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Living With Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is not as uncommon as you may think

Millions of American adults are affected by bipolar disorder. A diagnosis of bipolar disorder may be overwhelming at first; you may find it helpful to work with your health care provider and use these helpful tools.

Impact of Bipolar Disorder

  • Bipolar disorder may make it harder to get along with others and have good relationships
  • Bipolar disorder may make drinking too much alcohol or abusing drugs more likely

    • It may cause you to take risks that could cause harm to yourself
  • The depressive symptoms, also called bipolar depression, can be extremely disruptive to a person's life

Healthy Routines—Positive First Step

  • Get regular sleep. Do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day
  • Eat regular meals and get regular exercise
  • Reduce stress. People with bipolar disorder may find that an episode of depression or mania might start after they have been under more stress than usual
  • Take medication regularly. If your health care professional has prescribed medication for you as part of your treatment plan, be sure to take it at the same time every day. Having a routine may make it easier to remember to take your medication as prescribed
  • Get help for substance abuse, if needed. People with bipolar disorder may be more likely to use and abuse alcohol or other drugs. This can trigger episodes of illness or make your episodes last longer. If you think you may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, talk to your health care professional about options for dealing with these issues
  • Track your progress. You may find it useful to keep a Mood Tracking Diary

Getting the Help You Need

Work with your health care professional to develop a plan for managing your bipolar disorder and to follow your treatment plan closely. Here are a few more resources that are designed to assist someone living with bipolar disorder

  • Helpful tools that may help you gain perspective, track your moods, and work with your health care professional
  • Support and resources from organizations, advocacy groups, and support groups

Important Safety Information About SEROQUEL XR

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis (having lost touch with reality due to confusion and memory loss) treated with this type of medicine are at an increased risk of death, compared to placebo (sugar pill). SEROQUEL XR is not approved for treating these patients.

Antidepressants have increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults. Patients of all ages starting treatment should be watched closely for worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, unusual changes in behavior, agitation, and irritability. Patients, families, and caregivers should pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed. These symptoms should be reported immediately to the doctor. SEROQUEL XR is not approved for children under the age of 10 years.

Do not take SEROQUEL XR if you are allergic to quetiapine fumarate or any of the ingredients in SEROQUEL XR.

Stroke that can lead to death can happen in elderly people with dementia who take medicines like SEROQUEL XR.

Stop SEROQUEL XR and call your doctor right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms: high fever; excessive sweating; stiff muscles; confusion; changes in pulse, heart rate, and blood pressure. These may be symptoms of a rare, but very serious and potentially fatal, side effect called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).

High blood sugar and diabetes have been reported with SEROQUEL XR and medicines like it. If you have diabetes or risk factors such as obesity or a family history of diabetes, your doctor should check your blood sugar before you start taking SEROQUEL XR and also during therapy. If you develop symptoms of high blood sugar or diabetes, such as excessive thirst or hunger, increased urination, or weakness, contact your doctor. Complications from diabetes can be serious and even life threatening.

Increases in triglycerides and in LDL (bad) cholesterol and decreases in HDL (good) cholesterol have been reported with SEROQUEL XR. Your doctor should check your cholesterol levels before you start SEROQUEL XR and during therapy.

Weight gain has been reported with SEROQUEL XR. Your doctor should check your weight regularly.

Tell your doctor about any movements you cannot control in your face, tongue, or other body parts, as they may be signs of a serious condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD). TD may not go away, even if you stop taking SEROQUEL XR. TD may also start after you stop taking SEROQUEL XR.

Other risks include feeling dizzy or lightheaded upon standing, decreases in white blood cells (which can be fatal), or trouble swallowing. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these.

Before starting treatment, tell your doctor about all prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking. Also tell your doctor if you have or have had low white blood cell count, seizures, abnormal thyroid tests, high prolactin levels, heart or liver problems, or cataracts. An eye exam for cataracts is recommended at the beginning of treatment and every 6 months thereafter.

Since drowsiness has been reported with SEROQUEL XR, you should not participate in activities such as driving or operating machinery until you know that you can do so safely. Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated while taking SEROQUEL XR. Do not drink alcohol while taking SEROQUEL XR.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Avoid breast-feeding while taking SEROQUEL XR.

The most common side effects are drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, increased appetite, upset stomach, weight gain, fatigue, disturbance in speech and language, and stuffy nose.

Do not stop taking SEROQUEL XR without talking to your doctor. Stopping SEROQUEL XR suddenly may cause side effects.

This is not a complete summary of safety information. Please discuss the full Prescribing Information with your health care provider.

Approved Uses

SEROQUEL XR is a once-daily tablet approved in adults for (1) add-on treatment to an antidepressant for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who did not have an adequate response to antidepressant therapy; (2) acute depressive episodes in bipolar disorder; (3) acute manic or mixed episodes in bipolar disorder alone or with lithium or divalproex; (4) long-term treatment of bipolar disorder with lithium or divalproex; and (5) schizophrenia.

Please read the accompanying Medication Guide and full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNINGS.

Click here to see the Prescribing Information for SEROQUEL XR, including Boxed WARNINGS .

Click here to see the Medication Guide for SEROQUEL XR .

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call  1-800-FDA-1088.

 This site is intended for US consumers only.

The information on this Web site should not take the place of talking with your doctor or health care professional. If you have any questions about your condition, or if you would like more information about SEROQUEL XR, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Only you and your health care professional can decide if SEROQUEL XR is right for you.

Patient photos are intended to be representative of typical patients with bipolar disorder and/or major depressive disorder and are not of actual patients.