The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic versions of a drug used to treat schizophrenia, the government organization announced Wednesday.
People who suffer from schizophrenia now have the option of treating their symptoms with the generic version of Seroquel (quetiapine) tablets. Quetiapine is also used to treat or prevent episodes of mania or depression in patients with bipolar disorder.
Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects approximately one percent of Americans, according to the National Institute of Medical Health (NIMH). Symptoms of the disorder include hearing voices other people don’t hear and having paranoid thoughts.
Schizophrenia affects men and women equally and usually begins in teenage years or early adulthood, though it can manifest later, the NIMH said.
Quetiapine treats schizophrenia by restoring the balance of natural substances in the brain. It has been shown to help decrease hallucinations, improve concentration and prevent or decrease severe mood swings.
According to the FDA, the generic tablets are expected to be manufactured in several different strengths.