Drug Class: Atypical antipsychotic, Thienobenzodiazepines

Table of Contents


Zyprexa (olanzapine) is an atypical antipsychotic medication used to treat symptoms of psychotic conditions such as bipolar disorder (manic depression) and schizophrenia. It used to treat adults and children who are at least 13 years old. Olanzapine may also be used to prevent vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy, a cancer drug treatment.

It is sometimes used in combination with other antidepressants or antipsychotic medications.

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

This drug restores an imbalance of two important nerve transmitters (dopamine and serotonin).

How to Take It

This medicine should be taken at the same time everyday. This medicine can be crushed and taken with food. You should not drink grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • changes in weight, weight gain
  • agitation
  • back pain
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • lightheadedness
  • dizziness
  • stomach upset
  • dry mouth
  • abnormal gait

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • edema (fluid retention)
  • bloody or cloudy urine
  • pounding in the ears
  • difficulty speaking
  • headache
  • increased blinking or eyelid spasms
  • muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness
  • bladder pain
  • memory loss
  • arm / leg weakness
  • tightness in the chest

Warnings & Precautions

  • DO NOT take olanzapine if you have had an allergic reaction while taking it before.
  • Tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking might decrease this medicine’s effectiveness.
  • Tell your doctor if you have a history of breast cancer, seizure disorder, difficulty urinating, liver disease, low blood pressure, heart disease, narrow angle glaucoma, or if you have problems swallowing.
  • You should NOT drive and your activities should be restricted due to drowsiness or dizziness that may be caused by taking this medicine.
  • Drink plenty of water each day while taking this medicine.
  • DO NOT spend prolonged time in the sun; this medicine may make you prone to heat stroke. Drink plenty of fluids when the weather is hot, and dress lightly.
  • If you plan to have surgery under general or spinal anesthesia in the near future, talk to your doctor first.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non-emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Taking other sedative medications with olanzapine may result in added drowsy effects. Carbamazepine (Tegretol) can cause up to a 50% removal of olanzapine from the body. Certain antibiotics, (fluroquinolones), fluvoxamine (Luvox) can cause olanzapine toxicity. Medicines that decrease the effects of olanzapine are omeprazole (Prilosec) and rifampin. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking lithium or have further questions about drug interactions with this medicine.

Dosage & Missed Dose

Zyprexa may be taken on a full or empty stomach and should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

It is available tablet form in increments of 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg and 20 mg.

It is also available as a disintegrating tablet in 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg. This tablet dissolves in the mouth.

An immediate-release injection is also available, and it comes in 10 mg vials.

The tablet or disintegrating tablet should be taken at the same time, once per day.

Dry your hands thoroughly before handling the disintegrating tablet. Peel back the foil packaging and place the pill directly onto your tongue. Don’t try to push the pill through the foil. The tablet will dissolve quickly; you do not need to drink any liquid.

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant or while breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a601213.html for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.