The following adverse reactions were identified during post approval of quetiapine. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Adverse reactions reported since market introduction which were temporally related to quetiapine therapy include anaphylactic reaction, cardiomyopathy, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), hyponatremia, myocarditis, nocturnal enuresis, pancreatitis, retrograde amnesia, rhabdomyolysis, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) ,decreased platelet count, serious liver reactions (including hepatitis, liver necrosis, and hepatic failure), agranulocytosis, intestinal obstruction, ileus, colon ischemia, urinary retention, sleep apnea, and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP).
The risks of using quetiapine in combination with other drugs have not been extensively evaluated in systematic studies. Given the primary CNS effects of quetiapine, caution should be used when it is taken in combination with other centrally acting drugs. Quetiapine potentiated the cognitive and motor effects of alcohol in a clinical trial in subjects with selected psychotic disorders, and alcoholic beverages should be limited while taking quetiapine.
Quetiapine exposure is increased by the prototype CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole, indinavir, ritonavir, nefazodone, etc.) and decreased by the prototype CYP3A4 inducers (e.g, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin, avasimibe, St. John’s wort etc.). Dose adjustment of quetiapine will be necessary if it is co-administered with potent CYP3A4 inducers or inhibitors.
Coadministration of ketoconazole, a potent inhibitor of cytochrome CYP3A4, resulted in significant increase in quetiapine exposure. The dose of quetiapine should be reduced to one sixth of the original dose if co-administered with a strong CYP3A4 inhibitor [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ( 2.5) and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY ( 12.3)].
Coadministration of quetiapine and phenytoin, a CYP3A4 inducer increased the mean oral clearance of quetiapine by 5-fold. Increased doses of quetiapine up to 5 fold may be required to maintain control of symptoms of schizophrenia in patients receiving quetiapine and phenytoin, or other known potent CYP3A4 inducers [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ( 2.6) and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY ( 12.3)]. When the CYP3A4 inducer is discontinued, the dose of quetiapine should be reduced to the original level within 7 to 14 days [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ( 2.6)].
The potential effects of several concomitant medications on quetiapine pharmacokinetics were studied [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY ( 12.3)].
Quetiapine may antagonize the effects of levodopa and dopamine agonists.
There are no clinically relevant pharmacokinetic interactions of quetiapine on other drugs based on the CYP pathway. Quetiapine and its metabolites are non-inhibitors of major metabolizing CYP’s (1A2, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6 and 3A4).
There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to atypical antipsychotics, including quetiapine, during pregnancy. Healthcare providers are encouraged to register patients by contacting the National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics at 1-866-961-2388 or online at
Neonates exposed to antipsychotic drugs (including quetiapine) during the third trimester are at risk for extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms following delivery (see CLINICAL CONSIDERATIONS ). Overall available data from published epidemiologic studies of pregnant women exposed to quetiapine have not established a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes (see Data). There are risks to the mother associated with untreated schizophrenia, bipolar I, or major depressive disorder, and with exposure to antipsychotics, including quetiapine, during pregnancy ( see CLINICAL CONSIDERATIONS ).
Disease-associated maternal and/or fetal risk
There is a risk to the mother from untreated schizophrenia, or bipolar I disorder, including increased risk of relapse, hospitalization, and suicide. Schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder are associated with increased adverse perinatal outcomes, including preterm birth. It is not known if this is a direct result of the illness or other comorbid factors.
A prospective, longitudinal study followed 201 pregnant women with a history of major depressive disorder who were euthymic and taking antidepressants at the beginning of pregnancy. The women who discontinued antidepressants during pregnancy were more likely to experience a relapse of major depression than women who continued antidepressants. Consider the risk of untreated depression when discontinuing or changing treatment with antidepressant medication during pregnancy and postpartum.
Fetal/neonatal adverse reactions
Extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms, including agitation, hypertonia, hypotonia, tremor, somnolence, respiratory distress, and feeding disorder have been reported in neonates who were exposed to antipsychotic drugs, including quetiapine, during the third trimester of pregnancy. These symptoms varied in severity. Monitor neonates for extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms and manage symptoms appropriately. Some neonates recovered within hours or days without specific treatment; others required prolonged hospitalization.
Published data from observational studies, birth registries, and case reports on the use of atypical antipsychotics during pregnancy do not report a clear association with antipsychotics and major birth defects. A retrospective cohort study from a Medicaid database of 9258 women exposed to antipsychotics during pregnancy did not indicate an overall increased risk of major birth defects.
When pregnant rats and rabbits were exposed to quetiapine during organogenesis, there was no teratogenic effect in fetuses. Doses were 25, 50 and 200 mg/kg in rats and 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg in rabbits which are approximately 0.3, 0.6 and 2-times (rats) and 0.6, 1 and 2-times (rabbits) the MRHD for schizophrenia of 800 mg/day based on mg/m 2 body surface area. However, there was evidence of embryo-fetal toxicity including, delays in skeletal ossification at approximately 1 and 2 times the MRHD of 800 mg/day in both rats and rabbits, and an increased incidence of carpal/tarsal flexure (minor soft tissue anomaly) in rabbit fetuses at approximately 2 times the MRHD. In addition, fetal weights were decreased in both species. Maternal toxicity (observed as decreased body weights and/or death) occurred at 2 times the MRHD in rats and approximately 1 to 2 times the MRHD (all doses tested) in rabbits.
In a peri/postnatal reproductive study in rats, no drug-related effects were observed when pregnant dams were treated with quetiapine at doses 0.01, 0.1, and 0.2 times the MRHD of 800 mg/day based on mg/m 2 body surface area. However, in a preliminary peri/postnatal study, there were increases in fetal and pup death, and decreases in mean litter weight at 3 times the MRHD.
Limited data from published literature report the presence of quetiapine in human breast milk at relative infant dose of <1% of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage. There are no consistent adverse events that have been reported in infants exposed to quetiapine through breast milk. There is no information on the effects of quetiapine on milk production. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for quetiapine and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from quetiapine or from the mother’s underlying condition.
Based on the pharmacologic action of quetiapine (D2 antagonism), treatment with quetiapine may result in an increase in serum prolactin levels, which may lead to a reversible reduction in fertility in females of reproductive potential [ see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS ( 5.15) ].
In general, the adverse reactions observed in children and adolescents during the clinical trials were similar to those in the adult population with few exceptions. Increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure occurred in children and adolescents and did not occur in adults. Orthostatic hypotension occurred more frequently in adults (4 to 7%) compared to children and adolescents (<1%) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS ( 5.7) and ADVERSE REACTIONS ( 6.1)].
The efficacy and safety of quetiapine in the treatment of schizophrenia in adolescents aged 13 to 17 years were demonstrated in one 6-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE ( 1.1), DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ( 2.2), ADVERSE REACTIONS ( 6.1), and CLINICAL STUDIES ( 14.1)].
Safety and effectiveness of quetiapine in pediatric patients less than 13 years of age with schizophrenia have not been established.
The safety and effectiveness of quetiapine in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder has not been established in pediatric patients less than 18 years of age. The safety and effectiveness of quetiapine in the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia has not been established in any patient population, including pediatric patients.
The efficacy and safety of quetiapine in the treatment of mania in children and adolescents ages 10 to 17 years with Bipolar I disorder was demonstrated in a 3-week, double-blind, placebo controlled, multicenter trial [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE ( 1.2), DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ( 2.3), ADVERSE REACTIONS ( 6.1), and CLINICAL STUDIES ( 14.2)].
Safety and effectiveness of quetiapine in pediatric patients less than 10 years of age with bipolar mania have not been established.
Safety and effectiveness of quetiapine in pediatric patients less than 18 years of age with bipolar depression have not been established. A clinical trial with quetiapine extended-release was conducted in children and adolescents (10 to 17 years of age) with bipolar depression, efficacy was not established.
Some differences in the pharmacokinetics of quetiapine were noted between children/adolescents (10 to 17 years of age) and adults. When adjusted for weight, the AUC and C max of quetiapine were 41% and 39% lower, respectively, in children and adolescents compared to adults. The pharmacokinetics of the active metabolite, norquetiapine, were similar between children/adolescents and adults after adjusting for weight [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY ( 12.3)].
Of the approximately 3700 patients in clinical studies with quetiapine, 7% (232) were 65 years of age or over. In general, there was no indication of any different tolerability of quetiapine in the elderly compared to younger adults. Nevertheless, the presence of factors that might decrease pharmacokinetic clearance, increase the pharmacodynamic response to quetiapine, or cause poorer tolerance or orthostasis, should lead to consideration of a lower starting dose, slower titration, and careful monitoring during the initial dosing period in the elderly. The mean plasma clearance of quetiapine was reduced by 30% to 50% in elderly patients when compared to younger patients [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY ( 12.3) and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ( 2.3)].
Clinical experience with quetiapine in patients with renal impairment is limited [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY ( 12.3)].
Since quetiapine is extensively metabolized by the liver, higher plasma levels are expected in patients with hepatic impairment. In this population, a low starting dose of 25 mg/day is recommended and the dose may be increased in increments of 25 mg/day to 50 mg/day [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ( 2.4) and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY ( 12.3)].
Quetiapine has not been systematically studied, in animals or humans, for its potential for abuse, tolerance, or physical dependence. While the clinical trials did not reveal any tendency for any drug-seeking behavior, these observations were not systematic and it is not possible to predict on the basis of this limited experience the extent to which a CNS-active drug will be misused, diverted, and/or abused once marketed. Consequently, patients should be evaluated carefully for a history of drug abuse, and such patients should be observed closely for signs of misuse or abuse of quetiapine, e.g., development of tolerance, increases in dose, drug-seeking behavior.
In clinical trials, survival has been reported in acute overdoses of up to 30 grams of quetiapine. Most patients who overdosed experienced no adverse reactions or recovered fully from the reported reactions. Death has been reported in a clinical trial following an overdose of 13.6 grams of quetiapine alone. In general, reported signs and symptoms were those resulting from an exaggeration of the drug’s known pharmacological effects, i.e., drowsiness, sedation, tachycardia, hypotension, and anticholinergic toxicity including coma and delirium. Patients with pre-existing severe cardiovascular disease may be at an increased risk of the effects of overdose [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS ( 5.12)]. One case, involving an estimated overdose of 9600 mg, was associated with hypokalemia and first-degree heart block. In post-marketing experience, there were cases reported of QT prolongation with overdose.
Establish and maintain an airway and ensure adequate oxygenation and ventilation. Cardiovascular monitoring should commence immediately and should include continuous electrocardiographic monitoring to detect possible arrhythmias.
Appropriate supportive measures are the mainstay of management. For the most up-to-date information on the management of quetiapine overdosage, contact a certified Regional Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222).
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