Quetiapine is a prescription anti-psychotic medication. Psychiatrists often prescribe quetiapine for bipolar disorder, a serious mental illness that causes suffers to go through severe mood shifts ranging from deep depression to mania. Using quetiapine for bipolar disorder can be a very effective treatment, especially when combined with other bipolar treatments. Some bipolar I patients may find more relief from taking quetiapine for bipolar disorder than bipolar II patients do, because the medication can be vital in managing the type of severe depression experienced more often by bipolar I sufferers.
Bipolar disorder is a complex disease. A combination of treatments is usually most effective in treating this illness. Combining psychotherapy with different classes of medications such as anti-psychotics, anti-convulsants and mood stabilizers can help patients to keep their symptoms under control. When combining other medications with taking quetiapine for bipolar disorder, patients need to strictly follow the dosage instructions provided by their doctors. A patient who skips doses of his or her medications, takes extra pills or takes other people's prescription drugs can put himself or herself at risk for a reaction or overdose.
It is important for patients to keep in mind that taking quetiapine for bipolar disorder can cause side effects. The prescribing doctor will discuss the risks and benefits with each patient. Some common side effects of taking quetiapine include weight gain, dry mouth, drowsiness, constipation and headache. If a person experiences one of the more serious side effects of quetiapine, including seizures or trouble breathing, then he or she should be taken immediately to the emergency room.
Pregnant women should not take quetiapine for bipolar disorder. This medication can sometimes cause babies to be born with birth defects. Women of childbearing age should use a contraceptive during sex and talk to their doctors about birth control pills. A woman who is taking quetiapine and wishes to become pregnant should talk to her psychiatrist about switching medications before she starts trying to conceive.
While quetiapine can be effective for bipolar disorder, it also is important for patients to practice at-home care to manager their symptoms. Patients should surround themselves with only supportive partners, family and friends. Bipolar patients should not drink alcohol, because it can lead to even deeper depression. Getting at least eight hours of sleep a night and exercising a few times a week also can benefit a bipolar patient who suffers from severe depression.