What is Olanzapine and how it works?
Olanzapine is in the class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics. This is used for the treatment of certain mental/mood disorders; schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Olanzapine helps restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain. The drug also helps to control your mood. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. Each tablet contains Olanzapine as an active ingredient. It is a yellow crystalline solid which is practically insoluble in water. This is available in the dosage forms of 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, and 20 mg for oral use.
Olanzapine works in the brain, which affects the activity of various neurotransmitters. It is particularly dopamine and serotonin or also known as 5HT. Dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters known to be involved in regulating behavior, mood, perception, and thinking. The psychotic illness appears to be caused by disturbances in the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. Schizophrenia is known to be associated with an overactivity of dopamine in the brain. This may be responsible for the delusions and hallucinations that are a feature of this disease.
This medication blocks the receptors in the brain that dopamine acts on. This prevents the excessive activity of dopamine. In this way, it helps to control symptoms of Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder. The effect of Olanzapine in the Dopamine and serotonin receptors is reported to produce the positive effects of this drug such as a decreased:
- Disorganized speech, behavior, and thought
This is a long-lasting and severe mental illness that affects how a person behaves, thinks, and feels. Persons with this condition may look like they are out of touch with reality. Even though Schizophrenia is not common as other mental illnesses, the symptoms can be very disabling such as:
- Disorganized speech and behavior
This condition does not mean multiple-personality or split personality. Most individuals with this illness are not dangerous or violent.
Schizophrenia symptoms in teenagers are similar to those in adults but the condition may be more difficult to recognize. This may be in part because some of the early symptoms of schizophrenia in teenagers are common for typical development during teen years such as:
- A drop in performance at school
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Irritability or depresses mood
- Trouble sleeping
- Lack of motivation
This is a mental health condition that affects your moods. Wherein, it can swing an extreme to another. It is also known as manic depression. People with this condition may have episodes of:
- Depression – feeling very low and lethargic
- Mania – feeling very high and overactive
Not like simple mood swings, every extreme episode of bipolar disorder may last for more than a few weeks. Some people may not experience a ‘normal’ mood very often. This can be treated and people with bipolar disorder can lead full and productive lives.
Despite the mood extremes, people with bipolar disorder often don’t recognize how much their emotional instability disrupts their lives and the lives of their loved ones. If you’re like some people with bipolar disorder, you may enjoy the feelings of euphoria and cycles of being more productive. However, this euphoria is always followed by an emotional crash that can leave you depresses, and worn out. This condition doesn’t get better on its own. Getting treatment from a mental health professional can help you get your symptoms under control.
Olanzapine can help lessen some symptoms such as hallucinations. This may as well help you think more clearly and positively about yourself. It will help you take a more active part in everyday life and feels less agitated.
How to use Olanzapine?
The prescribed dosage is based on the condition being treated and will be personalized for each individual. This medicine is usually started on a low dose and increased gradually if needed.
Olanzapine is to be taken by mouth usually once a day or as directed by your doctor. Each dose may be taken either with or without food. Take the medication at the same time and in the same way each day. It can take 4-6 weeks for this medicine to show its full effects. But, some people get good effects right from the first week. Do not suddenly stop taking this Olanzapine without consulting your doctor. Even if you feel well, continue to take it until the full prescription is done.
What are the side effects of Olanzapine Oral?
Common side effects:
- Weight gain
- Increased appetite
- Lack of energy
- Tremor or shakes
- Stomach upset or pain
- Memory problems
- Back pain
- Loss of bladder control
- Pain in your arms or legs
- Numbness or tingly feeling
- Inability to sit still
- Dry mouth
- Breast swelling or discharge
- Missed menstrual periods
- Changes in behavior that might be offensive to others
Call for medical assistance if there are any signs of an allergic reaction:
- Trouble breathing
- Hives or itching
- Swelling of your face, tongue, throat, or mouth
- Before taking a dose, let your doctor know if you have ever had liver problems, dementia, heart disease, or low white blood cell count.
- This is not licensed for use in children less than 18 years of age. However, it may sometimes be prescribed by specialists to treat the conditions in children aged 12-18 years.
- If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. Never mind the missed dose and follow your regular dosing schedule if it’s almost time for the next dose. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one.
- This drug may cause drowsiness. Don’t drive or do dangerous activities until you know how this affects you.
- This medication may make you sweat less, making you more likely to get heatstroke. Avoid doing things that may cause you to overheat such as hard work or exercise in hot weather.
- While you are taking this medication, be sure to drink plenty of water every day.
- Do not take this drug again if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.
- Get medical help right away if you have a fever that does not go away or mental/mood changes.