What Is Olanzapine Used For?
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a serious brain disease that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. Currently, it is thought that bipolar disorder may be at least partially genetic (see Bipolar Causes). Bipolar disorder is different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through -- the symptoms of bipolar disorder are more severe. Episodes of mania and depression typically recur throughout the affected person's lifespan. Between episodes, most people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms (see Bipolar Disorder Symptoms). Effective bipolar disorder treatment usually involves a combination of psychotherapy (see Bipolar Psychosocial Treatments) and bipolar medications.
Olanzapine is approved to treat acute episodes of mania or mixed episodes (which involve symptoms of both mania and depression). Olanzapine is also approved for continued use once the acute episode has improved. It can be used by itself or with other bipolar disorder medications, such as lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®) or valproate products (Depakene®, Depakote®, Depakote ER®).
As mentioned, when combined with fluoxetine (an antidepressant), olanzapine is also approved to treat bipolar depression.
What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression?For many people, simply taking an antidepressant can adequately treat depression. However, sometimes depression can be difficult to treat. You may have tried several different antidepressants (or even combinations of antidepressants) without experiencing adequate relief from your symptoms. This is known as treatment-resistant depression.
Olanzapine is approved to be combined with fluoxetine (an antidepressant) for treatment-resistant depression.