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Molecule Description

Olanzapine belongs to a bunch of medicines called antipsychotics. It can be used in combination with other drugs to treat schizophrenia and other mental conditions.

Uses of Olanzapine

  • Schizophrenia (hearing, seeing or sensing things which do not exist in reality)
  • Moderate to severe manic episodes (excitement or euphoria)
  • Bipolar disorder

Contraindications of Olanzapine

When should one not use Olanzapine

  • Stroke or ‘mini’ stroke (temporary symptoms of stroke)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Prostate problems
  • A blocked intestine (paralytic ileus)
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Blood disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

Side effects of Olanzapine

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • A combination of fever, faster breathing, sweating, muscle stiffness
  • Sleepiness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Nervousness
  • High levels of cholesterol
  • Weight gain
  • Blood clots in the veins
  • Constipation
  • High blood sugar
  • Dry mouth

Precautions and Warnings of Olanzapine


Can I take Olanzapine during pregnancy?
The medicine must be used on pregnant women only if absolutely necessary. There is a potential risk to the unborn baby. Make sure you consult your doctor if you are planning a pregnancy or are pregnant.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Olanzapine while breastfeeding?
It is advised not to breastfeed your child when you are taking this medicine.


Can I drive if I have consumed Olanzapine?
You must not drive when you are under the influence of the medicine. You may feel drowsy.


Can I consume alcohol with Olanzapine?
Don’t consume any substances that will slow down your actions such as wine, beer, mixed drinks or other medicine.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • Take this medicine as prescribed by your doctor. Do not miss or alter any dose
  • Never stop this medicine without doctor’s advice
  • Tell your doctor if:
  • You have an allergy to olanzapine or any of the other ingredients
  • You have been diagnosed with eye problems in the past like glaucoma
  • You are under treatment for Parkinson’s disease
  • You are diagnosed for dementia
  • You have diabetes

Mode of Action of Olanzapine

How Does It Work?

Olanzapine helps in restoring the balance of various natural chemical substances in the brain. It does this by acting on various receptors in the brain and treats the symptoms of schizophrenia and mania.
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Interactions of Olanzapine

Interactions with other medicines

  • Medicines for Parkinson’s disease
  • Carbamazepine (an anti-epileptic and mood stabilizer)
  • Fluvoxamine (an antidepressant) or Ciprofloxacin (an antibiotic)

Interactions with food items

No interaction with food have been reported.

Dosage of Olanzapine


The medicine can be toxic if taken in overdose. Seek emergency medical attention if you happen to take an overdose of this medicine.

Missed a Dose

In case you miss a particular dose, take it when you remember. If it comes close to the next dose, then you can take that dose and skip the missed dose altogether. Never double the dose.

Content Details


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: Is Olanzapine a sleeping aid?

A: Olanzapine is typically used as a medicine for psychoses. Like any other antipsychotic medications, it is not prescribed for insomnia. However, a doctor may do so if they feel it is necessary. When prescribed for sleep issues, the dosage is lower than what is given for psychosis.

Q: Does Olanzapine work straight away?

A: No, the medicine will not work immediately. You will generally feel its effects in a short while. However, it can take many weeks, as well.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)

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