Seroquel, whose generic name is quetiapine, is an antipsychotic medication. Seroquel is in a class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics and works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain. Seroquel is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia in adults and older children, bipolar disorder and major depression. Seroquel may damage the liver, according to Drugs.com.
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Effects of Seroquel on the Liver
Seroquel use may cause elevated liver enzymes. Elevated liver enzymes indicate liver inflammation or damage to liver cells. Seroquel use may damage liver cells and cause the injured cells to leak higher than normal amounts of liver enzymes. Elevated liver enzymes can be detected during liver function tests. Patients taking Seroquel may need regular liver function tests.
Signs of Liver Damage
Liver inflammation from Seroquel use may cause symptoms such as upper right hand-side abdominal pain and distension, fatigue, dark urine, general itching, yellowing of the skin and eyes, pale or clay colored stools, fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fever and weight loss, according to PubMedHealth. Patients who experience these symptoms should contact their doctors. Liver inflammation can progress into liver failure.
Seroquel is available in regular tablets and extended-release tablets which are taken orally. The regular tablets are usually taken 1 to 3 times a day with or without food, according to PubMedHealth. The extended-release tablets are taken once a day at bedtime. Patients should not suddenly stop taking Seroquel because they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and problems falling asleep.
Seroquel may cause suicidal thoughts in children, teenagers and young adults especially at the beginning of treatment, according to PubMedHealth. Patients or family members should contact their doctors if they notice symptoms such as worsening depression, suicidal thoughts, irritability, acting without thinking, aggressive behavior, restlessness, extreme worry, agitation, sudden increase in energy levels, insomnia and panic attacks. People who plan to commit suicide may also give away personal belongings.