Zyprexa ( Olanzapine )
Zyprexa ( Olanzapine ) is an antipsychotic drug approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, for maintenance of treatment response in schizophrenia, and for treatment of acute mania associated with bipolar I disorder in patients displaying a manic or mixed episode. Zyprexa ( Olanzapine ) is for the long-term treatment of schizophrenia. Zyprexa has benefits over the older conventional antipsychotics in controlling positive symptoms (hallucinations, delusions) and negative symptoms (apathy, social withdrawal) of schizophrenia.
Zyprexa is a prescription medicine that is proven effective for treating the symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar mania and for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder, once called manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual changes in a person's mood, energy level, and ability to function. Bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that can be treated with medicines, but it usually requires lifelong treatment.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects the way your brain receives and interprets information from the world around you. The illness makes it hard for you to organize your thoughts, and you may find it difficult to relate well to other people. The symptoms of schizophrenia can be treated, but it is usually a life-long condition that requires continued treatment.
You should not take zyprexa if you are allergic to zyprexa or any of its ingredients. The active ingredient is olanzapine.
Increased Risk of Death in Elderly Patients with Dementia
In clinical studies, atypical antipsychotic drugs increased the risk of death in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis compared to placebo.† zyprexa is not approved for use in patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Inform your doctor:
- Tell your doctor if you are older than age 65 and have a mental problem called dementia.
- Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. zyprexa can interact with many other medicines, causing serious or life-threatening side effects. Your doctor will decide if you can take zyprexa with your other medicines, or if your dose should be adjusted. Keep a list of your medicines with you and show it to your doctor and pharmacist every time you are prescribed a new medicine or start a new nonprescription medicine, vitamin, or herbal supplement.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if zyprexa can harm your unborn baby. You and your doctor should decide if zyprexa is right for you during pregnancy.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. zyprexa may pass into your milk and may harm your baby. You should choose either to breast-feed or take zyprexa, but not both.
Tell your doctor if you have:
- High blood sugar, diabetes, or family history of diabetes
- Liver problems. You may need a lower dose of zyprexa.
- Seizures (convulsions or fits)
- Low blood pressure. zyprexa may cause dizziness or fainting in people with low blood pressure.
- Heart problems including heart attacks
- Strokes, or mini-strokes called transient ischemic attacks (TIA)
- High blood pressure
- An enlarged prostate (men)
- An eye problem called narrow angle glaucoma
- A stomach problem called a paralytic ileus
- Currently smoke
- Drink alcohol, especially if you drink a lot
- Exercise a lot or are often in hot places
How should I take zyprexa?
- Take zyprexa exactly as instructed by your doctor. Your doctor will usually start you on a low dose of zyprexa. Your dose may be adjusted depending on your body's response to zyprexa. Your dose will also depend on certain medical problems you may have. Do not stop taking zyprexa or change your dose without first talking to your doctor, even if you are feeling better.
- zyprexa is usually taken once a day in the evening. Take zyprexa at the same time each day. zyprexa may be taken with or without food.
- If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your regularly scheduled dose. Do not take more than your doctor has prescribed for you.
- Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not get better while taking zyprexa. Your doctor may adjust your dose or give you a different medicine.
- If you take too much zyprexa (overdose), call your doctor or poison control center right away, or go to the nearest emergency room.
While taking zyprexa:
- Do not drive or operate other dangerous machinery until you know how zyprexa affects you. zyprexa can impair your judgment, thinking, and motor skills.
- Do not take medicines, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements unless you have talked to your doctor about them.
- Do not get pregnant.
- Do not breast-feed.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Do not get overheated or dehydrated (loss of body fluids) during hot weather or exercise, or when using a hot tub.
Possible side effects:
Like all medicines, zyprexa can cause side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or won't go away.
Common side effects:
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Increased appetite
- Feeling weak
- Upset stomach
- Tremors (shakes)
- Zyprexa can cause problems in keeping your body temperature regulated.
Serious side effects:
- Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. zyprexa is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.
- Strokes and "mini-strokes" called transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). These are more common in elderly patients with dementia. Like other mental health drugs, zyprexa should be used cautiously in elderly patients with dementia. zyprexa is not approved for the treatment of dementia.
- High blood sugar or diabetes. Patients who already have diabetes should have their blood sugar checked regularly during treatment with zyprexa. Patients at risk for diabetes (for example, those who are overweight or have a family history of diabetes) who are starting treatment with zyprexa should undergo blood sugar testing on an empty stomach at the beginning of treatment and regularly during treatment. Any patient treated with zyprexa should be monitored for signs of high blood sugar including being thirsty, going to the bathroom a lot, eating a lot, and feeling weak. Patients who develop signs of high blood sugar during treatment with zyprexa should undergo blood sugar testing on an empty stomach. In some cases, high blood sugar has gone away when zyprexa was stopped; however, some patients had to keep taking medicine for diabetes even though they stopped taking zyprexa.
- Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). This is a rare, but life-threatening reaction to certain medicines for mental problems, including zyprexa. Stop taking zyprexa and call your doctor right away if you get any of the following symptoms of NMS, such as a high fever, sweating, muscle stiffness, trouble thinking clearly, a change in mental functioning, sleepiness, or changes in your breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure. NMS can cause death and must be treated in a hospital.
- Tardive dyskinesia. This is a condition caused by certain medicines for mental problems, including zyprexa. It causes body movements, mostly in your face or tongue, that keep happening and that you cannot control. It may start after you stop taking zyprexa. Tardive dyskinesia may not go away, even if you stop taking zyprexa. Tell your doctor if you get body movements that you can't control.
- Low blood pressure. zyprexa may cause low blood pressure in some patients. Low blood pressure is more likely in patients who have heart problems, who have brain problems such as strokes, who take certain medicines, or who drink alcohol. Signs of low blood pressure include dizziness, fast heartbeat, and fainting. To lower your chances of fainting while taking zyprexa, stand up slowly if you have been sitting or lying down.
- Seizures. zyprexa should be used cautiously in people who have had seizures in the past or who have conditions that increase their risk for seizures.
- Impaired judgment, thinking, and motor skills.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Body temperature problems. zyprexa can cause problems in keeping your body temperature regular. Do not become overheated or dehydrated during hot weather or exercise, or when using a hot tub.
- The symptoms of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia may include thoughts of harming yourself or others or committing suicide. Tell your doctor immediately or go to an emergency center if you have any of these thoughts.
- Rarely, people taking medicines of this type have started to leak milk from their breasts, and women have missed periods or had irregular periods. If these symptoms occur, contact your doctor.
- If you gain weight while taking zyprexa, contact your doctor to discuss changes you can make in your activities or eating habits to help manage your weight.
- Zyprexa® Zydis® (olanzapine orally disintegrating tablets) contains phenylalanine and should not be taken if you have a condition called phenylketonuria.
- Store zyprexa at room temperature and out of the reach of children. Keep the container tightly closed and protect from moisture.
- Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions that are not mentioned in patient information leaflets. Do not take zyprexa for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Take zyprexa exactly as instructed by your doctor. Do not give zyprexa to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them.
In these 17 studies, elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis received either an atypical antipsychotic or a sugar pill, typically for 10 weeks. The rate of death in patients who took an atypical antipsychotic was about 4.5% compared to about 2.6% in those who took a sugar pill. Most deaths appeared to be due to heart problems or to infections (such as heart failure or pneumonia.)