Do not take Quetiapine Sandoz SR if
- you are allergic to quetiapine or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6)
- you are taking any of the following medicines:
- some medicines used to treat HIV infections
- azole medicines (medicines used to treat fungal infections)
- erythromycin or clarithromycin (medicines used to treat bacterial infections)
- nefazodone (medicine used to treat depression).
Do not take Quetiapine Sandoz SR if the above applies to you. If you are not sure, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you take Quetiapine Sandoz SR.
Warnings and precautions
Talk to your doctor before taking Quetiapine Sandoz SR if:
- You, or someone in your family, have or have had any heart problems, for example heart rhythm problems or if you are taking any medicines that may have an impact on the way your heart beats.
- You have low blood pressure.
- You have had a stroke, especially if you are elderly.
- You have problems with your liver.
- You have ever had a fit (seizure).
- You know that you have had low levels of white blood cells in the past (which may or may not have been caused by other medicines).
- You have diabetes or have a risk of getting diabetes. If you do, your doctor may check your blood sugar levels while you are taking Quetiapine Sandoz SR.
- You or someone else in your family has a history of blood clots, as medicines like these have been associated with formation of blood clots.
- You are an elderly person with dementia (loss of brain function). If you are, Quetiapine Sandoz SR should not be taken because the group of medicines that Quetiapine Sandoz SR belongs to may increase the risk of stroke, or in some cases the risk of death, in elderly people with dementia.
Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following after taking Quetiapine Sandoz SR:
- A combination of fever, severe muscle stiffness, sweating or a lowered level of consciousness (a disorder called “neuroleptic malignant syndrome”). Immediate medical treatment may be needed.
- Uncontrollable movements, mainly of your face or tongue.
- Dizziness or a sever sense of feeling sleepy. This could increase the risk of accidental injury (fall) in elderly patients.
- Fits (seizures)
- A long lasting and painful erection (priapism)
These conditions can be caused by this type of medicine.
Thoughts of suicide and worsening of your depression
If you are depressed you may sometimes have thoughts of harming or killing yourself. These may be increased when first starting treatment, since these medicines all take time to work, usually about two weeks but sometimes longer. These thoughts may also be increased if you suddenly stop taking your
medication. You may be more likely to think like this if you are a young adult. Information from clinical trials has shown an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and/or suicidal behaviour in young adults aged less than 25 years with depression.
If you have thoughts of harming or killing yourself at any time, contact your doctor or go to a hospital straight away. You may find it helpful to tell a relative or close friend that you are depressed, and ask them to read this leaflet. You might ask them to tell you if they think your depression is getting worse, or if they are worried about changes in your behaviour.
Weight gain has been seen in patients taking Quetiapine Sandoz SR. You and your doctor should check your weight regularly.
Children and adolescents under 18 years
Do not give this medicine to children and adolescents below 18 years of age, due to a lack of data to support use in this age group.
Other medicines and Quetiapine Sandoz SR
Tell your doctor if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines because it may affect the way the medicines work.
Do not take Quetiapine Sandoz SR if you are taking any of the following medicines
- Some medicines used to treat HIV infections.
- Azole medicines (medicines used to treat fungal infections).
- Erythromycin or clarithromycin (medicines used to treat bacterial infections).
- Nefazodone (medicine used to treat depression).
Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- Epilepsy medicines (like phenytoin or carbamazepine).
- High blood pressure medicines.
- Barbiturates (medicines used to treat difficulty sleeping).
- Thioridazine (another anti-psychotic medicine).
- Medicines that have an impact on the way your heart beats, for example, drugs that can cause an imbalance in electrolytes (low levels of potassium or magnesium) such as diuretics (water pills) or certain antibiotics (medicines used to treat bacterial infections).
Before you stop taking any of your medicines, please talk to your doctor first.
Quetiapine Sandoz SR with food, drink and alcohol
- Food: see section 3 under „Method of administration“
- Be careful how much alcohol you drink. This is because the combined effect of Quetiapine Sandoz SR and alcohol can make you sleepy.
- Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are taking Quetiapine Sandoz SR. It can affect the way the medicine works.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine.
You should not take Quetiapine Sandoz SR during pregnancy unless this has been discussed with your doctor. The following symptoms may occur in newborn babies, of mothers who have used Quetiapine Sandoz SR in the last trimester (last three months of their pregnancy): shaking, muscle stiffness and/or weakness, sleepiness, agitation, breathing problems, and difficulty in feeding. If your baby develops any of these symptoms you may need to contact your doctor.
Quetiapine Sandoz SR should not be taken if you are breast-feeding.
Driving and using machines
Your tablets may make you feel sleepy and dizzy. Do not drive or use any tools or machines until you know how the tablets affect you.
Quetiapine Sandoz SR contains lactose
Quetiapine Sandoz SR contains lactose which is a type of sugar. If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product.
Effect on Urine Drug Screens
If you are having a urine drug screen, taking Quetiapine Sandoz SR may cause positive results for methadone or certain drugs for depression called tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) when some test methods are used, even though you may not be taking methadone or TCAs. If this happens, a more specific test can be performed.