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Seroquel Blues
Seroquel & Various
by Opionomous
Citation:   Opionomous. "Seroquel Blues: An Experience with Seroquel & Various (exp86682)". Erowid.org. Feb 12, 2011. erowid.org/exp/86682

  oral Pharms - Quetiapine (daily)


At age 22, after a few rough years dealing with extreme mood swings, I was diagnosed with ultradian-cycling bipolar I disorder - my mood swings were rapid enough that they could be measured over periods of hours before swinging in the opposite direction, ad infinitum. I had already been diagnosed with insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder (due to a severe accident in my youth that almost left me unable to walk). My psychiatrist immediately prescribed Seroquel, which was puzzling to me as I was already on a serious dose of Oxycontin and a moderate dose of clonazepam.

My first impression with Seroquel was 'holy shit, this stuff doesn't fuck around.' My doctor titrated the dose from 200mg/night, to 400mg/night, and finally to 600mg/night. My dose has since shuffled around between 500mg and 1000mg.

For the first couple of months on quetiapine, I felt like a zombie. The mood swings were gone, but any social interaction was almost impossible since I was sleeping 18 hours a day. Soon though, I began to feel comfortable with the medication, and even began to enjoy the effects added to it by the oxycodone and clonazepam.

I have been on Seroquel since 2004, and only recently did I start to really notice problems with it. I am now totally dependent on it to sleep, unless I feel like taking a relatively unsafe dose of benzodiazepines. This can be a fairly serious issue, because if I run out and can't get it refilled over the weekend, I don't sleep. Along with that, of course, come manic episodes. It seems almost like they're worse than they were before the Seroquel - just as rapid but seemingly even more intense. I also now have to take benztropine (an atropine-like medication) to ward off side-effects, such as the shakes (particularly noticeable in my hands). I have heard that Seroquel can cause vision problems such as glaucoma, and while I have not developed that, I have lost some of my vision, especially in my left eye. I have built up a tolerance to Seroquel to the point where I need 600mg just to sleep at night - even potent indica bud won't get me to sleep anymore - and that 600mg only buys me about 5-6 hours of shut-eye.

Ultimately, I no longer have much of a choice in the matter of continuing to take Seroquel. On and off, my doctor has tried adding additional mood-stabilizing medications (ziprasidone, risperidone, and aripiprazole) and lowering my Seroquel dose, but all that did was exacerbate the shaking and make it very difficult to sleep. I suppose that the only way off it that wouldn't cause serious issues would be a lengthy detox, but it would then have to be replaced by another mood-stabilizer, given the severity of my disorder. So in a way, I'm trapped here, singing the Seroquel blues, which will probably continue indefinitely.

Exp Year: 2004ExpID: 86682
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 22 
Published: Feb 12, 2011Views: 29,052
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Pharms - Quetiapine (273) : Health Problems (27), Medical Use (47), Not Applicable (38)

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