A Deadly Drug Cocktail Shines a Light on an AstraZeneca Blockbuster – Bloomberg


HEADS UP–Seroquel (quetiapine)+methadone= DEATH

Please read and share this widely in your networks.  You may save a life!

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  1. This is an eye-opener article, Laura. Wonder how many deaths since then! I worked in psychiatry & opioid addiction for years and never had any patient prescribed that drug combo. I guess, just Lucky! Do you think there are better legal checks today to avoid prescribing the two together? Thanks for the alert! πŸŽ„ Christine

    • Hi Christine,

      This is the first report of this particular deadly drug-drug interaction. The landscape has so changed with the enormous numbers of people cycling through addiction treatment, that I think we may see more of these previously unknown interactions cropping up.

      I must say I’m surprised that this hasn’t come to light earlier. With the frequent association of bipolar and schizophrenia with substance use, it’s hard to imagine that the combination hasn’t come up. One wonders whether there might be other deaths that have been attributed to different causes such as simple OD, that are really cardiac deaths due to Seraquel+ methadone.

      One does hope that an FDA alert will have been sent to pharmacies and inpatient facilities of all sorts…but I wouldn’t count on it, so if you can help spread the word, you can help save lives πŸ†˜πŸ’•

      • Absolutely! Agree there may be hidden causes of death labeled just opioid overdose! Let’s hope the FDA checks are widespread! πŸŽ„

  2. This is just dreadful. Really should not have happened. When on methadone all other meds should not be given, period.

    • It’s a real problem though, because most people must take methadone for the rest of their lives, like insulin. If they’re having serious, life-threatening brain illness, they must be treated. Double bind.

  3. Thank you for drawing our attention to this! I take a more than moderate dose of Seroquel XR. I’m not an addict, but many people with my condition (bipolar) are, and gosh, anyone might someday need a painkiller. I’ll mention this to my doctors and pharmacists and see if they know. I’d hope my psychiatrist knows since he is licensed to prescribe methadone.

    This also reminds us of the importance of letting everyone in your healthcare team know all of your medications.

  4. Reblogged this on Bird Flight and commented:
    I found the following Bloomberg news article link on the blog of Laura P. Shulman, MD, MA (bipolarforlife.me/2017/12/07/a-deadly-drug-cocktail-shines-a-light-on-an-astrazeneca-blockbuster-bloomberg). It tells the story of the death of a young man who died from the dangerous combination of Seroquel (quetiapine) and methadone. Since some of you may take Seroquel at some point(s) in your lives, I thought it was crucial to alert you of this possible fatal interaction with methadone. Please, if you are ever prescribed Seroquel with methadone, do seriously discuss this article with your doctor(s) before taking this combination. Methadone is a medication sometimes prescribed for pain, or as a treatment of certain types of addiction.

  5. Dr. Shulman,

    I attempted to reblog your post on my site, but I encountered a problem. It at first worked fine, but when I attempted to edit my introduction, your reblogged post disappeared and I was not able to recover it. I’m sorry.



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