Olanzapine is the generic form of the drug sold under the brand name Zyprexa. This group of medications, called atypical antipsychotics, is used to treat serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Schizophrenic patients may experience 'positive symptoms' (such as hallucinations, disturbances of thought, hostility) or 'negative symptoms' (such as lack of emotion and social isolation). Olanzapine is classified as a second-generation antipsychotic, or SGA. It is effective in relieving both positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, whereas the conventional antipsychotics are usually less effective against the negative symptoms. This medication is also indicated for the treatment of bipolar disorder.
While not a cure, antipsychotics change the levels of chemicals in the brain, specifically dopamine and serotonin, which are involved in regulating mood and behaviour. By reducing disruptive symptoms, you or your loved one are able to function better and have a better quality of life.
The treatment of schizophrenia has two main phases: an acute phase, when higher doses of medication might be necessary in order to treat psychotic symptoms, followed by a maintenance phase, which could be lifelong. Your doctor will prescribe the correct dose for your particular diagnosis and stage of treatment. The ODT (orally disintegrating tablet) formulation dissolves quickly with the saliva in your mouth. You may take this medication with or without food, but try to take it at the same time every day. Even if you are feeling better, do not stop taking the recommended dosage abruptly.
This drug may cause significant weight gain and a rise in your blood cholesterol levels which may increase your risk for developing heart disease. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor. Other common side effects may include:
These may not be all the side effects of Olanzapine ODT 20mg.
If you are allergic to Olanzapine of any of the inactive ingredients, do not take it. This medication is not indicated for people over 65 who have dementia because of increased risk of mortality.
Tell your physician if diabetes or heart disease runs in your family. This medication should be used with caution by people who have low white blood cell counts from chemotherapy. Discuss the risks and benefits of this treatment with your doctor if you have decreased liver or kidney function, an enlarged prostate or glaucoma.
Keep this medication at room temperature, in a dry place, and away from light.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by mood swings. Although everyone experiences varying moods from time to time, bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood changes. Mania lasts for at least one week and symptoms may include needing little sleep, loud and quick talking, hyperactivity, anger, irritability and reckless behaviour. Symptoms of a depressive episode are insomnia, fatigue, sadness and inability to focus or make decisions.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness, usually lasting a lifetime. It may have a gradual or sudden onset. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, unusual paranoia, and feeling withdrawn. People with schizophrenia may also feel depressed, anxious or tense. This illness is classified by the symptoms which are most prevalent. For example, people with paranoid schizophrenia experience hallucinations and delusions. About 10% of patients with schizophrenia commit suicide.
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