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Quetiapine for sleep: Is Seroquel for sleep a good short-term solution?

Insomnia is a tricky condition for anyone to deal with, and one which can become increasingly problematic over time. A short-term medical intervention is sometimes necessary, this is where substances like Quetiapine for sleep come in. 

While long-term, most medical professionals advise treating sleeping issues with things like therapy and sleep hygiene changes.

Quetiapine is just one of a handful of treatment options for people suffering from lack of sleep. This substance has been proven beneficial for severe sleep deprivation and insomnia. However, Quetiapine (or Seroquel) is also connected to a range of side effects. 

Maybe you are considering using Quetiapine for sleep? Let’s take a closer look at this drug and how it works.

What is Seroquel for sleep?

Quetiapine is otherwise known and sold as Seroquel for sleep. It is an antipsychotic medication used for the treatment of major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. 

This substance works by adjusting the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Specifically, quetiapine focuses on serotonin and dopamine. 

Technically, like many of the medications used for insomnia, Quetiapine wasn’t designed as a drug for sleep issues. However, as a short-term solution, this product can make you drowsy, and make it easier for someone to fall asleep.

Seroquel works by attaching to the dopamine receptors in the brain and altering serotonin levels. This affects your mood, but also your levels of alertness. Taking Quetiapine is similar to taking a range of other sedatives. The feeling of drowsiness lasts up to 6-7 hours.

Unlike other medications for sleep taken from the worlds of antidepressants and antihistamines, Seroquel is not approved by the FDA for the treatment of insomnia, but it may still be used off-label, provided your doctor considers this treatment to be safe for you. 

How long does Seroquel take to work for sleep?

If your doctor does decide to give you a dose of Seroquel for sleep, you will usually only be able to take this drug for a short period of time. Various studies into Quetiapine for sleep prescriptions have found this drug is effective for having almost immediate sedating effects. 

If you’re taking Seroquel for sleep exclusively, you should notice the sedative effects within a very short time after taking it. This effectively means effect within minutes. The drug is fully active in your body after about 1,5 hours. 

Most doctors recommend taking this medicine when you go to bed to avoid drowsiness through the day. The drowsiness often lasts for around six hours, but you may still experience some grogginess after waking up. 

Can Seroquel be used for sleep? Potential side effects of Quetiapine

Technically, doctors can choose to prescribe Quetiapine for sleep off-label, although it’s not always recommended. Most of the time, the Seroquel dosage for sleep will also be much lower than the dose suggested for treatment of psychotic disorders. 

The biggest challenge is balancing the risk of side effects, with the potential benefits of a good night’s sleep. 

There are a host of side effects associated with Quetiapine. Hence making this substance one of the more dangerous options for insomnia on the market. 

However, it may be worth risking those side effects if the dangers of sleep deprivation are greater. Most of the time, doctors will only prescribe Seroquel for sleep when they decide a patient is in severe need of short-term treatment.

If you do get Seroquel for sleep, you’ll need to watch out for any potential side effects like:

  • Sudden dizziness or lightheadedness when standing op
  • Repetitive body movements
  • Muscle spasms
  • Restless leg syndrome, or general restlessness

The risk of severe side effects like insulin resistance, heart problems and strokes are lower when this drug is given in small amounts. 

However, studies have shown even in low doses, there is a higher risk of some conditions like diabetes, obesity, and hepatotoxicity. 

Notably, there are also circumstances where the prescription of Seroquel at any dose would be inappropriate. For people with dementia, this drug can increase the risk of cognitive decline, and even early death. 

What’s the right Quetiapine dosage for sleep?

As with any medication, your doctor will need to assess your situation carefully to determine the right treatment path for you. The risk of side effects with Quetiapine for sleep is much lower when your dosage is as small as possible. 

Although, even at low doses, you may encounter problems like weight gain, increased triglycerides, and daytime sedation. So, the answer to the question is, the smaller the dose, the better.

When giving you a temporary dose of Seroquel for sleep, your doctor will ask you to watch out for any signs of side effects and report your experiences as quickly as possible. 

How much Seroquel do you need to sleep?

The standard recommended dosage for Seroquel is around 300-800mg per day, depending on the severity of the psychiatric disorder. 

For sleep, the dosage is often minimized to between 25mg and 100mg per day. In recent years, prescription of low doses of quetiapine for sleep has increased in some regions around the world due to its availability. 

If your doctor does put you on this medication for sleep, the goal will be to get you back into a situation where you can start improving your sleep hygiene yourself. 

Seroquel is a very short-term and temporary treatment for insomnia, intended to deal with immediate problems, rather than providing long-term relief. You should be taking this medication every night. 

Long-term use of Seroquel for sleep increases your risk of dangerous side effects like high blood sugars, weight gain, nausea, dizziness, and irritability. Excessive usage can also lead to insomnia, which means you’re right back where you started. 

Taking quetiapine for sleep regularly also increases your risks of withdrawal, when you stop taking the drug – similar to using other medications for sleep

Why is quetiapine not recommended for sleep?

While the answer to “Can quetiapine be used for sleep?” is yes, it’s usually not an option most doctors will recommend. 

The risks of side effects are common, particularly as you approach higher doses of this medication. As the frequency of prescribing Seroquel for sleep has increased around the world, the dosage has begun to rise too. 

It’s worth noting that extra prescribing of quetiapine for sleep has also led to increased reports of overdose and drug dependance.

It’s extremely important to speak to your doctor carefully about all of your options before you try using Seroquel for sleep. 

If you are prescribed this medication, remember:

  • Wait until you’re ready to go to bed to take the medication unless your doctor asks you to do otherwise. Do not operate any machinery or do anything dangerous after taking the tablet.

  • Do not take higher doses than prescribed by your doctor – even if you don’t think they’re working to make you drowsy. Speak to your doctor about tolerance issues.

  • Stand up slowly when you need to, Quetiapine can cause dizziness or make you feel lightheaded at times. 
  • Avoid alcohol when you’re taking this medication, and follow your doctor’s instructions about which additional substances and medications you can take.

  • Stay hydrated when using Seroquel for sleep. Your doctor may advise making some additional lifestyle changes to keep you safe. 

  • Tell your doctor if you notice any side effects when you start taking Quetiapine for sleep. 

Is Seroquel a good sleep aid?

So, is Seroquel a good sleep aid? This depends on who you ask. 

Using quetiapine fumarate for sleep is an option for some patients, but it’s generally only recommended when other methods of treatment aren’t suitable. Other antipsychotics, such as olanzapine, are also being explored as a potential insomnia treatment.

There are various side effects associated with Seroquel, and many other medications are generally regarded to be a lot safer. Even at low doses, Seroquel can cause a negative response. 

Additionally, there isn’t a lot of research into Seroquel specifically as a sleep aid. Some studies have confirmed the efficacy of the drug in causing drowsiness, but there isn’t a lot of information available on whether the medicine will improve your sleep rhythm, sleep quality, or sleep efficiency. 

Further research into Quetiapine for sleep often highlights the wide number of risks connected to it. Emphasizing on a higher risk of weight gain, metabolic changes, and muscle spasms. 

Seroquel or quetiapine for sleep is just one of many options people can consider when attempting to overcome issues like insomnia and sleep deprivation. Make sure you know what kind of treatments are available to you. Remember to discuss it with your doctor, before you start taking any medication. 

Siestio. Sleep Matters.

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