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Updated on September 14, 2023
6 min read

What Are the Risks of Mixing Alcohol and Seroquel?

Seroquel (Quetiapine) is an atypical anti-psychotic that treats various mental health disorders. Seroquel has sedative properties and can have significant interactions with alcohol that could lead to adverse reactions.

Knowing this combination’s risks is essential when considering taking it. Understanding how different doses, forms, and concentrations are also important.

As such, this post discusses what you need to know about Quetiapine and alcohol interaction. That way, you can make an informed decision about this combination and keep your health in mind.

What is Seroquel (Quetiapine)?

Seroquel, known under the generic name quetiapine, is an atypical antipsychotic medication. It treats:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depressive disorder

Seroquel affects the central nervous system in two different ways. First, Seroquel binds to dopamine receptors and interferes with their function. This plays a role in motor control and thinking abilities. 

Second, it blocks serotonin receptors, particularly 5HT2A. This receptor is crucial in various psychiatric disorders and mental health conditions like schizophrenia, dyskinesia, and depression.


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Is it Safe to Drink Alcohol While Taking Seroquel?

According to the Food and Drug Administration, alcohol drinking while taking Seroquel isn't safe. Alcohol can affect how Seroquel works, making it more potent.

Alcohol consumption, particularly when it borders on alcohol abuse, increases the likelihood of experiencing side effects. Moreover, it can worsen already existing symptoms and side effects like drowsiness.

Although the effects of mixing alcohol and Seroquel aren't extremely dangerous, they can still be. In severe cases, Seroquel and alcohol use can lead to overdose and death. It’s best to consult your doctor before combining alcohol and Seroquel.

What are the Side Effects of Mixing Seroquel and Alcohol?

Mixing alcohol and Seroquel may increase your risk of experiencing certain symptoms. Some side effects of Seroquel and alcohol's interaction may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Mood swings
  • Behavioral changes, such as agitation, aggression, and forgetfulness
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Drowsiness and dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight gain
  • Changes in liver function

You can potentially experience some or all of these side effects. You may also experience other side effects that aren't listed here. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.


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When is it Safe to Drink After Taking Seroquel?

Seroquel has a half-life of about six hours. This means the medication will take approximately a day and a half to two days to leave your system completely. To prevent experiencing a dangerous drug interaction, you should wait a day and a half to two days before consuming alcohol.

Consult your healthcare provider for medical advice on the effects of alcohol use and antipsychotic drugs. This is particularly crucial if you are currently taking Seroquel to treat mental health conditions.


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Seroquel Availability

Seroquel is available in different forms, doses, and concentrations. It comes as an immediate-release and long-acting extended-release tablet (XR).

Your doctor will decide your dosage based on your mental health needs and condition. But generally, the usual starting dosage for an adult ranges from 25 to 50 milligrams (mg) twice a day.

The medicine is available in brand and generic form. Most Medicare and health insurance plans also cover it. Given the risks of substance abuse, it's important to seek professional medical advice before using a potent substance like Seroquel.

How Does Seroquel Help with Schizophrenia?

Seroquel treats schizophrenia in adults and children 13 years old or older. It can help alleviate symptoms, such as:

  • Hallucinations (imagined voices or images)
  • Delusions (untrue beliefs)
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Trouble organizing thoughts
  • Diminished desire to be around others
  • Trouble speaking clearly
  • Lack of motivation

How Does Seroquel Help with Bipolar Disorder?

Seroquel addresses symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic depression) among people aged 10+. Bipolar disorder involves manic episodes that last for at least seven days.

Severe manic symptoms requiring immediate hospital care also characterize the disorder. Depressive episodes can last at least two weeks.

Seroquel can help treat the following symptoms:

  • Intense emotions
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Changes in activity levels
  • Uncharacteristic behaviors (without recognition of potentially dangerous effects)
  • Mood swings

How Does Seroquel Help with Depression?

Seroquel works with antidepressant medications to treat major depressive disorder in adults. These are some symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD) that Seroquel can treat:

  • Persistent low mood
  • Severe sadness
  • A sense of doom and despair
  • A loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Changes to sleep patterns
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased energy
  • Decreased motivation
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Indecisiveness
  • Suicidal thoughts

What are the Negative Side Effects of Seroquel?

Like all medications, Seroquel may have some adverse effects. Here are some of the common side effects of Seroquel:

  • Mood changes
  • Behavioral changes
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Higher or lower blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Insomnia
  • Changes to the menstrual cycle
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain

Seroquel can also change blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of diabetes. Because of this, regular monitoring is advised. You should also contact your doctor if you're experiencing unbearable side effects from your Seroquel prescription.

Can Seroquel Affect Suicidal Thoughts?

Studies suggest that people who take Seroquel and other antidepressants may experience unexpected changes in their mental health and an increased risk of suicide. This is especially true at the beginning of their treatment and when the dosage changes.

If you or someone you know has become suicidal, help is available. You can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at any time. The program offers 24/7 help for anyone in distress.

The hotline is free, confidential, and has prevention resources on the site for you and your loved ones. You should also contact your doctor if the medication is increasing suicidal ideation.

Seroquel Withdrawal Symptoms

In rare cases, you may experience mild or severe withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Seroquel. These symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle rigidity

A rare side effect of suddenly stopping Seroquel use is withdrawal dyskinesia. It involves abnormal, involuntary movement in the upper body or facial muscles.


Seroquel (Quetiapine) is a prescription medication that alleviates symptoms of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. It blocks certain receptors in the central nervous system, decreasing the severity and intensity of psychotic symptoms.

Seroquel may also cause adverse effects, such as mood and behavioral changes. Taking Seroquel with other antidepressants can also increase the risk of suicide.

Drinking alcohol while taking Seroquel can be dangerous. The interaction between these substances can increase the likelihood of experiencing side effects and worsen already existing ones.

Therefore, you mustn't drink and take Seroquel simultaneously. Consult your healthcare provider for medical advice on the effects of alcohol use and antipsychotic drugs.

Updated on September 14, 2023
10 sources cited
Updated on September 14, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Bipolar Disorder.National Institute of Mental Health, 2023.

  2. Maan et al. “Quetiapine.StatPearls Publishing, 2023.

  3. Seroquel (Quetiapine).Huntington's Disease News.

  4. LeWine, H. “Major Depression.” Publishing, Harvard Health, 2022.

  5. Quetiapine (Seroquel).” National Alliance on Mental Health, 2023.

  6. U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Quetiapine: MedlinePlus Drug Information.MedlinePlus, 2020.

  7. SEROQUEL® (quetiapine fumarate) tablets, for oral use.Food and Drug Administration, 2013.

  8. Cunha, J. “Seroquel.RxList, RxList, 2022.

  9. Quetiapine.GoodRx, 2023.

  10. Monahan et al. "Quetiapine withdrawal: A systematic review." Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 2021.

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All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.
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