olanzapine



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Zyprexa, Zyprexa Zydis

What is olanzapine?

Olanzapine is an antipsychotic medication. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain.

Olanzapine is used to treat the symptoms of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression) in adults and children who are at least 10 years old.

Olanzapine is sometimes used together with another medication called fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem). This combination is also used to treat depression after at least 2 other medications have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.

Olanzapine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about olanzapine?

Olanzapine is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Olanzapine may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

Olanzapine may cause you to have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Symptoms include increased thirst, loss of appetite, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry skin, and dry mouth. If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis while you are taking olanzapine.

It may take up to 4 weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.

Olanzapine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of olanzapine.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather and during exercise. It is easier to become dangerously overheated and dehydrated while you are taking olanzapine.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking olanzapine?

Olanzapine is not for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Olanzapine may cause heart failure, sudden death, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:

  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • heart disease, high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems
  • a history of low white blood cell (WBC) counts
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides
  • a history of heart attack or stroke
  • a history of breast cancer
  • seizures or epilepsy
  • a personal or family history of diabetes
  • an enlarged prostate or difficulty urinating
  • glaucoma; or
  • trouble swallowing.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether olanzapine is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Olanzapine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

The olanzapine orally disintegrating tablet (Zyprexa Zydis) may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of olanzapine if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

How should I take olanzapine?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

Olanzapine can be taken with or without food.

Olanzapine is usually taken once a day. Follow your doctor's instructions.

To take olanzapine orally disintegrating tablets (Zyprexa Zydis):

  • Keep the tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take the medicine. Open the package and peel back the foil from the tablet blister. Do not push a tablet through the foil or you may damage the tablet.
  • Using dry hands, remove the tablet and place it in your mouth. It will begin to dissolve right away.
  • Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.
  • Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.

It may take up to 4 weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.

Olanzapine may cause you to have high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Symptoms include increased thirst, loss of appetite, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry skin, and dry mouth. If you are diabetic, check your blood sugar levels on a regular basis while you are taking olanzapine.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your doctor will need to check your progress on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Store olanzapine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include drowsiness, agitation, aggression, slurred speech, confusion, increased heart rate, jerky or uncontrolled muscle movements, trouble breathing, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking olanzapine?

Olanzapine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of olanzapine.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather and during exercise. It is easier to become dangerously overheated and dehydrated while you are taking olanzapine.

What are the possible side effects of olanzapine?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using olanzapine and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fever, stiff muscles, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats
  • jerky muscle movements you cannot control
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
  • increased thirst, frequent urination, excessive hunger, or weakness
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • unusual thoughts or behavior, hallucinations, or thoughts about hurting yourself; or
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, or weakness
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • swelling in your hands or feet
  • back pain
  • weight gain, increased appetite; or
  • upset stomach.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect olanzapine?

Before using olanzapine, tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by olanzapine.

The following drugs can interact with olanzapine. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these:

  • a medication to treat high blood pressure or a heart condition
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • fluvoxamine (Luvox); or
  • a medication to treat Parkinson's disease including levodopa (Sinemet, Larodopa, Atamet), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), pramipexole (Mirapex), ropinirole (Requip), and others.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with olanzapine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about olanzapine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.