Living with Advanced MS? Watch this video to learn more.

Generic Name: olanzapine (oh-LAN-za-peen)
Brand Name: Zyprexa

Zyprexa is an antipsychotic. It may increase the risk of death when used to treat mental problems caused by dementia in elderly patients. Most of the deaths were linked to heart problems or infection. Zyprexa is not approved to treat mental problems caused by dementia.

Zyprexa is not approved for use in all children. If Zyprexa is prescribed for your child, talk with the doctor to be sure that Zyprexa is right for your child.


Zyprexa is used for:

Treating schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It is also used along with another medicine (fluoxetine) to treat certain types of depression. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Zyprexa is an atypical antipsychotic. Exactly how it works is not known. It is thought to affect certain substances in the brain.

Do NOT use Zyprexa if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Zyprexa

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Can Prescription Drugs Lead to Weight Gain?

Before using Zyprexa:

Some medical conditions may interact with Zyprexa. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of seizures, heart problems (eg, heart failure; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat), an abnormal electrocardiogram (ECG), a heart attack, a stroke or "mini-stroke," blood vessel problems, high blood cholesterol levels, high or low blood pressure, or low white blood cell levels
  • if you have a history of liver problems, stomach or bowel problems (eg, decreased muscle movement), enlarged prostate, narrow-angle glaucoma, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), aspiration pneumonia, or suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • if you have Alzheimer disease, bowel blockage, dementia, or trouble swallowing
  • if you have diabetes or are very overweight, or if a family member has had diabetes
  • if you have had high blood prolactin levels or a history of certain types of cancer (eg, breast, pancreas, pituitary), or if you are at risk of breast cancer
  • if you are dehydrated or have low blood volume, drink alcohol, smoke, or you will be exposed to high temperatures

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Zyprexa. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Tramadol because the risk of seizures may be increased
  • Alpha-blockers (eg, doxazosin), diazepam, or medicines for high blood pressure because the risk of low blood pressure and fainting may be increased
  • Anticholinergics (eg, scopolamine), benzodiazepines (eg, lorazepam), or fluvoxamine because they may increase the risk of Zyprexa's side effects
  • Carbamazepine, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), omeprazole, or rifampin because they may decrease Zyprexa's effectiveness
  • Dopamine receptor agonists (eg, pramipexole) or levodopa because their effectiveness may be decreased by Zyprexa

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Zyprexa may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Zyprexa:

Use Zyprexa as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Zyprexa comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get Zyprexa refilled.
  • Take Zyprexa by mouth with or without food.
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Zyprexa is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • Continue to take Zyprexa even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Zyprexa, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Zyprexa.

Important safety information:

  • Zyprexa may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or decreased vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Zyprexa with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Zyprexa.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are taking Zyprexa; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Zyprexa may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking Zyprexa without checking with your doctor.
  • Do not become overheated or dehydrated in hot weather or while you are being active; heatstroke may occur.
  • If vomiting or diarrhea occurs, you will need to take care not to become dehydrated. Contact your doctor right away if you think you may be dehydrated.
  • Zyprexa may raise your blood sugar. High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have a fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away.
  • Zyprexa may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • NMS is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by Zyprexa. Symptoms may include fever; stiff muscles; confusion; abnormal thinking; fast or irregular heartbeat; and sweating. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Some patients who take Zyprexa may develop muscle movements that they cannot control. This is more likely to happen in elderly patients, especially women. The chance that this will happen or that it will become permanent is greater in those who take Zyprexa in higher doses or for a long time. Muscle problems may also occur after short-term treatment with low doses. Tell your doctor at once if you have muscle problems with your arms; legs; or your tongue, face, mouth, or jaw (eg, tongue sticking out, puffing of cheeks, mouth puckering, chewing movements) while taking Zyprexa.
  • Some patients have experienced weight gain while using Zyprexa. You may need to have regular weight checks while you use Zyprexa.
  • Lab tests, including fasting blood glucose, cholesterol, complete blood cell counts, and liver function, may be performed while you take Zyprexa. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Zyprexa with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially uncontrolled muscle movements.
  • Caution is advised when using Zyprexa in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially drowsiness, increased cholesterol and lipid levels, increased levels of prolactin (a hormone), and weight gain. Children may need regular weight checks while they take Zyprexa.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking Zyprexa while you are pregnant. Taking Zyprexa during the third trimester may result in uncontrolled muscle movements or withdrawal symptoms in the newborn. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. Zyprexa is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Zyprexa.

Possible side effects of Zyprexa:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Back or joint pain; constipation; cough; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; increased appetite; indigestion; lightheadedness; numbness or tingling of the skin; restlessness; sore throat; weakness; weight gain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); abnormal thoughts; chest pain; confusion; decreased urination; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; increased saliva production or drooling; increased sweating; memory loss; menstrual changes; muscle pain, weakness, or stiffness; new or worsening mental or mood changes (eg, depression, hallucinations); one-sided weakness; seizures; severe or prolonged dizziness or headache; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or actions; swelling of the hands, legs, or feet; symptoms of high blood sugar (eg, increased thirst, hunger, or urination; unusual weakness); symptoms of high prolactin levels (eg, enlarged breast size, decreased sexual ability, missed menstrual period, nipple discharge); tremor; trouble concentrating, speaking, or swallowing; trouble sitting still; trouble walking or standing; uncontrolled muscle movements (eg, arm or leg movements, jerking or twisting, twitching of the face or tongue); unusual bruising; vision changes; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include abnormal thinking; aggression; agitation; chest pain; coma; confusion; difficult or slurred speech; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; mental or mood changes; seizure; severe drowsiness, dizziness, or weakness; severe or persistent headache; slow or shallow breathing; stiff muscles; sweating; uncontrolled muscle movements.

Proper storage of Zyprexa:

Store Zyprexa at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep Zyprexa out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Zyprexa, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Zyprexa is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Zyprexa or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Zyprexa. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Zyprexa. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Zyprexa.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Hide
(web1)