Uses and Side Effects of Oleanz (Olanzapine)
Before starting any course of medicine, it is important to make sure you take all necessary precautions to ensure best chances of a successful treatment. Before taking Oleanz, be sure you:
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to olanzapine or any other medications.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take since this could affect your treatment. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you use or have ever used street drugs or have overused prescription medications and if you have or have ever had a stroke, a mini-stroke, heart disease or a heart attack, an irregular heartbeat, seizures, breast cancer, any condition that makes it difficult for you to swallow, high or low blood pressure, a high level of fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) in your blood, a low number of white blood cells, liver or prostate disease, paralytic ileus (condition in which food cannot move through the intestine); glaucoma (an eye condition), or high blood sugar, or if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had diabetes.
- Tell your doctor if you have severe vomiting or diarrhea or signs of dehydration now, or if you develop these symptoms at any time during your treatment. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had to stop taking a medication for mental illness because of severe side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, especially if you are in the last few months of your pregnancy, or if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
- If you become pregnant while taking olanzapine, call your doctor. Olanzapine may cause problems in newborns following delivery if it is taken during the last months of pregnancy.
- If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking olanzapine.
- You should know that olanzapine may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- You should know that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication. Do not drink alcohol while taking olanzapine.
- Tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this medication.
- You should know that you may experience hyperglycemia (an increase in blood sugar) while you are taking this medication, even if you do not already have diabetes. If you have schizophrenia, you are more likely to develop diabetes than people who do not have schizophrenia, and taking olanzapine or similar medications may increase this risk.
- Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms while you are taking olanzapine: extreme thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, blurred vision, or weakness. It is very important to call your doctor as soon as you have any of these symptoms, because high blood sugar can cause a serious condition called ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis may become life-threatening if it is not treated at an early stage. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include: dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, breath that smells fruity, and decreased consciousness.
- You should know that olanzapine may cause fast or slow heartbeat, dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking olanzapine. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
- You should know that olanzapine may make it harder for your body to cool down when it gets very hot. Tell your doctor if you plan to do vigorous exercise or be exposed to extreme heat.
- If you have phenylketonuria (PKU, an inherited condition in which a special diet must be followed to prevent mental retardation), you should know that the orally disintegrating tablets contain aspartame that forms phenylalanine.
- You should know that when olanzapine is used to treat teenagers, it must be used as part of a total treatment program that may include counseling and educational support. Make sure that your child follows all of the doctor's or the therapist's instructions.