Olanzapine for Anxiety (An Update)

Olanzapine is one of drugs which is used for controlling anxiety and its symptoms. Anxiety has become a serious problem in recent times.

People are more concerned about getting through the day without being anxious than anything else.

Generalized anxiety disorder’s prevalence has increased manifold.

In these circumstances where people are trying to overcome the reasons for anxiety they are also experimenting with different drugs to control anxiety..

Olanzapine for anxiety has proven its effectiveness. It affects and reduces within 20 to 30 minutes. It has profound calming effects and is known to be a mood stabilizer.

We shall discuss the effects of olanzapine for anxiety and its other characteristics in detail.

What is Olanzapine?

Olanzapine is sold under the market name of Zyprexa and many others.

It is an atypical antipsychotic which is mainly used in the treatment of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

It can be used for longer maintenance of schizophrenia as well as soon after the onset of disease. It can be used both orally and through injection into muscles.

It was patented in 1971 and then approved for medical use in the United States of America in 1996.

It is one of the most prescribed drugs and it has been prescribed more than 2 million times only in the US.

Even though it has been prescribed for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, a rigorous body of research has been testing the olanzapine for anxiety and other disorders too.

Olanzapine for Other Disorders

It will still take time for the researchers to test rigorously olanzapine for anxiety including generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, delusional parasitosis.

However, olanzapine for anxiety is no less effective than valporate or lithium. You can see that it is more effective than any placebo for treatment of bipolar disorder.

Olanzapine is also being tested for Tourette syndrome and stuttering and it has been found effective.

More pieces of research is being conducted to find out the effects of olanzapine for anxiety and other psychological disorders because of its amazing effects.

Olanzapine as Mood Stabilizer

Olanzapine is known to be one of the most famous antipsychotic as well as a ‘mood stabilizer’.

As long as it came out as antipsychotic by the FDA, psychiatrists started trying to figure its effects for mood stabilizing properties.

Now the FDA has also approved it as a mood stabilizer. It means that you can take this antipsychotic without any symptoms of psychosis at all.

The main reason to offer antipsychotic for mood stabilization is the fact that it has been found extremely effective in reducing the effects and symptoms of bipolar disorder.

It even may help antidepressants work in people who don’t clearly have bipolar disorder. 

Olanzapine for anxiety is unbelievably effective, and has rather fewer side effects than any other medicines. 

How it works

Even though the full mechanism of the drug is not clear there are some ideas about the working of olanzapine.

Different pieces of research are being carried out to find out the mechanism and working of olanzapine.

Dopamine and serotonin which are known to be pleasure neurotransmitters but the increase in these two neurotransmitters is the main cause of schizophrenia.

Olanzapine works by blocking dopamine and serotonin receptors.

That’s why olanzapine for anxiety has stronger mood stabilizing qualities. 

Benefits of Olanzapine for Anxiety

Olanzapine is a magic drug and it is known for reducing many effects in a person.

Here are some of the symptoms which are reduced and relieved by olanzapine.

These effects are still valid if you are taking olanzapine for anxiety, psychosis or even as mood stabilizer. 

  • It is useful in reducing symptoms which must be controlled now.
  • It is able to decrease anxiety.
  • Agitation is also reduced by using olanzapine for anxiety.
  • The overall negative feeling called ‘dysphoria’ can be reduced by olanzapine usage.
  • The whole dysphoria can be reduced within a time limit of only 20-30 minutes. 
  • It is reported to have a profoundly calming effect in many people.
  • It is also found useful in controlling ‘racing thoughts’ which are a characteristic symptom of bipolar disorder and specifically found in bipolar II and it is a more obvious symptom in paranoia or delusions as found in Bipolar I. Moreover, racing thoughts or flight of ideas is also found in schizophrenia and olanzapine is known to reduce this symptom.
  • It should be kept in mind that smaller doses of olanzapine can also be helpful with the symptoms mentioned above and these smaller doses do not even cause weight gain. For example, the smallest pill is of 2.5 mg and at times even half of that pill is found useful in bipolar II.
  • Olanzapine has an edge to other medicines because it can be given to patients who did not have a clear diagnosis because it can be used to treat both psychotic and mood symptoms. Doctors can just take a shot with this medicine even if they don’t know if you are bipolar, anxious or suffering from schizophrenia and it is worth a shot.
  • It is like a ‘broad-spectrum antibiotic’ which is used before the doctors are sure about the type of bacteria and then further specific medications can be used. 
  • It is found to increase weight for people who are really thing. Already obese or overweight people are less likely to get affected from olanzapine.

Olanzapine for anxiety works as a charm to reduce anxious symptoms, agitation and many other symptoms.

However, it should not be considered as a full treatment for anxiety disorder.

One should always go to a health care provider before going for self-medication.

Side Effects of Olanzapine

Olanzapine for anxiety has some of these side effects which are still less than any other medicine available out there.

Even though these side effects are more, olanzapine’s benefits still outweigh the side effects.

However, one should always consult your health care provider before taking any dose so they can find optimal dosage according to your age and condition.

Weight Gain

It is known to increase weight. A routine dose of (10-20mg) can cause a lot of weight gain and in one case there is a report of 58% body mass gain.

In a study conducted, olanzapine is ranked just behind clozapine when it comes to gaining weight, at 10 lbs in 10 week.

Olanzapine can cause twenty five pounds in a year is a common for olanzapine users.

This is the main problem in most of the cases and it is known to be the only major issue when it comes to the usage of olanzapine for anxiety. 

Diabetes

According to another, olanzapine for anxiety is known to cause diabetes in some people. Diabetes can also be caused by the weight gaining fact.

FDA has asked for the warning to be mentioned on the package. American Diabetes Association along with the American Psychiatric Association released a Consensus Statement in 2004 which had specific warnings about diabetes.

However, this side effect has not yet gained the popularity of the drug for its mood stabilization properties.

Olanzapine has proven positive effects and rapid action which makes it easier for the patient to use despite all the side effects and even after the cause of development of diabetes. 

Problems During Pregnancy

Pregnant ladies should be very careful while taking any kind of medicine.

They should pay special attention and care if they are taking any antipsychotic or any other psychotropic drug.

It has been reported by the ladies who were in later part of their pregnancies that olanzapine caused movement disorder in the baby for some time after the birth.

If you are a pregnant lady, should always consult a doctor or your healthcare provider before taking this medication.

If you are taking it for mood stabilization, your health care provider will let you know about the safe dosage of olanzapine for anxiety. 

Problems with Elderly

People who are older in age are taking olanzapine as a psychotropic drug or taking olanzapine for anxiety are also at risk.

Older people who have already been suffering from dementia are at higher risk of losing their life if they keep taking olanzapine for a longer period of time.

Elderly should also consult their health care provider and they should discuss the effects and contraindications of olanzapine before taking the medication.

Everything should be discussed in length before taking the drug because it is a serious risk factor for elderly.

However these side effects were reported for only people with dementia. 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Other Side Effects

  • Other side effects include movement disorders in the person who is taking olanzapine.
  • Dizziness can also be caused by prolonged use of this drug.
  • Feeling of tiredness is also associated with the use of olanzapine.
  • Constipation was also reported by some clients.
  • Dry mouth can also be found in some of the patients who are taking olanzapine.
  • Moreover, you can also see low blood pressure in patients while they are standing.
  • Allergic reactions can also be caused by olanzapine for people who are allergic to these types of medicines.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome is also found in some of the patients who are taking olanzapine.
  • Seizures were also reported by some clients.
  • Gynecomastia is also associated with the use of olanzapine. 
  • Erectile dysfunction (which is a common side effect of many antipsychotic) was reported by some male clients.
  • Tardive dyskinesia is also a side effect of taking olanzapine.
  • High blood sugar is also known to be one of the side effects of olanzapine.
  • It is too expensive for a common man to buy.

What we recommend for curbing Anxiety

Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety

Online Therapy

  • Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.

Anxiety Weighted Blankets

  • Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.

Light Therapy

Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night.  An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

  Is Olanzapine an antipsychotic?

Yes, olanzapine was approved for sale as an antipsychotic but it has amazing mood stabilization qualities and hence it has been used as a mood stabilizer too. 

 2. Can I take olanzapine for anxiety?

It is known to reduce many symptoms of anxiety but you should check with your mental health provider before taking any medication.

  3. Do the above mentioned side effects all occur?

No, the most commonly occurring side effect is weight gain; all the others are less prevalent. 

4. How much does it cost?

It is rather expensive than other antipsychotics.

References

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3432909/

youngminds.org.uk/blog/olanzapine-what-i-wish-i-had-known/

choosingwisely.org/patient-resources/treating-sleep-problems/

psycheducation.org/treatment/mood-stabilizers/zyprexa-olanzapine/

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