You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking olanzapine if you have:
- An enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH)
- A history of bowel blockage or obstruction
- Liver, kidney, or heart problems
- Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia
- Low blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension)
- A history of breast cancer
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Zyprexa and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Zyprexa and Breastfeeding)
- Drink alcohol regularly (see Alcohol and Zyprexa).
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Olanzapine for more information on this topic, including information on who should not take this drug.)
Olanzapine belongs to a group of medications called atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotic medications. It is not entirely known how olanzapine works for the treatment of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It is known that the medication 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).
Olanzapine is not a cure for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. It only helps to control symptoms of these conditions (see Symptoms of Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder Symptoms).