Bipolar Disorder Home > Seroquel for Sleep

Healthcare providers may prescribe Seroquel "for sleep." However, the medication is not approved for this use, nor is it an appropriate use. While it does cause drowsiness and may help with insomnia, it also carries the risk of serious side effects. If your healthcare provider is prescribing Seroquel "for sleep," you may want to have an honest discussion, asking if he or she believes that you may have a mental illness.

Using Seroquel for Sleep: An Overview

Seroquel® (quetiapine fumarate) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat the following conditions:
Seroquel is part of a group of atypical antipsychotics, or second-generation antipsychotics. It is not approved as a sleep medication, although it is sometimes prescribed (usually inappropriately) for this use.

Can I Use Seroquel for Sleep?

Drowsiness is a common side effect of Seroquel, and the drug may be effective for treating insomnia. However, it is a powerful antipsychotic medication. In addition to being very expensive, it also has several serious side effects (see Seroquel Side Effects).
Sometimes, healthcare providers may be hesitant to discuss possible mental illness with certain patients. Instead, a healthcare provider may prescribe Seroquel, telling the patient it is "for sleep." While this is generally considered to be unethical, unfortunately, it is relatively common. Sometimes, healthcare providers discuss mental illnesses without using medical terminology, and people then misunderstand these discussions and incorrectly believe they are taking Seroquel "for sleep." Either way, if you are taking Seroquel "for sleep," you may want to have an honest conversation with your healthcare provider, asking if you may have a mental illness.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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