Olanzapine: How it Works, Dosages and Side Effects


Olanzapine is a medication that helps to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This drug is in a group of drugs that are different than the ones you usually get. These work differently. This article will tell you about olanzapine. You can read about how it works and what to expect.

What is Olanzapine?


Olanzapine is a medication that was approved by the FDA in 1996 to treat schizophrenia. This drug is in a group of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. They work differently than traditional antipsychotic medications. Some people take less-common medications as their first choice because they usually have fewer side effects than other types of medication.

Olanzapine is used to treat both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It is FDA approved for these uses, but it is usually used to treat schizophrenia more often than it is used to treat bipolar disorder.

What does Olanzapine treat?

Olanzapine treats schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects how people think, feel, behave and relate to other people. People with this condition have hallucinations or delusional thoughts that are not based on reality. This medication helps reduce the delusions and hallucinations experienced by people with schizophrenia. It also helps reduce the negative symptoms of this condition such as social withdrawal and lack of motivation.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness in which someone has mood swings that range from highs (mania) to lows (depression). When experiencing mania, it may be difficult for someone to control their behavior. They might feel excessively happy or irritable, have a lot of energy, and feel like they can do anything. In the case of bipolar disorder type I, someone may experience periods with depression as well as mania.

In both cases, this medication helps reduce symptoms that interfere with daily life such as delusions and hallucinations for schizophrenia patients and mood swings associated with bipolar disorder.

How long does it take to work?

Olanzapine does not work quickly. It can take anywhere from one to four weeks for someone to notice a difference when they first start taking the medication.

Dosage Of Olanzapine

Dosage Guidelines

The usual dosage for olanzapine is about 15 mg per day, but it can range from anywhere between two and 20 milligrams. The first step of treatment is to take a low dose. You can then increase the dose slowly. This will help with side effects like being drowsy or dizzy.

Over time, the dosage will be increased until symptoms are reduced and a person is able to function normally in daily life. It might take several months of treatment before someone sees full improvement from this medication.


There are some things to consider before starting olanzapine. It is important to tell the doctor if you have any medical conditions, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or taking other medications.

This medication can cause a person to gain weight and sometimes the weight gain cannot be controlled even with diet and exercise changes. There are also some people who experience a rise in blood sugar while taking this medication. It is important for someone to let their doctor know if they have any problems with their blood sugar levels.

Directions Of Use

Olanzapine comes in tablet form and should be taken orally with water. It is best to take this medication at the same time every day. Swallow the tablet whole – do not chew, crush, or dissolve it before swallowing.

Side Effects

Side Effects and Risks 

There are some common side effects of olanzapine. Drowsiness and weight gain are the most common side effects of this medication. Some people also have symptoms when they stand up too quickly. These can be dizziness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, blurred vision, or constipation.

Olanzapine can cause other side effects that are less common. These include problems with memory or decision-making, anxiety, and tremors (shaking of the hands). These symptoms usually go away after a few days to weeks on this medication. However, it is important for someone to let their doctor know if they experience any changes in their mood or behavior.

If someone has problems with their heart, they should tell the doctor about it. Some of these problems are chest pain or irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, increased thirst and urination (polydipsia), excessive hunger (hyperphagia), and early stages of dementia. If a person is pregnant or breastfeeding, they should talk to their doctor.

Withdrawal of Olanzapine

If someone decides they want to stop taking olanzapine, they should talk to their doctor about how best to do this. Suddenly stopping the medication can cause some withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating. These symptoms usually go away within a few days but it is important for someone to seek medical help if they experience severe symptoms.

What Other Medications May Interact With Olanzapine?

Are there any other medical conditions that would make someone ineligible for Strattera therapy

There are some medications that do not interact well with olanzapine. These include antifungal medications such as fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, or voriconazole; antibiotics like erythromycin and clarithromycin; antiarrhythmics (drugs used to control irregular heart rhythms); antidepressants such as nefazodone, fluoxetine, or paroxetine; sedatives and drugs used to treat anxiety like alprazolam, diazepam or lorazepam.

People should also let their doctor know if they are taking medications for high blood pressure (antihypertensives), any other antipsychotics, lithium, or drugs used to treat diabetes.


Olanzapine is the medication of choice for treating schizophrenia. It treats bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. But it is not the best treatment because it can cause side effects and interact with other drugs. If you are taking this medication, it’s important that you don’t stop taking it suddenly. If you do, side effects will happen. Talk to your doctor about taking olanzapine gradually. This will help you feel better after you stop taking it.

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