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Olanzapine (By mouth)

Olanzapine (oh-LAN-za-peen)

Treats psychotic mental disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness).

Brand Name(s):

ZyPREXA, ZyPREXA Zydis

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to olanzapine.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Dissolving Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Make sure your hands are dry before you handle the disintegrating tablet. Peel back the foil from the blister pack, then remove the tablet. Do not push the tablet through the foil. Place the tablet in your mouth. After it has melted, swallow or take a drink of water.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep the disintegrating tablet in the original package until you are ready to take it.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • You must be careful if you are also using other medicine that might cause similar side effects as olanzapine. This includes medicine that might cause low blood pressure, overheating, or liver problems. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using carbamazepine (Tegretol®), fluoxetine (Prozac®), fluvoxamine (Luvox®), levodopa (Sinemet®, Stalevo®), omeprazole (Prilosec®), or rifampin (Rifadin®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicine to treat high blood pressure (such as atenolol, hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], lisinopril, metoprolol, quinapril, Accupril®, Cozaar®, Diovan®, Lotrel®, Norvasc®, Toprol®, or Zestril®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using medicine to treat anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, Valium®, or Xanax®). Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you smoke tobacco. You might need a different amount of this medicine if you smoke.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, or if you have diabetes, liver disease, prostate problems, narrow-angle glaucoma, or a history of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), breast cancer, seizures, or severe constipation. Tell your doctor if you have any kind of heart or circulation problems, including low blood pressure, heart failure, heart rhythm problems, or a history of a heart attack or stroke.
  • Some side effects are more likely to happen in elderly people with dementia or other memory problems. Make sure the doctor knows if the person who will be using this medicine has forgetfulness or confusion related to aging (such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia).
  • Do not breastfeed while you are using this medicine.
  • For some patients, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or are getting worse quickly. Make sure the doctor knows if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell the doctor if you have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let the doctor know if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • This medicine may increase your cholesterol and fats in the blood. If this condition occurs, your doctor may give you some medicines that can lower the amount of cholesterol and fats in the blood.
  • This medicine may increase your weight. Your doctor may need to check your weight regularly during treatment with this medicine.
  • This medicine may increase the amount of sugar in your blood. Check with your doctor right away if you have increased thirst or increased urination. If you have diabetes, you may notice a change in the results of your urine or blood sugar tests. If you have any questions, check with your doctor.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert. You may also feel lightheaded when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position, so stand up slowly.
  • Tardive dyskinesia (a movement disorder) may occur and may not go away after you stop using the medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while taking this medicine: lip smacking or puckering, puffing of the cheeks, rapid or worm-like movements of the tongue, uncontrolled chewing movements, or uncontrolled movements of the arms and legs.
  • Stop taking this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms while using this medicine: convulsions (seizures), difficulty with breathing, a fast heartbeat, a high fever, high or low blood pressure, increased sweating, loss of bladder control, severe muscle stiffness, unusually pale skin, or tiredness. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
  • You might get overheated while using this medicine. Drink plenty of water during hot weather, while exercising, or while using a hot tub or sauna. If your body gets too hot, you might feel dizzy, weak, tired, or confused. You might have an upset stomach or vomit. Call your doctor if drinking cool water and moving away from the heat does not cool you down.
  • Zyprexa® Zydis® tablets contain phenylalanine (aspartame). This is only a concern if you have a disorder called phenylketonuria (a problem with amino acids). If you have this condition, talk to your doctor before using this medicine.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blurred or other changes in vision.
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever, sweating, confusion, or muscle stiffness.
  • Increased restlessness or excessive movements.
  • Jerky muscle movement you cannot control (often in your face, tongue, or jaw).
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
  • Severe sleepiness, slurred speech, or trouble with breathing.
  • Shakiness, problems with balance or walking.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Swollen breasts, or liquid discharge from your nipples (men or women).
  • Trouble with swallowing.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back pain.
  • Constipation, upset stomach.
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, or watering of the mouth.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Missed menstrual period.
  • Redness or swelling in your eye.
  • Sleepiness or unusual drowsiness.
  • Stuffy or runny nose.
  • Trouble with sleeping.
  • Weakness.
  • Weight gain.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 11/4/2014


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