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- What is olanzapine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for olanzapine?
- Is olanzapine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for olanzapine?
- What are the side effects of olanzapine?
- What is the dosage for olanzapine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with olanzapine?
- Is olanzapine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about olanzapine?
What is olanzapine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Olanzapine is a drug that is used to treat schizophrenia and acute manic episodes associated with bipolar I disorder. Olanzapine belongs to a drug class known as atypical antipsychotics. Other members of this class include clozapine (Clozaril), risperidone (Risperdal), aripiprazole (Abilify) and ziprasidone (Geodon). The exact mechanism of action of olanzapine is not known. It may work by blocking receptors for several neurotransmitters (chemicals that nerves use to communicate with each other) in the brain. It binds to alpha-1, dopamine, histamine H-1, muscarinic, and serotonin type 2 (5-HT2) receptors. Olanzapine was approved by the FDA in 1996.
What brand names are available for olanzapine?
Zyprexa, Zyprexa Zydis, Zyprexa Relprevv
Is olanzapine available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for olanzapine?
What are the side effects of olanzapine?
Common side effects seen with olanzapine are:
- an inability to sit still (akathisia),
- dry mouth,
- orthostatic hypotension,
- tremor, and
- weight gain.
Several disorders of movement also may occur with olanzapine, for example, extrapyramidal effects (sudden, often jerky, involuntary motions of the head, neck, arms, body, or eyes). Tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements of the mouth, tongue, jaw, or eyelids) also may occur in 1 in 100 patients receiving olanzapine. Some cases can be irreversible. The likelihood of developing tardive dyskinesia increases with prolonged treatment.
There may be an increased risk of elevated blood sugar levels and diabetes with olanzapine as well as the other antipsychotic medications in its class. Patients should be tested during treatment for elevated blood sugar. Additionally, persons with risk factors for diabetes, including obesity or a family history of diabetes, should have their fasting levels of blood sugar tested before starting treatment and periodically throughout treatment to detect the onset of diabetes. Any patient developing symptoms that suggest diabetes during treatment should be tested for diabetes.
Quick GuideSchizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment
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