Quetiapine Drug Class: Is Seroquel A Controlled Substance?

Last Updated: February 19, 2020

Authored by Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Quetiapine is a commonly prescribed medication that is often used to assist in the management of certain psychological conditions. Many people ask what the quetiapine drug class is. Understanding Seroquel drug class can help a patient know what type of medicine they are using. Taking Seroquel pills for a reason other than it was prescribed may lead to unpleasant effects. Another reason for looking at what kind of drug Seroquel is, to know the risks of abuse from this medication.

Seroquel Classification Overview

What class of drug is Seroquel? This medication has several indications; that’s why some patients can be confused about the classification of quetiapine. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular concerns about the Seroquel drug class.
Male attentively listening to doctor.

Is Seroquel A Narcotic?

Many people tend to ask if Quetiapine is a narcotic. Generally, narcotics are often described as substances that have a tendency to produce addictive behavior in the user. There are several medications that are classified as narcotics. This would often include opium. Any derivatives of opium and those drugs that are known as semi-synthetic substitutes for opium are also classified as narcotics.

Is Seroquel An SSRI?

Due to the psychological effects of Seroquel, some people tend to ask if it is an SSRI antidepressant. The Seroquel classification does not fall within the category of an SSRI. This is true even though the use of the medicine may yield an antidepressant effect in the person taking it.
The term SSRI refers to a range of drugs that are classified as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor medicines. The mechanism of action presented by these drugs causes serotonin levels in the brain to increase. When asking if Seroquel SSRI is an appropriate comparison, it is important to take note that quetiapine does not interact with serotonin.

Is Seroquel A Benzo?

Some people also ask if Seroquel is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepine is a term used to refer to a specific range of tranquilizer drugs. The most common types of benzos include Xanax and Valium. There are other options available too. The use of benzo causes the patient to experience a sedating effect. Thus, a Seroquel-benzo association is not valid.

Is Seroquel An MAOI?

MAOIs are a class of antidepressants. They are also called Monoamine oxidase inhibitors. These drugs are considered quite powerful antidepressants. The effects that quetiapine has in the body causes many to ask if the drug is an MAOI. When looking at a question like what drug class Seroquel is, it is important to note that this medicine is not classified as an MAOI. Similar to MAOIs, however, drinking on Seroquel can lead to serious adverse effects.

Is Seroquel An Opiate?

Opiate drugs are commonly used and contain the active ingredient opium. In some cases, opium derivatives may be used in an opiate. When considering the Seroquel class, it is important to note that medicine is not prescribed for the management of pain. If a person is asking what class Seroquel is should note that the drug does not include any opium or derivatives of this particular ingredient.
Doctor and patient discussing Seroquel drug class.

Is Seroquel An Antidepressant?

The medicine has an effect on the brain and, in particular, is considered useful for certain mental illnesses. When asking about the Quetiapine drug class, it is often considered an antidepressant. It should be noted that this is not the official classification for quetiapine.

Is Seroquel A Tranquilizer?

The effects that the drug may have also made some people ask about the possibility of Quetiapine fumarate drug class being a Tranquilizer. Just as Seroquel for dementia is not a recommended usage, the drug is also not generally used as a tranquilizer. A patient would rather be provided with benzo when they may be in need of a tranquilizer.

Is Seroquel An Antipsychotic?

When looking at what class of drug quetiapine is, the effects on mental conditions should be taken into consideration. The antipsychotic Quetiapine classification would be most accurate. Seroquel antipsychotic is the official class that is assigned to this particular drug.
Doctor explains Seroquel class to female patient.

Is Seroquel A Mood Stabilizer?

Since Quetiapine antipsychotic is a valid classification, some people might want to know if this medicine can be called a mood stabilizer too. Quetiapine is not a mood stabilizer, however, due to an official classification. However, this drug generally acts as a mood stabilizer for specific mood disorders such as bipolar disorder. That was evidenced in research done by Hum Psychopharmacol.

Is Seroquel A Controlled Substance?

There are also many people who ask if Quetiapine is a controlled substance. The answer is negative. Despite that quetiapine had developed an illicit reputation, it is not in the list of controlled substances. There is still a concern regarding people who try to snort Seroquel because the drug is known to produce some recreational effects.

However, the fact that quetiapine is not in a list of controlled substances, quetiapine can be dispensed only for patients with a valid prescription. Note that one can have legal troubles trying to purchase it on the streets, and Seroquel street price is relatively high, as well.

Take Quetiapine With Caution

While quetiapine may be commonly prescribed, people should be cautious when using the drug. Understand what class of drug Seroquel is should be important to any person who considers the use of medicine. A person should also have an understanding of Seroquel metabolism and how medicine acts in the body.

Studies have already confirmed that there is a problem regarding the misuse of quetiapine. Quetiapine misuse can lead to addiction to this drug, which requires immediate attention from addiction treatment specialists. A tailored rehabilitation program will be selected by them to treat the abuse in the most effective way.

Page Sources

  1. Sean Kim, Gayoung Lee, Eric Kim,3Hyejin Jung, and Jongwha Chang, Quetiapine Misuse and Abuse: Is it an Atypical Paradigm of Drug Seeking Behavior?, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5348850/
  2. Harvard Health Publishing, Benzodiazepines (and the alternatives), https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/benzodiazepines_and_the_alternatives
  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Quetiapine, https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a698019.html

Published on: February 19th, 2020

Updated on: February 19th, 2020

About Author

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed is a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. He is graduated from the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed Zayed has a passion for writing medical and health care articles and focuses on providing engaging and trustworthy information to readers.


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  • Vicki
    I have been taking Seroquel 25mg for a very long time. I did not know why until now. I trusted my family physician. When I went to college I received a Masters Degree in Psychology (4.0) That was many years ago. I am now 67 years and have an appointment with my doctor on November 17, 2020. Is there a way to reduce or slowly stop taking this medication? I have never tried to discover why I was prescribed this medication but I have an appointment next month and fully intend on asking his purpose for the prescription. I am shocked. I should’ve checked a long time ago.