However, according to a November 9th article in Health.com, Seroquel manufacturer AstraZeneca has previously been accused of suppressing data that did not favor its product. Recent lawsuits uncovered an internal e-mail from 1999 in which a manager at AstraZeneca noted that the company had declined to publish or publicize at least three clinical trials involving Seroquel and potential adverse reactions.
In one of the studies, the manufacturer was accused of having "buried" data revealing that 45 percent of the patients who took the drug experienced substantial weight gain—11 pounds in one year, on average. For its part, a spokesperson for AstraZeneca claimed that the study was duly disclosed to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that Seroquel side effects are included in prescribing information.
The fact remains, however, that Seroquel can introduce to a patient everything from weight gain to Seroquel diabetes. A doctor with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York, suggested in the November 7th issue of The Baltimore Sun that Seroquel is a "big gun." Dr. Christoph Correll noted that a weeks-long course of the anti-psychotic "can have potential side effects, like weight gain and metabolic issues that could even be associated with diabetes in the future if the medication is continued for longer times."
And even though, as AstraZeneca points out, Seroquel side effects are duly listed on prescribing information, do patients actually note and digest such information? Are they properly counseled by their physicians?
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Even discounting the potential for adverse reactions such as Seroquel hyperglycemia, tardive dyskinesia or even birth defects, weight gain associated with long-term use of Seroquel can have lasting effects on a patient. As most know, the longer the weight gain is an issue, the harder it is to bring it under control.