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Product Overview

Olanzapine (generic Zyprexa)

  • What is olanzapine?
    Olanzapine (generic Zyprexa) is a prescription drug used to treat patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It can help improve mental functioning and reduce the severity of psychotic, manic, or depressive symptoms.

  • What are the most common side effects of olanzapine?
    While adverse reactions to olanzapine are uncommon, some patients who take the drug may experience mild side effects, including constipation; weakness or dizziness; pain in the joints, arms, or legs; weight gain; trouble walking; dry mouth; trouble falling or staying asleep; decreased sexual ability; missed or late menstrual periods; breast discharge or enlargement; odd behavior; or depression.

    Rare, more serious adverse events have been known to occur. If you are concerned that olanzapine may be causing you to experience any number of these side effects, please contact your doctor.

    This is not a complete list of side effects. If you are concerned about additional side effects, please contact your provider directly.

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Medically Reviewed By Dr. Allison Edwards, MD

Frequently asked questions about Olanzapine

Olanzapine is a prescription drug used to treat patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It can help improve mental functioning and reduce the severity of psychotic, manic, or depressive symptoms.

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that causes you to have unusual or inappropriate emotions, thinking, and disturbances. Schizophrenia may also cause you to experience hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and even suicidal thoughts.

Mania is one of two episodes or swings you experience when you have bipolar disorder. This might be expressed in feelings of euphoria, energy, and sometimes irritability. Depression swings your mood the other way and results in feeling sad, hopeless, or unmotivated even in normal daily activities.

Contact your doctor to learn more about whether olanzapine is right for you.

Olanzapine is useful in the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It is believed to reduce the severity of the psychotic symptoms associated with the condition.

It is also used to treat bipolar disorder and can be used alongside other medications such as lithium or valproate.

Though it isn’t entirely clear how olanzapine works, research suggests that it targets neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine. Also known as the “happy chemical,” dopamine is a chemical that sends signals to the brain to help you feel pleasure and happiness. Dopamine is also the neurotransmitter that is responsible for motor control, movement, and even breathing. It may also affect serotonin, a chemical that regulates mood, appetite, sleep, and other behaviors, and is also used to send signals between nerve cells.

While adverse reactions to olanzapine are uncommon, some patients who take the drug may experience mild side effects, including:

Constipation Weakness, dizziness, feeling unsteady or unbalanced Pain in the joints, arms, or legs Weight gain Trouble walking Dry mouth Trouble falling asleep or staying sleeping, restlessness Decreased sexual ability Missed or late menstrual periods Breast discharge or enlargement Odd behavior Depression

If these symptoms persist or become severe, tell your doctor. In some cases, symptoms can be a sign of something serious. Seek immediate medical attention or call your doctor right away if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

Hives, skin redness or peeling Rash that may be accompanied by fever and swelling of the face or glands Irregular or fast heartbeat Seizures Falling Vision changes Muscle tightness or stiffness Issues with breathing or swallowing Sweating more than usual Irregular or fast heartbeat Swelling of the lower legs, feet, ankles, hands, and arms

This is not a complete list of side effects. For more information on adverse reactions you may experience while taking olanzapine, please visit the National Institutes of Health’s DailyMed webpage.

It can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to see the full benefits of this medicine. During the first few weeks, communicate with your doctor about how you’re feeling while taking olanzapine, as adjustments to the dosage might be necessary. You should take olanzapine only as prescribed by your doctor. Olanzapine tablets can be taken with or without food.

Depending on your age and reasons for taking olanzapine, a starting dose ranges from 2.5 mg to 15 mg a day, taken with or without food. Depending on your response to this initial treatment, your doctor may increase or decrease your daily dose.

Olanzapine is currently only available via prescription. This means the use of this drug must be authorized by a licensed health care provider.

Providers on Sesame can write a prescription – or refill an existing one – during a virtual or in-person visit. Depending on the medication, you can arrange for same-day pickup at a pharmacy near you. Book an online consultation with a real, licensed provider on Sesame today to determine whether or not olanzapine is right for you.

Note that all prescriptions are at the discretion of your health care provider. Providers on Sesame cannot prescribe controlled substances.

Yes! Talk to a provider on Sesame and get your online doctor prescription or refill ordered right away for fast and convenient pickup from a pharmacy of your choice.

Note that all prescriptions are at the discretion of your clinician.

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