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40 seroquel side effects

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seroquel cropped

I advocate against the inappropriate use of antipsychotics in treating people who live with dementia because I have seen first hand the devastating impact these drugs can have.

Sadly, many dementia care partners (including myself) have been forced to turn to medication out of desperation. In order to be be able to make an informed decision, it’s important to know the side effects of the medication in question.

Antipsychotics queitapine (Seroquel) and risperidone (Risperdal) carry a black box warning because both of them increase the risk of mortality in elderly patients with dementia. Furthermore, recent research shows these medications are largely ineffective in treating behavioural expressions in people who live with dementia.

Geriatricians worldwide recommend against their use, saying they should only be given a last resort after all non-pharmacological strategies have been tried. Unfortunately, too many people who live with dementia are still prescribed these drugs which are in the majority of cases both ineffective as well as harmful.

Here are some of the side effect of quetiapine, which is marketed under the brand name Seroquel:

  1. seizures
  2. orthostatic hypotension
  3. hypothyroidism
  4. tardive dyskinesia
  5. neuroleptic malignant syndrome
  6. high blood cholesterol
  7. high triglycerides levels
  8. sedation
  9. stiff/rigid muscles
  10. high fever
  11. sweating
  12. confusion
  13. fast or uneven heartbeats
  14. tremors
  15. jerky muscle movements
  16. trouble swallowing
  17. problems with speech
  18. restless muscle movements in the eyes, tongue, jaw, neck, arms, or legs
  19. mask-like appearance of the face
  20. blurred vision
  21. eye pain
  22. increased thirst and urination
  23. chills
  24. body aches
  25. flu symptoms
  26. white patches or sores in mouth or on lips
  27. headache
  28. agitation
  29. dizziness
  30. drowsiness
  31. tiredness
  32. increased appetite
  33. weight gain
  34. stomach pain or upset
  35. nausea
  36. vomiting
  37. constipation
  38. dry mouth
  39. sore throat
  40. breast swelling or discharge

Giving quetiapine (Seroquel) to people who live with dementia and who may be unable to report the side effects they are experiencing is cruel and in many cases completely unnecessary. Read more about why drugs like quetiapine are still inappropriately prescribed to elderly people who live with dementia.

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7 Comments

  1. Every aspect of my husbands life at end stage Parkinson’s was filled with hallucinations.
    Seroquel was the only release with none of the side effects experienced. He became more lucid, more able to verbalize his feelings and was relieved at the absence of the hallucinations.

    • That’s great news Judy, and I’m glad the medication worked for your husband. There are some people for whom these kinds of medications are a godsend. For many others they are devastating.

  2. Marilyn Brewer on

    My husband is on both and the difference in his and my quality of life was like night and day. I would NOT have him taken off of them and go back to the way we were living.

  3. I am so pleased that all medical professionals I have come into contact with have had reservations against prescribing these drugs. I was offered them for both Mum and John but was also told why the would recommend following this path. Neither of them has ever had any of these drugs. I did say that I was not keen on any medication that would interfere with their quality of life.

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