Schizophrenia Home > Zyprexa Side Effects

A few common side effects of Zyprexa include drowsiness, dry mouth, and insomnia. Side effects are typically minor and easily treated. However, certain side effects, such as rapid weight gain, signs of diabetes, and any abnormal muscle movements, are potentially serious and should be reported to your healthcare provider right away.

An Introduction to Zyprexa Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Zyprexa® (olanzapine). However, not everyone who takes the drug will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it well. If side effects occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Zyprexa. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Zyprexa side effects with you.)
 

Common Side Effects of Zyprexa

Zyprexa has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and are compared to those that occur in another group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
 
In these studies, the most common Zyprexa side effects included:
 
  • Drowsiness -- in up to 48 percent of people
  • Dry mouth -- up to 32 percent (see Zyprexa and Dry Mouth)
  • Weight gain -- up to 26 percent (see Zyprexa and Weight Gain)
  • Increased appetite -- up to 29 percent
  • Dizziness -- up to 18 percent
  • Weakness -- up to 18 percent
  • Headache -- up to 17 percent
  • Fatigue -- up to 14 percent 
  • Accidental injury -- up to 12 percent
  • Insomnia -- up to 12 percent (see Zyprexa and Insomnia)
  • Constipation -- up to 11 percent
  • Heartburn or indigestion -- up to 11 percent
  • Thirst -- up to 10 percent.
     
Other common side effects (occurring in 5 to 9 percent of people) included:
 
  • Personality changes
  • Shakiness (tremors)
  • Low blood pressure, especially when sitting or standing up
  • Fever
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Changes in walking pattern
  • An irritated or runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Speech problems
  • Increased salivation
  • Memory loss (amnesia).

 

The side effects and percentages listed above were taken from clinical trials involving Zyprexa tablets, orally disintegrating tablets (Zyprexa Zydis®), or the short-acting injection form. A newer, long-acting injection form (Zyprexa Relprevv™) is also available. This form has similar side effects as the others, with one notable exception -- Zyprexa Relprevv sometimes causes a serious side effect known as post-injection delirium/sedation syndrome (in about 2 percent of people), as discussed in the following section. 

 

Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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