What Is Olanzapine And What Does It Do?
Olanzapine is a second generation (new) antipsychotic prescribed by the best psychiatrist in Chennai. It targets the brain sites where chemicals in the brain act.
- It mainly acts on a neurochemical known as dopamine on D2 brain sites (receptors).
- It thus reduces symptoms of psychosis like hearing voices, having fixed false beliefs, erratic speech, thoughts and behavior. These symptoms are known as positive symptoms of schizophrenia.
- It also acts on neurochemical serotonin 5 HT2A brain sites (receptors).
- It thus improves loss of interest, flat mood, inability to pay attention, inability to move or talk. These are known as negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
What Is Olanzapine Used For?
Olanzapine is used for a wide range of mental illnesses like psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar 1 disorder, agitation, depression which does not respond to standard treatment. It can be used in the long term to maintain relief from these conditions.
I Am Worried That Olanzapine Is Addictive. What Are The Side Effects?
Olanzapine is not an addictive/dependence forming medicine. Just like other medicines that are given to treat physical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, etc, these medications are given to treat mental conditions. Most common side effects of olanzapine are sedation, weight gain, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, dry mouth, constipation, slight swelling of legs, increased heart rate. Please watch for side effects and report to a doctor who will assess these side effects who may suggest medication stoppage or switching.
When Should I Be Cautious?
Generally, olanzapine is avoided in older patients with dementia and psychosis. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you must inform and get guidance from the best psychiatrist doctor in Chennai. Though somewhat acceptable in pregnancy and breastfeeding yet you must be aware of the risks and benefits associated with continuous monitoring.
What Monitoring Is Needed?
Yearly health check with ECG is required, particularly blood glucose, blood pressure, lipids must be checked
Dosage And Forms?
Olanzapine is given as tablets or injections. Tablets start from 2.5 mg and usual dosage is 10 to 20 mg. There are long-acting injections that are sometimes given in maintenance every 2 to 4 weeks (e.g Someone taking 10 mg oral olanzapine per day can be given an injection 210 mg every 2 weeks or 405 mg every 4 weeks). Dosages of 210 and 405 mg are available as injections. Sometimes during acute disturbance, olanzapine short acting injection can be given at 5 to 10 mg maximum and 20 mg injection per day to control acute disturbance.