What Is Seroquel?

Seroquel is the brand name of a generic drug called quetiapine fumarate. Seroquel is a psychotropic prescription drug used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is considered an atypical antidepressant and is also used to treat major depressive disorder in some cases.

Seroquel has common side effects that include drowsiness, constipation and weight gain. Other possible side effects of Seroquel can include low blood pressure, high blood sugar and abnormal heart rhythm. For older individuals with dementia, Seroquel can be dangerous or deadly. Seroquel is believed to work by blocking certain receptors, including dopamine and serotonin. Overall, Seroquel is thought to have less risk of serious adverse side effects as compared to many other antipsychotics.

Seroquel does have the potential to lead to physical dependence. When patients are prescribed this medication, they’re advised to gradually taper down their dosage to avoid acute withdrawal syndrome. Seroquel does affect the central nervous system, including the serotonin and dopamine receptor sites, which is why it’s believed to cause withdrawal if someone tries to stop using it suddenly. Some antipsychotic withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, tachycardia, headache and anxiety.

Opiate Withdrawal

Opiates and opioids have a significant impact on the central nervous system of the person using them, affecting certain neurotransmitters in the brain, like dopamine. When someone uses opiates even for a short time, they may become physically dependent on them. Opioid withdrawal can occur even in people who aren’t psychologically addicted.

While it’s not usually deadly, opiate withdrawal can be difficult to go through. Early symptoms of opiate withdrawal can begin just a few hours after the last dose of a fast-acting substance like heroin is used. Initial opiate withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, muscle aches and pains and sweating. Later stages of opiate withdrawal include symptoms like anxiety and depression, sleep disturbances, abdominal cramping and gastrointestinal issues.

Certain medications can be given to patients, including prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs, during withdrawal. The objective of most medications used during opiate withdrawal is to increase comfort and alleviate physical and psychological symptoms. As an example, buprenorphine/naloxone is a drug often given to patients during opiate detox. Buprenorphine/naloxone can reduce drug cravings while minimizing physical withdrawal symptoms. So, what about Seroquel for opiate withdrawal?

Seroquel for Opiate Withdrawal

Some of the reasons the use of Seroquel for opiate withdrawal has been explored include its sedative properties. Insomnia is a major symptom of opiate withdrawal. Seroquel may help with this. Seroquel has also been researched as a way to help relieve symptoms of co-occurring psychiatric conditions, like mood and anxiety disorders, that can manifest themselves during opiate withdrawal. Some evidence points to the idea that Seroquel can also reduce cravings.

While there are possible benefits of using Seroquel for opiate withdrawal, this medication comes with its own set of risks. One of the biggest risks of Seroquel for opiate withdrawal is physical dependence. There are other considerations physicians will keep in mind as they’re creating a detox plan for opiate-dependent patients. It’s important not to try and self-medicate through opiate detox because it can be dangerous or deadly.

If you’re struggling with opiate dependence, we encourage you to call or contact us. The Recovery Village offers full treatment programs, beginning with medically-supervised detox.

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Editor – Megan Hull
Megan Hull is a content specialist who edits, writes and ideates content to help people find recovery. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more
Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.