Potential benefits of quetiapine in the treatment of substance dependence disorders

S. Pirzada Sattar, Subhash C. Bhatia, Frederick Petty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Objective: Some antipsychotic medications prescribed for the treatment of psychoses, mood disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder in patients with coexisting substance dependence disorders (SDD) have reduced substance dependence. We studied the potential benefits of quetiapine in the treatment of SDD. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of data for 9 patients who were admitted to a 28-day residential rehabilitation program designed for individuals with SDD during a 3-month period from January 2003 through March 2003 and treated with quetiapine for nonpsychotic anxiety. These patients also met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, criteria for alcohol, cocaine and/or methamphetamine dependence and substance-induced anxiety disorder. The patients were assessed using the Hamilton-D Rating Scale for Depression (Ham-D), a 10-point Likert scale to measure alcohol or drug cravings, and random Breathalyzer and urine drug screens. Results: Quetiapine was generally well tolerated. Only 1 of the 9 patients stopped taking the medication because of increased anxiety. Other patients reported improvement in sleep and anxiety. The mean decrease in Ham-D score at discharge for the responders was 18.5 (p < 0.005). The biggest decreases on the Ham-D occurred on the subscales of insomnia, agitation, somatic anxiety, psychologic anxiety, hypochondriasis and obsessional symptoms. The mean decrease in the Likert 10-point craving scale was 5.9 for the responders (p < 0.005). These patients' periodic Breathalyzer and urine test results suggested that they remained abstinent from alcohol and other drug use. Conclusion: Quetiapine was beneficial in the treatment of SDD in patients with nonpsychotic anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-457
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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