Why is quetiapine high risk?

Quetiapine is considered a high-risk medication because it can cause a range of side effects, some of which can be serious or potentially life-threatening. Some of the most common side effects of quetiapine include drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired coordination, which can interfere with daily activities and increase the risk of falls and accidents.

In addition, quetiapine can cause other side effects, such as:

  • Weight gain and metabolic changes, which can increase the risk of developing diabetes and other health problems
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure), which can cause dizziness and fainting
  • Extrapyramidal symptoms, such as tremors, muscle stiffness, and involuntary movements
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a rare but potentially life-threatening reaction that can cause fever, muscle rigidity, and other symptoms
  • Tardive dyskinesia, a movement disorder that can develop after long-term use of antipsychotic medications

Quetiapine can also have interactions with other medications and medical conditions, which can increase the risk of side effects and other complications.

It is important to use quetiapine only under the guidance of a healthcare provider, who can help determine the appropriate dosage and monitor for potential side effects and interactions.

There are various forms of drugs available, such as tablets or liquids, and each may have a separate patient information leaflet (PIL) for different doses. It is important to refer to the PIL for the specific form and dose of the drug that you have been prescribed.

You can search for further information and PILs on websites such as:

  • The British National Formulary (BNF)
  • Electronic medicines compendium (emc)
  • The National Library of Medicine's DailyMed
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
  • Different drug forms like tablets or liquids have specific patient information leaflets (PIL) for various doses. Refer to the PIL for your prescribed drug form and dose.

    Search for PILs on websites like:


    • ANSM (Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé): ansm.sante.fr


    • AEMPS (Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios): aemps.gob.es


    • BfArM (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte): bfarm.de


    For questions about your medication:

    • Consult your doctor, a healthcare professional, or a pharmacist


    • Contact SOS Médecins: 3624
    • For mental health support, contact SOS Suicide: 01 45 39 40 00

    Belgium (French)

    Switzerland (French)

    • La Main Tendue: 143
    • Website: 143.ch

    Canada (French)

    • Centre de prévention du suicide du Québec: 1 866 APPELLE (1 866 277-3553)
    • Website: cpsquebec.ca


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Teléfono de la Esperanza: 717 003 717


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Telefonseelsorge: 0800 111 0 111 or 0800 111 0 222


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Telefono Amico: 199 284 284


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact 113 Zelfmoordpreventie: 0800 0113


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Sos Voz Amiga: 21 354 45 45, 91 280 26 69, or 96 352 46 60

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