"Jan. 7, 2011 -- Many people taking powerful psychiatric medications that increase their risk of weight gain and diabetes are prescribed those drugs when there's little evidence that they will get any benefit from them, a new study shows.
INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSIS
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Analyses of seventeen placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks) largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10-week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug-treated patients was about 4.5%, compared to a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. The extent to which the findings of increased mortality in observational studies may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to some characteristic(s) of the patients is not clear. SEROQUEL XR is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
SUICIDALITY AND ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS
Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of SEROQUEL XR or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. SEROQUEL XR is not approved for use in pediatric patients [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
SEROQUEL XR (quetiapine fumarate) is a psychotropic agent belonging to a chemical class, the dibenzothiazepine derivatives. The chemical designation is 2-[2-(4-dibenzo [b,f] [1,4]thiazepin-11-yl-1piperazinyl)ethoxy]-ethanol fumarate (2:1) (salt). It is present in tablets as the fumarate salt. All doses and tablet strengths are expressed as milligrams of base, not as fumarate salt. Its molecular formula is C42H50N6O4S2•C4H4O4 and it has a molecular weight of 883.11 (fumarate salt). The structural formula is:
Quetiapine fumarate is a white to off-white crystalline powder which is moderately soluble in water.
SEROQUEL XR is supplied for oral administration as 50 mg (peach), 150 mg (white), 200 mg (yellow), 300 mg (pale yellow), and 400 mg (white). All tablets are capsule shaped and film coated.
Inactive ingredients for SEROQUEL XR are lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium citrate, hypromellose, and magnesium stearate. The film coating for all SEROQUEL XR tablets contain hypromellose, polyethylene glycol 400 and titanium dioxide. In addition, yellow iron oxide (50, 200 and 300 mg tablets) and red iron oxide (50 mg tablets) are included in the film coating of specific strengths.
Each 50 mg tablet contains 58 mg of quetiapine fumarate equivalent to 50 mg quetiapine. Each 150 mg tablet contains 173 mg of quetiapine fumarate equivalent to 150 mg quetiapine. Each 200 mg tablet contains 230 mg of quetiapine fumarate equivalent to 200 mg quetiapine. Each 300 mg tablet contains 345 mg of quetiapine fumarate equivalent to 300 mg quetiapine. Each 400 mg tablet contains 461 mg of quetiapine fumarate equivalent to 400 mg quetiapine.
What are the possible side effects of quetiapine (Seroquel, Seroquel XR)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.
Stop using quetiapine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side...
What are the precautions when taking quetiapine fumarate extended-release tablets (Seroquel XR)?
Before taking quetiapine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: eye cataracts, liver disease, low white blood cell count (including history of low white blood cell count caused by medications), seizure disorder, trouble swallowing, thyroid problems, stomach/intestinal blockage (such as severe constipation, bowel obstruction), stomach/intestines that are not moving (such as ileus).
Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if either you or a family member has a history of the following:...
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/24/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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