Zyprexa Medication Information:

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Generic is available for less money: Generic Olanzapine

Zyprexa medication comes in several different strengths; click on the strength you need to view prices from pharmacies competing to earn your business.

Zyprexa 2.500 mg
Zyprexa zydis 5 mg
Zyprexa 5 mg
Zyprexa 7.500 mg
Zyprexa 10 mg
Zyprexa zydis 10 mg
Zyprexa 15 mg
Zyprexa zydis 15 mg

What is Zyprexa

Zyprexa is an atypical antipsychotic approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat schizophrenia and long term treatment of bipolar I disorder. It is produced by Eli Lilly. Off-label, Zyprexa has been used to treat insomnia, anxiety disorders, anorexia nervosa, and Tourette syndrome. These uses have not been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

How does Zyprexa work & What does it do?

Zyprexa is classified as a thienobenzodiazepine. It has a high affinity for 5-HT2 serotonin receptors than D2 dopamine receptors. The method of action of Zyprexa's antipsychotic activity is unknown. It does antagonize serotonin receptors, which may be how it works. Antagonism of dopamine receptors is also associated with therapeutic effects. Weight gain and sedation is common and is caused by antagonizing H1 histamine receptors.

When/How is Zyprexa taken/used/applied?

Zeprexa is available in tablets, disintegrating wafers and intramuscular injections. It is approved to be used with fluxetine to treat treatment resistant depression. You should take Zyprexa exactly as prescribed by your doctor, and results may take up to four weeks to see. It is often recommended that it is taken once a day before bed, since it tends to lead to sedation, especially early in treatment. It can be taken with or without food.

Side Effects:

The FDA requires all atypical antipsychotics to include a warning label about the possibility of developing hyperglycemia and diabetes, symptoms of metabolic syndrome. This is often attributed to the drug's tendency to cause weight gain, though some have had the metabolic changes without this factor.

If you suffer from kidney, liver or heart disease; have a history of low white blood cell counts; or a have high cholesterol, you may need to have your dose adjusted.

Other side effects include tiredness, akathisia or the inability to sit still, dry mouth, dizziness, low blood pressure or runny nose. Patients with pre-existing seizure disorders should be monitored while on Zyprexa as it may lower the seizure threshold. More serious side effects include numbness, weakness, flu-like symptoms, and excessive thirst or urination. The most serious side effects include impaired judgment and tardive dyskinesia, a rare yet life-threatening, neuroleptic malignant syndrome that causes irreversible shaking and jerking.

Other Brand Names for Zyprexa:

  • Olanzapine (generic)
  • Zyprexa Zydis
  • Zalasta
  • Zolafren
  • Olzapin
  • Rexapin
  • Symbyax (when in combination with fluxetine HCL)

Safety Information:

Zyprexa has a black box warning in the U.S. warning for increased death elderly patients.Zeprexa should not be given to elderly patients who suffer from dementia as it has demonstrated an increased risk for stroke. It is not approved for dementia-related psychosis. Zyprexa is not approved for use in adolescents and children.

Pregnant women should only use Zyprexa is the benefit to the mother justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Nursing mothers should not use Zyprexa as it may be passed through breast milk.


  • Tablets: 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20 mg
  • Orally Disintegrating Tablets: 5, 10, 15, 20 mg
  • Intramuscular Injection: 10 mg vial

Visual Description:

Zyprexa tablets from 2.5 to 10 mg are round and white. The 15 mg tablets are blue and oval shaped. The 20 mg tablets are also oval shaped but pink. None of the tablets are scored. A "Lilly" imprint is on all pills.

About Zyprexa

The name of your medicine is ZYPREXA and your doctor has prescribed it to help relieve the symptoms that are bothering you. ZYPREXA can help to control your symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse. Although ZYPREXA cannot cure your symptoms, it can help you keep them under control as you continue your treatment.

What Zyprexa is used for

ZYPREXA is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders as well as those of bipolar disorder.

Your doctor may have prescribed ZYPREXA for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why ZYPREXA has been prescribed for you.

What Zyprexa does

ZYPREXA belongs to a group of medicines called antipsychotics. ZYPREXA is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders as well as those of bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia may cause symptoms such as hallucinations (e.g. hearing, seeing, or sensing things which are not there), delusions, unusual suspiciousness, feeling withdrawn, lack of emotions. People with schizophrenia may also feel depressed, anxious or tense. Signs and symptoms of bipolar mania include but are not limited to: feeling invincible or all powerful, inflated self esteem, racing thoughts, easily lose your train of thought, overreaction to what you see or hear, misinterpretation of events, speeded up activity, talking very quickly, talking too loudly, or talking more than usual, decreased need for sleep, and poor judgment.

When Zyprexa should not be used

Do not take ZYPREXA if you have had an allergic reaction to ZYPREXA or any of the ingredients listed in the “What the nonmedicinal ingredients are: ” section of this leaflet. Signs of allergic reaction may include a skin rash, itching, shortness of breath or swelling of the face, lips or tongue.

What the medicinal ingredient is

ZYPREXA tablets and ZYPREXA ZYDIS orally disintegrating tablets contain the active ingredient called olanzapine.

What the nonmedicinal ingredients for Zyprexa are:

ZYPREXA Tablets:

ZYPREXA tablets contain the following inactive ingredients: carnauba wax, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline cellulose.

The colour coating and ink contain some or all of the following ingredients: FD&C Blue No.2 Aluminum Lake, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, Synthetic Red Iron Oxide, titanium dioxide, triacetin.

ZYPREXA Zydis Orally Disintegrating Tablets

ZYPREXA Zydis contains the following inactive ingredients: aspartame, gelatin, mannitol, sodium methyl paraben, and sodium propyl paraben.

What dosage forms Zyprexa comes in


ZYPREXA tablets are available in 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg and 20 mg strengths.


ZYPREXA Zydis orally disintegrating tablets are available in 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg and 20 mg strengths.

Warnings and Precautions

Serious Warnings and Precautions

Studies with various medicines of the group to which ZYPREXA belongs, including ZYPREXA, when used in elderly patients with dementia have been associated with an increased rate of death. ZYPREXA is not indicated in elderly patients with dementia.

Before starting ZYPREXA and to get the best possible treatment, be sure to tell your doctor if you:

  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant

  • are breast-feeding or plan on breast-feeding

  • have had an allergic reaction to any medicine which you have taken previously to treat your current condition

  • have diabetes or a family history of diabetes

  • any heart problems

  • have a history of stroke or high blood pressure

  • are a smoker

  • have ever had blackouts or seizures

  • are taking any other medicines (prescriptions or over-the-counter medicines)

  • drink alcoholic beverages or use drugs

  • exercise vigorously or work in hot or sunny places

  • have a history of liver problems, hepatitis, or yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)

  • have prostate problems

  • have intestinal congestion (paralytic ileus)

  • have raised pressure within the eye (glaucoma)

  • suffer from lactose intolerance because ZYPREXA tablets contain lactose

  • cannot take phenylalanine because ZYPREXA Zydis contains aspartame, a source of phenylalanine.

It is important for your doctor to have this information before prescribing your treatment and dosage.

Interactions with Zyprexa

Tell all doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking ZYPREXA.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking ZYPREXA before you start taking any new medicines.

A combination of ZYPREXA with the following medicines might make you feel drowsy:

  • medicines taken for anxiety or to help you sleep

  • medicines taken for depression.

The effects of alcohol could be made worse while taking ZYPREXA. It is recommended that you do not drink alcohol while taking ZYPREXA.

You should tell your doctor if you are taking fluvoxamine (antidepressant), ketoconazole (antifungal), or ciprofloxacin (antibiotic), as these medicines may lead to higher concentrations of olanzapine in your blood.

You should also tell your doctor if you are taking carbamazepine as it may lead to lower concentrations of ZYPREXA in your blood, making ZYPREXA less effective.

Only take other medicines while you are on ZYPREXA if your doctor tells you that you can. Do not give ZYPREXA to anyone else. Your doctor has prescribed it for you and your condition.

Proper Use of Zyprexa

Usual dose

The most important thing about taking ZYPREXA is to take it the way your doctor has prescribed - the right dose, every day. Your doctor has decided on the best dosage for you based on your individual situation and needs. Your doctor may increase or decrease your dose depending on your response.

Although ZYPREXA cannot cure your condition, it can help relieve your symptoms. If your symptoms improve or disappear, it is probably because your treatment is working. Studies have shown that, after coming off medication, a relapse of symptoms occurs in about 2 out of 3 patients and is more than double that of patients staying on their medication. That is why it is so important to keep taking ZYPREXA, even after your symptoms have improved or disappeared. ZYPREXA should be taken for as long as you and your doctor believe it is helping you.

Proper Handling Instructions

(See package insert for illustrations.)

ZYPREXA Tablets: ZYPREXA tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. ZYPREXA tablets can be taken with or without food.

ZYPREXA Zydis: ZYPREXA Zydis should be handled carefully with dry hands.

Follow the instructions below:

  1. Separate one blister cell from the strip by tearing along the dotted line.

  2. Carefully peel off the backing foil.

  3. Gently push the tablet out from the bottom of the blister.

  4. Avoid touching the tablet with your hands. Put the tablet directly into your mouth. It will begin to dissolve in your mouth within a few seconds. You can also place the tablet directly into a full glass of water, milk, coffee, orange juice or apple juice. Stir and drink all of the contents immediately.


If you take too much, immediately contact your doctor or go to your nearest hospital emergency department. Show the doctor your bottle of tablets. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. The most common signs if you have taken too much ZYPREXA are drowsiness and slurred speech.

Missed dose

Take your prescribed dose at the same time each day. If you miss a dose of ZYPREXA by a few hours, take the dose when you remember. If most of the day has passed, wait until your next scheduled dose and try not to miss any more. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Side Effects for Zyprexa and What to Do About Them

Like other medicines, ZYPREXA can cause some side effects. These side effects are most likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical attention. Many of the side effects are dose related, so it is important not to exceed your prescribed dose. The most common side effects of ZYPREXA are:

  • drowsiness

  • weight gain

  • dizziness

  • increased appetite

  • fluid retention

  • constipation

  • dry mouth

  • a feeling of restlessness (akathisia)

You should also tell your doctor if you notice any symptoms that worry you, even if you think the problems are not connected with the medicine or are not listed here.

Because some people experience drowsiness, you should avoid driving a car or operating machinery until you know how ZYPREXA affects you. Some people may feel dizzy in the early stages of treatment, especially when getting up from a lying or sitting position. This side effect usually passes after taking ZYPREXA for a few days.

After prolonged use in women, medicines of this type can cause milk secretion or changes in the regularity of their monthly period. On rare occasions, after prolonged use in men, medicines of this type have been associated with breast enlargement. As well, abnormal liver function tests have been reported on occasion.

Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them. If any of these side effects are experienced, they are usually mild and temporary.

The following table is based on data from placebo-controlled clinical trials and from post-marketing data.

Serious Side Effects, How Often They Happen and What to Do About Them
Symptom/effect Talk with your doctor or pharmacist Stop taking drug and call your doctor or pharmacist
Only if severe In all cases
Slow heartbeata    
Liver inflammation [symptoms of fever, yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, weakness, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, itching]b   d  
Low white blood cell count [symptoms of infection, such as cold, flu-like symptoms, fever, sore throat, as well as weakness or general feeling of unwellness]b    
Rashb (see also Allergic Reaction below)    
Seizure [i.e. loss of consciousness with uncontrollable shaking (“fit”)]b     d
Very Rare
Allergic reaction [symptoms include skin rash, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing]b     d
Bruise easily, excessive bleedingb    
High fever, muscle rigidity, rapid heartbeat, profuse sweating, irregular pulsea,b     d
Increased thirst & hunger, frequent urinationa,b    
Muscle twitching or abnormal movements of the face or tongueb   d  
Pancreas inflammation [symptoms of severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting]b    
Priapism [prolonged and painful erection]b    
Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arms, or legs, and speech or vision problemsc     d
Very dark (“tea coloured”) urine, muscle tenderness and/or achingb    
a. Identified from the clinical trial database. b. Identified from adverse events reported after release onto market. c. Identified from data from 5 placebo-controlled trials in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis. d. If you think you have these side effects, it is important that you seek medical advice from your doctor immediately.

This is not a complete list of side effects. For any unexpected effects while taking ZYPREXA, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Zyprexa Facts

The drug ZYPREXA is manufactured and distributed by Eli Lilly and Company.

Clinical trials of ZYPREXA evaluated the use of the drug in 8,661 adults.

In clinical trials of ZYPREXA, 4,165 patients received the oral form, while around 722 patients received the injectable form.

ZYPREXA obtained its original or tentative approval from the FDA on September 30, 1996.


Technical Information