What is Quetiapine?
This drug is known as an anti-psychotic drug that is used to treat mental/mood conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, sudden episodes of depression that is associated with bipolar disorder.
How does Quetiapine work?
Quetiapine works in the brain, where it affects various neurotransmitters, in particular serotonin (5HT) and dopamine. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are stored in nerve cells and are involved in transmitting messages between the nerve cells. Dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters known to be involved in regulating mood, behaviour, thinking and perception, among other things.
Psychotic illness appears to be caused by disturbances in the activity of neurotransmitters (mainly dopamine) in the brain. Schizophrenia is known to be associated with an over activity of dopamine in the brain, and this is seen to be responsible for the delusions and hallucinations.
Quetiapine works by blocking the receptors in the brain that dopamine acts on. This prevents the excessive activity of dopamine and helps to control symptoms of schizophrenia and manic depression.
This drug improves symptoms such as hallucinations and disturbed thoughts, feeling depressed, anxiety, agitation, hostility or unusually excited, having a lack of emotion or becoming withdrawn.
What are the side effects of taking this drug?
Side effects of this drug may include:
- Mood or behavior changes,
- Stomach pain,
- Upset stomach,
- Trouble sleeping,
- Dry mouth,
- Sore throat,
- Breast swelling or discharge,
- Missed menstrual periods,
- Increased appetite, or weight gain.