Olanzapine

Brand names of olanzapine

  • Zyprexa
  • Zyprexa Zydis

The prescription drug olanzapine is indicated for treating schizophrenia as well as severe maniac occurrences that are related to bipolar 1 malady. Olanzapine, which is available in tablet as well as intramuscular forms, belongs to the class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. However, the precise mode of functioning of this prescription drug is yet to be ascertained. It is believed that this medication may work by obstructing receptors for numerous neurotransmitters (chemicals that are used by nerves in the brain to communicate with one another). Olanzapine attaches itself to alpha-1, histamine H-1, serotonin type 2 (5-HT2), dopamine and muscarinic receptors. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved the sale and use of olanzapine in 1996.

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Things you need to tell your physician before taking olanzapine

Before you start treatment with any new medication, you ought to exercise a number of precautions and same is the case with taking the prescription drug olanzapine. Prior to taking olanzapine for the very first time, it is important to inform your physician or pharmacist if you have any allergic reaction to this medication or if you endure any other type of allergic problem. This medication may enclose a number of inactive ingredients that may result in allergic reactions or other health problems. Hence, it is important for you to know about all the ingredients present in olanzapine. In case you are not aware of them, ask your pharmacist to provide you with a list of the elements present in olanzapine.

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The prescription drug olanzapine should not be used by people who suffer from specific medical conditions. Prior to beginning treatment with this medication, tell your physician or pharmacist about your entire medical history, especially if you are enduring neuroleptic malignant syndrome (abnormally high fever in reaction to using neuroleptic drugs). In addition, prior to using olanzapine, inform your physician or pharmacist regarding your complete medical history, particularly if you have had or still have low blood pressure, intestinal ailments, liver disorders, breast cancer, dementia, stroke, seizures, Alzheimer's disease, prostate problems, difficulty in swallowing, glaucoma (narrow angle type), tardive dyskinesia (a disorder marked by restiveness and uncontrolled rolling of the tongue or trembling of the face, trunk or limbs), low white blood cell count and/ or if you smoke. At the same time, tell your physician if you or any member of your family has a history of any of the following: heart ailments, diabetes, high blood cholesterol/ triglyceride levels, obesity and/ or high blood pressure (hypertension).

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Olanzapine has the potential to result in dizziness or drowsiness and, therefore, it is advisable that people taking this medication should not undertake any work that requires alertness, for instance, driving or operating a machine, unless they are certain regarding the influence of the drug on them as well as till they are sure that they can complete the tasks safely. Patients taking olanzapine should completely avoid taking alcoholic beverages for it may aggravate the condition as well as worsen the side effects of the medication. If you are taking olanzapine, you should be aware that this medication is likely to make you susceptible to heat stroke. Therefore, it is advisable that you ought to keep away from activities that may make your body excessively hot, for instance, undertaking heavy work, working out in a hot weather or making use of hot tubs.

It may be noted that teenagers taking this medication are more likely to be susceptible to its side effects, particularly weight gain and also develop enhanced amounts of triglycerides, cholesterol and prolactin. Aged people taking this prescription drug are also more prone to the side effects of olanzapine and they may generally experience drowsiness, dizziness and/ or seizures. Pregnant women should only use this prescription drug when it is absolutely necessary for their condition. In fact, it is advisable that pregnant women should talk to their physician regarding the benefits and risks of taking this medication before they actually use the drug. Olanzapine is known to pass on to breast milk and harm the nursing infants. In order to avoid such undesirable effects on nursing infants, new mothers taking olanzapine ought to consult their physician before breast feeding.

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Usage

The prescription drug olanzapine has been indicated to treat psychotic conditions, which include numerous mental disorders marked by imprecise thinking and discernment, for instance, schizophrenia.

How to use olanzapine

Prior to using the prescription drug olanzapine and before you get a prescription refill every time, it is important to carefully read the 'Medication Guide' available with your pharmacist. In case you are unable to understand any instruction in the guide or have any queries, seek the help of your doctor or pharmacist.

The dosage of olanzapine is dependent on the medical condition of the patient as well as his/ her response to the treatment with this prescription drug. This medication should be strictly taken as directed by your physician. The usual dose of olanzapine is one tablet taken orally once daily with or without food. When you are taking this medication, you should stand up slowly from a sitting or lying position with a view to avert dizziness.

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You should use olanzapine on a regular basis to obtain the utmost benefit. In order to help you remember when you ought to take the medication every day, take olanzapine at the same time daily. In case you find your condition worsening despite taking this medication, you should contact your physician straightaway to seek advice regarding your subsequent actions.

It is important to note that you should never share this prescription drug with anyone else. While you are taking olanzapine, you should be careful to undergo regular and timely laboratory and/ or medical examinations, for instance, blood pressure, weight, fasting blood sugar or FBS, liver functioning and blood cholesterol/ triglyceride level tests, with a view to check your progress or monitor for the side effects of using this medication. For further details, it is advisable that you consult your physician. In addition, you should also go for periodical eye tests, as this is a part of your normal healthcare as well as to find out if there are any implausible, but potential, eye problems.

In case you happen to miss a dose of olanzapine, you should take it immediately when you remember. However, if the timing is close to your subsequent regular dose of the medication, skip the missed dose and continue with your normal dosing schedule. Here is a word of warning. Never take a double dose of this medication to catch up with the missed dose since it may worsen your condition and/ or the side effects.

How olanzapine works

The precise method of working of the prescription drug olanzapine is still unidentified. Nevertheless, it is believed that this medication seems to change the activity of specific chemicals naturally present in the central nervous system (CNS) to cause a sedative as well as antipsychotic impact.

Serious
  • difficulty swallowing or speaking
  • fever
  • lip-smacking
  • shuffling gait
  • stiffness
  • tongue movements
  • uncontrolled chewing
Common
Less common

Possible interactions

Like in the instance of using any new drug, even using the prescription drug olanzapine may interact with certain other medication, including herbal products, vitamins and/ or minerals and, therefore, you ought to be careful not to use them in combination. For instance when people taking olanzapine use herbs like ma huang or kola it may cause undesirable stimulation of the central nervous system. As a result, this medication should not be taken concurrently with these herbs. As a portion of the manner in which ginseng functions is likely to be as a MAO inhibitor, it is advisable not to use ginseng in conjunction with olanzapine. Similarly, kava kava and valerian too may interact with olanzapine and aggravate one of the side effects of the medication - drowsiness.

People taking the prescription drug olanzapine should completely avoid taking alcoholic beverages. In addition, some beverages, such as grapefruit juice, may lessen the metabolism of this medication and result in toxicity. Therefore, avoid drinking grapefruit juice while you are taking olanzapine. It may be noted here that people who smoke tobacco actually remove this medication from their body 40 per cent more rapidly in comparison to those who do not smoke. People taking olanzapine should avoid smoking marijuana, since smoking marijuana may increase the state of drowsiness among the patients. In addition, smoking marijuana may also enhance the risk of sudden potential psychoses (any acute state of mental disorder, such as schizophrenia or paranoia), heighten orthostatic hypotension (a condition wherein the blood pressure drops when the patient stands up quickly, leaving a dizzy or lightheaded feeling) and even baffle the interpretation of mental condition as well as response to the medication.

People who take olanzapine should not expose themselves to excessive heat since this medication may result in problems in controlling body temperature or the basic temperature homeostasis (a condition of mental equilibrium attained when stress or a drive is lessened or eliminated). When such individuals are working or are often exposed to hot environment, they ought to be careful to replace sufficient amount of fluids to steer clear of dehydration In addition, patients taking the prescription drug olanzapine should avoid strenuous exercises or exertion, as this medication has the potential to result in problems in regulating body temperature. Hence, it is important for them to adopt sufficient precautions in this regard.

Discontinuation

Patients taking olanzapine should never stop taking this prescription drug all of a sudden or without consulting their physician. In fact, it is essential to seek the approval of your physician.

Storage instructions

The prescription drug olanzapine should always be stored in the container it was bought in. The container should be tightly closed and kept at room temperature. This medication should never be stored in the bathroom, which is usually damp. In addition, always remember to keep all medications at such a place that is dry and dark. The oral tablets disintegrate very rapidly and, hence, should always be kept in the sealed package they come in.

Any tablet that is no longer needed or has passed its expiry date should be discarded immediately. However, it is important to dispose of these medications in an appropriate as well as safe manner. If required, talk to your pharmacist or your neighborhood waste disposal company to learn more about the safe manner of discarding the product that is not needed any more or has lapsed the expiry date.

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