It can be hard to raise children, and when you have one who has a mental illness, the challenges are even greater. Seroquel is one medication than can help bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, biological brain disorders that won't just go away on their own, according to schizophrenia.com and the Mayo Clinic. Medication has become a critical part of treatment for these disorders, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves Seroquel as a treatment option for children who have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
New Category of Drug
Seroquel is in the category of a new generation of drugs called "atypical antipsychotics," which mean they work differently that other types of antipsychotic medications, resulting in better outcomes, such as improved cognitive function, an improvement regarding delusions and hallucinations and the reduced risk of suicide, according to Science Direct.
Benefits of Seroquel
Children age 10 to 17 who suffer from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can take Seroquel when recommended by a doctor. About 1 to 3 percent of children suffer from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and without treatment, they risk problems at school and problems with friends, says psychiatry professor Dr. David Fassler, in an ABC News online article. He added that children with these disorders who are not treated also have an increased risk of accidents, hospitalization and early death from a variety of reasons, including suicide.
Seroquel Side Effects
Seroquel does have side effects, the worst of which being diabetes and heart disease, according to the Seroquel Facts website. Seroquel is like the entire family of atypical antipsychotics in that it can lead to weight gain and high blood sugar, which is what increases the risk of diabetes and causes a rapid heartbeat. Other common side effects in children and teens are drowsiness, difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, increased appetite and dry mouth, according to the Seroquel Facts website.
Benefits Versus Risks
President of the National Research Center for Women and Families, Diana Zuckerman, brings up another concern regarding Seroquel in the ABC News article. She says that studies regarding the effects of Seroquel are too small to prove that the benefits outweigh the risks. She pointed out that many of the children in the Seroquel studies became "knocked out" to the point where they could barely function.
Seroquel Plus Therapy
If your doctor recommends Seroquel for your child, you will need to keep a close eye on your child for possible side effects. Not all children experience side effects, and Seroquel can be a helpful part of the treatment process, says Dr. Fassler. Besides giving your child Seroquel for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, you need to arrange for other therapeutic options. Medication should only be used a part of an entire treatment plan, such as life-long regimens of support therapies, according to the Psych Central website.
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