Safety Alerts & Recalls

What does this mean?

Most doctors are familiar with the concerns about the safety of antipsychotics like Zyprexa. Weight gain and increases in cholesterol are well known side effects of Zyprexa. These side effects can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and other serious conditions with long-term use of Zyprexa.

That said, untreated mood and behavior problems can cause psychological and emotional suffering. If you or someone you care for is taking Zyprexa, you should regularly discuss the use of this medicine with your doctor and determine if the benefits of the medicine continue to outweigh the risks. This discussion should also address ways to the reduce risks of heart problems, diabetes, and weight gain such as using the lowest dose of antipsychotic medicine that treats the condition, and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program. You may also wish to discuss with your doctor the options for switching to a different type of medication, especially if you or the person you care for has gained a lot of weight while taking Zyprexa.

Finally, Zyprexa will work best when it is combined with other supportive measures. Please be sure you are or the child you care for is receiving psychological, educational and social supportive treatment for the condition - this could take many forms including counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, support groups, and one-on-one teaching to help with school work. Ask your doctor about available programs.

If you are a caregiver of a child taking an antipsychotic, include your child in discussions with the doctor so that your child can also take an active and informed role in his or her health care.

Lilly Changes Zyprexa Prescribing Information for Indication for Use in Adolescents (Ages 13 to 17)

Lilly and the FDA notified healthcare professionals of changes to the Prescribing Information for Zyprexa related to its indication for use in adolescents (ages 13-17) for treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder (manic or mixed episodes). The revised labeling warns about the increased risk of weight gain and elevated cholesterol in adolescents and states that this safety issue should be considered by healthcare professionals when deciding among the treatments available for adolescents with schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder. Because of the the increased safety risks, especially with long-term use, healthcare professionals may consider prescribing other medicine first in adolescents. The updated prescribing information also stresses that Zyprexa should be prescribed for adolescents with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as part of a total treatment program that includes psychological, educational, and social supportive measures for patients with the disorder.

Zyprexa contains the active ingredient olanzapine. Zyprexa is also found in the combination product Symbyax. Zyprexa is indicated for use in adults and adolescents ages 13 to 17 for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder (manic or mixed episodes). However antipsychotics like Zyprexa are becoming more commonly used for many different mood and behavior conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - they are often prescribed "off-label" to treat these conditions.

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Source: Manufacturer
Publication Date: 2010-02-02
Last Updated: 2010-02-03

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