Quetiapine fumarate tablets can be taken with or without food
Dose Selection—quetiapine should generally be administered with an initial dose of 25 mg twice daily, with increases in total daily dose of 25 mg to 50 mg divided in two or three doses on the second and third day, as tolerated, to a total dose range of 300 mg to 400 mg daily by the fourth day. Further dosage adjustments, if indicated, should generally occur at intervals of not less than 2 days, as steady-state for quetiapine would not be achieved for approximately 1 to 2 days in the typical patient. When dosage adjustments are necessary, dose increments/decrements of 25mg to 50 mg divided twice daily are recommended. Most efficacy data with quetiapine were obtained using three times daily dosing regimens, but in one controlled trial 225 mg given twice per day was also effective.
Efficacy in schizophrenia was demonstrated in a dose range of 150 mg/day to 750 mg/day in the clinical trials supporting the effectiveness of quetiapine. In a dose response study, doses above 300 mg/day were not demonstrated to be more efficacious than the 300 mg/day dose. In other studies, however, doses in the range of 400 mg/day to 500 mg/day appeared to be needed. The safety of doses above 800 mg/day has not been evaluated in clinical trials.
Maintenance Treatment—The effectiveness of quetiapine for longer than 6 weeks has not been evaluated in controlled clinical trials. While there is no body of evidence available to answer the question of how long the patient treated with quetiapine should be maintained, it is generally recommended that responding patients be continued beyond the acute response, but at the lowest dose needed to maintain remission. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for maintenance treatment.
Adolescents (13 to 17 years)
Pediatric dosing information in patients (13 to 17 years of age) with schizophrenia is approved for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP’s quetiapine fumarate drug product labeling. However, due to AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP’s marketing exclusivity rights; this drug product is not labeled for such use in those adolescent patients.
2.2 Bipolar Disorder
Acute Treatment of Manic Episodes in Bipolar I Disorder
Dose Selection—When used as monotherapy or adjunct therapy (with lithium or divalproex), quetiapine should be initiated in twice daily doses totaling 100 mg/day on Day 1, increased to 400 mg/day on Day 4 in increments of up to 100 mg/day in twice daily divided doses. Further dosage adjustments up to 800 mg/day by Day 6 should be in increments of no greater than 200 mg/day. Data indicate that the majority of patients responded between 400 mg/day to 800 mg/day. The safety of doses above 800 mg/day has not been evaluated in clinical trials.
Acute Treatment of Depressive Episodes in Bipolar Disorder
Dose Selection—Quetiapine should be administered once daily at bedtime to reach 300 mg/day by Day 4.
Recommended Dosing Schedule
In the clinical trials supporting effectiveness, the dosing schedule was 50 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg and 300 mg/day for Days 1-4 respectively. Patients receiving 600 mg increased to 400 mg on Day 5 and 600 mg on Day 8 (Week 1). Antidepressant efficacy was demonstrated with quetiapine at both 300 mg and 600 mg; however, no additional benefit was seen in the 600 mg group.
Maintenance Treatment of Bipolar I Disorder
Maintenance of efficacy in bipolar I disorder was demonstrated with quetiapine (administered twice daily totaling 400 to 800 mg per day) as adjunct therapy to lithium or divalproex. Generally, in the maintenance phase, patients continued on the same dose on which they were stabilized during the stabilization phase [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].
Children and Adolescents (10 to 17 years)
Pediatric dosing information in patients (10 to 17 years of age) with bipolar mania is approved for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP’s quetiapine fumarate drug product labeling. However, due to AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP’s marketing exclusivity rights; this drug product is not labeled for such use in those pediatric patients.
2.3 Dosing in Special Populations
Consideration should be given to a slower rate of dose titration and a lower target dose in the elderly and in patients who are debilitated or who have a predisposition to hypotensive reactions [see Clinical Pharmacology (12)]. When indicated, dose escalation should be performed with caution in these patients.
Patients with hepatic impairment should be started on 25 mg/day. The dose should be increased daily in increments of 25 mg/day - 50 mg/day to an effective dose, depending on the clinical response and tolerability of the patient.
2.4 Reinitiation of Treatment in Patients Previously Discontinued
Although there are no data to specifically address reinitiation of treatment, it is recommended that when restarting patients who have had an interval of less than one week off quetiapine, titration of quetiapine is not required and the maintenance dose may be reinitiated. When restarting therapy of patients who have been off quetiapine for more than one week, the initial titration schedule should be followed.
2.5 Switching from Antipsychotics
There are no systematically collected data to specifically address switching patients with schizophrenia from antipsychotics to quetiapine, or concerning concomitant administration with antipsychotics. While immediate discontinuation of the previous antipsychotic treatment may be acceptable for some patients with schizophrenia, more gradual discontinuation may be most appropriate for others. In all cases, the period of overlapping antipsychotic administration should be minimized. When switching patients with schizophrenia from depot antipsychotics, if medically appropriate, initiate quetiapine therapy in place of the next scheduled injection. The need for continuing existing EPS medication should be re-evaluated periodically.