What is this medication?
Second Generation (atypical) Antipsychotic; Antimanic Agent
Olanzapine, Zyprexa is officially indicated for acute agitation/aggression associated with psychiatric disorders, acute manic or mixed episodes in bipolar disorder, as an adjunct in treatment resistant major depressive disorder, and schizophrenia. It is also prescribed off-label for use in anorexia nervosa, hypomanic episodes of bipolar disorder, chemotherapy induced acute and delayed nausea/vomiting, ICU delirium, Huntington disease-associated chorea, and delusional infestation. (may be used for other conditions not listed)
How does this medication work?
Olanzapine, Zyprexa is a second generation thienobenzodiazepine antipsychotic that works as an antagonist at various neurotransmitter receptors in the brain such as serotonin (5-HT2A, 5-HT2C), dopamine (D1-4), histamine (H1), and adrenergic (Alpha1). It has moderate antagonistic activity at 5-HT3, and muscarinic M1-5, and weak activity at beta-adrenergic, GABA-A and benzodiazepine receptors. Brains response to altered chemistry results in desired effects.
How should I take this medication?
2.5-50mg daily depending on what condition it is used for and patient response. In most cases doses over 30mg are avoided due to side effects.
How to Take: Follow instructions provided by physician/pharmacy label, take consistently at same times each day unless otherwise directed, store at room temperature.
You Need to Avoid: Operating heavy machinery or driving at least until you know how the medication affects you. Do not stop this medication suddenly, make sure your physician is aware and can create a tapering schedule so you can come off slowly and prevent any withdrawal symptoms. This medication has many drug interactions so ask your pharmacist before starting any over the counter medications or supplements.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting Olanzapine, Zyprexa make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have kidney disease, liver disease, a history of seizures, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, dementia or are pregnant or breastfeeding. This medication can cause suicidal ideation in young patients with major depressive disorder so must be used with caution and any major changes in personality or mood should be reported to the physician immediately.
This medication also required regular blood work and follow up with your physician to monitor for adverse reactions
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
How should I store this medication?
Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.
What are the possible side effects of using this medication?
Orthostatic hypotension, weight gain, constipation, hunger, dry mouth, increased serum prolactin, increased liver enzymes, weakness, agitation, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, insomnia, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, withdrawal syndrome, and extrapyramidal reaction (involuntary movement)
Note- this is not a complete list of side effects, only common ones and are generally dosage dependent. When higher doses are required the physician has weighed the risks and found the benefits to be greater, however regular monitoring (blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.) is important to make sure this does not change.
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