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Olanzapine

Uses

This medication is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (mania).

It is also used to treat depression.

IUPAC name: 2-methyl-4-(4-methylpiperazin-1-yl)-10H-thieno[2,3-b][1,5]benzodiazepine

Drug class: Atypical antipsychotics

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Route of administration: oral, intramuscular

Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

This medication works by regulating and restoring the activity of certain neurotransmitters (such as dopamine and serotonin) in the brain and helps to prevent unusual thoughts and to improve mental and emotional health.

Side effects

It may cause dizziness, drowsiness, headache, insomnia, restlessness, constipation, weakness, weight gain, salivation, vision problems, dry mouth, nausea, tremors, shaking of hands, trouble urinating, loss of appetite,  fainting, and lack of energy.

Precautions

Before using this medication, take the following precautions and notify your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to it or to other antipsychotic drugs, or if you have any other allergies,
  • If you are taking any other medication (prescribed, non-prescribed, or herbal products),
  • If you have a history of hepatic issues (liver disease), dementia, leukemia (low white blood cell count), seizures (fits), breathing/lung problems (including sleep apnea, severe asthma, COPD-chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), diabetes, high cholesterol, glaucoma, cardiac disease (heart attack, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia), kidney problems, intestinal blockage due to paralytic ileus, 
  • If you have undergone any type of surgery,
  • Avoid smoking while taking clozapine since it will lessen the medication’s efficacy.
  • Even if you don’t have diabetes, using this drug may cause hyperglycemia.
  • Limit your alcohol usage since it increases your chances of developing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. It may also cause a loss of alertness.
  • This drug’s adverse effects are more severe in older adults with dementia.
  • Orally disintegrating tablets of olanzapine contain phenylalanine. Consult your doctor if you have phenylketonuria.
  •  Avoid activities that can cause you to overheat while taking this medication.
  • Avoid abruptly discontinuing this medication without first talking to your doctor.
  • If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor. Using this drug in the last trimester of pregnancy is not recommended since it might harm the unborn child.
  • Consult your doctor while breastfeeding.

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