What is Zyprexa?

Zyprexa is a medication known as an atypical antipsychotic that is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia. The drug is also sometimes prescribed to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder.

When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve the medication?

Zyprexa was first approved by the FDA in 1996.

Is there a generic version of Zyprexa?

Yes, olanzapine is the generic version of Zyprexa and is available in the United States.

Are there any major differences between Zyprexa and other antipsychotics used to treat Zyprexa?

Zyprexa belongs to the class of medications known as atypical antipsychotics or second generation psychotics. Talk to your doctor about what might work best for you and the costs and benefits of taking the medication. Some people may need to try several different antipsychotics before they find the most effective with the fewest side effects.

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Can children take Zyprexa?

Zyprexa has been approved to treat schizophrenia in teenagers ages 13 and older. Teens taking the medication are at higher risk for weight gain, liver problems, sleepiness, breast enlargement, and increased levels of fat in their blood. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of using the medication.

Are there potential interaction issues for people taking Zyprexa and any other drugs?

There are hundreds of other drugs which are known to interact with Zyprexa in major, moderate, or mild ways, so let your doctor know what other medications you are taking before you begin taking the medication. Some of these include antidepressants, antihistamines, carbamazepine, dopamine agonists, fluoroquinolone antibiotics, fluvoxamine, ipratropium, medications for anxiety, high blood pressure, irritable bowel disease, mental illness, motion sickness, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, ulcers, or urinary problems, omeprazole, rifampin, sedatives, sleep medication, ticlopidine, and tranquilizers.

Are there any other medical conditions that would make someone ineligible for Zyprexa therapy?

Talk to your doctor about other medical conditions before you take Zyprexa, such as dementia, stroke, heart conditions, seizures, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), diabetes, liver problems, glaucoma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breast cancer, a history of suicidal thoughts, or tardive dyskinesia.

What is the typical starting dose that would be prescribed to someone taking Zyprexa?

Typical starting dosage for treating schizophrenia in adults is 5 to 10 mg taken once daily.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Take the dose of Zyprexa when you remember, but skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for your next dose. You should never take extra doses of the medication to make up for missed doses.

What are common side effects of Zyprexa?

The common side effects of Zyprexa can include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Unusual behavior
  • Constipation
  • Trouble walking
  • Weight gain
  • Dry mouth
  • Weakness
  • Pain in arms, legs, or joints
  • Decreased sexual ability
  • Late or missed menstrual periods
  • Breast enlargement.

Doctors recommend that you not drink alcohol while on the medication. It also is recommended that you wait to drive or operate machinery until you know how the medication affects you. Report major side effects to your doctor immediately, which can include sweating, stiff muscles, fast or irregular heartbeat, redness or rash, hives, trouble breathing or swallowing, sore throat, fever, unusual movements, swelling, changes in vision, seizures, You can also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online.

What are the potential long-term effects of taking Zyprexa?

Your doctor should monitor for progression of potential long-term side effect of Zyprexa, which can include weight gain, high blood sugar, tardive dyskinesia, and high-fat levels in the blood.

Is it safe for a woman who is pregnant, about to become pregnant, or nursing to take Zyprexa?

There have been no controlled human pregnancy studies on the effects of Zyprexa. The drug can be transferred via human breast milk and potentially harm a baby. Therefore, talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing before you take Zyprexa.

Can symptoms occur if Zyprexa is discontinued?

It’s important not to discontinue the drug if you feel better. Maintain contact with your doctor and seek medical attention if necessary when discontinuing the drug. Talk to your doctor about how to mitigate potential withdrawal symptoms, which can include agitation, anxiety, diarrhea, psychotic symptoms, trouble sleeping, muscle pain, nausea, sweating, and restlessness.

What should I do if I overdose on Zyprexa?

Seek immediate help or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you overdose, as it can be fatal. Symptoms may include agitation, fast heartbeat, drowsiness, slurred speech, sudden and uncontrollable movements, and coma.

Is Zyprexa habit-forming?
Zyprexa has no habit-forming potential, but it is not recommended that you discontinue use of the drug before talking with your doctor, as withdrawal symptoms can occur.

How much does Zyprexa cost?

According to goodrx.com, 30 tablets of 5mg Zyprexa cost approximately $400 for 30 tablets of 5 mg generic olanzapine cost approximately $50.

Are there any disadvantages to Zyprexa?

The biggest disadvantages of Zyprexa are the potential long-term side effects, which can include tardive dyskinesia, increased blood sugar, and weight gain.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider.  This article mentions drugs that were FDA-approved and available at the time of publication and may not include all possible drug interactions or all FDA warnings or alerts. The author of this page explicitly does not endorse this drug or any specific treatment method. If you have health questions or concerns about interactions, please check with your physician or go to the FDA [link] site for a comprehensive list of warnings.




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Last Updated: Nov 19, 2018