Link between Seroquel and Heart Problems?

Posted by Majic @majic, Nov 5, 2017

My psychiatrist put me on Seroquel approximately 4-5 years ago, on a low dose of 100mg, as a sleep aid.
Apparently it is used as an anti-psychotic in high doses, however in low doses it can be used as a sleep aid because of its anti-histamine properties (that are found in allergy pills for example that make you sleepy).

Fast forward to this past June, and I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Congestive Heart Failure, the “idiopathic cardiomyopathy” kind, idiopathic meaning the doctors don’t know how or why I now have this. It came on VERY suddenly.

I was hospitalized for a week, all of the ‘usual’ tests, and I was free of any clots or blockages. My ejection fraction was 20-25%.
Trying to find a cause:
A virus? I haven’t been sick in a long time, not even a cold.
I have never smoked or used illicit drugs; I have maybe a dozen alcoholic drinks per year, and there is no history of heart failure in my family. So they went through all of my current meds to see if there was a cause.
I have been on Seroquel (100mg), Clonazepam as needed, Wellbutrin, and Citalopram (20mg) for years.
After the doctors did some quick research, the Cardiologist took me off the Seroquel immediately, saying heart failure was a possible side effect, however extremely small the chance might be.

My psychiatrist has since told me “it’s not the Seroquel”.

It’s a long shot, but has anyone been told their Seroquel use led to heart failure?

Thank you for any help.

My son struggles with schizoid effect disorder. He is currently on 300mg of serequel and takes the invega shot. His heart rate has gone to 140 and is steadily above 100. His doctor has said she wants him to start taking 150mg serequel instead of the 300mg. She said it would be okay to move from the 300 to 150 right away. I am concerned. I know we need to do something I just hope that the tapering from 300 to 150 is drastic???? Any thoughts???

REPLY
@jfe

My son struggles with schizoid effect disorder. He is currently on 300mg of serequel and takes the invega shot. His heart rate has gone to 140 and is steadily above 100. His doctor has said she wants him to start taking 150mg serequel instead of the 300mg. She said it would be okay to move from the 300 to 150 right away. I am concerned. I know we need to do something I just hope that the tapering from 300 to 150 is drastic???? Any thoughts???

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@jfe
Were it me I wouldnt reduce it 50% at any time. However, a 50% cut is usually easier when the dose is higher. A 50% cut when on a lower dose normally causes increased withdrawal effects.
Since large cuts frequently cause withdrawal symptoms personally I wouldn’t cut the dose by 50%. Also I wouldn’t skip days since its half life is only approximately 6 hours.
Good luck on whatever you decide,
Jake

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@jfe

My son struggles with schizoid effect disorder. He is currently on 300mg of serequel and takes the invega shot. His heart rate has gone to 140 and is steadily above 100. His doctor has said she wants him to start taking 150mg serequel instead of the 300mg. She said it would be okay to move from the 300 to 150 right away. I am concerned. I know we need to do something I just hope that the tapering from 300 to 150 is drastic???? Any thoughts???

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Hi @jfe and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I think you may be interested in the following discussion I have linked below as the member who started it was also taking 300 mg of Seroquel and tapered down quite a bit as well.

Getting off Seroquel – https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/getting-off-of-seroquel/

If you or your son are concerned with the side effects of tapering. I would suggest asking the physician if he could taper at a slower rate.
Did she give any instruction as to what would constitute you calling and reporting side effects that may be harmful during that time?

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I am also on Seroquel but much longer dose. Started only two months ago and went for physical and they found problem with EKG. Same word used. Sleep study found elevated PVC’s. My heart was in great shape before and now blood pressure is barely making 100. I need this stuff to sleep but not at this cost. Hope this is reversible!

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My husband was prescribed Seroquel to help him sleep but the benefits went far beyond that, much to our delight. They reduced his tremors and increased his gait stability for a time. When he passed away he was close to the highest dose they could prescribe. Frequently doctors in nursing homes would decide they could not give him Seroquel because of the antipsychotic indication. Robert was not psychotic. He had fronto-temporal dementia. When a doctor would remove the Seroquel he would have extreme discomfort and the tremors would return almost immediately followed by a sharp decline in his mood and sense of safety. I did battle with the nursing home doctors each time and they returned him to the seroquel wit5h great success. Robert did not have heart problems nor did he show any signs of the Seroquel causing any heart problems.
My brother was recently put on Seroquel to help control bi-polar symptoms and it has worked well for him but they had to lower his dose. His blood pressure was increasing and they determined it was related to the Seroquel increase in dosage. He is doing o.k. at the lowered dose but not as well. He does not have lingering heart problems, symptoms, etc.
Seroquel helps so much that the temptation is to turn a blind eye to any negative impacts. In my husband's case the negative impacts would have had to have been dramatic. He was terminal and the difference Seroquel made in his life outweighed any other considerations.
In my brother's case he needed to lower his blood pressure and the change in dosage of Seroquel lowered his blood pressure.
Anecdotally the Seroquel benefits in patients with FTD are outstanding.
I have not seen one post indicating serious heart problems. Increases in blood pressure can be serious but once dosage is lowered the problem seems to take care of itself.

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I checked Medscape Drug Reference and 1-10% can get rapid heart rate, <1% get myocarditis but no mention of heart failure.

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@dianecat

I am also on Seroquel but much longer dose. Started only two months ago and went for physical and they found problem with EKG. Same word used. Sleep study found elevated PVC’s. My heart was in great shape before and now blood pressure is barely making 100. I need this stuff to sleep but not at this cost. Hope this is reversible!

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Seroquel has a side effect of elevating the systolic BP but not decreasing it.

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@anncgrl

My husband was prescribed Seroquel to help him sleep but the benefits went far beyond that, much to our delight. They reduced his tremors and increased his gait stability for a time. When he passed away he was close to the highest dose they could prescribe. Frequently doctors in nursing homes would decide they could not give him Seroquel because of the antipsychotic indication. Robert was not psychotic. He had fronto-temporal dementia. When a doctor would remove the Seroquel he would have extreme discomfort and the tremors would return almost immediately followed by a sharp decline in his mood and sense of safety. I did battle with the nursing home doctors each time and they returned him to the seroquel wit5h great success. Robert did not have heart problems nor did he show any signs of the Seroquel causing any heart problems.
My brother was recently put on Seroquel to help control bi-polar symptoms and it has worked well for him but they had to lower his dose. His blood pressure was increasing and they determined it was related to the Seroquel increase in dosage. He is doing o.k. at the lowered dose but not as well. He does not have lingering heart problems, symptoms, etc.
Seroquel helps so much that the temptation is to turn a blind eye to any negative impacts. In my husband's case the negative impacts would have had to have been dramatic. He was terminal and the difference Seroquel made in his life outweighed any other considerations.
In my brother's case he needed to lower his blood pressure and the change in dosage of Seroquel lowered his blood pressure.
Anecdotally the Seroquel benefits in patients with FTD are outstanding.
I have not seen one post indicating serious heart problems. Increases in blood pressure can be serious but once dosage is lowered the problem seems to take care of itself.

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Due to the fact that your husband was terminally ill I’m glad Seroquel helped him. I wouldn’t suggest this medication for a healthy person.

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@sears

Due to the fact that your husband was terminally ill I’m glad Seroquel helped him. I wouldn’t suggest this medication for a healthy person.

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Medications work differently for different people. It is one of the reasons I wonder how people who do not have someone to advocate for them get by. I know Robert had extreme reactions to a few medications that others were taking with no problem. For example, based on our experience with haldol, I would not recommend it for anyone ever. Yet when my son had a serious closed head injury the haldol helped him manage the hallucinations that came along during his early recovery. In both cases I was around to ask questions and observe my loved one's reaction to the medication. I absolutely agree that there is no one for all medication. It would be wonderful if one pill took care of everything. Managing and questioning medications was very difficult, especially in hospitals and nursing homes. I appreciate your comment especially because we all need to listen to all sides.

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@sarahbeth

I was on Seroquel, 800mg a day for 5 years before I started noticing major changes in my body. I thought my shortness of breath was due to the 40lbs I gained while on it. I was only 36 and a construction worker so when I couldn't hang with the guys any longer, I grew concerned. My doctor ofcouse blamed it on the weight gain…. Thank God I had an elbow injury and my Ortho Doc asked why I had such a rapid heart rate (160 bpm)? I told him I don't know, my doctor never addressed it.
After an EKG came back normal he wanted an answer. So he ordered an Echo I believe, and that came back as Restrictive Diastolic Dysfunction Grade 3.
Now that I am 39 I have noticed that it seems to be progressing rapidly. I am no longer able to work construction, I can not stand the heat or cold, and I get really short of breath easily. I have had to go back to college to get "a desk job".
I believe my Cardiologist had an idea that there was a link between heart failure and Seroquel, because she out of the blue suggested that I find an alternative medicine. I have even lost 27lbs since being off it 8 months, now on Wellbutrin. It took me 6 months just to get through the withdraws, itching was the worst!!! That was with tapering off.
I really feel like my life has been stolen from me. I am only 39 and can't do the things I use to enjoy. I was never told of any heart side effects and I always read the papers that Walgreen's attaches to the perscriptions.
Someone should be held responsible for the damage we are left with. Seroquel should be pulled from the market point blank (This is just my opinion and I am not a medical professional).
If anyone needs someone to talk to, please feel free to respond.

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Hi,
I'm on Quatipine 300mg and sertraline 200mg
I'm getting really concerned about my breathlessness and rapid heart rate .
This only happens when I either walk a very short distance or do normal house work. I find I need to sit down until it passes. I have gained weight but my weight has always been up and down over the years and I have never had a problem like this.
I have a heart monitor fitted today but I'm terrified it will come back with no problems when I know this is not right at all .
We all know our bodies don't we!
If anyone could reply I would be very grateful
Thank you

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@pamy36

Hi,
I'm on Quatipine 300mg and sertraline 200mg
I'm getting really concerned about my breathlessness and rapid heart rate .
This only happens when I either walk a very short distance or do normal house work. I find I need to sit down until it passes. I have gained weight but my weight has always been up and down over the years and I have never had a problem like this.
I have a heart monitor fitted today but I'm terrified it will come back with no problems when I know this is not right at all .
We all know our bodies don't we!
If anyone could reply I would be very grateful
Thank you

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Hi @pamy36, Welcome. Waiting can be stressful. I think we know how we feel but sometimes our bodies can trick us and cause a lot of stress and anxiety while we wait and expect the worse. I'm hoping you will be able to find something relaxing to get your mind off of wearing the heart monitor. I wore a Holter monitor for 24 a few different times and I think I was a little stressed out the first time because I didn't know what to expect. Here's some information that you may find helpful if you haven't already seen it.

Holter Monitor: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/diagnosing-a-heart-attack/holter-monitor

Do you have to wear it for 24 hours or a longer time?

REPLY
@johnbishop

Hi @pamy36, Welcome. Waiting can be stressful. I think we know how we feel but sometimes our bodies can trick us and cause a lot of stress and anxiety while we wait and expect the worse. I'm hoping you will be able to find something relaxing to get your mind off of wearing the heart monitor. I wore a Holter monitor for 24 a few different times and I think I was a little stressed out the first time because I didn't know what to expect. Here's some information that you may find helpful if you haven't already seen it.

Holter Monitor: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/diagnosing-a-heart-attack/holter-monitor

Do you have to wear it for 24 hours or a longer time?

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Hi, thank you for replying I have to wear it for 48hrs but it came off in my sleep last nite which is a pain.

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