Seroquel (quetiapine) is an antipsychotic drug approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. However, doctors, at the aggressive urging of AstraZeneca, have also been known to prescirbe this medication for off-label uses.

It was thought that Seroquel would be useful in the treatment of delusions and aggression in Alzheimer's patients. However, the potential benefits do not outweigh the risks that have been seen in these populations. When prescribed to elderly patients in these circumstances, Seroquel has been shown to lead to major complications and even sudden death.

Three-fourths of the 4.5 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease develop aggression, hallucinations, or delusions, which can lead them to lash out at caregivers or harm themselves. This behavior is the most common reason families put people with Alzheimer's in a nursing home.

Multiple recent drugs for schizophrenia were tested for effectiveness in treating these Alzheimer's symptoms, including: Zyprexa, Risperdal and Seroquel. Doctors are free to prescribe them for any use. However, the drugs carry a strong warning that they increase the risk of death for elderly people with dementia-related psychotic symptoms, mainly because of heart problems and pneumonia , and that they are not approved for such patients.

However, at one point roughly one-quarter of nursing home patients were on these drugs, and at least that many patients at home have used them, mainly because there are no great alternatives and there was some evidence they might help.

AstraZeneca's off-label marketing of this Seroquel, particularly when it has been suggested to lead to such serious side effects, is not only unethical, but illegal.

If you or a loved one has been prescribed Seroquel and suffered serious side effects, contact us today to determine if you may have a personal injury claim.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Accutane?

    Accutane (isotretinoin) is a powerful drug that can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy . Even one dose of Accutane can cause major birth defects of the baby's ears, eyes, face, skull, heart, and brain.

  • Angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors belong to the class of medicines called high blood pressure medicines (antihypertensives). High blood pressure/hypertension affects millions of people worldwide. ACE inhibitors are used for controlling blood pressure, treating heart failure, and preventing kidney damage in people with hypertension or diabetes.

  • Actiq is a formulation of fentanyl citrate that is in the form of a ‘lollipop’ that is most effective when consumed in 15 minutes. The main ingredient, fentanyl citrate, is intended to be used as a painkiller for people who have trouble swallowing, and this synthetic opiate can be 80-times to 100-times more powerful than morphine. Having a berry flavored taste, the lollipop painkiller comes in gray, blue, orange, purple, green, and burgundy plastic handles to indicate the different dosages.

  • Concerta, Ritalin and other drugs widely used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may lead to the possibility of hallucinations and suicidal tendencies in patients taking the drugs.

    While such reports of serious psychiatric problems are rare and there is no proof they were caused by the drugs, the FDA has said a fuller discussion of the reports should be on drug labels. Current labeling discusses psychiatric problems that could be associated the drugs, but agency officials said they believe the labels do not clearly spell out the frequency and types of specific psychiatric problems.

  • Ambien (zolpidem tartrate), the nation's best-selling prescription sleeping pill, is showing up with regularity as a factor in traffic arrests, sometimes involving drivers who later say they were sleep-driving and have no memory of taking the wheel after taking the drug.

    Many of the dangerous side effects of Ambien involve parasomnia, a condition of semi-consciousness, in which someone performs waking activities without being conscious. The most well-known parasomnia behavior is sleepwalking. However, many people will also take part in other sleep behaviors, including eating, driving, and having sex.

  • Baycol (cerivastatin) is a cholesterol-lowering drug distributed by Bayer Pharmaceutical, which was prescribed to hundreds of thousands of Americans. Baycol is one of an extraordinarily popular family of drugs called statins that dramatically lower cholesterol and reduce patients' risk of heart attacks.

    However, every statin has been linked to very rare reports of the muscle side effect called rhabdomyolysis. Baycol has been pulled from the market after it was linked to dozens of deaths worldwide.

  • Benicar (olmesartan) is a powerful drug prescribed by doctors to lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension (high blood pressure). However, many people who have been prescribed this medication have reported serious side effects, including severe gastrointestinal issues.

  • Bextra (valdecoxib), which was manufactured by Pfizer, belongs to a special class of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) called Cox-2 inhibitors. It was primarily prescribed for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and dysmenorrheal until it was pulled from the market due to side effects.

    The FDA based its decision on studies showing that Bextra puts patients at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and also higher risk of a serious skin reactions than if they take other Cox-2 inhibitors, and do not receive greater benefits.

  • Celebrex belongs to a special class of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) called Cox-2 inhibitors.

    Some of these types of drugs were noted to lead to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. In fact, other NSAIDs were pulled from the market after these findings came to light.

  • Crestor is a powerful drug used to treat high cholesterol. However, it can have some unexpected side effects that patients may not be aware of.

    The FDA is providing up-to-date information about the risk of serious muscle damage, called rhabdomyolysis, in patients taking Crestor as well as similar drugs, called statins. This is a well-known, rare side effect of all statins. Rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which muscle cells break down. This floods the blood with muscle proteins, sometimes leading to fatal kidney failure.