Quetiapine is a medication administered to individuals been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe depression. Common quetiapine side effects include gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, headaches, or flu-like symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pains, and sore throat. Women prescribed the medication may find their menstrual cycle disrupted or tenderness in the breasts.
Not all quetiapine side effects develop when the individual first starts taking the medication. For the first three months, side effects may come and go as the body adjusts to the medication. Some of the most severe side effects that can develop in this period are thoughts of suicide, severe depression, aggressive behavior, and panic attacks.
Common quetiapine side effects that can come and go throughout treatment with the medication include headaches, vision problems, and cold symptoms such as a sore throat and congestion. Fatigue and difficulty concentrating or performing tasks that require the use of fine motor skills are also common, along with problems speaking or forming words correctly. Gastrointestinal effects like constipation, stomach pains, and vomiting are also common, and an individual may also show an increase in appetite and related weight gain.
Quetiapine interferes with the way the brain functions in order to lessen symptoms of the mental illness. Some individuals may develop mental side effects other than the correction of the diagnosed condition. This can include unexplained irritability, confusion, and feelings of impulsiveness or a desire for irrational behavior. These symptoms can be made worse by other conditions, and the medication is generally not recommended for patients diagnosed with age-related dementia. One of the side effects is also increased blood pressure, which will typically be regulated by a medical professional to help prevent the development of other potentially dangerous health problems.
Severe quetiapine side effects that should immediately be reported to a medical professional include a loss of consciousness or the development of signs of an allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, rashes, or blisters. A racing heart, involuntary muscle movements, or spasms, a loss of feeling in the extremities or on one side of the body, and the appearance of white spots in and around the mouth are also signs of a severe reaction. The development of flu-like symptoms can also be potentially dangerous, including body aches, chills, fever, muscle aches, sweating, and joint pain. Urinary function may also be impacted, and an individual may experience pain when urinating or an inability to urinate.