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my seroquel story:


for the better part of 2011/12, seroquel was my main mood stabilizer and AD.  i loved it.  gained weight of course, but it brought me out of the pit and kept me functioning for quite a while.  i was taking something like 300 in the daytime, 50 at night for sleep, and 25 as a PRN if i needed it.  i wasn't sedated at all, and actually also took clonazepam three times a day without sleepiness.


last spring it quit working as a MS/AD.  i became so sedated, suddenly, that when i was admitted IP my pulse had gone down to 50bpm from 80.  my blood pressure was so low they measured it five times a day and weren't crazy about letting me go outside to smoke lest i keel over on the way.  there was nothing physically wrong with me.


so, off the quel and onto lithium and parnate with PRNs seroquel and/or clonazepam, whichever i preferred.  i wanted the seroquel just to avoid benzo tolerance.  even then, 25 mg made me a space cadet.  12.5, the same.  but i needed something for anxiety, so i still alternated the two.


by summer i was still majorly sedated, but couldn't recognize it until other people told me i looked high all the time.  pdoc said "whoa look at you!  no more seroquel, no more benzos" (even though i was on small doses of both).


so i've been SOL for anxiety relief and decent sleep since then.  it's fucking hell.  the benzo withdrawal was the worst i've ever had and lasted a month.  if you are reading this, DON'T be like me and insist on getting it over with faster.  you won't be physically or mentally functional for a long time.


recently i've decided i have had enough of screwed up sleep that i've been trying 12.5 of seroquel again.  i've tried it four seperate times over the last month.  every time is the same.  i fall asleep fine, but the entire night is full of the worst nightmares imaginable, and i scream out loud all fucking night, about every fifteen minutes i'm told (my poor husband cannot sleep through this, i'm really loud and i don't stop until he shakes me several times).  the following day i am truly a crazy person.  the nightmares are stuck in  my head and i'm so depressed i don't want to move.


has ANYBODY ever had seroquel turn on them like this?  everyone i ask either likes it or hates it, but it's consistent like other meds.  i don't know anybody else who gets this sleep reaction, or anybody who suddenly had the drug sedate them into a zombie state AFTER it worked well for so long?


sorry again for the length.  i always write all the details so if anybody can relate or has suggestions, there's no wondering if i've tried this or that.  i just wanna know WHY?  pdoc shrugs at this one, she's never had anybody like me in this manner.


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I think, but someone correct me if I'm wrong, that seroquel can be more sedating at *lower* doses. This doesn't explain why it causes new side-effects you've not experienced before or your nightmares. However side-effect profiles are not necessarily static and random things trigger nightmares.

I used to use guided relaxation tracks to help me relax/sleep then tried them after a long hiatus and got some of the worse nightmares I ever had. I think your sub-conscious emotional state can play a large role in that. I'm not advocating dream therapy or anything but perhaps you are more vulnerable to nightmares at certain phases of your life. (I am now using the tracks again without nightmares.) I know it's weird to compare meds with guided relaxation but the latter can also have potent effects on your sleep patterns and quality.

However I wouldn't try the seroquel again as it makes you so uncomfortable. Has your pdoc recommended anything else in your sleep arsenal that you could try? Zopiclone for example? It's never done anything for me but might be worth a shot if you haven't tried it.

Btw what do MS/AD and SOL stand for :)?

Edited by nightbutterfly
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thanks bpladybug and nightbutterfly,


MS - mood stabilizer

AD- antidepressant

SOL - shit out of luck ;)


i try to use acronyms a lot because i write so much!


i am a fan of guided relaxation/meditation (with the right "guided imagery" - without it, i don't pay attention).  i have been using it, and it does help me fall asleep, but unfortunately i don't stay asleep.  so i get frustrated and don't use it all for awhile, then go back to it again.   i do the same thing with body scans and such.


i haven't tried any other meds for sleep yet.  i'm afraid to, heh.  i used to take trazadone for sleep a long time ago, and i can't remember how i reacted to that.  i may ask for some and see what happens.  i'm afraid i won't wake up for like 20 hours. 


my sleep is so strange - i cannot sleep, until about 5 am... then if no one wakes me, i can stay so soundly asleep ALL DAY without even caring that my alarm is ringing.  but i don't want my sleep schedule to be during those hours.  it does terrible things to my mood.  so every night/day i am fighting to either get to sleep, or to wake the hell up!  i know if i got more exercise that would probably help.  but of course i still wanna know WHY this is happening!  (i feel like i never left the three-year old stage of saying "why? why? why?". :rolleyes:

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Maybe you're seeing a new reaction because of the new meds you're on. I'm on my second try of seroquel, this time with Abilify, and it eases me into sleep instead of dropping me in place after 30min, and no zombie hangover. I know when I quit seroquel the first time I had bad rebound symptoms from it, and I was only on it for 5 months.

Maybe talk to your pdoc about Z-series hypnotics? They usually wear off in 4-8h, less chance of heavy sedation compared to histamine drugs, at least in my experiences. However, Ambien used to drop me like a horse tranquilizer after 30min (when it worked), but no hangover.

I know sleep habits make a huge difference in how you feel all day long. I had drug-induced insomnia drag me around for 4 months, and I was exhausted all the time. I guess sleep/insomnia is something that is very personal to me, so I'm passionate about people finding a way to maintain a healthy sleep cycle.

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