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You and Your Doctor

Making the Most of Your Treatment Plan

Step one: find a health care professional you can partner with

Finding a doctor or therapist you trust, and with whom you feel that you can truly partner to reach your goals, is key to any successful treatment plan. There are different types of health care professionals who help patients manage their treatment of depression or bipolar disorder.

Primary care physicians

  • Medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathy (DOs)
  • Coordinate medical care and identify specialists and make referrals when necessary
  • Follow up regarding issues identified through initial health assessment screenings
  • Can prescribe medications

Psychiatrists

  • Medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathy (DOs) with advanced training
  • Specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses
  • Some seek further training to specialize in certain areas of psychiatry (for example, geriatric or addiction psychiatry)
  • Can prescribe medications

Clinical psychologists or counseling psychologists

  • Doctors of philosophy (PhDs), doctors of psychology (PsyDs) or those with another advanced degree typically
  • Trained in psychology, the branch of science that deals with the mind, mental processes, and behaviors
  • Generally treat mental illnesses and provide psychotherapy for a range of issues, from marriage problems to psychological disorders
  • Clinical psychologists usually work in counseling centers, independent or group practices, hospitals, or clinics
  • Counseling psychologists work in settings like hospitals, university counseling centers, and individual or group practices
  • Are not medical doctors and are generally not authorized to prescribe medication, except in certain states where such authorization has been given to appropriately trained clinical psychologists

Psychiatric nurses/Advanced-Practice registered Nurses

Psychiatric nurses are licensed Registered Nurses (RNs) who have extra training in mental health, and may have an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree

  • May offer mental health assessments, and may provide medication management assistance under the supervision of medical doctors

Advanced-Practice Nurses/Advanced-Practice Registered Nurses (APNs/APRNs) in psychiatry have at least a master's degree in psychiatric mental health

  • Can diagnose and treat mental illnesses
  • May be authorized to prescribe medications
  • May be qualified to practice independently, without the supervision of a doctor

Physician assistants

Physician Assistants (PAs) work under the supervision of a registered physician

  • Can diagnose and treat mental illnesses
  • May be authorized to prescribe medications

Clinical social workers

  • Most have a master's degree in social work (MSW), but training and education vary widely. Most are also licensed or certified by their states
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) can participate in developing treatment plans with the patients, doctor, and other health care providers
  • Cannot prescribe medications

It's important to communicate with your health care team. To ensure you make the most of your next visit, consider using one of the helpful tools.

Keep some of these questions in mind when deciding whether or not you want to work with someone, and don't be shy about raising concerns or questions.

  • Do you feel comfortable when you are with this person?
  • Do you respect this person's knowledge and trust their judgment?
  • Do you believe this person will do his or her best to help you get well?
  • Does this person seem to listen to your concerns?
  • Does this person try to answer your questions in a way you understand?
  • Is the office staff helpful when you make an appointment, ask a question, or need to contact your health care professional?

Step two: stay engaged in your treatment plan

Once you've found a health care professional you like, help make it a true partnership by staying informed and active in your treatment. Here are a few ideas, and your health care professional may have others.

  • Recording your symptoms and writing down questions before your visits can help you and your doctor discuss whether your current treatment plan is working or if changes are needed
  • Do your best to follow your health care professional's advice—this may include things like taking medication as prescribed, following a routine, and keeping a Mood Tracking Diary
  • Be honest about things that are bothering you and side effects that you may be experiencing
  • Let your health care professional know if you notice mood changes
  • Tell your health care professional if you are thinking about stopping your prescribed medication

Most of all, remember that you and your doctor are in this together, and like with any relationship, the more you put in to it, the more you are likely to get in return.

Save on SEROQUEL XR*

*Subject to eligibility. Restrictions apply.

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 I 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 .

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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.

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.

Unless otherwise noted, photos are intended to be representative of typical patients with bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder or schizophrenia or their health care professionals or caregivers and not of real people.

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