Seroquel or Quetiapine Fumarate is the most recent medication I have been prescribed for the treatment my chronic depression. This is the first time I’ve been trying one drug without the accompaniment of others, anti-psychotics such asOlanzapine. Have been researching as I best can, on the Internet and by reading of others’ experiences of the drugs they’ve been given.
The most significant factor about my current use of Seroquel is the fact that I am using it as a monotherapy i.e. on its own without accompaniment. For the first time I am able to judge effects, good , bad and merely interesting, without having to take anything else into account. (Goes without saying that alcohol and cannabis are not part of any monotherapy, that the effect of either compromises any medication.)
So far in my mentalist career I have not suffered any notable physical side-effects. The only one of note was the double vision caused by Carbemazepine. I rang my CMHT (this link provides a very helpful definition of Community Mental Health Teams) who advised me to desist immediately; my vision was back to its slightly myopic normal within 24 hours. Phew!
Interesting dreams are a factor for me but not in any way distressing, http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php/topic/4042-seroquel-dreamsnightmares/ records some of the effects that others have experienced. I suppose that if I was getting therapy from a Freud og Jung based clinician, I would keep a notebook or dictaphone at my bedside but I prefer to go back to sleep. Everyone dreams all the time; the awareness/memory of a dream comes only in the milliseconds between sleep and consciousness.
Structure, structure, structure screams my internal editor.
Most important (side)effect is that Seroquel at 400mg a day works for me as an anti-depressant so I will tolerate almost any side-effect up to but not including death.It is such a relief to start being alive again, hooray for AstraZeneca. Boo hiss for any mention of big pharma but this particular offering is working for me, some of the products do work as intended for some of the people some of the time.
Legs: I made a call to CMHT and around the Madosphere a couple of weeks ago when my legs were dysfunctional to the extent that I could not stand without holding on to something. Still not right but that particular effect is lessening so that I can walk though I have to be careful. Northing dramatic like spasms or cramps, the effect I can best describe is that of pins and needles without any tingling.
Sleep: is generally good, I am not rendered comatose and I can wake up and function early if I must although I need a couple of hours in which to get going and depend on a complex set of twatchecks (wallet, phone, keys, satnav, glasses etc.) before I venture forth. Not absent-minded but I do have to be deliberate and make sure that I put things where I’ll find them again. Of course that may not be a medication effect, might just be early onset dementia.
Appetite: many people have reported weight gain as an undesirable side effect but I guess I have a margin for that since my metabolism seems to burn off whatever it’s given to deal with. I am not therefore too worried about the just-as-if-I-had-been-smoking-dope type munchies.
Anxiety: nothing to report, I can function socially and am confident enough to be able to make my excuses and leave if any particular social situation is not where I want to be.
Memory: still functional, short term memory is good enough to attempt and achieve complex computer tasks like completely initialising then reviving very poorly computers without having to write everything down. Beginning to have trouble remembering names of people and things but that’s probably just an age thing.
And half a year later, now down to 200mg hoping that the anhedonic sedation will ease 🙂