What is Seroquel?
This medication is used to treat certain mental/mood conditions (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, sudden episodes of mania, or depression associated with bipolar disorder). Quetiapine is known as an anti-psychotic drug (atypical type). It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain. What is Seroquel? This medication can decrease hallucinations and improve your concentration. It helps you to think more clearly and positively about yourself, feel less nervous, and take a more active part in everyday life. It may also improve your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy level. Quetiapine can help prevent severe mood swings or decrease how often mood swings occur.
After taking doses over about two days, the amount of quetiapine in the body will reach a stable, predictable level. It is important not to stop taking Seroquel suddenly because the medication will metabolize out of the body within a day. According to a report by the FDA, Seroquel has a half-life of about six hours, and it is metabolized primarily through the liver. After 12 hours, one dose of Seroquel will be almost eliminated from the body. After 1.5 days, Seroquel will be metabolized entirely out of your system.
The drug becomes bioavailable 1.5 hours after it is taken orally. Taking this medication through any other means is a form of substance abuse. Typically, less than 1 percent of the drug is excreted, meaning it is a very efficient drug when it becomes bioavailable. When Seroquel is active in the body, it can be detected through different means at different times because the body excretes it in different ways. Blood, saliva, urine, and hair tests can all indicate when a person has taken Seroquel, especially if the drug is not taken regularly as a prescription and instead abused to get high.
How long does Seroquel stay in your system? Drug Tests for Seroquel
If you take Seroquel as prescribed, you can inform a potential employer, school, or addiction treatment facility that you need this medication. It may show up on a test administered in these situations, but it is not a medication that is routinely tested for. There are some situations in which Seroquel can show up as a false positive — either as methadone or as tricyclic antidepressants — so it is important to be clear about this medication if you do take it as a prescription.
This form of drug testing is rarely used because it is considered invasive, and it can take a laboratory a few days to return the drug report. However, once Seroquel is bioavailable, it can be detected in the blood, so it may show up on a drug report within two hours. Typically, a blood test is returned within one to eight days, depending on the urgency of the test.
This is the most common form of drug testing for workplaces or schools, and it is considered the least invasive and the most accurate. About 73 percent of Seroquel can be recovered through urine samples; around 20 percent is recovered through fecal samples.
Urine testing for Seroquel can lead to a false positive for methadone because of how quetiapine breaks down in the body. Additionally, since Seroquel is a controlled substance available through prescription, it is less likely to be tested for directly, compared to opioid drugs or other substances of abuse. If you take Seroquel as a prescription, be sure to tell the company testing you for substances because you may receive a false positive for opiates.
This approach to testing does not show whether you have taken Seroquel recently. Instead, it will show any substances, including alcohol, marijuana, opioid painkillers, or stimulants that you have taken in the past three months. As your hair grows, the chemicals that have built up in your system will be excreted through the root system, and they can show up in strands of hair almost like rings on a tree.
If you do not have a prescription for Seroquel and take it as a form of substance abuse, finding a detox program with a rehabilitation program that understands how to manage this addiction will help you overcome cravings and compulsive behaviors around the drug.
Addiction treatment programs regularly test clients to ensure they have not relapsed and returned to substance abuse. Since Seroquel shows up as a false positive for other drugs in certain scenarios, you should work with a detox program that understands how to test for this substance specifically. You may end up taking blood tests rather than urine tests, for example.
How to use Seroquel
Read the Medication Guide and, if available, the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using quetiapine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 or 3 times daily with or without food. For the treatment of depression associated with bipolar disorder, take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily at bedtime.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as trouble sleeping, nausea, headache, diarrhea, irritability. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased to reduce side effects. Report any new or worsening symptoms right away.
Seroquel side effects
Constipation, drowsiness, upset stomach, tiredness, weight gain, blurred vision, or dry mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor promptly. Dizziness or lightheadedness may occur, especially when you first start or increase your dose of this drug. Dizziness and lightheadedness can increase the risk of falling. Get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- Restlessness/constant need to move
- Shakiness (tremor)
- Mental/mood changes (such as increased anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Constipation with persistent abdominal pain
- Interrupted breathing during sleep
- Trouble urinating
- Persistent nausea/vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Yellowing eyes/skin
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including fainting, seizure, severe dizziness. This medication may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
This drug may also cause significant weight gain and a rise in your blood cholesterol (or triglyceride) levels. These effects, along with diabetes, may increase your risk of developing heart disease. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor. (See also Notes section.) Quetiapine may rarely cause a condition known as tardive dyskinesia. In some cases, this condition may be permanent. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any unusual/uncontrolled movements (especially of the face, lips, mouth, tongue, arms, or legs).
This medication may rarely cause a very serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, muscle stiffness/pain/tenderness/weakness, severe tiredness, severe confusion, sweating, fast/irregular heartbeat, dark urine, signs of kidney problems (such as a change in the amount of urine).
Quetiapine may increase a certain natural substance (prolactin) made by your body. For females, this increase in prolactin may result in unwanted breast milk, missed/stopped periods, or difficulty becoming pregnant. For males, it may result in decreased sexual ability, inability to produce sperm, or enlarged breasts. If you develop any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away. Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including fever, swollen lymph nodes, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
If you are working with a detox program and want to eliminate Seroquel from your body a little faster, ask about incorporating these steps safely through your program:
- Take vitamin supplements that include CYP3A4 enzymes, which improve liver function and eliminate drugs faster.
- Make sure you have stopped any Seroquel ingestion, as long as a doctor is not in the process of tapering this medication.
- Follow your detox program’s instructions to stay safe and healthy.
- Exercise regularly to improve your metabolism and overall health.
- Eat more acidic foods, like fruits, or drink more acidic fruit juice, as acidic urine helps to eliminate drugs faster.
- Stay hydrated, which improves overall health.
Long-Term Treatment for Seroquel Addiction
If you are struggling with what feels like problematic use of Seroquel or another medication, you should know that many rehabilitation and supervised detoxification facilities like We Level Up California accept patients who are withdrawing from prescribed medication.
There is increasing recognition that misuse of prescribed drugs is just as debilitating as the use of illicit drugs. Some facilities also help offer emotional and medical support for those who are biologically dependent on Seroquel and wish to safely come off of it.
Reclaim Your Life From Seroquel Addiction
Seroquel addiction is a condition that can cause major health, social and economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up California can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from addiction with professional and safe detox. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.
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