Zyprexa is a drug that is licensed to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The medication works by blocking or lessening the effects of several chemicals in the brain. Zyprexa comes in tablet form and is usually taken once a day; injectable forms are also available. As with any drug, there are possible side effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, and constipation.
What Is Zyprexa?
Zyprexa® (olanzapine) is a prescription medication that is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. When used in combination with fluoxetine (Prozac®), it is also approved for treating the following conditions:
- Bipolar depression
- Treatment-resistant depression (depression that has not responded to treatment with at least two different antidepressants).
(Click Zyprexa Uses for more information on what the drug is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
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).