Seroquel (Quetiapine) Side Effects

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Seroquel (quetiapine) is an atypical antipsychotic drug used in the treatment of schizophrenia and the psychotic features of other mental illnesses, and for mood disorders, including bipolar disorder.

Patients taking Seroquel should be aware of the potential side effects.

Common Side Effects

Check with your doctor if any of the following common side effects don't go away or are bothersome:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal vision
  • Constipation
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Decreased strength and energy
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling of fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Increased muscle tone
  • Increased sweating
  • Indigestion
  • Lightheadedness, or fainting, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • Stuffy or runny nose

Serious Side Effects

Along with its therapeutic effects, Seroquel can sometimes cause serious side effects. Some side effects will have symptoms that you can see or feel. Your doctor may watch for others, such as changes in the lenses of the eyes, by doing certain tests.

Tardive dyskinesia, a movement disorder, may occur and may not go away after you stop using Seroquel. This was much more common with the older antipsychotic medications, but can very rarely occur with the newer atypical agents such as Seroquel.

Signs of tardive dyskinesia include:

  • Chewing or sucking movements
  • Grimacing (making faces)
  • Lip-smacking
  • Puckering or pursing the lips
  • Rapid eye blinking
  • Tongue protrusion
  • Worm-like tongue movements

When to Seek Help

Another serious but extremely rare side effect that may occur as a result of taking Seroquel is neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).

Stop taking this medicine and get emergency help immediately if the following symptoms of NMS occur, particularly if they occur together:

  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Difficult or unusually fast breathing
  • Fast heartbeat or irregular pulse
  • High fever
  • High or low (irregular) blood pressure
  • Increased sweating
  • Severe muscle stiffness


Notify your doctor immediately if any of these symptoms of overdose occur. These symptoms may be more severe than side effects occurring at regular doses, or several symptoms may occur together:

  • Drowsiness
  • Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weakness

Other Precautions

If you're taking or plan to take Seroquel, keep in mind these precautions:

  • The FDA issued a black box warning on all antipsychotic drugs, including Seroquel, due to the increased risk of death in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.
  • Because Seroquel may cause drowsiness, don't drive or operate machinery until you know how it affects you.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or if you are breastfeeding, tell your doctor.
  • Don't ever stop Seroquel or change the amount you are taking without your doctor's approval, even if you feel better. This can lead to unwanted effects and problems managing your illness.
  • Make sure you don't miss any doses of Seroquel as this can lead to a relapse of the symptoms of your mental disorder.
  • If you use alcohol or illegal drugs, tell your doctor since these may make any side effects you experience even worse.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of fluids while on Seroquel and avoid becoming overheated. 
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3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Seroquel.

  2. Bergman H, Rathbone J, Agarwal V, Soares-Weiser K. Antipsychotic reduction and/or cessation and antipsychotics as specific treatments for tardive dyskinesia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;2:CD000459. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000459.pub3

  3. Christodoulou C, Margaritis D, Makris G, et al. Quetiapine and clarithromycin-induced neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2015;38(1):36-37. doi:10.1097/WNF.0000000000000060

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