Quetiapine for Sleep

Quetiapine for Sleep

Quetiapine is an atypical antipsychotic medication developed and promoted by the business AstraZeneca. It is made use of for the treatment of serious psychiatric conditions, mostly schizophrenia. 

Approximated sales for Quetiapine are over $1 billion, and progressively increasing. In addition to treating various types of schizophrenia, the drug is also frequently recommended for bipolar affective disorder and as an enhancement technique for major depression. In recent years, there has been a significant uptick in the number of Quetiapine prescriptions for sleeping disorders.

Although Quetiapine might be helpful for some cases of sleeping disorders, there are considerable dangers related to using an antipsychotic instead of a basic hypnotic or even an antidepressant. Lots of doctors fast to dole out Quetiapine and needs to be questioned for such prescriptions due to that Quetiapine has actually not been officially approved by the FDA for treating insomnia. Furthermore, many patients taking Quetiapine for their inability to sleep might be uninformed of the possible risk– especially over the long-term.

Quetiapine For Sleep: A Risky Off-Label Treatment

Those taking Quetiapine for sleeping disorders are normally recommended low dosages to obtain the antihistamine result. Low dosages of the drug block both histamine receptors and Alpha-1 adrenergic receptors. The drug is distinct because when taken at moderate doses, Quetiapine stimulates the adrenergic system and targets serotonin receptors. At higher dosages, the drug inhibits dopamine receptors and elicits an antipsychotic effect.Quetiapine for Sleep

While it has actually been argued that taking Quetiapine at a low dose might be useful to treat insomnia, there are various threats associated with long-term treatment. The drug impacts the neurotransmission of dopamine, serotonin, and histamine–most likely in many manner ins which still remain unknown. If you are presently taking Quetiapine for sleeping disorders or are considering it, beware of the potential threats and benefits.

Potential Benefits of Quetiapine for Insomnia

Below is a list of potential benefits related to using Quetiapine for sleeping disorders. Understand that these benefits are limited and do not use to everyone.

Cost: Generic versions of Quetiapine (Seroquel) are available, implying you can get it for relatively inexpensive, particularly at a low dose. As the dosage increases, the tablets have the tendency to cost more, but for one of the most part, this medication is inexpensive. In some cases, the lower cost might be attractive or favorable to brand-name sleeping tablets.

Reliable: When taken at low dosages, the drug elicits an antihistamine result, which results in drowsiness. This indicates when taken prior to bed, it can speed up the shift in between wakefulness and sleep. The drug may make it much easier to tone down stimulation due to stress or excess activation of the understanding nervous system. Although it isn’t an efficient alternative for everybody, there are a substantial number of anecdotal experiences highlighting its effectiveness. It could be hypothesized that Quetiapine works better for particular types of sleeping disorders over others.

Low dose: Any drug made use of for the treatment of insomnia must be taken at the minimal reliable dose. Taking excess quantities of the drug might lead to tolerance, and when it comes to Quetiapine, might elicit additional unwanted antipsychotic impacts. The fact that only a low dosage is needed is a plus because it may not produce as numerous neurochemical changes, resulting in fewer side effects and an easier withdrawal.

Sleep improvement: In addition to assisting people drop off to sleep or stay asleep throughout the night, Quetiapine might really boost sleep quality. In other words, getting 8 hours of sleep with the drug may be more restful and corrective than a broken sleep or less deep sleep without the drug. The sleep enhancement capacity of the drug is attracting lots of who feel as if their sleep quality is suboptimal.

Temporary: Most sources suggest that using Quetiapine for sleeping disorders need to be temporary. Presuming patients and doctors follow its usage only for a brief, temporary term, it needs to be fairly safe. Although it may be fairly dangerous in regards to side effect profile, a low dose on a temporary basis is considered reasonable by numerous medical professionals and psychiatrists when used for insomnia.

Treat multiple conditions: Another appealing aspect of Quetiapine is that it can be used to essentially “eliminate 2 birds with 1 stone.” For that reason if someone has schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, or depression with comorbid sleeping disorders, it may work for both conditions. The perfect usage would be to treat schizophrenia with comorbid insomnia, however lots of have likewise discovered that it can work well for depression.

pills quetiapina (1)Possible Drawbacks of Quetiapine for Insomnia

It is important to completely comprehend the threats related to using a potent antipsychotic drug, especially for a less serious psychiatric condition like sleeping disorders. Although medication might be needed for sleeping disorders if natural interventions remain ineffective, standard hypnotics must be thought about as a first-line treatment, whereas Quetiapine should be a last-line option.

Better, proven treatments: Unless a person has a comorbid serious mental illness like schizophrenia, Quetiapine shouldn’t be considered as a treatment for sleeping disorders. There are substantially better, more tested choices than using an antipsychotic to enhance sleep. Examples of drugs that sleep professionals would advise include: Z-drugs (Ambien, Lunesta, Rozerem), antidepressants (e.g. Trazodone for sleeping disorders), and benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin).

If a person has actually gone through the ringer of sleeping tablets, and they are all found inadequate, only then should a drug like Quetiapine be considered. While benzodiazepines are linked to dementia, different antidepressants are thought about safer options than antipsychotics. Additionally, none of these drugs are indicated to be taken over the long-term.

Brain volume loss: There is significant proof that taking antipsychotics can result in loss of brain volume. This implies that not just could you be killing brain cells using Quetiapine for sleeping disorders. Research in both animals and human beings has actually established that antipsychotic usage is connected with decreased volume of both grey matter and white matter.

Reliance: While makers of the drug and psychiatrists may not admit it, many people end up being dependent upon Quetiapine for functioning. If you’re taking it for insomnia, you may depend on it as a method to go to sleep. Simply puts, individuals like that the drug is working so well, that they never try any natural remedies for insomnia such as deep breathing, relaxation techniques, or avoiding caffeine. Must they ever stop integrating the drug in their routine, they might feel as if they can not work.

Drowsiness: The sleepiness experienced from the drug may be useful when it pertains to going to sleep, however might hinder your capability to work the next day. You might discover that you experience frustrating brain fog or cannot think also throughout your workday. In addition, you might be risk to others if you decided to own (or operate heavy equipment) while in this state of drowsiness.

Absence of evidence: There is little proof to suggest that low dose Quetiapine is an effective treatment for insomnia. Regardless of the drug’s understanding of being a reliable treatment for sleeping disorders, there is minimal evidence in support of these claims. Most studies analyzing its capability to treat insomnia were short-term and consisted of small sample sizes.

Long-lasting effects: It has been advised that Quetiapine should not be used for longer than 30 days (even at a low dosage) for the specific purpose of treating sleeping disorders. Using Quetiapine even for a moderate term might result in some sort of dependence and/or neurochemical modifications that may lead to a challenging withdrawal. Long-term usage is associated with increasing doses as a result of tolerance and ultimately more powerful side effects (e.g. brain volume loss).

Sleepiness: In addition to feeling sleepy and experiencing significant brain fog, you might become sluggish. It may be hard to look after yourself, rise in the morning, or perhaps think about workout. This lethargy can accumulate over time, changing someone who was formerly active into a significant couch potato.

Safety concerns: Research suggests that regardless of Quetiapine’s anecdotal effectiveness for treating insomnia, there countless safety issues. These safety issues are mostly a result of reported adverse reactions (even at a low dosage) including: liver damage, restless leg syndrome, and akathisia. Lot of times these safety concerns aren’t discussed between patient and doctor, leaving the patient to stay unaware.

Side effects: Due to that this is a powerful antipsychotic, you’re likely going to experience some side effects, even when taken at a low dose. The side effects could include: dry mouth, dizziness, sore throat, and stomach pain. It is important to completely comprehend the drug’s side effect profile before using it to treat insomnia; the side effects might exceed the benefit.

Weight gain: Want to experience quick weight gain? Try taking Quetiapine. There is substantial evidence linking Quetiapine and weight gain. Although taking a low dose for sleeping disorders will not result in as much extra “baggage” as taking high dosages for schizophrenia, it might ramp up your yearnings for food– especially at night. If you find yourself raiding the refrigerator regularly, it’s most likely the medication.

Withdrawal: Taking low dosages of the drug for the purpose of treating sleeping disorders can still result in discontinuation results. The Seroquel withdrawal symptoms are frequently considered hard to deal with, and include both queasiness and insomnia. The paradox is that your insomnia during withdrawal might be even worse than prior to your first dose of the drug.

This is due to the fact that your brain had actually ended up being reliant on the drug and not manufactured endogenous hormones and neurotransmitters to facilitate sleep. Although low dose withdrawal may not be as bad as greater dose withdrawal, if you were taking the drug for a long-term, the withdrawal period may last longer than you ‘d expect (e.g. weeks or months).

Does the evidence validate using Quetiapine for sleeping disorders?

Quetiapine has actually been studied for the treatment of sleeping disorders in very few studies. There are a couple randomized, controlled trials that examined Quetiapine’s ability to treat sleeping disorders among individuals devoid of psychiatric or medical conditions. The 2004 study analyzed how individuals without sleeping disorders would react to Quetiapine in regards to sleep.

This research study consisted of 14 participants (all males) with a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled set-up. Either a placebo or Seroquel (at 25 mg or 100 mg) were offered on 3 successive nights to determine how individuals would react. Sleep-related surveys were administered the following early morning. Bedtime, performance, and latency were all recorded by scientists.

Those taking the 100 mg dose experienced leg movements and reduced REM stage sleep. Scientist slightly concluded that Seroquel might enhance sleep and/or customize sleep structure. The 2010 research study analyzed how 25 individuals with primary insomnia would respond to Quetiapine as a treatment.

Arise from the research study exposed that those taking 25 mg of Quetiapine increased their TST (total sleep time) and reduced their SL (sleep latency). In other words, people slept longer and dropped off to sleep quicker when they took Quetiapine. However, these changes in total bedtime and sleep latency times were not statistically substantial.

Though there is some proof to recommend that Quetiapine might enhance the sleep of some individuals, there is minimal research supporting this concept. Some medical professionals turn to prescribing the drug just to prevent reaching limits for prescriptions of sedative representatives and/or as a tricky method to bypass Medicaid managed care strategy authorization requirements. Not only exists no significant evidence to support the use of Quetiapine for sleep, it is a dangerous choice in regards to side effects and unfavorable reactions.

Risk-Benefit Ratio of Quetiapine for Sleep

If you intend on using Quetiapine to treat your sleeping disorders, it is important to evaluate the prospective risks and advantages. You ought to constantly be weighing the advantages and disadvantages related to your treatment. If the drug is working well to treat your sleeping disorders, carries few side effects, and you don’t plan on using it for a long-lasting–its usage might be warranted.

On the occasion that the drug isn’t working effectively for your sleeping disorders, you’ve cannot explore basic hypnotics, and you’re experiencing side effects– it may be suggested to cease Quetiapine and transition to a more evidence-based hypnotic. It is essential to bear in mind that each person taking Quetiapine for sleeping disorders might have a various set of dangers and benefits.

Some individuals report that Quetiapine is the only drug that supplies lasting sleeping disorders relief, while others have discovered that Quetiapine not does anything to reduce sleeping disorders or boost sleep quality. Additionally, this drug needs to not be thought about a long-lasting option as associated threats will significantly increase (e.g. unfavorable responses).

Should you take Quetiapine for sleeping disorders?

While Quetiapine may be a successful medication for AstraZeneca and physicians to recommend, it’s not formally authorized for the treatment of insomnia. Therefore all other alternatives should be tired before resorting to the powerful antipsychotic that is Quetiapine. Assuming you’ve provided natural remedies for sleeping disorders a shot such as: daily exercise in the early morning, you may need a medication.

However even before a medication, you might want to examine the restorative capacity of supplements consisting of: melatonin, valerian root, or L-Tryptophan. Just after you’ve evaluated the natural options must you consider medications. Checking out a sleep expert may help you get a much better idea as to what’s triggering your insomnia, and get a better concept of the most reliable pharmaceutical sleeping tablets.

Considering that nonbenzodiazepine sleeping pills have proven themselves as an effective first-line treatment, those ought to be evaluated prior to others. Ought to those be inadequate, a doctor may test specific antidepressants, which are thought about more secure than Quetiapine. If you’re unresponsive to all treatment modalities, extremely low dosage Quetiapine might be an effective option.

Quetiapine vs. Z-Drugs

A majority of people will respond effectively to Z-drugs (nonbenzodiazepines) as a method to drop off to sleep. Z-drugs have shown themselves as reliable agents in large-scale research studies, and are thought about reasonably safe when used correctly as a short-term intervention. The Z-drugs are medications that are particularly crafted with the function of decreasing sleep latency and improving sleep quality.

Quetiapine was designed to target various symptoms of schizophrenia, making it more likely to interrupt your neurotransmission. A bulk of sleep experts would not advise using Quetiapine when there are plainly more reliable and much safer alternatives on the market. Unless you’ve currently checked out the potential of the FDA authorized sleep helps, you should not remain in any rush to attempt Quetiapine for sleeping disorders.

Ideal: Quetiapine for Schizophrenia with comorbid Insomnia

The perfect scenario for using Quetiapine as a treatment for sleeping disorders is amongst those with a serious psychiatric condition like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Quetiapine is considered an accepted treatment for those conditions. Ought to an individual discover that the drug works well for their schizophrenia, they might get the included advantage of enhanced sleep.

It is very important to also think about the fact that the drug may work well for the authorized condition (schizophrenia) and poorly for the off-label condition (insomnia). In cases where a person struggles with depression and sleeping disorders, a psychiatrist may consider testing low dose Quetiapine to figure out whether the drug concurrently enhances the patient’s state of mind and sleep quality. In some cases the drug might be inadequate for both conditions; this is also something to think about.

Have you taken Quetiapine for Sleep?

If you’ve taken Quetiapine for sleep, don’t hesitate to share whether you have any other conditions or solely insomnia. To help others much better understand your scenario, describe whether you are on a low dose, moderate dosage, or high dosage–and whether you’ve needed to increase the dosage in time. Share for how long you’ve been taking the drug for sleeping disorders and whether you’ve experienced any undesirable side effects.


/// About Reyus Mammadli (article's author)

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  1. John

    I cut a 25 mg tablet into 12.5 and it works. It’s still powerful at that low a dose. I take it maybe 2 or 3 times a week though after reading up on it I may try and eliminate it. The first time I tried it I took around 50mg and it was a very frightening experience. I felt too tired and was afraid to lay down.
    I believe the psych that prescribed it to me wanted me on an anti psychotic though he never formally diagnosed me as such. I stooped going to him a month ago.

  2. louise

    Not happy that I’m on Quetiapine as suffer from Hypothyroidism and it looks like this drug will only make my hypothyroidism worse dose 150mg Quetiapine . A month ago it was suggested that my dose be increased to 200mg, I refused. I can’t wait to come off it as see no benefit supposed to treat insomnia didn’t work well and bipolar. At present coming off mirtazapine for the same reasons. My bipolar most likely caused caused by my low vitamin B12 and hypothyroidism which wasn’t being treated due to u.k reliance on TSH level which came back too low to treat due to very poor guidelines.

  3. Anonymous

    At all cost, avoid alcohol. I have been given quetiapine 25mg for sleeping. Before i used benzodiapine for that. Recently i had two severe blackouts that put me in serious life threathing and legal situations. I never understood why i blacked out after a few beers. I strongly suspect it has to do with quetiapine levels that build up in the body. As is treated quetiapine as a benzodiapine since i got it for sleeping usages and benzodiapine does not build up levels i believe, i never suspected something like severe blackout to happen. I just came to this theory and i need to discuss it with my doctor. But be warned, i am in unnessesary problems now if my theory holds any thruth.

  4. eileen hickey

    I am taking a quarter of a 25mg quetex tablet at night to help me sleep for the past couple of years. It works very well for me at this very low dose. I did try to come off it and found it difficult to fall asleep. I am aware that the dose I am taking is probably below theraputic level but it still works. Is it still safe for me to continue taking it

  5. Lois

    I’ve used Quetiapine – 25 mg for 4 months for a very stressful time in my life. However, I only take one pill once a week at most and it works wonders for a full night’s sleep. I have never taken it for two consecutive nights so I’ve had no side effects or brain fog.