Zyprexa (Olanzapine)

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Olanzapine is prescribed to address the symptoms of schizophrenia, a mental disorder characterized by disrupted or peculiar thinking, reduced interest in life, and intense or inappropriate emotions, in both adults and adolescents aged 13 and older. It is also employed to manage bipolar disorder, a condition that involves episodes of depression, mania, and other unusual mood changes, in adults and teenagers aged 13 and older. Olanzapine belongs to the category of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics and functions by altering the function of specific natural substances in the brain.

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Description

Olanzapine is prescribed to address the symptoms of schizophrenia, a mental disorder characterized by disrupted or peculiar thinking, reduced interest in life, and intense or inappropriate emotions, in both adults and adolescents aged 13 and older. It is also employed to manage bipolar disorder, a condition that involves episodes of depression, mania, and other unusual mood changes, in adults and teenagers aged 13 and older. Olanzapine belongs to the category of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics and functions by altering the function of specific natural substances in the brain.

Additional information

Usage

Usage
Olanzapine is available in tablet and orally disintegrating tablet forms, designed to dissolve quickly in the mouth and be taken by mouth. Typically, it is taken once a day, with or without food, and at approximately the same time daily. To ensure safe and effective usage, carefully adhere to the instructions provided on your prescription label, and if there are any aspects you do not comprehend, consult your doctor or pharmacist for clarification. It is crucial to take olanzapine precisely as directed, avoiding any alterations to the prescribed dosage or frequency without your doctor's approval. When handling the orally disintegrating tablet, refrain from attempting to force it through the foil packaging. Instead, use dry hands to peel back the foil, promptly retrieve the tablet, and place it in your mouth. The tablet will swiftly dissolve and can be swallowed with or without liquid.
Your doctor may initiate treatment with a low olanzapine dose and gradually raise it. While olanzapine can help manage your symptoms, it does not offer a cure for your condition. The full therapeutic effect of olanzapine may require several weeks or longer to become noticeable. Even if you start feeling better, continue taking olanzapine as prescribed, and do not discontinue its use without consulting your doctor. If your doctor decides to discontinue the treatment, they will likely recommend a gradual reduction in your dose.

Side Effects

Side Effects
Olanzapine may result in side effects. It is essential to inform your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if they are severe or persistent:
• Dizziness, unsteadiness, or difficulty maintaining balance
• Restlessness
• Unusual behavior
• Depression
• Insomnia or difficulty staying asleep
• Weakness
• Trouble walking
• Constipation
• Weight gain
• Dry mouth
• Aches in the arms, legs, back, or joints
• Breast enlargement or discharge
• Irregular or missed menstrual periods
• Reduced sexual function
Certain side effects can be more serious, and you should promptly contact your doctor if you encounter any of the following symptoms, including those listed in the WARNING and PRECAUTIONS sections:
• Seizures
• Alterations in vision
• Swelling in the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
• Involuntary movements of your face or body that you cannot control
• Falling
• Sore throat, fever, chills, or other indications of infection
• Severe muscle stiffness
• Excessive sweating
• Rapid or irregular heartbeat
• Rash accompanied by fever, swollen glands, or facial swelling
• Redness or peeling of the skin
• Hives
• Breathing difficulties or swallowing problems
Olanzapine may lead to other side effects not mentioned here, so it's advisable to contact your doctor if you encounter any unusual issues while taking this medication. Additionally, it's worth noting that olanzapine can elevate the levels of fats in your blood. It's crucial to discuss the potential risks associated with olanzapine with your doctor, particularly if you are a teenager. Teenagers taking olanzapine are more susceptible than adults to weight gain, increased blood fat levels, liver complications, and certain side effects such as drowsiness, breast enlargement, and breast discharge. When considering olanzapine treatment for your child, consult their doctor about potential risks, and they may consider alternative medications with lower associated risks.

Storage

Storage
To ensure safe storage of this medication:
• Keep it in its original container, tightly closed, and out of children's reach.
• Store at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (avoid bathroom storage).
• Always keep the orally disintegrating tablets in their sealed package and use them immediately after opening.
• Properly dispose of any unneeded medication, but do not flush it down the toilet.
• Utilize a medicine take-back program or contact your local garbage/recycling department for disposal options.
• Safeguard all medications from children by using child-resistant containers and storing them up and away.

Precaution

Precaution
Before taking olanzapine, it's important to:
• Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any allergies, medications (both prescription and over-the-counter), vitamins, supplements, and herbal products you are currently using or plan to use.
• Disclose your use of street drugs, excessive use of prescription medications, and your medical history, including heart conditions, seizures, mental illness, diabetes, and other relevant conditions.
• Notify your doctor if you are pregnant, planning pregnancy, or breastfeeding.
• If you are undergoing surgery, including dental procedures, let your healthcare providers know about your olanzapine use.
• Be aware that olanzapine may cause drowsiness, affecting your ability to drive or operate machinery.
• Avoid alcohol consumption while taking olanzapine, as it can increase drowsiness.
• Inform your doctor if you smoke, as smoking may impact the effectiveness of the medication.
• Be vigilant for symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), especially if you have schizophrenia, and promptly report extreme thirst, frequent urination, hunger, blurred vision, or weakness to your doctor.
• Take precautions when transitioning from lying down to standing to prevent dizziness and fainting.
• Be cautious when exposed to extreme heat or planning vigorous exercise while using olanzapine.
• If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), note that orally disintegrating tablets contain aspartame, which forms phenylalanine.
• For teenagers prescribed olanzapine, it should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include counseling and educational support. Ensure your child follows all instructions from healthcare professionals.

Warning

Warning
Research has indicated that elderly individuals with dementia, a condition characterized by cognitive impairment affecting memory, reasoning, communication, and daily functioning, face elevated risks of mortality and the occurrence of strokes or mini-strokes when undergoing treatment with antipsychotic medications like olanzapine.

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