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Be Sure to Discuss All Your Symptoms With Your Doctor - The Highs and Lows of Bipolar Disorder

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(BPT) - Bipolar disorder is a condition of extremes that can affect both how you feel and how you act. It includes bipolar mania–extremely high moods that last at least a week–and bipolar depression–depressive moods or lows that last for at least two weeks and for most of the day, nearly every day. Most people suffering from bipolar disorder experience more lows than highs, which can make manic symptoms even more difficult to spot.



That’s why it is important to talk to your doctor about both your highs and lows. Describing the manic highs you experience may be especially hard because you may not always be aware of them. However, being open and honest with your doctor about all of your symptoms can help ensure that you’re getting a treatment plan that’s right for you.



Below are some suggestions on how to make the conversation with your doctor more productive:


  • Preparation is the key to having a productive conversation with your doctor. Before meeting with your doctor, think about whether you’ve noticed any changes in your mood since your last visit.
  • Your doctor needs to hear about your feelings and concerns, so be open, honest, and direct. Remember, if you don’t say it, your doctor won’t know. Can you think of any times when your moods were extreme?
  • Be sure to ask your doctor any questions you may have. Your doctor wants to help you, so it’s okay to keep asking until you have the information you need.


Many types of medications are used to treat bipolar disorder. One treatment option is SEROQUEL XR® (quetiapine fumarate), a once-daily medication that is FDA approved to treat both the manic highs and depressive lows of bipolar disorder.



For more information about bipolar disorder and SEROQUEL XR, visit SEROQUELXR.com.



About SEROQUEL XR (quetiapine fumarate) Extended-Release Tablets



SEROQUEL XR is a once-daily tablet approved in adults for (1) acute depressive episodes in bipolar disorder; (2) acute manic or mixed episodes in bipolar disorder alone or with lithium or divalproex; (3) long-term treatment of bipolar disorder with lithium or divalproex; (4) add-on treatment to an antidepressant for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who did not have an adequate response to antidepressant therapy; and (5) schizophrenia.



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 patients under the age of 18 years.



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.



Please read the full Prescribing Information, including Boxed WARNINGS and Medication Guide.



For more information, visit SEROQUELXR.com or call 1-800-236-9933.



This content is sponsored by AstraZeneca.



SEROQUEL XR is a registered trademark of the AstraZeneca group of companies.




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