Schizophrenia Home > How Does Zyprexa Work

Zyprexa® (olanzapine) is a prescription drug licensed for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It can also be used in combination with fluoxetine to treat bipolar depression and treatment-resistant depression. Many people may wonder, "How does it work?"
Zyprexa belongs to a group of medications called atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotic medications. It is not entirely known how it works for the treatment of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. However, it is known that it blocks or lessens the effects of several chemicals in the brain. These brain chemicals (such as dopamine and serotonin) may be elevated in people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression).
Zyprexa is not a cure for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. It only helps to control symptoms (see Symptoms of Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder Symptoms).
(Click Zyprexa for more information on how the drug works, to learn about Zyprexa's specific effects, and to find out what side effects may occur with this product.)
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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