Where is Olanzapine used and how does it work?

Olanzapine is used for the treatment of certain mental/mood disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This also helps to control your mood. Olanzapine is in the class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics that helps restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain.

This is an FDA-approved medication that works in the brain which affects the activity of various neurotransmitters. It is particularly dopamine and serotonin or also known as 5HT. Dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters known to be involved in regulating behavior, mood, perception, and thinking. Mental/mood disorders appear to be caused by disturbances in the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. This medication blocks the receptors in the brain that dopamine acts on and prevents the excessive activity of dopamine. In this way, it helps to control symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

What is the dosage of Olanzapine and how it is taken?

The prescribed dosage is based on the condition being treated and will be personalized for each individual. This medicine is usually started on a low dose and increased gradually if needed. Olanzapine is to be taken by mouth usually once a day or as directed by your doctor. Each dose may be taken either with or without food. Take the medication at the same time and in the same way each day. While you are taking this medication, be sure to drink plenty of water every day. 

It can take 4-6 weeks for this medicine to show its full effects. However, some people get good effects right from the first week. Do not suddenly stop taking this Olanzapine without consulting your doctor. Even if you feel well, continue to take it until the full prescription is done. 

What are the possible side effects of Olanzapine?

Common side effects:

  • Lack of energy 
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness 
  • Restlessness
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Increased appetite 
  • Stomach upset or pain
  • Back pain
  • Dry mouth 
  • Missed menstrual periods 

What are the precautions in taking Olanzapine?

  • Before taking a dose, let your doctor know if you have ever had liver problems, dementia, heart disease, or a low white blood cell count. 
  • This is not recommended for use in children less than 18 years of age. However, it may sometimes be prescribed in children aged 12-18 years. 
  • This drug may cause drowsiness. Don’t drive or do dangerous activities until you know how this affects you. 
  • If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. Never mind the missed dose and follow your regular dosing schedule if it’s almost time for the next dose. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one. 
  • This medicine can make you sweat less which makes you more likely to get heatstroke. Don’t do things that may reason to overheat such as exercise or hard work in hot weather. 
  • Do not take this drug again if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal. 
  • Get medical help right away if you have a fever that does not go away or mental/mood changes.