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Seroquel Drug Injury & Side Effects Lawsuits

Quetiapine fumarate—sold under the brand names SeroquelSeroquel XR (extended release), and Ketipinor —is among the atypical (second generation) antipsychotic medications that the FDA has determined put dementia patients at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. In trials, the causes of death were varied, but most of them appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature.

If you or a loved one has taken Seroquel and you believe it caused cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, or some other negative side effect, you need a sympathetic advocate who will represent only your interests—and who will make the process of obtaining compensation for your injuries as painless as possible. The Rottenstein Law Group, knows this, and we want you to believe it. We might be the Seroquel law firm you are looking for.

What Is Seroquel and What Is Prescribed For?

Seroquel is the brand name for the drug quetiapine fumarate. Made and sold by British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, this prescription medication is used to treat schizophrenia in adults and adolescents aged 13-17 and Bipolar I Disorder in children and adults aged 10 and up. Doctors often prescribe it in conjunction with lithium or divalproex.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved Seroquel for schizophrenia in September 1997. AstraZeneca’s U.S. quetiapine patent expired in 2011, but it received a one-year pediatric exclusivity extension until March 26, 2012. Drug-makers sell quetiapine in 25 mg to 400 mg oral tablets. AstraZeneca received $5.3 billion in Seroquel sales in 2010 worldwide, of which $3.7 billion came from the United States.

According to the drug’s label, scientists do not understand Seroquel’s mechanism of action, though that is not uncommon for drugs indicated for treating schizophrenia. Medical experts speculate that Seroquel blocks dopamine Type 2 receptors and serotonin Type 2 receptors in the brain. It’s less likely than some antipsychotic drugs to cause involuntary body movements at low doses.

AstraZeneca has settled multiple Seroquel-related lawsuits against the United States and state governments. In April 2010, for $520 million, AstraZeneca settled a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice for illegally marketing Seroquel for off-label uses while failing to mention Seroquel’s side effects. In March 2011, 37 U.S. states settled their own claims against AstraZeneca for $68.5 million.

Seroquel Might Cause Life-Threatening Side Effects

When Prescribed for Dementia in the Elderly, Seroquel Might Cause Deadly Strokes

The FDA does not approve Seroquel for the treatment of dementia in the elderly, and it requires a black box warning on the product’s label informing users that the drug carries an increased risk of death in elderly users. The FDA has determined that elderly people with dementia who used atypical (second generation) antipsychotic medications including Seroquel were 1.6-to-1.7 times more likely to die of various ailments, including heart disease and pneumonia.

According Seroquel’s FDA-approved product labeling, a potentially fatal disorder sometimes referred to as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) has been reported in association with administration of antipsychotic drugs, including Seroquel. Symptoms of NMS include:

  • Hyperpyrexia;
  • Muscle rigidity;
  • Altered mental status; and
  • Autonomic instability (irregular heartbeat or blood pressure, excessive sweating).

Seroquel’s labeling also states that a potentially irreversible condition known as Tardive Dyskinesia has been associated with Seroquel use. Tardive Dyskinesia is characterized by involuntary facial movements such as:

  • Puckering and pursing of the lips;
  • Tongue protrusion;
  • Grimacing;
  • Lip smacking; and
  • Rapid eye blinking.

Seroquel Might Cause Behavioral Side Effects

Seroquel carries a “black box” (i.e., serious) suicide warning for adolescent and young adult users. The FDA found that young people who used Seroquel to treat major depressive disorder were more prone to suicidal thoughts and behaviors than depressed adolescents and young adults who took a placebo. Researchers calculated that for every thousand users who were less than 18 years old, Seroquel was responsible for 14 additional cases of suicidal ideation and behavior. For every thousand users between the ages of 18 and 24, Seroquel was responsible for five additional cases of suicidal ideation and behavior.

Seroquel Might Cause Hyperglycemia and Diabetes

The FDA requires Seroquel’s drug label to include hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus warnings in its “Warnings and Precautions” section. In one placebo-controlled trial, the percentage of adult users whose fasting glucose shifted from less than 100 mg/dL to greater than 126 mg/dL increased nearly twofold in the Seroquel group over the placebo group. Due to this Seroquel side effect, close to 30,000 users filed Seroquel diabetes lawsuits against AstraZeneca. The manufacturer settled 17,500 of the lawsuits in August 2010 for $200 million and in February 2011, it settled another 6,000 lawsuits for $150 million. Some Seroquel diabetes lawsuits are still pending in state court.

Seroquel Might Negatively Affect Your Heart

In July 2011, the FDA announced a Seroquel label revision concerning heart-related side effects. According to a New York Times article, 17 people reported to the FDA that they experienced arrhythmia (abnormal electrical activity of the heart) after taking more than the recommended doses of Seroquel. The revised label lists 12 drugs that doctors should avoid prescribing to patients taking Seroquel: Quinidine, Procainamide, Amiodarone, Sotalol, Ziprasidone, Chlorpromazine, Thioridazine, Gatifloxacin, Moxifloxacin, Pentamidine, Levomethadyl Acetate, and Methadone.

Seroquel Might Cause Pregnancy Side Effects

Since February 2011, the “Pregnancy” section of Seroquel’s label has informed doctors and women who are about to become pregnant that, when a woman takes Seroquel during pregnancy, it can cause withdrawal symptoms in infants in the form of abnormal muscle movements (called extrapyramidal signs (EPS)).

Symptoms of EPS include:

  • Agitation;
  • Hypertonia (excessive muscle rigidity);
  • Hypotonia (excessive muscle elasticity);
  • Tremors;
  • Somnolence (sleep disturbances);
  • Respiratory distress; and
  • Feeding disorder.

RLG’s Lawyers Will Make Things Easier

The process of demanding compensation for the harm you’ve suffered can be complicated, even if it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to go through even more trouble to be made whole again. The lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group do everything they can to streamline the process, and they will file a Seroquel lawsuit on your behalf if necessary.

If you believe you have experienced adverse side effects as a result of taking Seroquel, submit this simple secure form for a free and confidential evaluation of your eligibility to file a Seroquel lawsuit.

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rlg Previous Comments

  1. Guest
    on November 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    While taking Seroquel, I was pushed into A-fib and had m-I, a double pulmonary embolism and was in coma for three weeks. Everyone thought I was going to die. I have developed diabetes type 2.

  2. Guest
    on August 15, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I met a man who was prescribed Seroquel, and who now has the symptoms you describe. He has lost places to stay because of his condition, although I have never had any trouble out of him. He is staying in the hospital until this Friday--we thought he was having a heart attack. It is noteworthy that he has all of the facial motions you describe--that's what's frightening others who see him. And he sweats profusely, still. We put him up from time to time, but we have little room--and he deserves much better than we can give. My friends and I knew him before the Seroquel, we used to have coffee together. Sometimes in the last few months it was tough to even find him. He's ashamed of his appearance.

  3. Guest
    on August 14, 2012 at 5:59 am

    I have a lot of the stated symptoms and developed hyperglycemia. I was taking seroquel for about 8 yrs.

  4. Guest
    on June 3, 2012 at 12:56 am

    I started having delayed periods after a year on seroquel, extreme fatigue, heavy periods, uterine prolapse, which led to a D&C and full radical hysterectomy on march 1st of this year. I started having tachichardia high blood pressure, increased pulse rate. All in all I have gone to the ER about 7 times. Now my pcp has diagnosed me with hyperthyroidism and am now seeing an endo doc. Waiting on blood test results. I've spent countless visits to many drs and still feel like death walking. But since WAS on SEROQUEL EVERY Dr thought it to be anxiety or psychosomatic. I have bowel prob now, too. We are now thinking all this is due to a SEROQUEL induced thyroid problem. I've been through enough and can barely make it through the day without feeling like falling over. I've lost 26lbs and have no appetite or life anymore. My kids are missing their old go get em energetic mom. Its just plain sad. There is so much more to tell but I think I would take writing a book to tell My WHOLE story. It worked and took care of my bipolar disorder but THIS is not worth it!!!! Just. Don't take it. Bad bad drug.

  5. Guest
    on November 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Started taking Seroquel 5 years ago ranging in doses from 200 to 500 milligrams daily. Had congestive heart failure 1 year ago when I was only 39. All of a sudden, I gained 30 pounds in 1 month. Stiff muscles. Weird sweat, worse depression, sleeps for a week then up for a week. Was ready to go to the emergency room yesterday for trouble in breathing and heart pain.

  6. Guest
    on November 1, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I was put on quetiapine fumarate for about 6 months from the VA for my bipolar disorder. I am 100percent disabled vet and since then I have developed diabetes type 2 and many of the symptoms described.

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