seroquel to sleep. If you decide to taper within a month, then the milligram cut every week will be much higher, as will withdrawal symptoms.

Can You Stop Seroquel Cold Turkey? 

Quitting the drug can be difficult because it is potent and affects primary CNS functions. The regulation of neurotransmitters and dopamine, histamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels is greatly affected. It can be dangerous when a person decides to stop Quetiapine cold turkey. It is even more difficult if one has been using Seroquel with other substances, such as alcohol or other medications, which are likely to increase the effect of the medicine, and can lead to Seroquel overdose.

Seroquel side effects can be quite intense, especially for those who may have developed a tolerance for high doses. When quitting cold turkey, withdrawals from Seroquel affect brain functions, creating a sudden disruption in an established system.

How to Stop Taking Quetiapine Safely?

Here is how to taper off Seroquel: A doctor should create a tailored Quetiapine withdrawal schedule to wean off the drug and prevent relapse. To do this, the doctor assesses the patient’s current dosing and tolerance level. For instance, a patient on 300 mg daily may have to reduce the dose drastically to 50 mg weekly. This is entirely up to the physician after a proper medical analysis of the patient’s condition. This medication change will likely cause limited withdrawal symptoms; however, it is imperative to stick to the drug tapering schedule.

Treatment for Seroquel Addiction

In some individuals, drug addiction results from an underlying mental health issue. In others, addiction develops first, and mental health symptoms arise later. Sometimes, mental health symptoms may be worsened by drug abuse.

Although there is no single cause for addiction, a mental health issue may increase the likelihood of developing an addiction and vice versa.

Medical Detox

An individual suffering from an addiction will experience a range of withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. This is known as the detox period, which may last a few days or weeks. These withdrawal symptoms can be harmful, uncomfortable, and even life-threatening, and medically assisted detox at a rehab center is recommended. Individuals who enter a medical detox facility can withdraw from the substance safely in a secure and comfortable setting.

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Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment lasts anywhere from 21 days to several months. It’s a sensible treatment option for individuals battling severe substance abuse and addiction cases. Clients will be monitored 24/7 by a team of medical professionals who understand addiction and its underlying issues. Clients will live on-site and attend a wide range of activities, including:

  • 12-step meetings
  • One-on-one therapy sessions
  • Group therapy sessions

There’s a broad array of inpatient centers to choose from, ranging from those that use the 12-step method to those that offer a more holistic approach. However, all types of centers have the same focus: to help the patient learn healthier habits, attitudes, and behaviors.

Aftercare

Before leaving the treatment facility, clients are encouraged to work with therapists and counselors to develop an aftercare plan. An aftercare plan aims to help patients maintain their sobriety, find purpose in life, and create healthy relationships with themselves, friends, and family.

Although each individual receives an individualized plan, some standard components of a typical aftercare treatment plan include:

  • Ongoing counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Participation in a 12-step or alternative support group
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Educational assistance
  • Legal assistance
  • Maintenance medication
  • Relapse prevention programming
seroquel withdrawal
The potential dangers of this drug can be problematic, and the longer someone abuses it, the more serious the results can be

People suffering from an addiction and a mental health problem should seek treatment for a co-occurring disorder. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this type of treatment can:

  • Lower the relapse rate
  • Reduce the number of suicide attempts
  • Lead to long-term sobriety

Many inpatient rehab centers offer dual diagnosis treatment where individuals receive all the medical, therapeutic, and holistic care they need to heal mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If someone struggles with Seroquel addiction because of its intense and often dangerous Seroquel withdrawal, that person needs to consider inpatient drug rehab. We Level Up NJ addiction specialists are standing by to help.

FAQ’s

Can Seroquel cause anxiety?

Seroquel works by helping to restore balance to the chemical messengers in your brain. It can help to improve concentration, decrease anxiety, and improve your moods and energy levels.

Studies have indicated that abrupt discontinuation of Seroquel can result in withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety can be one of the symptoms of withdrawal from Seroquel.

How to taper off Seroquel?

Because of the potential implications of stopping Seroquel abruptly, the process should always be overseen by a medical professional. Ideally, the medication should be tapered with a planned, incremental lowering of the dosage taken over months.

How to stop taking Seroquel?

If the decision to come off Seroquel is made, stopping should never be done abruptly unless to avert a life-threatening reaction. Always seek medical oversight and guidance for safety. Even when slowly tapering off of the drug, there can still be some significant Seroquel withdrawal symptoms.

What does Seroquel do to the brain?

Seroquel is a medication that works in the brain to treat schizophrenia. It is also known as a second-generation antipsychotic (SGA) or atypical antipsychotic. Quetiapine, which is the active ingredient of Seroquel, rebalances dopamine and serotonin to improve thinking, mood, and behavior.

Can you die from Seroquel and alcohol?

FDA recommends that people who are taking Seroquel not use alcohol. Alcohol can suppress the body’s ability to use Seroquel effectively, causing smaller amounts of Seroquel to become more potent. Drinking alcohol while taking Seroquel could worsen the typical side effects of Seroquel. You can die from Seroquel and alcohol together, just as any concoction of substances can be fatal.

Is Seroquel considered a narcotic?

Seroquel is not widely considered a drug of abuse and is not a controlled substance; however, there have been reports of it being used nonmedically, especially by individuals in prison or psychiatric inpatient hospitals and those with a history of polydrug abuse.

What happens if you stop taking Seroquel?

If you stop taking this medication abruptly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia (not being able to sleep), nausea, and vomiting. Keep your doctor well informed of how you are feeling, both good and bad

Is seroquel dangerous?

There is a risk of tardive dyskinesia (uncontrollable, repetitive facial movements) associated with all antipsychotics, including Seroquel. Significant weight loss has been reported, although it may cause weight gain in some people. May precipitate a manic episode in people with undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

What cold medicine can I take with Seroquel?

If you stop taking Seroquel abruptly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia (not being able to sleep), nausea, and vomiting. 

Is Seroquel addictive?

Seroquel has no habit-forming potential, but it is not recommended that you discontinue the use of the drug before talking with your doctor, as withdrawal symptoms can occur.

Is Seroquel controlled?

Seroquel is not widely considered a drug of abuse and is not a controlled substance.

Does Seroquel make you high?

If Seroquel is abused, it can cause a person to feel an intense and potentially dangerous high. Abusing Seroquel to improve mood, increase pleasure, or reduce anxiety may result in unpleasant or fatal side effects.

Can you take Xanax with Seroquel?

Using Xanax with Seroquel may increase side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impaired thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. These medicines may interact, cause very harmful effects, and are usually not taken together.

Does Seroquel help with withdrawal?

Seroquel has also been researched as a way to help relieve symptoms of co-occurring psychiatric conditions, like mood and anxiety disorders, that can manifest themselves during opiate withdrawal. 

Does Seroquel help with alcohol withdrawal?

You should avoid drinking alcohol while taking any form of quetiapine, including Seroquel and Seroquel XR. This is because quetiapine can worsen both cognitive and motor side effects of alcohol like drowsiness and delayed reflexes.

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Sources

[1] FDA – https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2006/020639s026lbl.pdf
[2] NIH– https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=0584dda8-bc3c-48fe-1a90-79608f78e8a0
[3] NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459145/
[4] NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4716733/
[5] Risks Of Mixing Prescription Drugs With Alcohol And Effective Treatment Options (welevelup.com)