Why is Zyprexa prescribed?
Zyprexa is used to treat schizophrenia. Zyprexa is in a class of medications called antipsychotics. It works by decreasing unusually high levels of brain activity.
How should Zyprexa be used?
Zyprexa comes as a tablet and an orally disintegrating tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken once a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Olanzapine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. To take the orally disintegrating tablet, use dry hands to peel back the foil packaging. Immediately take out the tablet and place it in your mouth. The tablet will quickly dissolve and can be swallowed with saliva. No water is needed to swallow disintegrating tablets.
Zyprexa helps treat schizophrenia but does not cure it. Continue to take Olanzapine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Zyprexa without talking to your doctor, especially if you have taken large doses for a long time. Your doctor probably will want to decrease your dose gradually. Olanzapine must be taken regularly for a few weeks before its full effect is felt.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking Zyprexa,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Zyprexa or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially carbamazepine (Tegretol), heart medications, omeprazole (Prilosec), rifampin (Rifadin), sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart disease or a heart attack, seizures, breast cancer, liver or prostate disease, a bowel obstruction, or glaucoma.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking Zyprexa, call your doctor.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how Olanzapine affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by Olanzapine.
- tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of Olanzapine.
- you should know that this drug may cause a condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). If you have fever, very stiff muscles, change in mental function, sweating, or irregular heartbeat, call your doctor immediately.
- be aware that Zyprexa may cause a condition called tardive dyskinesia. If you have any uncontrollable jerking movements, call your doctor immediately.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can Zyprexa cause?
Although side effects from Zyprexa are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth
- upset stomach
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- uncontrollable jerking movements
- very stiff muscles
- excess sweating
- fast or irregular heartbeat
What storage conditions are needed for Zyprexa?
Keep Olanzapine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from moisture and heat (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of Olanzapine.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to Zyprexa.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.