Zyprexa® Drug Information | Usage | Interactions and Side Effects
Zyprexa® (olanzapine) is an atypical antipsychotic medication used to treat symptoms of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders in adults and adolescents at least 13 years old.
Zyprexa is an FDA-approved atypical antipsychotic used to treat the psychotic symptoms of patients suffering from schizophrenia bipolar disorders. Although the exact action of Zyprexa is unknown, it is believed it acts by affecting certain chemicals in the brain. Zyprexa is often used together with other medications.
How to take
As with any prescribed medication, follow the exact orders of your doctor when taking Zyprexa. Follow the instructions on your prescription label. Do not take smaller or larger dose than directed, or for a different period of time other than specified by your doctor.
You may take Zyprexa with or without food. It is usually taken once a day. It is possible taking Zyprexa may be a part of an overall medication plan for psychotic patients. If your symptoms do not improve or become worse while on Zyprexa, call your doctor. DO NOT STOP TAKING ZYPREXA even if you feel better. Stopping taking Zyprexa suddenly may cause serious side effects.
To take the Zyprexa tablet, keep it in the blister package until it is time to take it. Open the package by peeling back the foil. Do not push the tablet through the foil or it could be damaged. If taking the regular Zyprexa, swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. You can take it with or without food.
Zyprexa can cause high levels of blood sugar (hyperglycemia). If you have diabetes, you will need to check your blood sugar levels regularly while on Zyprexa.
It is possible you may gain weight or have high cholesterol while on Zyprexa, especially if you are an adolescent. You may have to undergo blood tests on a regular basis.
If you are taking more than one medication while on Zyprexa, take each exactly as directed by your doctor.
Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following allergic reactions: Breathing difficulty, swollen tongue, face or throat, hives.
Stop taking Zyprexa and call your doctor at once if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
Difficulty in talking or swallowing
Stiff or rigid muscles, tremors
Excessive sweating, fever, chills, irregular heart rate, feeling like you are about to faint
Sudden weakness or numbness, disorientation; vision, speech or balance problems
Uncontrollable twitching or movement of the eyes, face, arms, lips, tongue, face or legs
Unusual thirst, feeling very hot, dry mouth, and urinating less than usual or not at all
High levels of blood sugar characterized by increased thirst, loss of appetite, breath smelling like fruit, dry skin, nausea and vomiting
Flu symptoms, body aches, sores in mouth and throat
Personality changes, irregular thoughts or behavior, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations
Pain in the upper abdomen, dark urine, itching, clay-colored stools, yellowing of the eyes or skin
More common side effects of Zyprexa include:
Abdominal pain, constipation, uncontrollable urine bladder
Weight gain (particularly in adolescents), increased appetite
Pain in arms or legs, back pain
Swelling of the breasts and or discharge from the breasts
Missed menstrual periods in women
Dizziness, feeling tired or restless, headaches
For the full list of possible side effects, speak to your doctor.
Zyprexa is not intended to treat dementia. This medication may cause sudden death, heart failure, or pneumonia in older adults with dementia conditions.
You should not take Zyprexa is you are allergic to it. To be absolutely sure this medication is right for you, tell our doctor in advance if you have any of the following:
History of heart conditions, heart failure, heart attacks or strokes
Unusually high or low blood pressure
History of breast cancer
High levels of triglycerides or cholesterol
History of low white blood cell count (WBC)
Bowel or stool problems
Seizures or epilepsy
An enlarged prostate or problem in urinating
Taking Zyprexa during the last three months of pregnancy may cause problems in the unborn baby including withdrawal symptoms, feeding and/or breathing problems, tremors, limp or stiff muscles. You may encounter withdrawal symptoms and/or other problems if you stop taking Zyprexa during pregnancy.
LET YOUR DOCTOR KNOW BEFOREHAND IF YOU ARE PREGNANT, PLAN TO BECOME PREGNANT OR CURRENTLY BREASTFEEDING. Olanzapine can pass to the baby through the milk when breastfeeding and could cause serious harm to it.
When on Zyprexa, 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 while taking Zyprexa. 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 on Zyprexa.
Before using Zyprexa, tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to the side effects of Zyprexa.
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
heart or blood pressure medication;
carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol);
fluoxetine and olanzapine (Symbyax);
rifampin (Rifater, Rifadin, Rifamate);
ora medication to treat Parkinson’s disease including levodopa (Sinemet, Larodopa, Atamet), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), pramipexole (Mirapex), ropinirole (Requip), and others.
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Zyprexa. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Keep your Zyprexa at room temperature in its original packaging, away from heat and moisture, and away from the reach of children.