Seroquel is an antipsychotic medication approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, both manic and depressive episodes. While some people have found success on Seroquel, others have Seroquel horror stories that will blow you away and make you really consider whether Seroquel is right for you.
AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Seroquel, has been sued thousands of times, to the tune of millions (if not billions) of dollars, primarily for marketing the medication for off-label use, or uses that it is not approved for but thought to treat anyways.
If you have taken Seroquel and had your life ruined by one of these horror stories, please consider consulting with an attorney to discuss your options.
Seroquel Horror Stories
Now, on to the horror stories. But before we begin, please note that we cannot verify the authenticity of the stories highlighted below. They are all available in the public domain.
1. Euphoria and Hallucination
One Reddit user recounts his experience with Seroquel here. After being prescribed a relatively low dose of Seroquel, this person began experiencing euphoria similar to benzodiazepines. This euphoria, however, wasn’t the end of the Seroquel experience.
They then started seeing “mild visuals” on their carpet, as if it caused the hallucination that Seroquel was supposed to prevent. Finally, this user describes the munchies that they came down with and how they ate so much that their jaw hurt during the eating process while on Seroquel.
2. Hypothyroidism, Heart Problems, and Low Blood Pressure
A blogger here has an even more terrifying story of her experience with Seroquel. She was prescribed Seroquel off-label for insomnia, along with several other medications. Eventually, those other medications were removed from her regimen, and new ones were added. The one that stayed consistent, though, was Seroquel.
Although it initially helped her treat her insomnia, it did not remain the miracle drug that it seemed to be at the beginning. She developed hypothyroidism, a heart condition called supraventricular tachycardia, and low blood pressure, all of which had to be treated with medications. She also began to develop glaucoma, and her psychiatrist began to take her off of the Seroquel.
However, detoxing and withdrawing from the Seroquel took over a year and included an eleven-week stay in a medical detox facility. She suffered severe cognitive impairments during this time, occasionally forgetting even how to shower. She also developed tardive dyskinesia, a condition that causes uncontrollable muscle movements and tremors. This tardive dyskinesia also required medication to treat, making yet one more condition caused by Seroquel that had to be treated with another medication. There were other severe side effects, including at times, forgetting how to walk.
3. Weight Gain, Slurred Speech, and Disorientation
One young veteran was prescribed Seroquel to treat his insomnia upon returning from his deployment to Iraq. Although his use of Seroquel was off-label, meaning that the FDA has not approved Seroquel for the treatment of insomnia, he was prescribed over double the usual strength for its approved use, schizophrenia. While taking Seroquel, this young soldier experienced weight gain of almost 40 pounds, slurred speech, disorientation, and tremors. These are all known side effects of Seroquel. However, the nightmare had only started for this young man’s family — he died in his sleep as a result of the Seroquel.
4. Feeling of Body “Shutting Down” After Taking Seroquel
Another Reddit user describes their experience with Seroquel. This user describes that despite not being tired, she could not stay awake and felt like her body was just shutting down every night. She also writes about how important it is to fall asleep when the Seroquel “pushes down” because she won’t be able to sleep if she doesn’t, but instead will experience almost seizure-like movements.
She adds how not moving will be painful because of the energy that Seroquel gives her, and she has to move. She goes on to describe being able to feel her blood and brain and experiences confusion in the shower and also while performing other tasks. This story is a little unlike the others, as she explains that while she does not like the effects of Seroquel, this same medication also keeps her going.
5. Bad Tremors and Nightmares
There’s also another story of a Reddit user describing the horrors of taking Seroquel, calling it “the worst thing ever.” After being prescribed Seroquel for insomnia, this person starts off their post by explaining that they feel more tired and unable to fall asleep any faster. They also described bad tremors and vivid nightmares that were sometimes impossible to distinguish from reality.
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The post also mentions that the Reddit user’s roommate saw them sleepwalking and showing signs of extreme distress followed by intense paranoia, dissociation, and regular panic attacks. Fortunately for this person, they stopped taking their Seroquel before the side effects got any worse.
6. Poor Memory and the Feeling of Being “Emotionless”
Many other Reddit users describe their negative experiences with Seroquel, including this one here. This person took Seroquel for a year to treat their bipolar disorder, which is an approved use of the medication. She reports feeling completely detached from her emotions and having memory issues as a result of taking Seroquel. Even seven months after stopping using Seroquel, she reports having issues maintaining relationships and having little to no desire to maintain friendships.
7. Paranoia and Confusion
This blog offers several Seroquel horror stories. One woman describes the initial relief she felt when prescribed Seroquel, believing that it would help regulate and stabilize her bipolar disorder. Instead, she experienced paranoia, confusion, and feeling trapped in her own mind. Her side effects were so bad that her doctor took her off Seroquel and switched her to another antipsychotic medication.
8. Zombie-Like Effect and Paranoia
Another man describes watching his father begin taking Seroquel. He discusses watching his father become almost zombie-like, suffer from angry outbursts involving throwing things and breaking them, and the paranoia that made him believe that his neighbors would kill him.
His father was also taken off of Seroquel and prescribed a new medication, and they were still recovering from the Seroquel at the time that the blog was written.
9. Increased Apetitte and the Feeling of Lightheadedness
Yet another woman who was prescribed Seroquel describes her extreme weight gain with Seroquel and how she went from a healthy weight to overweight to obese. Seroquel caused an increased appetite for this woman, and she would eat almost constantly, even when she knew she was full, because of the Seroquel. She was constantly dizzy and light-headed and experienced pain if she even tried to stand up.
Overview of Seroquel Lawsuit
The Office of Public Affairs reported a 2010 class action lawsuit against AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Seroquel, for off-label marketing. The FDA approved Seroquel, the antipsychotic also known by its generic name, quetiapine, in September 1997 for the treatment of manifesting psychotic disorders, but later married the approval for the short-term treatment of schizophrenia.
In 2004, Seroquel was approved for the short-term treatment of bipolar mania, and in 2006, it was approved for bipolar depression. However, between 2001 and 2006, AstraZeneca was promoting and marketing Seroquel for the treatment of other unapproved disorders and purposes. This lawsuit resulted in a settlement of $520 million.
Later, the Washington State Office of the Attorney General reported a $68.5 million dollar settlement with AstraZeneca. This lawsuit was also filed as a result of AstraZeneca falsely marketing the drug. Other states, including Texas and Arizona, have filed similar lawsuits against AstraZeneca.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against AstraZeneca for their off-label marketing and pushing and promoting Seroquel for uses that it has not been approved for.
What Does Seroquel Do to a Normal Person?
Seroquel has a number of side effects, including some potentially severe ones. While some of the milder side effects include tiredness, drowsiness, weight gain, dizziness, constipation, upset stomach, and dry mouth, there are also some significantly more dangerous complications. Seroquel can cause or worsen diabetes, cause heart disease, or cause uncontrollable muscle movements, a disorder called tardive dyskinesia that results from some psychiatric medications.
This medication can also be addictive, and a recent study shows that it is prone to abuse. When mixed with alcohol, it has a high rate of misuse and abuse, and people exhibit drug-seeking behaviors, including feigning symptoms, in attempts to obtain Seroquel. Between 2005 and 2011, there was a 90% increase in Seroquel related emergency room visits.
Seroquel can severely damage the mental health of a person who takes it when they don’t really need it, in addition to the myriad side effects that can be long-lasting, even after Seroquel is no longer being taken.
Seroquel can also be hard on the kidneys and lead to an increased risk of stroke. New research shows that using this medicine long-term may do more harm than good. It can be a dangerous, life-changing (or life-ruining) medication even for people who do need it: Taking Seroquel as a “normal,” non-mentally ill person can cause serious damage in both the short and the long term.
Seroquel Ruined My Life: What Should I Do?
Suppose you have been prescribed Seroquel and recognize any of the horror stories above as being similar to your own life (or anything along those lines). In that case, you should consult an attorney to see what damages and compensation you may be entitled to. Your attorney will be able to tell you what the best course of action is and whether you should file a lawsuit or join an ongoing class action suit.
Does Seroquel Show Up on a Drug Test?
Seroquel can cause a false positive on a drug test. If you are being drug tested and taking Seroquel, you should take your prescription bottle with you and inform the laboratory staff about the prescription.
On What Legal Grounds Can I Sue the Manufacturers of Seroquel?
From the Seroquel horror stories we’ve reviewed above, you may have various legal grounds to pursue compensation via an individual lawsuit or an ongoing class action lawsuit.
The most viable reason for taking legal action against the manufacturer of this product is if they advertised it for something different than what it was initially intended to do. You may also pursue legal action if you suffered serious side effects that the manufacturer of the product did not disclose about this product.
For example, in 2002, a lawsuit was filed against AstraZeneca for failing to disclose the full risks of taking Seroquel. The lawsuit claimed that users of this medication were 3.34 times more likely to contract type 2 diabetes.
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Despite knowing about this risk, the makers of this medicine did not warn users. As a result, many people contracted diabetes from trusting the wrong medication.
The lawsuit also noted that the same medication was sold in Japan and had full disclosure of the possible side effects, including the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. This raises the question of why the company concealed this information from its US users.
The obvious reason is that they put profits over human lives and that the US market had many loopholes they could exploit.
No one should ever have to develop worse health problems than what they’re already going through by trusting the wrong medication.
What Damages Can I Recover if I Win a Seroquel Lawsuit?
The damages you may be entitled to will depend on the specifics of your case. For example, if you made regular trips to the hospital or spent a significant amount of money seeking treatment, you may be able to recover the medical expenses you incurred.
As noted from the horror stories we’ve covered, it’s obvious that the victims experienced a diminished quality of life. That, and their pain and suffering, could be included in the list of damages they may be entitled to.
The bottomline is that if you or a loved one has experienced any of these Seroquel horror stories or anything similar, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for a case evaluation. You may be eligible for compensation.