Seroquel. Tell me how it is

A few months ago my doctor gave me a prescription to control the racing thoughts. My racing thoughts are variable. Sometimes they are “loud” but accompanied by sense of contentment and peace, and sometimes they are loud in an uncomfortable way…distracting and crazy-making. I’ve whined so much about my thoughts here, I know some people are tired of it.

And then sometimes they aren’t there at all and I forget how bad they can be. The doctor caught me on “quiet” day. So I stowed the prescription away, thinking I can cope all on my own like the tough person I am. I’ve also bound myself to a (potentially stupid) rule: Anti-psychotics are designed for people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Until someone tells me I’m schizophrenic or bipolar, I should avoid these drugs as much as I can since I’m very sensitive to the side-effects (specifically the tardives). I came up with this rule after my experience with Abilify had turned me into a hard-ass in more ways than one!

Guess how I’m feeling now? Not so hard-ass and not so not-crazy. The racing thoughts are making the dysphoria roll in (or maybe it’s the reverse?), threatening my appetite and my hedonia (yes, I just created a word). I’ve done just about everything I know to do to cheer myself up. Except take everything the doctor has prescribed me. :frowning:

My sleep has been hit or miss now, which is bad for general health. Seroquel is supposed to be great for sleep, but it’s also great for making you fat and zombied too. I guess I’m vain? I really don’t want to gain weight. I’ve never had to manage cravings before, and I can’t imagine exercising any more than I do now (3 hours/day). I also really like my energy levels. So far on my mental health journey, I’ve managed to keep my energy. Don’t want to lose it.

If I take a really low dose, like 12.5 mg/day, will I see any effect? Good or bad?

I took around 800mg a day for a while. Your dosage is so low that the side affects won’t affect you. One of the side affects is constipation. I’m still dealing with that and I have been off of the medication for one year now.

That’s why I won’t try it. So, sorry, I guess that’s not helpful at all. But I am in the same boat as you. Being a fat zombie sounds worse to me than being a depressed insomniac.

Whoa, the dosage ranges from at least 12.5mg to 800mg? That’s crazy. But anyway, while she probably wouldn’t go up to 800mg, it’s likely her doctor would raise the dose gradually. Mine always want to start super super low for almost everything with the expectation that it will probably go up quite a bit.

I know I’ve suggested this before monstro, so sorry if you are sick of me repeating myself. But if you don’t want to take an antipsychotic, and you’ve also noticed that your symptoms worsen when your estrogen drops, try to get your doc to write you a prescription for the pill. Honest to God, the side effects can’t possibly be worse than tardives and constipation, and on the plus side, you could also make it so that you only have 4 periods a year if that’s what you want.

Never been on seroquel but I’ve worked on psych units so I can give you some general impressions of the drug.
Seroquel tends to cause less tardive dyskinesia than others in its class, so that may factor into why the psychiatrist chose it if you’ve had TD before.

From what I’ve seen, many psychiatrists seem to view it as not being a particularly powerful antipsychotic. I’ve heard them express their view that it is effective more for mood stabilization as in bipolar disorder than people who have schizophrenia.
Even though these drugs are called antipsychotics, it’s worth noting that they are used ‘off-label’ quite often for other conditions, so it doesn’t really imply that you are “really crazy” or anything like that if your doc does suggest an antipsychotic would be helpful.

You should definitely monitor your weight and if you notice that you seem to be gaining an inordinate amount of weight notify your doctor.
From what I have heard, weight gain seems to occur through causing people to develop carb cravings, so if you are able to watch your diet it’s not inevitable that you’ll pack on weight. If you do find you’re putting on weight and can’t stop it, in some cases they may want to add on medication to stop the weight gain so you can still benefit from the drug.

I hallucinated like mad.

Good luck.

Estrogen won’t make this particular symptom go away, I don’t think. I’m currently at that part of my cycle where estrogen is approaching “high”, and I’ve got the noisness thing going on. Unfortunately, the “noise” seems to be disconnected from my movement issues.

When I brought my observations to my shrink, he suggested prozac instead of the pill. His thinking is that estrogen just masks the underlying problem that a drug is designed to target.

IANAD but 12.5mg would probably be as good as taking a sugar cube IMO. I’ve never seen anyone take under 50mg – nor have I ever seen someone simply take 50mg qd and that’s it (although I’m sure they’re out there). So dosage wise you really need to get with your doctor on that. What did your doc prescribe? Does your doc think giving it at try at 12.5 would be beneficial at all?

Seroquel is an antipsychotic but that’s not all it’s used for. MrPanda was in a study in 2008 where it was being tested for social anxiety disorder – I don’t know the results of the study but we definitely saw a change with him (in a good way).

It’ll knock you on your ass at first until your body gets used to it - MrPanda slept a LOT for the first couple of weeks, then he went back to normal. It sounds like that’s gonna be hard for your to deal with – BUT if you can tough it out for a week or two it may be exactly what you need. He’s significantly overweight but Seroquel didn’t make him gain, nor did it cause food cravings. One thing you do need to watch for is your blood sugar, it can sometimes cause sugars to go way up.

I tried it as a sleep aid. It works great for that purpose on me. I took only 25mg and it would send me to sleep. It probably didn’t take much because I am constantly sleep deprived. But like most sleep medications, it leaves me feeling groggy the next day. I’d rather be tired and alert.

I take 50mg/day for insomnia and anxiety, and have taken it for years with no ill effects. I do get food cravings, but they’re mostly manageable. The first week I took it I was floaty as hell, but it settled down the next week and was fine. I feel not at all zombied.

What dose did your doctor recommend?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetiapine#Dosage

Wiki seems to say that it has different effects at different levels of dosage. So if you take it at too low a dose, you might be risking getting the drowsiness without getting some of the intended therapeutic effects you’re needing?

It sounds like one where you might have to discuss with your doctor what the goals are, as it needs to be tailored to your particular needs.

Not my area of expertise, so if Im reading it wrong, happy to be corrected.

Otara

Doctor prescribed 25 mg/day. I thought, given my trepidation, that I’d start off at half of that and see if it turned me into a monster. It’s my way of having some control over the situation.

I have read about the paradoxical “low dose” effect. It makes me not want to take the drug at all, if it’s going to be that way.

Purely my opinion, but I think you’re being overly cautious. 25mg is already a very low dose. I take twice that and the effects are helpful to me but not startling. But sure, everyone is different, and you’re trying to be a careful consumer of meds. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Maybe you’re right, squeegee. It’s just that I only have one body and no one to help me get through really bad side effects. And I’ve experienced some that I’d rather not repeat.

Fair enough. Just don’t let all that scary shit on the internets drive you to paralysis, or fear trying something new with your doc. I don’t know if Seroquel will do what you need, but in my experience it’s pretty mild at the doses we’re discussing. Obviously, YMMV.

Good luck!!

I have been taking Seroquel for over 6 years. 25 mg is a very low dose, but can definitely have an effect, especially if you are specifically taking it for sleeping.

I would say it took me at least a month or two to adjust - it really made me zoned out for the first month or so. I definitely needed a full 9 or 10 hours of sleep after I took it at first, now I can do 8 hours and wake up normally. I now regard it as my #1 priority drug that I take to control my hypomania. I find it more important even than my antidepressant, although I value my daily Wellbutrin very much also.

I currently take 200 mg, at night. I am basically dependent on it for sleeping at this point. That is my only reservation about it, but I GLADLY take it every night. I have been on up to 400 mg but I have found that 200 is totally effective for me and studies have shown that dosages over 200 mg aren’t necessarily more effective for those who are using it for anything other than anti-psychosis.

12.5 mg is miniscule. I would encourage you to go for 25 mg. It seriously calms and quiets me in a normal way that no other drug has ever done. I have tried risperdal, klonopin, lamictal, depakote, abilify. Seroquel worked the best and I feel “normal” unlike the others I’ve named.

Also: racing thoughts. I used to lie in bed playing stuff over and over in my mind - embarrassing moments, horrible things that happened to me, stressing out about shit. Seroquel CURED me of that. Seriously, I used to HATE going to bed, knowing that I would relive every horrible moment of my existence. Now it doesn’t even cross my mind anymore.

This might sound dramatic but I was RX’d a anti-psychotic once for insomnia by a GP, it was TERRIBLE. I remember being outside my house by the driveway literally drooling and staring at a bush, the morning after I took it.

There was a cloud in my head that prevented thoughts from forming or being worked on, it was insanely frustrating. I wondered if it was like what dementia must feel like. A zombie, it was in no way pleasant like marijuana stoned or anything.

If you told me I would have stayed like that for life I would have preferred death, and I wasn’t and am not suicidal,

I never took it again and am shocked at the common off label use of anti-psychotics, these drugs are no joke.

I’ve posted enough in this thread, but Grude, if you cannot post the med and dosage you were using, what use is your post? Any med at some dosage can make Bad Things happen. Aspirin will kill you at some large dosage if you are determined.

It was Elavil, I don’t remember the exact dose but it was what was RX’d.

My post was simply to say that AP have side effects, and not to demonize the meds.

Seroquel did wonders for my sleep issues (25 mg). I never slept better in my entire life.

HOWEVER…

It must be me – I just don’t do well on any kind of psychotropic drug. I’m the side effect queen. On such a low dose as I was on, I not only gained weight, but I also developed tachycardia, which alarmed my doctors to the point where they took me off it. The sleepiness never abated, even after I’d been on it for a couple of months. That’s no way to live.