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AstraZeneca’s Seroquel XL now available for UK patients

Seroquel XL (quetiapine prolonged release) a new, once daily formulation for schizophrenia and manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder, has today become available in the UK.[1]

The new formulation was developed to address the needs of patients who require effective control of symptoms in a once daily rather than twice daily tablet.[1]

“The importance of treatment choices for people with serious mental health problems is that finding a treatment they can personally tolerate, and adhere to, means they stand a better chance of achieving control of their symptoms quickly,” said Stephen Bazire, Chief Pharmacist from Norwich “The introduction of Seroquel XL not only means patients are able to make the target dose of 600mg by day 2[1,2] but also gives patients and psychiatrists another option to make a recovery, thereby improving their quality of life”, he added.

Recent Ipsos MORI market research completed on behalf of AstraZeneca also released today, found that 50% of people in the UK do not know the difference between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and 7% believe that they are the same.[3] Lack of understanding of the facts about mental health creating prejudice against people with mental health problems is common.[4] Another survey conducted by ICM on behalf of AstraZeneca amongst 100 UK Psychiatrists found that 52% of psychiatrists believe that current treatment options are not sufficient and most patients would have to make a compromise on their quality of life.[5]

In most cases the ultimate goal for patients with schizophrenia is to reach what is known as ‘recovery’. Whilst the condition may remain, recovery is the ability of patients to manage the symptoms of the condition by a combination of psychological and drug treatment.[6]

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are relatively common mental disorders, each affecting approximately one in every 100 people in the UK at some time in their life.[7,8] The direct cost to the NHS for treatment of schizophrenia in England and Wales is over £1 billion per year.[8] For bipolar disorder, the cost to the NHS is approximately £199 million a year.[9]

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For further information please contact:

Kate Burd,
Senior Account Manager, Red Door Communications
(e) (d) 020 8392 8057 / (m) 07974 151 510

Lizzie Lockett
Account Executive, Red Door Communications
(e) (d) 020 8392 8063 / (m) 07859 038 593

Kate Jefferson
Communications Manager, AstraZeneca
(e) (d) 01582 836 519 / (m) 07785 928 559

The Seroquel SmPC is available on request or can be found at

Notes to editors:

Seroquel XL (quetiapine prolonged release) received a licence for treatment of schizophrenia and manic episodes, associated with bipolar disorder in September 2008.[1] Seroquel XL is available in the following dosing strengths 50mg, 200mg, 300mg and 400mg. The recommended therapeutic dosing is to start on day one at 300mg and then titrate to 600mg on day two. The dose should be adjusted within the effective dose range of 400mg and 800mg as per day depending on clinical response. In schizophrenia doses over 600mg must be initiated by a specialist.[1]

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in research, development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of US $29.55 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection product sales. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index. For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit:


1. Seroquel XL SmPC, electronic Medicines Compendium, September 2008. (Accessed September 2008)

2. Cutler A, et al. Effectiveness of Extended Release Formulation of Quetiapine as Montherapy for the Treatment of Acute Bipolar Mania (trial D144CC00004). Presented at the Eighth International Review of Bipolar Disorder Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, 14–16 April, 2008

3. IPSOs MORI Mental Health Omnibus Research conducted amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,045 adults aged 15+ in Great Britain on behalf of AstraZeneca UK. Fieldwork took place face-to-face in home from 6th June to 12th June 2008 and 197 sampling points were used. Data was weighted to the known profile of adults aged 15+ in GB

4. NUJ Guidelines – Reporting on Mental Health. (Accessed August 2008)

5. ICM. Psychiatrists Survey conduced amongst 100 UK Psychiatrists on behalf of AstraZeneca UK. June 2008

6. Rethink. A Report on the Work of the Recovery Learning Sites and other Recovery-orientated activities and its incorporation into The Rethink Plan 2004-08. (Accessed August 2008)

7. Rethink. Schizophrenia factsheet (RET10113). (Accessed August 2008)

8. Bipolar Disorder. Rethink (Accessed August 2008)

9. Mind. Statistics 5: The financial aspects of mental health problems (Accessed September 2008)

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Health Unlimited (Red Door Communications) in the following categories: Health, Medical & Pharmaceutical, for more information visit