Before taking quetiapine,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to quetiapine, any other medications. or any of the ingredients in quetiapine tablets or extended-release tablets. Ask your doctor or pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants; certain antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and voriconazole (Vfend); antihistamines; barbiturates such as phenobarbital; carbamazepine (Tegretol); chlorpromazine; divalproex (Depakote); certain medications for irregular heartbeat such as amiodarone (Cordarone), procainamide, quinidine, and sotalol (Betapace, Betapace AF, Sorine); dopamine agonists such as bromocriptine (Parlodel), cabergoline (Dostinex), levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa), pergolide (Permax), and ropinirole (Requip); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); gatifloxacin (Zymar, Zymaxid); levodopa (in Parcopa, in Sinemet, in Stalevo); levomethadyl acetate (Orlaam) (not available in the U.S.), medications for anxiety, high blood pressure, irritable bowel disease, mental illness, motion sickness, Parkinson's disease, ulcers, or urinary problems; medications for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) such as indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), and saquinavir (Invirase); methadone (Dolophine, Methadose); moxifloxacin (Avelox, Moxeza, Vigamox); pentamidine (Nebupent, Pentam); phenytoin (Dilantin); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); sedatives; oral steroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Deltasone); sleeping pills; thioridazine (Mellaril); tranquilizers; and ziprasidone (Geodon). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had diabetes or a prolonged QT interval (a rare heart problem that may cause irregular heartbeat, fainting, or sudden death). Also tell your doctor if you have ever used street drugs or overused prescription medications, if you have severe nausea or diarrhea, hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia, or think you may be dehydrated. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a prolonged QT interval, any condition that makes it difficult for you to swallow,trouble keeping your balance, seizures, cataracts, a low number of white blood cells in your blood, high cholesterol, high prolactin levels, high or low blood pressure, a heart attack, a stroke, breast cancer or thyroid, heart or liver disease. If you have ever had to stop taking a medication for mental illness because of severe side effects, be sure to tell your doctor.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, or if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking quetiapine, call your doctor. Quetiapine may cause problems in newborns following delivery if it is taken during the last months of pregnancy. You should not breast-feed while taking quetiapine.
if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking quetiapine.
you should know that quetiapine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery and take precautions to avoid falls until you know how this medication affects you.
you should know that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication. Do not drink alcohol while taking quetiapine.
you should know that you may experience hyperglycemia (increases in your blood sugar) while you are taking this medication, even if you do not already have diabetes. If you have schizophrenia, you are more likely to develop diabetes than people who do not have schizophrenia, and taking quetiapine or similar medications may increase this risk. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms while you are taking quetiapine: extreme thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, blurred vision, or weakness. It is very important to call your doctor as soon as you have any of these symptoms, because high blood sugar can cause a serious condition called ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis may become life-threatening if it is not treated at an early stage. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include: dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, breath that smells fruity, and decreased consciousness.
you should know that quetiapine may make it harder for your body to cool down when it gets very hot. While you are taking quetiapine, you should avoid excessive exercise, stay inside as much as possible and dress lightly in hot weather, stay out of the sun, and drink plenty of fluids.
you should know that quetiapine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking quetiapine and when your dose is increased. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
you should know that quetiapine may cause an increase in blood pressure in children and teenagers taking quetiapine. When quetiapine is used in children or teenagers, your doctor will check your blood pressure before starting treatment and regularly while you are taking this medication.
you should know that when quetiapine is used to treat schizophrenia or bipolar disorder in children, it should be used as part of a total treatment program which may include counseling and special education. Make sure to follow all of your doctor's and/or therapist's instructions.