Seroquel and anxiety

Can Seroquel be used for anxiety?

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According to the Astra Zeneca website, Seroquel ( Quetiapine ) and Seroquel XR( extended release) are approved for several conditions.Just because something is not “approved”, however, does not mean that it can’t be prescribed by a
physician, off label. The answer to can Seroquel be used for anxiety, is therefore yes.

Seroquel XR is approved for:

(1)Added to an antidepressant when a client with Major depressive disorder is not fully responsive (2) Treatment for acute depressive episodes in bipolar disorder (3) Treatment for acute manic or mixed episodes in bipolar disorder alone
or with lithium or divalproex; (4) Long-term treatment of bipolar disorder with lithium or divalproex (5) Schizophrenia in adults and teens 13-17

Seroquel is approved for:

(1) Acute depressive episodes in bipolar disorder in adults (2) Acute manic episodes in bipolar disorder in adults when used alone or with lithium or divalproex (3) Acute manic episodes in bipolar disorder in children and adolescents
ages 10 to 17 years (4) Long-term treatment of bipolar disorder in adults with lithium or divalproex (5) Schizophrenia in adults and (6) Schizophrenia in adolescents ages 13-17 years.

Can seroquel be used for anxiety? What is off label prescribing

What is off label? Off label means just that, the doctor is prescribing a drug for a purpose not listed on the label. It is legal and fairly common, but the practice is not without controversy. The FDA allows this and the drug companies
like it. The question is, if the FDA does not approve it, and doctors are prescribing it, who is really regulating the safe use of these drugs?

Can seroquel be used for anxiety in bipolar disorder?

Seroquel or quetiapine (seroquel) is approved in the US for use as monotherapy in both bipolar mania and depression. Monotherapy means treatment with one drug. For this reasons psychiatrists may prefer this choice.

Research shows 300 mg/day is effective in the treatment of patients with bipolar I or II depression. Research shows fairly quick improvements in symptoms of depression and anxiety ( in the context of this illness) , as well as general
reported improvement in enjoyment of life.

Many physicians will also choose seroquel when treating bipolar disorder, because, unlike other medications, it is unlikely to cause mania, a problem for many medications. seroquel is “ approved” for these uses.

Astra Zeneca Problems

Can seroquel be used to treat anxiety in other disorders? Off label, seroquel used to treat anxiety. It has been used with soldiers suffering from PTSD, somewhat controversially for about a decade. Some studies have also suggested that
seroquel can be used to treat generalized anxiety. Doctors frequently will prescribe seroquel off label for sleep and for clients who have other diagnoses that have a component of anxiety, like bipolar disorder. Many of my adult and
child clients report that seroquel and seroquel XR assist with their anxiety symptoms.

Seroquel is the fifth best-selling drug in the US and one of the VA’s top expenditures. After the 2008 death of Andrew White ,a 23 year old army corporal, prescribed high doses of seroquel and other drugs to help with his PTSD, this
drug came under more scrutiny. Military families are quite concerned about the use of this drug , which is the VA’s second most favorite to prescribe.

Astra Zeneca has come under fire for these and other issues and personal law suits have been settled. Seroquel can have a slew of side effects, as the Astra Zeneca website attests to . That risk must be weighed against the research, the
severity of the symptoms and the response of the symptoms to other forms of treatment.

I have seen seroquel help many of my children with bipolar disorder and mood disorder. However, I have also seen it cause side effects. Seroquel is always prescribed off label for children.

The question can seroquel be used for anxiety is easily answered yes. But should it be? Outside of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, anxiety is fairly easy to treat. Generalized anxiety disorder, for example, is often treated with
psychotherapy successfully and in combination with an antidepressant if necessary.

In this instance for example, why would a person want to take an antipsychotic with serious side effects? The choice to use seroquel involves a careful discussion with a psychiatrist and understanding of what other treatment options are


Astra Zeneca. (2010). Seroquel XR. Retrieved December 16, 2010, from Seroquel XR:

Astra Zeneca. ( 2010) Seroquel facts. Retrieved December 16th,2010 from Seroquel.

Gordon, G. (2010, September 1). Veterans PTSD Families Question Seroquel, Settlement Announced. Retrieved December 16, 2010, from Lawyers and

Keating, G., & Robinson, D. (2007). Quetiapine: A Review of its Use in the Treatment of Bipolar Depression. Drugs, 67(7), 1077. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

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