Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lexicon of Madness -- Quetiapine

Quetiapine: An antipsychotic medication sold under the brand name Seroquel. Quetapine is approved for use in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is a dopamine, serotonin, and adrenergic antagonist. Because of its sedating effects, it is sometimes prescribed for people with insomnia (at low doses, Seroquel functions as an antihistamine). It is also sometimes used, inappropriately, to manage the behaviors of delinquent children and agitated dementia patients. In 2010, AstraZeneca, the maker of the drug, agreed to pay $520 million to settle claims of inappropriate, aggressive "off-label" marketing of Seroquel. Somnolence (drowsiness) is one of the most common side effects, as is weight gain. Quetapine was approved by the FDA in 1997 and is considered an atypical antipsychotic. Compared to traditional antipsychotics (e.g., Thorazine, Haldol), atypicals appear less likely to cause serious side effects such as tardive dyskinesia (3.9% versus 5.5%). In clinical trials, however, patients discontinue use of atypicals at about the same rates as traditional antipsychotics. Despite initial hopes, atypical antipsychotics do not appear any more effective than traditional antipsychotics at reducing the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

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