White Olanzapine pills spilling out of a bottle

What other names is Olanzapine known by?

Scientific Name

Olanzapine is the generic name of an atypical antipsychotic chemical. The IUPAC name for Olanzapine is 2-Methyl-4-(4-methyl-1-piperazinyl)-10H-thieno[2,3-b][1,5]benzodiazepine.

Other Common Names

There are numerous medicine brands that contain Olanzapine, such as Olanzacor Tablets, Terry White Chemists Olanzapine Tablets, and Zyprexa Tablets.

What is Olanzapine and what is it used for?

Olanzapine is an atypical antipsychotic that belongs to the thienobenzodiazepine class and is used to treat mental, emotional, and nervous conditions. It has a wide range of receptor affinities, but it works by restoring the balance of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

The conditions treated with Olanzapine include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or mania that is part of bipolar disorder. Olanzapine has also been used in certain medical cases to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer medicines. Sometimes it is combined with fluoxetine as therapy for treatment-resistant depression. 

Source: Olanzapine is chemically manufactured in a laboratory. It is only legally available by prescription.

Forms: Olanzapine comes in tablet form or as an intramuscular injectable. There are short-acting and long-acting forms.

What are the health effects related to Olanzapine?

Psychological Effects: Olanzapine decreases hallucinations, delusions, feelings of agitation, and disorganized communication. In some patients, there has been an increase in thoughts of suicide.

Physical Effects:


Reactions to Olanzapine include a variety of allergic reactions. Itching, hives, tightness in the chest, swelling of hands or face, and/or trouble breathing are all related allergic reactions. Possible acute reactions also include a change in vision, fast or irregular heartbeat, fever, muscle stiffness, mental confusion, and sweating. Sometimes people experience constipation, dry or watering mouth, upset stomach, drowsiness, runny or stuffy nose, increased appetite, or weight gain.


Sometimes patients develop tardive dyskinesia which is the involuntary jerky muscle movements, usually in the tongue, jaw, or face.

Other potential side effects include

  • Numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, or on one side of the body
  • Severe sleepiness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
  • Shakiness
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, or hands
  • Swollen breasts
  • Discharge from nipples in men or women
  • Decreased sexual ability
  • Impaired glucose tolerance (leading to diabetes in some cases)
  • Trouble swallowing.

There are cases of fatalities involving mostly geriatric patients with dementia, with death usually caused by cardiovascular related events or infections.

Detection Period: Olanzapine is metabolized to inactive metabolites excreted in urine and faeces. Approximately 7 percent of the drug is excreted in urine in an unchanged form. It has a half-life of between 20 to 55 hours. Estimations are that it could be detectable for approximately 4-5 days.

Olanzapine is not a Standards Australia (AS4308) drug class. It can only be detected with conventional testing methods which screen for drugs at high levels.

Is Olanzapine legal?

Legal Status: Olanzapine is a Schedule 4 prescription only drug per the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons. The drugs must be prescribed by a physician.

What are the symptoms of an Olanzapine overdose?

Other Information: Symptoms of an overdose of Olanzapine include tachycardia, motor speech difficulties, decreased consciousness, and/or coma. Suddenly stopping use of the drug can cause withdrawal symptoms.

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