As one of many antipsychotic treatment medications on the market, Seroquel – also known by its generic name, quetiapine – works well at treating conditions involving bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and major depression. As an atypical dibenzodiazepine class drug, Seroquel helps in alleviating many symptoms that other antipsychotic medications don’t address, according to the University of Texas Health Science Center.

Antipsychotic drugs as a whole are known to produce withdrawal effects when scheduled doses are missed or when stopping drug use. Like most all antipsychotics, Seroquel withdrawal symptoms can impair a person’s physical and psychological well-being.

Seroquel withdrawal symptoms result from the drug’s ability to interfere with fundamental chemical processes in the brain. The severity of symptoms can vary depending on –

  • The dosage amount taken
  • The length of time on the drug
  • Tapering versus going “cold turkey”
  • Individual physiological make-up

In effect, the longer a person takes the drug the more severe Seroquel withdrawal symptoms tend to be. Here are five of the most common Seroquel withdrawal symptoms to watch out for –


1. Emotional Instability

Seroquel exerts its effects on dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitter production within the brain. These two chemicals play a central role in regulating a person’s emotional stability.

Seroquel reduces dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, a process that soon throws off the brain’s chemical balance when used for long periods of time. As a result, a person will likely experience emotional problems during withdrawal, some of which include –

  • Depression
  • Bouts of extreme anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Thoughts of suicide

2. Insomnia

Seroquel’s effects are known for their ability to offset sleep cycles long after a person stops taking the drug. This Seroquel withdrawal symptom may take the form of changes in a person’s overall sleep pattern in terms of duration of sleep and soundness or quality of rest. Oftentimes, sleep problems result from the symptoms of anxiety that develop during Seroquel withdrawal.

3. Hypersensitivity

Seroquel produces a sedative effect for most people, so stopping the drug can be an overall shock to the brain’s ability to regulate sensory perceptions and cognitive functions in general. As one of the most common Seroquel withdrawal symptoms, a person will likely enter into a state of hypersensitivity when coming off the drug. In effect, hypersensitivity causes sights and sound to come across as more intense than they normally would.

4. Psychosis

seroquel dependence

Psychosis is a potential withdrawal effect from seroquel.

In cases where a person has been taking this drug for a long period of time, Seroquel withdrawal symptoms may take the form of psychotic-like behaviors. With long-term use, brain chemical imbalances undergo considerable change, which makes a person more susceptible to developing psychosis.

Symptoms may include –

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Aggressive-type behaviors
  • Mentally detached from reality

5. Worsening of Symptoms

Whether taking Seroquel as a treatment for schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder, discontinuing this drug can bring on even worse symptoms than a person had before starting treatment. This set of Seroquel withdrawal symptoms can be especially distressing making it all but impossible for a person to manage everyday life.

Symptoms may take the form of –

  • Panic attacks
  • Extremely aggressive behaviors
  • Paranoia
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Suicidal tendencies

As Seroquel withdrawal symptoms can make a person a danger to him or herself as well as others, a person should not discontinue this medication without first consulting a physician.

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Seroquel Addiction Support Hotlines

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