Zyprexa is an antipsychotic drug used mainly to treat severe mental conditions, most notably schizophrenia. This oral medication normalizes the balance of chemical compounds in the brain, especially when used in combination with other antipsychotics. The active ingredient, which is a ligand for serotonin and dopamine receptors, provides also a selective impact on the functioning of the limbic system. The target group of the drug is not limited to the cases with extra severity – the pills may be prescribed for people with moderate mood or nervous conditions as well.
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Zyprexa represents the modern class of atypical antipsychotics with increased efficiency (aka second-generation antipsychotics). This class includes anxiolytic and neuroleptic agents used to cure complicated mental conditions of different origin.
In modern clinical practice, this drug is used mainly to treat severe mental disorders, in particular, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Like most congeneric medications, it has an antagonizing effect towards dopamine-sensitive receptors, resulting in general sedation and positive therapeutic outcome. Because of this, it is also used to cure hallucinations and depression.
How to take
Manufactured in the form of oral pills, Zyprexa contains from 2.5 mg to 20 mg of active substances. Take the tablets as outlined in the doctor’s prescription. The therapist may make gradual adjustments of the initial dose based on your response to the therapy, body weight, history of treatment, and interaction with relaxants/neuroleptic agents used as a part of combined treatment.
Do not alter the treatment schedule, voluntarily reduce or decrease the established dose, or switch to another antipsychotic without the doctor’s permission. Avoid abrupt discontinuation of the therapy. Even if you feel better and consider the problem solved, you should adhere to the preliminary established schedule in order to avoid possible unwanted negative outcomes.
If you forget to take your daily dose at the appointed time, you can catch it up several hours after the planned time. However, if you remember about the overlooked dose the next day after it has to be taken, you should skip it and continue taking the drug according to your normal regimen. If you have doubts, skip the dose instead of exposing yourself to the risk of overdose.
Unnecessary prolonged use of the medication may lead to irreversible movement disorders. Make sure you are not using it longer than specified and report to your pharmacist if you detect any signs of difficulties with movement during or right after finishing the therapeutic regimen with the medication.
Avoid driving vehicles or working with the equipment requiring rapid reactions throughout the therapy because Zyprexa may cause dizziness.
The drug may make your more sensitive to overheating. Avoid direct exposure to high temperatures in order to minimize the probability of strokes.
Taking the medicine during breastfeeding bears a risk for an infant. The use of the tablets during this period should be discontinued as soon as possible.
In rare instances, the pills cause spontaneous hyperglycemia; therefore, if you suffer from diabetes, you should conduct blood tests on a regular basis.
Though severe negative effects are not of frequent occurrence if using the drug in accordance with the prescription, their appearance should be treated with utmost care. Inform your physician about any serious reactions that may be caused by the drug.
The most commonly observed unwanted effects include changes of vision, a rapid growth of the body weight, twitches and uncontrolled movements of the facial muscles, slowed speech and/or movements.
Chest pain, loss of memory, labored breathing and other seldom-reported side effects require immediate medical help.