Advice on Quetiapine

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Hi

I'm 19 and was diagnosed with Bipolar at around 13. I have been on Lithium and Prozac since around 15 after trying various anti psychotics such as risperidone, olanzapine and aripiprazole (two of which caused sode effects that put me in hospital).

After 12 months of my mood being stabilised I am now in the midst of a relapse along with a bad bout of insomnia. My psychiatrist has prescribed Zopiclone to try make me sleep but is considering adding Quetiapine to my list of medications.

My question is to those who take or have taken Quetiapine about their experince of it in terms of side effects and if there were any problems in terms of interactions with other medications?

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi I was on quetiapine & sertraline. . It did make me feel quite well ..made me quite sweaty & weight gain but apart from that fine.. the only reason I came off it was the weight gain made me go very depressed..
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    • Posted

      Hi

      Was the weight gain due to it making you crave food with a lot of carbs? I had to come off Olanzapine for the same reason, I put on around 35lbs in a few weeks. I recently lost a lot of weight and would hate to gain it all back.

      Was there nothing you could do to prevent or combat the weight gain? I was at a loss with the Olanzapine

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    • Posted

      Hi yes I ate lots of biscuits ..I went really round .. felt horrible .. but I was told quetiapine is the same drug as lithium .. I shouldn't of been put on it as I have weight issues ..which will cause more depression. .he said I should be on lithium ..at least with that once iv gain weight which I would .. I could lose it again as your matablism speeds back up with lithium & doesn't with quetiapine. . So that's how I came off it to go on lithium .my doctor told me to drink at least 2 litres of water a day .. which I have done.. I put a few lbs on nothing really bad..but then I got put on mirtazapine as well & I put on 11lb in 2weeks couldn't believe my eyes.. so nw I'm not eating carbs drinking as much water possible ..Iv lost a stone in 3weeks doing this too.. doesn't stop u craving totally bt it does help
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  • Posted

    I'm on lithium & mirtazapine now

    & 7.5mg zopiclone .. I think it's the most stable iv been .. I kind of lost it at the weekend ..a build up I guess .not being able to cope but I pulled myself out of it after a few hours ..

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  • Posted

    Hi Leah,

    In the past I've only taken Olanzipine, but now I'm on 200mg of Quetiapine at night. 

    I must say I like it, but I'm not the biggest fan. I take it to help me with psychosis and anxiety that comes with my Bipolar, and it does the job just fine in that it allows me to function better during a depressive episode. 

    On the downside however, I sleep like a dead man when I take it, and I have a tendancy to eat far too much in the hour or so after I take it at night. I've put on about a stone since taking it, and the hunger can be hard to resist. The 'somnolence' can be so bad that my wife told me she accidentally caught me in the face with her elbow when I was asleep, and I didn't even flinch! For some this may be ok, but we have a 4 year old and a newborn, so life can be tough whilst taking this med. 

    It's a balancing act really. If you can deal with the side effects, Quetipine is a great medication to take, and definately does as it promises 'on the tin'. If you can't manage the side effects, try something else. I myself am going to ask my doctor to try me on Abilify, because I'm told it doesn't make you sleep for England (or wherever in the world you are writing from!!)

    Charlie

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    • Posted

      Hi Charlie

      I have been taking the Quetiapine nearly a week now on a low dose at 100ng a day as my psychiatrist requested an ECG and found my heart rate was a little too slow!

      It is definitely making me sleep the first couple days it knocked me out completely for hours. It seems to have helped the anxiety but I have become very very aggitated almost like I do when I become hypermanic, I'm not sure if thats a side effect or the bipolar.

      I also have been on Abilify I was put on it after they took me off Olanzapine. I had zero drowsiness from it, I was told its a lot better in terms of side effects, I dont think I experienced any. Sadly it just wasnt the right fit for me.

      Leah

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    • Posted

      Thanks Leah, I will speak to my psychiatrist about this on Monday.

      Keep going with Quetiapine- my side effects decreased over time to it's worth keeping at it. My doctor always says that medication is always an imprecise science, and it will not always take away ever symptom you have. Monitor your agitation and all of your side effects for your next appointment- the better records you keep, the better your treatment will be. 

      I hope it works for you and makes you feel much better!

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  • Posted

    I am taking quetiapine and it increases my appetite. I have gained weight as a result. I believe this is quite a common side effect but it has helped big time with mood. Hope you get sorted out. It's trial and error
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  • Posted

    I was prescribed quetiapine in addition to lamotrigine to stabilize me during a difficult period.  It worked wonders.  After slowly titrating up on the quetiapine dosage I stabilized at 600 mg a day.  The dosage was split into  150mg in the morning and the lion's share (450mg) in the evening.  The dosage was split this way because it was making me a walking zombie and I needed to be alert enough to hold onto my day job.  At that dosage, it also made me as fat as an elephant.  Over time, I was able to gradually titrate down the doasage to zero, and am now doing well on lamotrigine alone. 
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