General Question

Violet's avatar

Replacement for Seroquel?

Asked by Violet (6589points) February 16th, 2010

I’m on Seroquel (XR), and without insurance, it will cost me over $200 per refill. Is there anything as good as Seroquel that doesn’t cost so much? (oh, and I take it at night because it helps me sleep)

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33 Answers

tragiclikebowie's avatar

Have you ever tried melatonin?

gemiwing's avatar

Have you tried Lunesta, Ambien, AmbienER, Vistaril, Trazedone or a benzine?

AstraZeneca also has a patient assistance program that can help you get your meds. There is some paperwork hassles- but your doctor should be used to doing them by now.

I would recommend talking to your doctor and seeing if they can either get you free samples or change your medication. Doctors tend to have more resources than patients in cases like this.

Violet's avatar

@tragiclikebowie like for sleep? No, but I know people who do take it.
@gemiwing I have taken Trazedone, but I don’t think I have had any of the others.
both: Seroquel is for my bipolar. I do need something for sleep, but also for the bipolar

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@Violet I use melatonin for sleep. Sometimes you have to take kind of a lot of it but theres no real side effects except that you might have weird dreams and sleep kind of a lot (9 hoursish).

Violet's avatar

@tragiclikebowie I get weird dreams and sleep a lot from Seroquel

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I also happen to be bipolar and take Abilify, but it’s even more expensive than Seroquel, which I can’t take because I’m allergic to it. I have insurance, but my monthly cost for the Abilify is still $70. Drug costs in the US are outrageous.

It does not help me sleep either. I take an anti-anxiety medication that helps me relax so that I can sleep.

I’m sorry that you have this problem. Talk to your doctor about alternatives. If the Trazadone has worked for you in the past, perhaps you could try it again. I know it’s very inexpensive at Walmart. In fact, I think it’s on their $4 generics list.

lillycoyote's avatar

You might want to talk to your doctor and find out if Trazodone might be appropriate for you. It’s an antidepressant that is often prescribe to help people sleep. It is available as a generic and is fairly inexpensive. Check out this link Trazodone as a Sleep Aid

drhat77's avatar

perhaps seroquel (not XR) will be cheaper. you take it twice a day instead of once. The extended release versions are usually more expensive.

Violet's avatar

@hawaii_jake and @lillycoyote I think I will talk to my psychiatrist about switching. I think I went off Trazodone because it had bad side effects for me, but I can’t remember.
Prescription costs are ridiculous! It makes me want to move to Canada!
@drhat77 I think regular Seroquel is still pretty expensive, and I had been on that for years (still knocked me out)

Just_Justine's avatar

There has been studies on Omega 3 in large doses. I am doing a bit of reading up on it will keep you posted. Or perhaps just google bipolar and Omega.

Violet's avatar

@Just_Justine thank you, but I plan to stay on prescription medication

davidbetterman's avatar

Try Nyquil, or Tequila.

faye's avatar

@Violet Unless you pay for a drug plan, our prices are outrageous as well.

Cruiser's avatar

Benadryl is a mini sledgehammer for me out like a light if need be. $5.00 for 50 pills.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@violet, have you asked the druggist about generic alternatives? (Our state requires that generic alternative be used to fill a prescription unless the doctor specifically specifies no alternative.)

Or ask your psychiatrist if there’s a trial program. My daughter’s doctor’s been giving Seroquel XR to her free, as trial packs, and we have drug coverage.

Zuma's avatar

If you need Seroquel to manage your bi-polar disorder, and you don’t have insurance (which I gather is the real problem), you may be able to get some assistance from your local community mental health clinic. But you may want to consider other medication options.

Seroquel is a powerful antipsychotic drug with serious side affects. There is a $593 million class action lawsuit in progress because Seroquel (AstraZeneca, Zyprexa, Risperdal, Clozapine or Clozaril and other drugs in the same class) can precipitate diabetes, pancreatitis, stroke, and tardive dyskinesia (uncontrollable tremors). It also lowers your blood pressure and can leave you feeling like a rag doll.

Taking Seroquel just for sleep is serious overkill. (By comparison, melatonin, Benadryl, NyQuil, and Omega 3 are only slightly more sleep-inducing than chamomile tea.)

Depakote is probably the least toxic drug you can take for bi-polar disorder—if it works for you—and much easier to get, since it has gone to generic and because it is good for so many different problems (chronic anger, migraines, seizure disorders, racing thoughts, etc.). Depakote is mildly sedating, but it multiplies the effect of benzodiazepines, like Valium, if you still need something extra for sleep.

casheroo's avatar

Off the top of my head, other bipolar meds…
Lithium, Lamictal, Zyprexa (that one will make you sleep even more than Seroquel) Ambilify (someone already stated that it’s more expensive though.)
My guess is Lithium is the cheapest because it’s been around for quite a while and has a generic.
But, other than cost, you have to find the formula that works for you and work along with a doctor if you’re going to switch meds. They can help you with the cost issue as well, I’ve had plenty of doctors and pharmacists help me out.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

The Valium I take as part of depression treatment induces sleep but doesn’t maintain it very long. Its generic, diazepam, is fairly cheap. Valium has nasty withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it abruptly though (I learned that first hand). Benadryl is sleep-inducing, but you have to keep taking larger doses to get that effect, as an antihistamine it also drys you up. Have you tried Lithium for your bipolar? It seems that the drug companies have been influencing psychiatrists not to prescribe it, probably because it’s so cheap.

wundayatta's avatar

Lithium is very cheap—a few cents per pill, I think.

Judi's avatar

This is really something you need to discuss with your doctor. If it’s working for you, maybe he can help you get it cheaper or free.
My son was on Zyprexa and it eas over $1000 per month. He had no insurance so I contacted that Montel Williams program. I think it was something like Partnership prescriptions America or something. We ended up getting his for free since he had no insurance.
Changing from a med that is working for you because you can’t afford it is a sad choice. It can also really screw up your life and lead to a whole new round of frustrating adjustments.
Please check all your options and let your doctor know that the cost is becoming a burden. Psychotropic meds are not something you want to mess with without your doctors oversight.

davidbetterman's avatar

You would have to be completely insane to take Lithium to put you to sleep.

buster's avatar

I take Seroquel. I get it for free. The drug company AstraZeneca makes Seroquel and has a prescription assistance form I filled out. I got approved. They mail my monthly prescription to my doctor and I pick it up. Check into that. It would cost me a couple hundred a month for my Seroquel without it.

davidbetterman's avatar

LOL Seroquel side-effects
# Drowsiness—in up to 53 percent of people
# Dry mouth—up to 44 percent of people (see Seroquel and Dry Mouth)
# High triglycerides—up to 23 percent
# Weight gain—up to 23 percent (see Seroquel and Weight Gain)
# Headaches—up to 21 percent
# Agitation—up to 20 percent
# Dizziness—up to 18 percent
# High cholesterol—up to 17 percent
# Fatigue—up to 11 percent
# Weakness—up to 10 percent
# Constipation—up to 10 percent.

Judi's avatar

@davidbitterman; and it can be a godsend for those who need it.

Zuma's avatar

Lithium is even more toxic than Seroquel (see my post above).

Violet's avatar

@PandoraBoxx Seroquel has no generic
@Zuma I dislike Depakote, and I don’t care about how “toxic” they are. I am bipolar, and I have to be on medication..
@stranger_in_a_strange_land I know about the witshdrawls, so I’d rather not go on Valium.
@buster I will check that out now, thank you so much

DrC's avatar

@Violet…as mentioned by @buster : AstraZeneca has a patient assistance program for patients who cannot afford it. You and your doctor both need to fill out the paper work and sign it, and they will give it to you for free. Usually, they mail it to your doctor who then gives it to you. Definitely mention this issue to your psychiatrist, because they may have alternatives in mind. Perhaps you could have regular-release Seroquel in generic (quetiapine) that might not cost as much. One thing you do not want to do is stop your meds or take different quantities that would increase your chances of having a mood episode. This is because everytime you have an episode (either manic or depressed) it damages your brain a little so that it becomes more susceptible to future episodes. It also increases the chance that medication will not maintain your symptoms in check at the previous dose.

wundayatta's avatar

Lithium can kill your kidney. It takes around 15–20 years. Then you need a kidney transplant and you can no longer take anything else for bipolar because of the crap you have to take to suppress your immune response.

This is why I want to get off Lithium asap, although I’m going to have a lot of trouble with it due to my wife’s fear about what may happen. It may come down to choosing between a marriage and a kidney.

casheroo's avatar

@wundayatta Wow, I didn’t know that. I hated being on it, but knew I had to be on it..even for a short period (six months). I don’t ever want to go back on it, but I always felt that if I had to, I would. Now I’m having second thoughts.

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GracieT's avatar

I take Remeron (GENERIC) for help with sleep- I won’t sleep without it. I’m epileptic as well as Bipolar so I need seizure medications. The ones that work the best are all used in Bipolar also. I’m on Lamictal, but I take it name only, but I’m also on Trileptal generic. The Trileptal works well for me, but I think for Trileptal generic I pay about $20 for three months instead of name, which is easily over $500 a month without insurance.

Timex0's avatar

So long as your doctor will prescribe Seroquel without the “XR,” ( Extended Release ) you can get it for about $30—$40, since their is a generic for it. Ask your doctor if you can double the dose to compensate, you’ll still come out far ahead.

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