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Saturday, January 17, 2009 BDinNC, Community Member, asks

Q: How long does it take seroquel xr to make you drowsy?

I've been on regular seroquel 100 mg every night for bipolar and to help me with my insomnia, now my doctor switched me to seroquel xr 300 mg to be taken at night...and I took it for the first time tonight at 11:30pm and it's now 1:16am and I'm still not sleepy at all.  So I would just like to know how long it takes to kick in, because during the weekday I have to be at work early in the am and I'm used to taking my regular seroquel at 7pm and falling asleep around 8pm and waking up to get ready for work around 4:30am.   So that I can know what time to take it during the weekday evenings and be able to determine whether or not it will have me asleep by 8pm during the weekday only.  And my doctor also told me that for a few weeks I will be extremely sleepy, but it will go away, is this true?  Thanks for any comments....

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Answers (6)
Dr. Diana Walcutt, Health Guide
1/19/09 7:08pm

Hi BD:

Seroquel XR is a delayed release medication, so it typically doesn't hit a patient as hard in the beginning of the dose that the earlier forms of Seroquel does. That being said, I would ask your doctor how long it should take for you to get drowsy.

The patients I have who take this medication say that they are asleep within about 30 minutes, but they are often on other medications such as pain meds, etc.

Please consider calling your doctor's office to see what he says, and express your concern. He may have another suggestion.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Diana Walcutt

Lola, Community Member
7/24/09 12:16am

I just got put on Seroquel XR recently (200 mg 1x a day at night) and it doesn't make me sleepy at all either. My best friend takes 50 mg for sleep of the regular non XR seroquel and it knocks her out quick. My boyfriend took seroquel XR for a long time and said it did not make him sleepy at first but after a few weeks it did. I would see if maybe your doctor will prescribe you a low dose of the regular seroquel to take at night just to be able to go to sleep along with the XR. That is what I'm going to ask my doctor about because I have such a hard time going to sleep.

icediva, Community Member
9/15/09 3:33pm

I switched from regular to xr and I find it doesn't make me drowsy at all.  I like this better because the regular seroquel turned me into a drooling idiot.  Of course, now I have the insomnia to deal with again.  I am trying rhovane or lorazepam at night when I really need it.

Erin Kinney, Community Member
9/27/09 3:31pm

I don't know that anyone will see this since this was posted a year ago, but I am on  800=900mg a day of Seroquel.  It doesn't make me tired anymore, I am just that manic all the time that i need that much to be normal and mellow, otherwise I am all over the place.  If you aren't a chronic manic person, it will make you sleepy and knock you out.  Everyone's chemicals are different.  I must say, try to make it work with the smallest amount of Seroquel, I have to have bloodwork each month for liver damage and cholesterol testing.  I have to daily check my blood sugar, b/c a major side effect is developing diabetes.  My suggestion is to go to more therapy, work in more workbooks, before ending up taking as much as I am.  But I most certainly needed it, no amount of therapy would have helped me.  Ahh the pros of being mental.

Life sucks!  But what can ya do.

Julie, Community Member
10/ 6/10 7:28pm

I just started taking seroquel xr for bipolar and it knocks me right out... I take it (300mg) at around 6pm and by 9pm I'm knocked right out and I usually sleep very light and now you could have a party right next to me and I'm very out of it.. makes me feel drowsy all day long and tired.

casiew86, Community Member
3/ 3/12 6:05pm

i was on taking 50mg non xr and my doctor uped my dose to 150mg XR and let me tell you i have been completly tired allllll day long. i ever slept 4 hours during nap time with my kids and im still out of it. i was like this at first when i told the 50mg no xr and after a week or so my body got used to it and i was drowsy during the day. i preyyy this nex time release pill doesnt make me tired all the time cause it sucks really bad!!

purepoison33, Community Member
3/19/12 9:25pm

XR will definitely make you less drowsy than the regular release stuff. I take 800mg of the XR at bedtime and it takes hours just to get sleepy enough to lay down, and that only happens with pain meds and over-the-counter sleep meds mixed in with it. The XR will release very slowly throughout the day so you should not have nearly as much a problem with drowsiness as you are hacing with immediate release. 

Donna-1, Community Member
3/19/12 11:29pm

I used to take 300mg in the morning and 600mg at night and it never affected me one way or the other.  I continued to sleep my usual hours.

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By BDinNC, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/30/13, First Published: 01/17/09