Olanzapine belongs to the class of atypical antipsychotics. Its action is based on altering the activity of molecules naturally present in the brain.


What is Olanzapine?

Olanzapine is used primarily in the treatment of the symptoms of schizophrenia in adults and children aged 13 or older. It can also be used to treat bipolar disorder in people of the same ages.


How should Olanzapine be taken?

Olanzapine can be taken in the form of oral tablets or tablets that dissolve in the mouth. Generally, it must be taken once or twice a day, with or without food. It is always important to try to take it at the same times.

It is possible that during treatment the dose of olanzapine administration may be altered. What matters is to strictly follow the doctor's instructions about intake.


Side effects associated with Olanzapine

The possible adverse effects of olanzapine may include:

  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Behavioral changes
  • Breast augmentation or nipple shrinkage
  • Weight gain
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying awake
  • Pain in the arms, legs, back and joints
  • Restlessness
  • Sexual problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness


It is also important to contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Severe muscle stiffness
  • Swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles or calves
  • Sore throat, fever, chills
  • Uncontrollable movements (including the face)
  • Vision problems
  • Rash or hives
  • Excessive sweating


Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Olanzapine


During treatment with olanzapine it is recommended to drink a lot of fluids throughout the day. Moreover, it is better not to smoke during treatment, because it might reduce the effect of the drug. The drug should not be taken in case of dementia.


Furthermore, it is also important to inform your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to olanzapine or other drugs
  • You are taking other medications, herbal or dietary supplements, in particular antidepressants, antihistamines, carbamazepine, dopamine agonist, cabergoline, levodopa, pergolide and ropinirole, fluoroquinolones, fluvoxamine, ipratropium, anxiolytics, sedatives or tranquilizers, antihypertensives, omeprazole, rifampin, sleeping pills, ticlopidine, as well as drugs and medicines against irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson's disease, seizures, ulcers, urinary problems or sickness.
  • You use drugs or if you are abusing drugs and have had to deal with side effects
  • You had to stop taking drugs because of serious side effects
  • You are pregnant
  • You are suffering from phenylketonuria

Finally, when taking olanzapine it is also important to:

  • Inform your doctor and dentist in case of surgical and/or dental interventions
  • Pay attention to the drowsiness that can be induced by the drug while driving or maneuvering dangerous machinery
  • Ask your doctor what are the side effects associated with the intake of grapefruit or grapefruit juice